Chrysler withdrew from hybrid vehicle market before they even really got going. Their masters at Fiat seem to think natural gas is the way to go. And yet here we come across plans and parts for a Ram 1500 diesel/hybrid.
We already knew that Chrysler was working on a Ram 1500 hybrid, though it was supposed to be just for fleet testing purposes and not for sale. However Allpar, my favorite online resource for all things Mopar-related, came across new parts in Chrysler’s dealer computer system for a Ram 1500 with a 5.0 liter diesel V8 engine. Light-duty diesel engines have been on my wish list for awhile. Better gas mileage, more torque, and engine longevity in a medium-duty truck are three big reasons.
For whatever reason, no major automaker has offered a diesel engine in half-ton trucks, instead making buyers opt for the heavy-duty trucks that add $10,000 or more to the price of the truck just to get the diesel engine. Ram could be the first to break this cycle, and they stand to reap a lot of sales if they do.
What’s more, backing up this 5.0 liter diesel engine is the hybrid-transmission system seen in the defunct Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen hybrid SUV’s Chrysler sold for just a year. The 5.0 liter diesel engine has an option for four transmission, including a six-speed manual, but it is the four-speed transmission with a hybrid motor that gets my juices flowing.
Think about it; the torque and fuel efficiency of a diesel combined with a hybrid in a half-ton truck. I’ll be disappointed if Chrysler can’t get at least 25 mpg on the highway and 300 ft-lbs of torque out of that diesel/hybrid setup.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.