Ford's V-6 EcoBoost is under attack from all sides: Not only is the new Ram 1500 trying to show how strong and efficient its new Pentastar V-6 can be without twin turbos, but also GM is announcing an all-new, powerful V-6 with twin turbos that looks ready to out-power Ford's best-selling F-150 engine option. Click here for the full press release.
General Motors has slated the new engine to go into the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan where it will offer 420 horsepower and 430 pounds-feet of torque (click here for the press release). We'll assume this engine could also fit nicely into a 2014 Silverado or Sierra (and probably several other GM products) as well, and give GM a chance to go head-to-head with the V-6 EcoBoost.
Ram is just out with EPA fuel economy numbers for its Hemi/TorqueFlite 8 combination, and the results have it playing in the same field as the EcoBoost - at least in the 4x4 configuration. According to fueleconomy.gov, mileage for the 2013 F-150 4x4 and 2013 Ram 1500 with the new eight-speed transmission mated to the MDS-equipped 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi are both rated at 15/21 mpg city/highway with a combined 17 mpg rating. But, of course, the real numbers we've all been waiting for are the two-wheel-drive numbers; those were the numbers Ram Trucks' engineers were touting as being better than the V-6 EcoBoost numbers during the press introduction of the 2013 Ram 1500s last year.
Well, a funny thing happened on the way back from the mileage calculations … .
We don't have all the pieces in place yet, and we still have a few unanswered phone calls into the EPA, but it looks like the feds are dragging their feet. We're not sure if they've decided to be cautious about their ratings or if they thought the eight-speed Ram 1500 V-8's fuel economy numbers were suspicious, but in either case, they've told Ram that they have not signed off on the exact city, highway or combined fuel economy numbers for the two-wheel-drive V-8 TorqueFlite 8 pickup. But maybe this isn't such a surprise.
Several sources have suggested that because of the widely publicized problems regarding EPA mileage rating procedures, and the wide fluctuations in results with select models from Hyundai/Kia and Ford hybrids, maybe it's not surprising the EPA is being so careful here. Combined with the fact that the Hemi has a complicated and sometimes touchy multiple displacement system, it makes perfect sense that not every driver (EPA or consumer) will be able to hit the top-tier mileage numbers.
We admit we've had some good days (when we've been incredibly patient, squeezing the throttle just right) and bad days (when we've been at altitude or cargo heavy) with the cylinder deactivation system in the Ram and just about every other full-size pickup with a similar system. Nevertheless, the publicity about these mileage disparities may result in a thorough revamping of the EPA's mathematical tests and its willingness to allow the automakers, in some cases, to conduct and calculate their own mpg numbers. No doubt we'll hear more on the subject soon.
As to how the new Cadillac motor stacks up against the F-150 EcoBoost and Ram 1500 in power, torque and fuel economy, here are two charts for some direct comparisons.