Ram Will Offer Pentastar V-6 in Top Trim Levels

Red Ram Engine

In response to the popularity of its efficient and powerful Pentastar V-6 engine and TorqueFlite 8 transmission, Ram has decided to make the entry- and mid-level powertrain available in higher trim levels as well.

"We have seen Ram 1500 V-6 gasoline sales increase steadily over the past 14 months. It started with the launch of our 3.6-liter Pentastar with leading 25 mpg fuel economy and 305 horsepower. Customers actually lift the hood on dealer lots because they believe the engine is a V-8 rather than a V-6 [after a test drive]. The popularity of our V-6/eight-speed combination has been so great, we've started offering it in higher trim levels beginning this month," said Bob Hegbloom, director of the Ram truck brand.

This means that Laramie model, listed on Ram's build-a-truck web page for $41,395 (including destination), will now be offered with a $1,650 discount (below the 5.7-liter V-8-equipped Laramie) for those opting for the Pentastar gas engine, which includes the 845RE eight-speed transmission.

We should note that this is option is so new the Ram website doesn't even have the option, so check with your local dealership for more details.

Cars.com photo by Matt Avery (top); manufacturer image (below)

 

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Comments

Fantastic! This is a great engine.

A great decision. An engine that will match its payload capabilities. For 98% of Ram 1500 owners, all the engine they will need.

This engine looks good, if Chrysler offered a 6.2 V8 with the same specific power and torque output, it would be 525 HP / 465 lb-ft. I think it's time for them to replace the Hemi.

GMC is going the "Ecoboost" route -

"General Motors has unveiled a new generation of their Ecotec engine family, whose 11 three- and four-pot powerplants will find a home under the bonnets of 27 models by 2017.
Automotive News reports the new clean-sheet engines range from a turbocharged 1-liter I3, to a 1.5-liter turbo-four, feature modular design for efficient assembly, consist of aluminium heads and blocks, and include VVT, dual overhead cams with four valves per cylinder, and water-cooled exhaust manifolds among other offerings."
TTAC

Will they offer the 3.6 V6 with the PTO transfer case? BW 44-44
And how about the 3.92 ring/pinion.

Not really Lou,
Although some variants will be offered with turbocharging most engines will be offered in naturally aspirated form as well.

Alex: Mopar already has a very powerful 6.4 Hemi, that has 470hp/ftlbstq, plus get over 25mpg hyw at the speed limit! I have driven a new 3.6 in the Ram and Charger, and came away very impressed! The only reason I bought a Hemi Charger was because of the 8 spd shifter in the Charger is very confusing! and my wife, (who drives the car more than I do ) would have never put up with the way the shift works! I think they used the "stick" shift style in the car to look sporty! but the way the rotary shift in the truck works is vastly better than the stick in the car! The other reason I bought the Hemi Charger? was the fact it gets decent mileage anyway! I went to buy a Ram! but my wife took one good look at the Charger, and then when I drove it? I decided against the truck! and AWD in the car sealed the deal! I also got to drive a 3.0 V-6 diesel Ram, and though the gas V-6 in the Ram was much better! but then again I was not trying to tow anything! but the price difference IMHO is not worth it! and the gas engine is very nice! and the Ram diesel I looked at was not over 40K!! it was a special order from a regular customer at the dealer, it was a Quad Cab 6.5 4x4 Tradesman with only the tow package as the only option! and was under 40K!!! just under, $39,987 to be exact! and that was not too bad! but I was able to drive another one on the lot, (at 49K!!!!) and was not that impressed with it! But the gas engine I can not say enough about is fine!

Maybe this is a good business decision maybe it wont. That remains to be seen. I think eventually Ram will have to move away from the Hemi. This will suit BAFO well because if he could have it his way he would do away with V8s all together, especially pushrod ones.

what? no headlines for GM new offerings? Oh wait they will come on board in about 7 years.

@everybody

before we get too wound up about six-cylinder fever, let's take a look at what sells, and what doesn't

In my area Ford dealers are swamped with 2 and 3 yrs old F150 XLT Crew's with the 3.7 engine, six-speed. Used XLT's with the same trim and the 5.0 V8 cannot be found on the used lot. There might be a reason.

You cannot give away a used RAM double cab with the 3.7 last gen V6. Can the Pentastar DOHC motor have THAT much more torque than the 3.7 SOHC motor. Doubtful.

I don't care which brand, any 5500 pound truck with 800 pounds of passengers/gear and a 150 pounds of gasoline on board does not want a 3600 cc six cylinder engine.

Trust me on this.

Take it for a test drive with the AC on, and your wife's fat sisters riding in the back. It might change your mind.

A regular cab short bed with the six could be ok but I don't see truck buyers lining up to buy this, except as fleet trucks.

Jim

The pentastar 8 speed combo puts more torque to the wheels then smaller v8s with 6 speeds.

Remember that gear multiplies torque and the pentastar has 8 gears that can help do that

@get real

RAM is going to regret this. This was the perfect powertrain for saving the Dakota, but they didn't have it ready then.

In late 2005 GM and Ford already had DOHC V6 engines in production, but RAM was still trying to sell the Dakota and the old Durango with some pretty tired, and inefficient powertrain options. Rather than upgrade the Dakota they killed it.

Putting a 3600 cc engine in any 5500 pound truck without a turbo won't work except as an Interstate cruiser, preferably on flat ground.

Adding a couple of cogs to the gearbox probably won't be enough. My two cents.

@Papa Jim
I hope RAM reconsiders a midsize truck entry in the market, the market that Chrysler created in the first place! Like everybody else, Ford, Toyota and Nissan, they're probably awaiting performance and reliability of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

@papa jim it has a good deal more torque then the v-6 3.7, and it has a broader range. Plus whatever 3.7 you compare it to (cause you haven't driven a 3.6, right?) had a 4 speed. Bad combo.

Have you seen what they say about your GMs 4.3? Kinda gutless is what I read, according to Four Wheeler magazine.

Don't you live in the FLATLANDS of Florida? What power is needed there, anyway?

Gm nutswingers....

but jim's all about a 302 Chevy, lol, one that needs revved to 6500 and has nothing at 3500 rpm, lol. With 2 4 barrels! Get out there and adjust that lash! And those carbs! Put in some high octane too!

If GM had this engine, jim would be saying good things, lol

@ TRX-4 Tom

I think you have it the other way around and probably know that because you are so caught up with that GM 4.3L and comparing it to the Pentastar. The Pentastar is the one that relies on the 8-speed for torque while 4.3L has more torque and makes more torque than the Pentastar from an early range. “Our V-6 has torque where you need it to get the job done, with 230 lb-ft of torque available at 1,200 rpm, and more torque available from 2,400 to 5,300 rpm than competitive V-6s make at their peak.” http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2013/Jun/0619-silverado-v6-fe.html." Also car and driver car the Pentastar a "minivan motor" http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-chevrolet-silverado-v-6-instrumented-test-review. I have never driven either one but I would guess with that 8-speed the Pentastar becomes the best V6 option for a personal use buyer while fleets may go for the 4.3L V6 which is probably why the 4.3L V6 has a sales increase.

ad

Sure the Gm 4.3 may make more tq then the pentastar; at the flywheel, but the power that makes it to the wheels is what counts. But, plain and simple the pentastar 8 speed puts more power to the ground then the 4.3.

That is why ram is increasing market share.

I guess that everyone that is talking about the number of gears that comes with the Pentastar, which is a great V-6 because of the transmission and the technology involved with it, but do any of you relies the GM and Ford will have their own 8-10 speed tranny's soon enough? and then the 4.3, that happens to have more tq then hp will be the one considered a truck engine? and not a minivan engine in a truck? As much as I like the Pentastar, it is not an engine with as flat a tq spread as the GM 4.3! no way! All you have to do is look at the power chart and see the hp is higher than the tq! and at higher rpm's than the 4.3!!

The Chrysler GuzzleStar only makes more power than GM's new 4.3 V6 "LV3" at high engine speeds.
Peak power on gasoline is 285hp@5300rpm [and claimed 297hp with E85 at the same speed]. The Pentastar only makes 260hp@5300.
GM limits the maximum engine speed to 5800rpm, and Chrysler to 6400rpm. The Pentastar makes 285hp@5800, while the GM falls off to 270hp (still with gas)
So you have 750rpm (5650-6400rpm) where the 3.6 Pentastar makes more power then GM when using gasoline, even less when/if using E85.

Next, GM is using the 6L80 transmission which is equivalent to the ZF 8hp70, not the 8hp45 that the Pentastar uses.

Cylinder shutoff is a crutch until GM's 8 speed automatic is installed, where it will be used less often.

@get rea

That is actually what I am trying to say because TRX-4 Tom called the 4.3L gutless when engine to engine the 4.3L is more powerful just the 8-speed outshines the GM 6-speed by a wide margin. When you compare the engines 4.3L to 3.6L you really find out that the 8-speed is the star of the show with the Pentastar. Now with that said it really doesn't matter much because they make the best combination until GM gets and 8-speed or better or Ford shows us what they have. It would appear the Pentastar is the best option for a personal buyer which would make sense to give it more trims.

@George_C - how do you figure that a GMC with cylinder deactivation will be engaged less with an 8 or 1o speed transmission?
If anything, the odds of running longer with deactivation is higher with more cogs in the transmission.

If cylinder deactivation is a "crutch" then it appears that Chrysler is also hobbling around with a bad leg.

@PapaJim - one could argue that current normally aspirated V6 engines are producing the same HP as pickups from a decade or two ago.

With that being said, I tend to agree.

When I purchased my 2010 5.4 powered truck I could of got a 4.6 for less money but the MPG wasn't much different. Ram sold more 5.7's because their older smaller motors sucked. Same with Chevy. The 4.8 was worse than the 5.3.

I'd rather a 5.7 over a 3.6. It may be an error putting a NA V6 in the higher trim packages because they weigh more and buyers in that bracket are disinclined to worry about mpg.

Maybe this is to lure Jimmy Fallon into a Ram with a fuel sipping V6 (or the perception of fuel sipping).

@AD

You are 100% correct. Although the GM 4.3L and Ford 3.7L make more torque at the crank, the 8-speed transmission makes the Pentastar 3.6L sends more torque to the ground than both gear for gear. If the others had an 8-speed as well then that would be different story, but that is not the case and playing the woulda-coulda-shoulda game is pointless. It really is not a bad combo for someone who does not need/want that much power or capability, but loves the room of a big truck to have as an over-sized sedan.

This is a great idea more choice for the buyer, me personally I'll take the v8 every time.

@alex

Ram already has a fantastic 6.4L hemi they can put into the trucks when they want to. A 6.2L DOHC V8 would be ENORMOUS. It probably wouldn't fit in the engine bay of a 1500.

@ TRX-4 Tom

You sound confused, Tom.

Both the 4.7 RAM V8 and the 3.7 RAM V6 were dependable and decent engines with a long history at Chrysler. They just couldn't keep up.

Nissan, Toyota, Ford, GM all had a superior V6 in their lineups back in 2005. Before that Ford had the old 3.0 Duratech DOHC motor that the put in Ford Escapes and Taurus sedans. Still way ahead of RAM in that regard.

You seem to be having a hard time dealing with the facts. There's a lot for Chrysler/RAM fans to be proud of. Now, go back to your room!

All that GM 4.3 did was make noise over 3000 RPM...I had one in my 1500 Express and I hated it. My 6.0 in my 3500 is a far superior motor over entire RPM range

@Wayne

The 4.3 you are talking about is the old SBC engine. Their new 4.3 is an entirely new design with NO relationship to the old one.

What I see here is people getting bent out of shape for no reason. Ram offers 3 unique engines in the 1/2 tons, so does GM, and Ford offers 4. What does this mean? Something for everyone. That also means all y'all can stop whining because I'm sure that one of the 10 choices of engines in domestic 1/2 trucks can suit your needs well.

Any of the base V6 from Ford, GM, or Ram is going to outperform a base V6 from a previous gen. That goes without saying. I believe that the confusion comes about is when the question comes up of whether or not it is a suitable replacement for one of the small V8s that used to be around(Ford 4.6, GM 4.8, Chrysler 4.7). Adding to the confusion is that some of these V6s have gotten to the point where there is a small overlap of it's capabilities of that with the "standard" V8s(5.0, 5.3, 5.7).

I suggest that instead of bashing base V6's for what they are not, appreciate them for what they are.

One last thing is this: Each base V6 has it's own advantages and disadvantages. When people start nitpicking about what RPM a base V6 makes peak torque at, then that is a good indication a base V6 would not meet their needs very well. A base V6 is made to suit the needs of a certain group of buyers, namely to do the least demanding jobs of a 1/2 ton pickup. If you really have to nitpick about which V6 will outperform the other such as 3.6 vs 4.3, then why are you interested in V6s, you should be looking at V8s. The difference between the current base V6s is small and negligible. They will all perform about the same level.

Any serious buyer of a pickup would understand that if you plan on using a truck for actual truck stuff, then you buy more truck than you need, otherwise you will be stuck with something that is being pushed to it's limit. Again, I say, if the insignificant differences in V6s is that big of a deal, then go buy a V8, you will be happier. On the other hand if you need want a truck that can be used to haul groceries, and of the V6's will do and there is no need to compare them performance wise.

@Hemi monster

The point I tried to make much earlier in this string of comments was my doubts that someone whose tastes run to $50k and up in a halfton crewcab will be content with a 3600 cc engine, no matter how many cylinders it has.

Someone who's shopping a King Ranch or a Denali probably wants a premium power package, no? Six cylinder? Nah.

@papa jim I understand what you're trying to say, the problem I have with it is that type of argument is a false dichotomy. In other words, I see the argument being made thatpeople who want a top of the line trim will also want the top of the line/biggest engine. In many cases yes, in other cases I we don't know for sure. We don't know for sure because buyers haven't had that option before. I mean this is the first Gen for GM to have the 4.3 in trucks besides the WT trim.

All I'm saying is that everyone has different needs for their truck. The fact that people who bought a top of the line trim always had to go with the top of the line engine means that we don't know for sure how many of those buyers actually wanted a big V8 or not. We will let the market decide that. BTW, I wasn't particular aiming my previous post you, I was more saying that as a general statement.

I think it's great that Ram is offering something for everyone. Ford's turbo V6 is selling well, however their V6 is more powerful than their 5.0 V8. So I don't know if customers are buying it for the power or the economy or both.

I think it's sad what the government is doing to our 1/2 ton trucks for cafe. Thank god they haven't started on the 3/4 ton trucks yet. I am going to jump at the chance to own a 6.4 V8
before it maybe gone. If after 15 to 20 years of owning this 6.4 V8 and they don't sell V8's anymore. I will replace the V8 with a new 6.4 V8 or rebuild the one I own. For me power is absolute in a truck. Gas mileage is down on the list. That's one of the reasons I bought my 5.7 Hemi in 2003. With 80 more horsepower than Ford 5.4 and 60 more horsepower than Chevy 5.3. To me living in Los Angeles power is safety. Safety merging on the busy freeway with a load and climbing mountains with a load. Have to go with the flow of traffic.

@HEMI V8
I couldn't agree more. There are so many choices out there for 1/2 ton powertrains, if someone can't find something that they like, they probably never will.

Ram really has something for everyone, and if someone needs more capability than the 5.7l then they should be moving up to a 3/4 ton anyways.

@HEMI V8 - is Ram supposed to be making the Power Wagon for 2015?

It doesn't show up on Ram Canada or Ram USA's web site.

@LouBC, I can't build one on Rams site. I have been told by the dealer they are coming mid year. Then i was told they are taking orders now. I hope to have the money before july.

@HEMI V8 - it will be interesting to see how big of a difference coil springs and the 6.4 will make to the Power Wagon.

such a low powered engine in a full size pickup,,, what about steep hills? will it make it? Maybe Ram can install wheelbarrow handles on the back of the Ram so you can get out and push it up the hill.
BUILT
FORD
TOUGH

I could have foreseen this move by Fiat/Chrysler.

They have to do this. They have no other option. The cause of this move by Fiat/Chrysler is called CAFE.

Even if they don't sell many it will assist them in their CAFE figures. Vehicles under Class 3 or 8 500lbs are using the same formula as cars.

A VM diesel would be the best option in a truck of this size, so instead of buying a 'top trim' level Fiat Ram, you would be better off buying a mid trim Fiat Ram with a VM diesel.

It will be interesting to see how the figures pan out.

Good, well thought out posts by Hemi monster and Hemi V8.
This is what I wish more people would do in the comment section.

I am still amazed by the output of these new V6s.
I have to go out and drive one. I look at the output of the 4.6 in my 2004 F150 and it amazes how far they have come with these engines.
I really wish I could test drive one of the new V6s with my boat hooked on to see how it would perform.

@Big Al

"A VM diesel would be the best option in a truck of this size, so instead of buying a 'top trim' level Fiat Ram, you would be better off buying a mid trim Fiat Ram with a VM diesel."

How can you say that? How do you know everyone's needs or wants to know if a diesel is better for them? Another question and I am being serious because I want to know. Why do you push diesels so much? I mean, I can see someone preferring diesels or a certain diesel engine, but a compulsive need to try to tell everyone they need a diesel is a bit much. I like my Ecoboost and all and will argue with anyone here on how powerful it is versus other engines, but I do not believe it is the right engine for everyone's needs or wants. Nor would make such a bold of a statement to say everyone is better off getting a mid level just to be able to afford an Ecoboost. It takes a special kind of stupid and arrogance to make such a statement. So really, what is it that drives you to do that so much? I am just curious.

Also, just in case you go off into an FE is better in a diesel rant. I am not asking about if a gaser or diesel is better in FE or any other way. I am just curious as to why the OCD to bring them up and tell people they need them so much?

The Pentastar V6 was on Ward's Best Engines list for what, 2 or 3 consecutive years? Ford's 3.7 and GM's 4.3 have never been on it.

Also, Ram has the 8-speed and Ford/GM don't.

Also, Ram has a 3.92 axle option and Ford/GM don't.

Bottom line is that you can't compare a Ford or GM to the Ram. The Ram trucks are built to work. The Fords and GMs are built to take Sally to soccer practice and impress the Jones'.

Furthermore, I've owned two Pentastars...one in the Wrangler Unlimited 4x4 and currently in the Challenger. Let me tell you...above 4,500 RPM this engine is NASTY.

@Wxman

A. I'm not making this about brand names--I'm trying to get a point across about who buys what. Some guy shopping for a 50k halfton isn't the same guy who's hauling lawn tractors around on a trailer. A little six cylinder is not gonna fly there. Big Al is probably right about this being a hoax that Fiat is doing to spare them some hassles over CAFE.

B. Wards Best Engine? Please don't bring up Fiat or Chrysler's placement here. They have been late to the dance in almost every area of engine technology--GM had their DOHC six on the market for five years before the Pentastar showed up on the Wards list.

Very interesting. It seems that buyers on average have more sense than some of the people who post here. Ford's V6 is seeing greater sales on average--totally over 50% of all F-series sales; RAM is seeing greater V6 sales on average--enough so they're adding the V6 to higher trim levels; and even GM is seeing an increase in V6 sales. Maybe I was right all along that most people simply don't need all that massive horsepower typical of full-sized trucks.

I might note that Lou_BC's comment about the new GM 3- and 4-pot engines being turbos is only partially correct. If you actually read the articles about them, those 11 engines will be a combination of port injection, direct injection and turbo models ranging from a low of 75hp to a high of 175hp with varying torque figures. One of the things that seems most notable about the GM offerings is that they'll use a lot of cross-compatible parts where the only differences are likely to be in things like the camshaft itself, the piston rods and other parts directly related to the inner mechanical workings that affect stroke--all else is effectively identical. (Well, and the intakes.)

Finally, at least one person mentioned they wanted to see the return of the Dakota. Maybe that would be a good idea and quite honestly I do expect to see a slightly smaller class of truck come from both RAM and Ford soon enough. But I believe in both cases it may be a reduction in physical size of the Full-sized trucks themselves rather than a return of the Ranger/Dakota. Or rather, a downsized version such as the rumored F-100.

On the other hand, with these new, smaller engines coming from GM, is there a possibility of an even smaller truck on the way? Those 11 new GM engines are intended for 27 different models--admittedly heavily biased towards Euro and Asian markets but certainly not exclusively to them since at least one American plant will be building them too. With the new CAFE rules, it may come down to trying to push a true "truck's" fuel mileage over 30mpg and maybe even over 35mpg, which will require a much lighter and more aerodynamic model. I'm talking one in the 3200#-3500# range instead of the 4500# or more we're currently seeing. They're also going to have to be "sissified" to sleek, road-race-worthy lines rather than the blunt-nosed bricks that exemplify current pickups. I hate to say it guys, but that big-nose look will have to go, using cosmetic shaping and color shifts to imply mass. We might even see the return of the Chevy SST nose on such a smaller truck.

In fact, we might see the return of the SST as a true compact truck instead of that over-engineered, over-priced Corvette wannabe that was such a failure. It was a great idea that was originally aimed at the mid-price market to play beside the Camaro--but very quickly became a boy-toy that was effectively useless. Who knows? Maybe the new GM CEO can bring GM out of the doldrums by creating truly desirable cars and trucks again.

It's the last of the V8's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bQzkdK2ha0

@HemiMonster: @Papa Jim:

Here's the question to ask both of you: What if the buyer knows they'll never NEED that power, yet are stuck with it simply BECAUSE it's the top trim? What if they want all the comfort, but intend to use the truck as a daily driver with only the occasional, typically light load or light towing (<5000#)? As I've stated many, MANY times, I am one of those who will never need high towing numbers or even heavy haul capacity--yet I do like my creature comforts as my Wrangler JKU Sahara evidences. I'm quite happy with the V6 under the hood, though I could wish I had the Pentastar engine rather than the older 3.8 for improved economy (I get 22+ on the highway, but think the Pentastar would give me 25+).

Ford's high sales of both the NA V6 and the EcoBoost proves that buyers are more interested in economy than power at least half of the time. This data from RAM and even the reports from GM seems to support this. Why then must a high trim package HAVE to have a big engine?

@RoadWhale
The statistic you cite on Ford's V6 sales is misleading. Yes, V6s account for over half of sales, but that includes the 3.5 EcoBoost. This PUTC article from 2011 states the 3.7 V6 accounted for 14% of sales, with the EcoBoost accounting for 41% of sales.

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/06/ford-f-150-v-6-engines-outselling-v-8s.html

@Luke: Read what I said. I specifically stated, "Ford's high sales of both the NA V6 and the EcoBoost proves that buyers are more interested in economy than power at least half of the time," in my followup statement.

Dumb move. The loaded V6's will be clogging up dealer lots. GM can't sell any 1500's because you can't get one without a V6 for under $40,000.

@WXman

I wan't bashing the Pentastar I was saying that the 4.3L isn't gutless as was said and than gave comparison information as to why it is not. I stated that it was the best option for a V6 buyer. As for the Pentastar being on Ward's 10 Best it should be, but just because something is great doesn't mean it is the best in every platform. If I had to guess I would assume that GM thought for fleet use the 4.3L would be better in the Silverado/Sierra and the 3.6L would be better in the Colorado/Canyon personal buyers. As for your comment that Ram's trucks are built to work and Ford and GM's are not I disagree. My whole point is the 4.3L by design and performance seems like it was built for fleet use. It is a V6 with a 90% V instead of a 60% V and as car and driver said it is basically a V8 with 2 less cylinders. It has great torque for a V6, less HP than the competition at launch, has odd steering wheel and pedal vibrations goof FE with just a 6-speed and is probably cheaper. If that doesn't say fleet than what does. From what i have read I personally would go for the Pentastar over the 4.3L because of the more refined handling and power delivery.

The 4.3 (262 ci) is exactly the 350 (5.7) minus two cylinders. It would be interesting to see what a 5.7 V8 LT1 would be like.



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