Ordering for Ram's optional 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 in half-ton pickup trucks started in March and sales seem to be going strong. According to Automotive News, initial orders totaled more than 10,000 units and even today pickups with those engines are on dealer lots about 13 days or less. That's not bad when you consider that the engine is an extra $2,850 and is often packaged with higher-trim-level packages that can cause a truck to ring up in excess of $50,000.
The EcoDiesel, to date, offers the best highway fuel economy in the half-ton segment at 28 mpg with a torque rating of 420 pounds-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm (but only 240 horsepower).
Automotive News also notes that the Italian VM Motori factory that produces the engine can make about 100,000 engines annually, with the potential to send half of those to the U.S. for either the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV or the Ram 1500. So far, the take rate for the Grand Cherokee with the EcoDiesel is estimated to be about 15,000 units by the end of 2014, which theoretically leaves 35,000 engines available for the Ram 1500.
It's likely to take some time (possibly another 12 months) to find out what the take rate will be for the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, but it sounds like discussions between Jeep, Ram and VM Motori may already be in place.