Spied! Ram 1500 with Pentastar V-6

Spied! Ram 1500 with Pentastar V-6
Photos by Brenda Priddy/Brenda Priddy & Company

Our spies have delivered new photos of the updated Ram 1500 test trucks we caught earlier today, including our first-ever look at Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 under the half-ton Ram's hood.

The latest pictures provide a clearer look at the Ram 1500's upcoming facelift. The 2009-2011 mesh grille is gone, replaced by a bolder grille that resembles the nose on Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups. The horizontal crossbar is broader while the lower bumper sports a new design with improved access to the tow hooks and new fog lamp cutouts.

But the money shot is a clean view of the all-new Pentastar 3.6 six-cylinder mill, which is expected to produce approximately 290 horsepower and 265 pounds-feet of torque. You can even see a small Ram head embossed on the top of the air intake.

The 3.6 is expected to be paired with an all-new ZF eight-speed transmission and will compete directly with the 2011-2012 Ford F-150's all-new 3.7-liter V-6 and Toyota's updated 4.0-liter V-6 available for the 2011-2012 Tundra.


2011 Ram 1500
2011 Ram 1500 shown above


Way to go Ram. V6 and 8 speed. I kinda like the old bumper better. Looks like there will need to be another V6 p/u shootout.

I'm interested to see how that 8 speed works.
Way to go Ram, bring some new technology!

8 speed on 5.7???

Boost it, Give that 3.6 a Supercharger or some Turbos
come on that Pentastar can handle it.
just forge the heads and increase the compression
and slap some low boost turbos

these rams need more power that is more Economical in the wallet.

Pentastar V6 will be made in Mexico.


The main Pentastar V6 plant is in Trenton, MI. The secondary plant is in Saltillo, Mexico.

The V6 with the ZF 8 speed will be a very good combo. Marchionne recently stated that, in the LX platform cars, MPG with the ZF 8HP is going to be 31MPG. I can see the
Ram getting close to 25 with it.

I'm saving my money for the HEMI and 8 speed combo.

Way to go Ram! Leap ahead (right behind Ford) of the competition!!!

Which of the two plants is making Ram V6's? The Mexican V6's are not as high quality???

I read on allpar that "the second Pentastar plant, in Saltillo, Mexico, is up and running. The second plant may be putting some strain on the available resources, especially as suppliers to Mexico are reportedly not as high quality as those serving Trenton (Michigan), resulting in rejections and shortages. As a result, parts are allegedly being diverted from Trenton to Saltillo; and there are shortages of blocks with two plants now running."

Viva Mexico!!!!!

The Mexican flag will fly higher than the rest because everyone knows Mexicans are the best.

Viva Mexico!!!!!

Ram engines have always been made in Mexico.

All the HEMI's are manufactured in Mexico.

Where will the Ram Pentastar be made? Probably in the Mexican plant. lol.

Since Rams and SOME Pentastars are Hencho en Mexico, its a good bet the Ram engines will be made in Mexico. Hopefully Chrysler will moffer the V6 in 4wd trucks, like Ford does (as opposed to Toyota). I would even be willing to take a single speed T-case.
Could that grille actually be the same as on the HD Ram? would make a lot of sense. The air dam looks a little lower (fuel econ).

I wonder why they are not calling it a "hemi"? They call the non Hemi Penta headed V-8 a "Hemi".

the 4.7 has more hemispherical heads than the HEMI yet it is still the power tech magnum 4.7 depending on the year so I don't see pentastar would be called the HEMI I think they just reserve that name ton market the more powerful engines not to show off the shape of current heads


They've got to increase the MPG for these vehicles if they want to hold/grow sales volume in this crappy new world of $5/gallon gas. (Canada).

@ Dude Duderson,

The Ram is setting record sales numbers in Canada,breaking previous records,month after month and gas is $4-$5 a gallon for awhile now ! It is the 3rd best selling vehicle in Canada and that includes small cars ! F-150,Caravan,Ram 1500 !!


Today's Hemi combustion chamber is flattened out a bit more than the domed pistons and have an "open" combusion chamber that is a cross between a pent-roof and hemishperical shape,so its between a wedge and a old Hemi ,had to do the shape for emissions.

But today's Hemi still has the dual rocker shafts and opposed valve layout is the hallmark of the HEMI head layout...So the new HEMI is a HEMI !!

They couldnt have completely domed pistons because it wouldnt pass emissions ,that is the reason they say the new Hemi isnt a Hemi !! Get over it,it is a Hemi !! Remember the Hemi came out in 1951 and it wasnt 426 c.i !!

Now the 426 HEMI sounded like a monster at idle,lumpy cam ect...and ran 11's in the 1/4 mile with slicks with a Street Hemi,change the cam and an instant 850 hp monster ! the new one sounds idles just like any other V-8 ,that is what really ticks people off,they want the lumpy idle !! So they say it isnt a real Hemi..lol it is a modern day HEMI !

Furthermore, the 4.7 is called a 4.7 Magnum for Dodge and Power Tech for Jeep !!

They didnt call the 4.7 a Hemi because the combustion chamber is squarred off 3/4 of the way through it,its round then 3/4 it is flat. The old/new HEMI is round.But the 4.7 is a Mopar engine so of coarse it resembles a Hemi,but the 5.7,6.1 and 6.4 are closer to the old Hemi..

@Canadian Dodge Ram Owner

I realize they are selling well, as are the F-150's but there's only so much people can take.

That RAM/F-150 gets awfully hard to drive once gas hits $1.50-$1.75 litre. Every MPG helps. If you could get 25MPG/hwy in a full size you'd be laughing.

I know people will say "if you are worried about fuel economy then you shouldnt buy a truck". I don't agree with that sentiment. Unless you are extremely wealthy, everyone should care about fuel economy, because it can eat into your budget in a hurry.

Looks like a good improvement. When GM comes back with it's new 3.6 and new 5.5, that will be even more cool.


Any word about suspension changes or those airbag systems that were tested on the HD's? I wouldn't mind a Pentastar V6 w/8-speed combo if the payload increased by 500# and twoing of at least 6000# on a 4x4 model.

If i were going to buy a NA v6 1/2 ton it would be this when it comes out or the F150 as I dont like how toyota does the v6 tundra as it should be the best v6 in a 1/2 ton. The v6 tundra is the same in design as the V8's so they should be able to add direct injection and VVEL along with taking Mike Levine's suggestion a 6 speed auto and 3.55 axle ratio over 300hp and 300lb ft with 18/22 or better. The reasons I would go with the Ram V6 is I grew up wanting a Dodge Ram and now just Ram and I also like the way Chrysler updates the Ram to be the best they get a new up to date V6 and 8 speed but does anybody know if the 8 speed is going to be with the Hemi also?

THERE IS A GOD!....my 4.7 05 half ton Ram was all made/assembled in America ty very much

They can't test the 'mule' without turning it into a circus? Gotta have the Dodge logo on the side and the 'HEY LOOK AT ME/DON'T LOOK AT ME' camo on the current sheet metal? Could have painted the entire clip in gloss black and no one would have noticed the updates.

I think the Dodge became RAM only because Cummins could no longer partner with Dodge post bankruptsy.

Offer it with a 6 speed manual like the new jeep wrangler, no one offers a stick shift anymore

trust me I did not mean to put down the HEMI by any means wish i had it was just saying what I knew but what you are saying is 100% correct Ty

What is wrong with it being built in Mexico? It's sure beats it being built by a bunch Drunk, Pot Smoking, Blood Sucking UAW workers.

Mexican facilities employees are well trained with the same technology here in the U.S.

If anything, Mexican facilities build them with more pride as they are happy to have a job.

Oh yeah, way to go Ram. I guess we are awaiting on one lollygagging automotive giant!

Check out allpar. It's not the workers...it's that the failure rates at Mexico...actually its both plants.....they say the quality of parts supplied to the Mexico plant is not as high.

from allpar

"The second Pentastar plant, in Saltillo, Mexico, is up and running, according to internal sources. The second plant may be putting some strain on the available resources, especially as suppliers to Mexico are reportedly not as high quality as those serving Trenton (Michigan), resulting in rejections and shortages. As a result, parts are allegedly being diverted from Trenton to Saltillo; and there are shortages of blocks with two plants now running."

"It has not uncommon to scrap upwards of 2000 blocks / week due to these issues."


We know nothing about the quality of this engine. It could be great or not so great.

The Ram is my favourite looking truck and a Hemi/8-speed would be something. This would be first on my list pending what GM does with their 2013.

As far as Rams selling well in Canada, like somebody else said there's only so many takers. Ram is better priced, constantly discounted and comes with very agreeable 3%/84 month finance terms.

I feel like a broken record but Cummins Ram's have had a free Cummins option ($9,300 or so with the same 3%/84 month terms) for months on end. Obviously, there will be plenty of takers for a free Cummins engine and there's probably a lot of people buying them that don't need them. If I was in the market for a diesel this is the best buy.

These terms allow people that can't afford the truck to buy one. Dodge will depend on them to keep turning them over to keep moving new ones. I know it doesn't apply to every buyer but I'm willing to great percentage of them buying a truck over 84 months will not be able to afford to get out of it when they want a new one.

Not picking on Dodge!!!! All Big 3 do this. A few months or even a year or two of great sales does not determine what will happen a decade from now. Look at how many trucks sold a decade ago and look at how many are sold now. The trend is downwards and in another decade will be even less unless they come up with lighter, more fuel efficient trucks with smaller motors. The 400HP V8's will be a novelty 10 years from now.

And so everybody knows, I do contract service work for oilfield companies. I'm pro oil and pro V8 but I'm also realistic.

@Michigan Bob,

For the same reason Chevy is #2, and GMC is #4.


@Michigan Bob.. Have you actually ever owned a Dodge truck? I've had Dodge 1500s, a chevy 1500, and Fords as well... all brand new...all in the past 5-8 years. And HANDS DOWN the most reliable, well built, dependable, and strongest of them all were the Dodges.

My Rams spent ZERO days in the shop. My Chevy was in the shop 10 times in the first 12 months of ownership. My Ford, bought new, was in the shop 2 or 3 times in the first two years.

Anybody who says Dodge trucks are "cheap" instantly discredits everything else that comes out of their mouth, because they clearly don't know what they are talking about.

With all this talk, Dave? putting the Dodge brand (Ram) down, I wonder how many repeat buyers go back to Ram? as opposed to GM, Ford, Toy, Nissan? That would be an interresting set of facts! I myself would not hesatate to buy any American truck, would not give an import a second thought. But I don't see any reason not to buy an import and if you do so again, just don't complain about the politicians ruining the economy, because you both have equal blame.

@Dave - an expert was saying that Canadian vehicle sales have been driven mostly by discounts provided by all of the manufacturers. If it wasn't for that , sales would be stagnant.
Even with the incentives there has been a modest 3% increase in sales. People are reluctant to spend with all of the politican and financial instability seen in the world. I also suspect that personal credit limits are close to maxed out for most people and therefore people are spending less.

All this talk about ruining the economy I just bought what I liked in 2010 I wanted a truck with a good reliability, trade in value, aftermarket, bucket seats and a lot of top end hp/ft lbs at low rpm which ruled out the GM 5.3L, Nissan 5.6L and Ford 5.4L although I like the torque on the last two that left the GM 6.2L, Ram 5.7L and Toyota 5.7L I don't like look of the interior or cab space on the GM 6.2L which left 2 trucks my favorite Ram and the 5.7L Tundra it was tough but I cant do with the 5 speed in the Hemi Ram and Toyota which would allow me to supercharge and not destroy my warranty and they also had some nice incentives and the trucks were evenly priced so I got the 5.7L Tundra. If I had to do it all over again in 2011 replacing the Ford 5.4L with the Ecoboost or 5.0L I think I still would have come home with the 5.7L Tundra again. I think their is nothing wrong with people who just by what they want and are not brand loyal. Now back to the topic I have heard rumors of a turbocharged pentastar being worked on by Chrysler and I also heard Chrysler wants to drop the 4.7L would the turbo pentastar replace the 4.7L?

@5.3 LOL - nice to see one's logic explained for ones purchase. I boiled my 2010 choices down to the Tundra and F150. They were rated the best in terms of durability. I wanted something that could tow around 7,000 lb, I needed 4x4, a crew cab, and I wanted something that could pack quads,dirt bikes etc. with the tailgate up. Price was also a factor. I got more features in the Ford, I got a crewcab 4x4 with a 6.5 box, and with rebates the F150 cost me 8,000 less. I went with a 2010 because none of the new Ford engines had been out long enough to have a durability track record.
The rest boiled down to personal preferences with interior comfort, colour, trim, and ride comfort.

I think that V6 engines are going to be the wave of the future. Too bad the 8 speed isn't available for the Cummins and 5.7. I wonder how this new bumper will work with 2 tone paint schemes.

@ Sandman

I have no clue what your point is and why it's directed at me.

@ Lou

There's no doubt incentives and friendly financing are moving trucks right now. This site and comment section gets bogged down with sales figures this and that but I'm glad that these guys aren't controlling the economy (hopefully).

I'm looking at getting a HD gas V8 truck in the next couple of years and am leaning toward the new Ram HD 6-speed pending driving one and giving them a year of service. Ford would be next and GM third unless they up the ante a bit.

My feeling is if I don't get one in the near future price and availability might be limitting a few years from now. I hope not but there's no way suburban housewives and city dwellers can sustain truck sales indeffinately.

I'd love to be wrong but all signs point to fuel efficient vehicles, trucks or not.

I also vote for a manual option. More reliable and more fun.

I hope those front end changes will help reduce the Cd or the overall swept area to try and eke out another MPG or two on the highway. That in combo with the 8-speed should do wonders for them.

Yes, the broader cross piece on the grille will give at least 1.5 more mpg. It's true.

[eyes rolling]

When the 8 spd gives up the ghost @200K it will cost a fortune to rebuild. Not sure the run of the mill trans shop will be up to the task.

Getting a bit tired of their huge, in your face grill, but not as flagrant as Ford's HD chromed 2x4 jobs.

That 4.7L in the Dodge Ram is a really underrated and under-appreciated motor.

People who think the 8 speed is overly complicated need to educate them selves about the trans. Internally, it is no more complicated then most modern 6 speed autos. Thus, no more expensive to fix.

Bob Mc, in 10 years, when the vehicle does get 200,000 on it, every shop will be able to fix it. Look back to 2001, almost every vehicle had 4 speed autos, and only luxury vehicles had 5 or 6 speeds, and people thought that they were too complicated/too expensive to fix. Ten years later(2011), the 6 speed is on the way out and the 5 speed is extinct, and every quality shop can fix them, without problems. People need to move with the times, or get left behind.

Looks like they went all Chevrolet on the bumper. It grew a little bit in size looks like.

In the Ford world, when it comes time to find a quality small-block V8 (289 c.i. or 302 c.i.) short-block for rebuilding to be used in a project, the blocks that were cast in Mexico are more desirable than from the U.S.A. The foundries in Mexico use a cast-iron that is a higher nickel(?) content which makes the blocks stronger.

If anyone can...a Mexi-Can!

If the Pentastar v-6 ever gets Fiat's Multi-air that same engine would put out 325-340hp and get slightly better mpgs.

I couldn't find any info on the new Pentastar engine. Not sure what the big deal is all about.

Sorry Mike, here is a different picture, what's going on.

I realize a v6 will never be heavy hauler, but the Durango with the 545RFE and the 3.6 is rated to pull up to 6200 lbs. I wonder how much the 8 speed will boost the towing capability of the Pentastar.

Dave : did you see the ?

3.6, 5.7, and 6.4 with 8 speed autos and 6 speed manuals please!!!!!!!! in reality, will the 3.6 that goes in the trucks even get the 8 speed to start off with and furthermore if chrysler wanted to get rid of the 4.7, all they have to do is put direct injection on the 3.6 since it is already incorporated into the block to begin with (290hp port, 315hp direct maybe?). another big question, if they keep the hemi, how will direct injection go on it considering that the valves and plugs (2 per cylinder) take up all the room in the heads?

That's what I'm talking about! RAM will blow the competition out of the water!

Also they should put those headlights on ST and SLT, like make it look uniform.

@ Sandman

I'm not complaining about politicians and imports ruining the economy.

I still have no clue what you're getting at.

But I'd still like a new Ram 8-speed lol

I was ? why does it have to be so lol

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