Ram's 4.7-Liter V-8 Will Go Away; 8-speed to Stay

Ram LD
By Kelsey Mays, Cars.com/PickupTrucks.com

At a Chrysler event in suburban Chicago on Tuesday, I asked Mike Cairns if a pickup truck is the hardest sort of vehicle to make aerodynamic. "When you sell a Jeep Wrangler, not necessarily," he smiled.

The chief engineer for Ram Truck, Cairns has been with Chrysler for 27 years. He just turned 50. Improving aerodynamics on a pickup is a tall order, but a host of changes — a lower air dam, active grille shutters — has done just that, lowering the 2013 Ram 1500's drag coefficient to 0.360, down from last year's 0.387.

Cairns took us through Chrysler's changes to its popular light-duty Ram 1500 pickup, which we detailed in full last spring. It hits dealerships next month. Chrysler plans to position the Ram 1500's new Pentastar V-6 against Ford's 3.7-liter F-150, which currently accounts for about 10 percent of sales. Chrysler expects the 3.6-liter drivetrain and eight-speed automatic to sell in healthier numbers, especially compared with today's Ram 1500, whose 3.7-liter V-6 and 4.7-liter V-8 combine for just 15 percent of sales.

Value-oriented work trucks start with a 4.7-liter V-8, but even the cheapest Ram will gain fuel-efficiency improvements from electric power steering and more-aerodynamic bumpers, Cairns said. Still, EPA ratings for the 4.7-liter Ram 1500 remain at 14/20 mpg city/highway with two-wheel drive. That's the same as last year's work truck.

Over time, Ram will drop the 4.7-liter V-8, and the eight-speed will become standard "a few years out," he said. For now, the eight-speed comes standard only with the Ram's Pentastar V-6. It's optional with the Hemi V-8.

"To be fair, we haven't really had a great V-6 until now," Cairns said, but he wouldn't give a specific V-6 sales target. He said the two-wheel-drive V-6 Ram 1500 hits 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. If that figure holds in real-world testing, it represents a quantum leap over the V-6 Ram we tested (10.58 seconds) during our 2010 Work Truck Shootout and would edge out the quickest-in-test 3.7-liter F-150 (7.85 seconds).

The Ram 1500's Hemi V-8 accounts for 85 percent of sales today — a figure that will drop as the Pentastar comes in — but Cairns said he plans to position it against Ford's EcoBoost 3.5-liter F-150. The EcoBoost accounts for "the low 40-percent range" of F-150 sales, Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle told us.

EPA mileage will determine just how tough the proposition will be for Chrysler. The EcoBoost F-150 boasts 365 horsepower, 420 pounds-feet of torque, more than 11,000 pounds' towing capacity and is EPA-rated at 16/22 mpg with two-wheel drive. The 5.7-liter Ram 1500 makes 395 hp and 407 pounds-feet of torque, but its 10,450-pound towing capacity falls short. EPA ratings with the optional eight-speed are still pending, but with its standard six-speed, the two-wheel-drive Ram 1500 rates 14/20 mpg.

Of course, we'll need to get the trucks together to log real-world acceleration, mileage and towing figures. As many know, specs tell only part of the story.

Cairns said he's waiting to see what GM's redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will do. "We've been gaining market share," he said, "mostly out of the GM guys." But the automaker's Detroit rivals "have some very loyal customers [who] don't even look at our truck. … The hard part is getting a loyal GM or Ford buyer to come look at our trucks."


Reducing the drag coefficient to 0.360, down from last year's 0.387, is impressive. They were already lower that GM and Ford.

"The hard part is getting a loyal GM or Ford buyer to come look at our trucks."

Actually, when I went to Ram, and Ford from GM, it was easy for me to go looking, after having many issues with both my Silverados(brakes, rear ends and sensor problems to name a few), otherwise I would have been happy to stay with GM, same with any truck maker I would assume, if you are brand loyal and have no major issues with your trucks, why would you go look around, I am no longer loyal to any at this point, but I still will not go back to GM anytime in the near future

At least they have reasonable expectations and know of their own limitations within the market (it really does have to be tough to gain market share in the truck world).

Hopefully the full redesign in the next 3 years will continue to build on the solid updates we are getting in the 2013 models.

The 4.7 was a weak link and really need to be kicked to the curb! The same goes for GM's 4.8. It's Ram's 5.7 that answers Ford's 5.0 and GM's 6.2, but GM's 5.3 is also dead weight. The 6.2 should really be the Silverado and Sierra's base V8.

The Eco-Boost turned out to be not so hot, and really they all need to focus on refining their naturally aspirated engines, but there's really no point in V8s under 5 liters.

"The Eco-Boost turned out to be not so hot..."

A roughly 40% take rate would suggest the EcoBoost has been quite hot. Say what you want, but at the end of the day sales are what counts.

@nitro I am not brand loyal either. I've owned a Ford, 2 Chevys, and now a Ram. I'm going to look at all 3 next year for my next truck. Brand loyalisits do themselves a disservice by not looking at everything available. What does it hurt to look? My needs change over the years and I buy what I need and want. Anybody who says his brand is always best is a fool. At any given time, one might be better for what you need. Competition is good for everybody and improves the breed IMO.

There is no future for V8s. Infact the upcoming Vans like Ducato should take the place of Pickups.

I'd like to see a new smaller eight in the 4.6-5.0 Range. The new V6 looks like a winner, but something in between would be nice.

@ Fred You hit the nail on the head. Brand loyalists just foster junk...like the GM fan boys are putting up with. I was shopping for a GMC and purchased a F150. Couldn't be happier...for now!

We all know whats going to happen to the V8 engines 10 years from now they will be gone and we will have smaller full size pickups that will look like a mid size truck ! I am really impressed by the ecoboost my sister has one and when its time to trade in my Harley f150 i will be getting a twin turbo v6 FX4! The Hemi will be dead soon and be replace by a v6 its all about MPG now and Ppl that make the Ram are finally getting that in there heads the V8 is dead and its time to put the old outdated 4.7 6 foot under where it belongs!! Hemi 5.7 u are next RIP

Mike Cairns needs to stop complaining if he thinks Ram has a hard time convincing Ford and GM guys to swtich to Ram imagine how hard the folks over at Toyota USA in charge of Tundra think their job is.

They should drop the 4.7L V8 and drop this http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1076682_ferrari-to-build-engines-for-other-fiat-companies-report in its place. LOL

I know in the last test the 5.7. Hemi blew ford and Chevys bigger engines away while loaded and unloaded

@harleyf150 I agree with you the 4.7 wasn't that good but the Hemi will always be missed so will the v8 I don't think it will be gone for good it will be an option still but yes v8's will not be standard in the next 5 years like they are now I will always love the Hemi v8's and there domination in the ld muscle cars:(

Considering the Hemi is still low tech, and when it gets the 8 speed, it will have class leading FE for the V8/Turbo6 market, I think it is far from dead.

MultiAir and Direct Injection can still be added to the Hemi to net another 15ish% gain in FE.

People said 40 years ago that the V8 is on the way out and right now they are stronger then ever. I'm not saying V8 will live forever, I just think V8s will die when the I.C.E. dies.

Problem with the Pentastar (I own one in a Wrangler) is that it was designed for cars. It's got high HP numbers at high RPM, and relatively low torque values. It's not an ideal truck engine at all. I'm not saying it won't get the job done, but you'll have to make the engine scream to tow heavy loads with it.

A 4-cylinder CRD with single turbo would be a MUCH better 1500 series truck engine and would get better fuel economy to boot.

You know, for all you guys are dissing Chrysler's engines, you have to remember that they built some rock-solid engines over the years, from the famous slant-6 of the '60s through the 318c.i.d. V-8 through the '80s and beyond. Sure, they may not have had the same horsepower as some of their bigger 'cousins' built by GM and Ford, but they were nearly unstoppable.

As the author said, specs don't tell it all, and neither do benchmarks. Just because one vehicle is faster or can haul a heavier load or can tow a bigger trailer doesn't mean it can do it on a daily basis for the expected 10-year life of the truck. The real test of an engine is how it can stand up to the abuse it goes through during its lifetime and keep running strong. I put over 70,000 miles on a '70s 318 Dodge in less than four years with no major engine or transmission work whatsoever and did even better with a Chevy 3.8L V-6 at 160,000 miles in only 6 years (though that one went through three torque converters.) I'm going to admit to amazement at the apparent durability of my 1990 Ford F-150 with the 5.0 L V-8 at 150,000 miles that garnered me amazingly low tailpipe emissions and still thinks it's in a Mustang by the way it accelerates and sounds at full throttle. (Note: this is the original engine--VIN matched.) Can we be certain in long-term heavy use that these more extreme modern engines can handle the 'heat'?

The Hemi could drop 75 lbs. going to an aluminium block. I was surprised with the 2013 weight savings that they did not change the block. This would save more weight than the frame did. It's time for DI too.


There is a big difference in the amount of torque getting to the ground when compairing the 8 speed to the 5 speed.

What you are feeling in the Jeep isn't a lack of torque (the Pentastar has 90% of it max at 1800RPM) it is a lack of gear. 4.71:1 and 3.59:1 are the first gear ratios when you compair the 8 speed to the 5 speed. What would you rather have?

The 3rd gen Hemi is being worked on, it will be ready for the complete redesign for the 2016 MY trucks. Look for aluminum block, MultiAir and DI.

There is even Rumors of it being downsized and going to DOHC, but I don't see that happening.

Either way, DOHC or OHV, look for it to have 430ish HP and 450ish TQ.

@ Steve lol is it wise for Fiat to dump a whole bunch of money into a 3rd gen Hemi v8 and get 430 hp and in 2025 all trucks in the USA have to be makeing 54.5 MPG? So funny how many ppl have there heads in the sand the full size pickup truck is going to be the size of a full size truck back in the 80s and be running 4 cyl and v6 and turbo v6 the rein of the V8 is comeing to a end .In Alberta price of gas is around 1.14 a liter most of all the ppl i know that work for oil companys are buying the ecoboost times are a changeing !

25MPG is great but seriously, who want's to drive the base v6? Power is addicting. I don't see many people being happy with the Pentastar in a heavy RAM.

I've yet to hear one person brag about their 3.7L in the F-150. Sure it gets 23mpg, but it's still the least powerful base truck.

Ford ecoBoost only gets 14 mpg !! What a joke !!

The new 395 horse HEMI 8 spd for sure will get average mpg in the 20's with a quad cab 4x4,as many people have 18.5 or better mpg with them.



It is sad to see so much empahsis on power, when what matters is torque. 3 liter In-line or V6 Diesels matted to the 8 Speed will be a terrific product that will make the must loyal GM and Ford customers to venerate Dodge RAM, just as it was done with the 5.9L in-line 6 Cummins was added to the Dodge 250.

2014 RAM H.D is rumored to be getting the 392 HEMI 6.4 L !! So the HEMI is here to stay...Heck,GM,FORD,TOYOTA use a CHRYSLER HEMI in Top fuel Drag racing !!! HEMI RULES !!!!


MPG varies for ECOBOOST with options, such as gears, and 4x4.

Nice try though TROLL!

Good to see the 4.7 find its way to the scrap heap. GM needs to bin a few of their engines too. I disagree that the 6.2 should be the General's base motor. our V8's are a joke compared to the European V8's. No reason why a V6 can't do the job in a p/u. I remember 3/4 tons and 1 tons with 250 and 300 Inline six's. They didn't have 8 speeds either.
Big Al and his Hot Rod p/u comment is so true.
No reason why Chrysler should not have a good take rate on the V6.

@ HarleyF150 Cafe numbers do not equal EPA numbers do not equal real world numbers. Also those CAFE numbers will either be outright suspended or have so many loopholes included that you are not going to see the end of powerful cars and trucks in the US. Far too many members in Congress would get heat for that to happen. A 3rd gen Hemi, if it lives up to the hype (not likely) would be the best production truck motor out, and I certainly hope hat Chrysler continues to work on it.

I am not a V-8 customer anymore but I have a deep respect for Mopar V-8s. I like Chevy V-8s but if you give me a choice between the two it is Mopar. I had a 318 in an 84 5th Avenue that I came close to having overhauled at 200k. I decided I didn't need the car anymore but it had leather seats with Boise Dolby sound system. The engine was a solid engine and was fairly efficient for a V-8. If I would have had the motor overhauled I probably would still be driving it. Slant 6 I cannot say enought good things about it. From driving a 63 Dodge Dart slant 6 that my brother had I have respect for that too. I can understand for business reasons why they are discontinuing this engine. Ram is going to go the same way that the F-150 has gone with a high efficiency V-6 which is probably a good decision.

After all the problems my son has had with his two Dodge pickups, I would never look at a Dodge pickup. Ball joints gone at 60,000 miles compared to 684,000 miles on my GMC ball joints. Leaking heater core, price to fix is over $800 because the steering column has to be removed. Yea sure, I will look at a Dodge. Ha Ha!

I looked at the Rams. They don't have enough interior room. The rear floors are bumpy as hec! I don't like the low payloads with the coil springs. They don't have the work features like the tailgate step. The long cargo bed is 2" smaller in a crew cab. The crash ratings are low. The reliability ratings are at the bottom of the barrel. Lastly the dealers suck.

,Consumer Reports: F-150 EcoBoost beats V8 for towing, not efficiency

Is the EcoBoost more fuel efficient?
Not in our tests. Despite the different EPA numbers, both trucks got 15 mpg overall in our extensive measured fuel economy tests


I am getting a 6.4L Hemi in my new POWER WAGON.

I had a Ford once. It was RECALLED and burn't. 1989 5.0. I won't buy another one. LOOKS LIKE I AM NOT MISSING MUCH AFTER 23 YEARS.





Love my 9 year old DIE HARD DODGE HEMI 5.7L

@HEMI V8 - Odd that you would pan an engine for its fuel economy and in the same breath go on to say that you were getting a 6.4 PW. The 5.7 in the PW got 11.2 mpg empty. Does your union retirement fund invest only in oil company stocks?

@Luke in CO - Sales don't lie, but then again, Ford has been pimping the heck out Eco-Boost F-150s. If dealers pre-order 40% Eco-boost F-150s and Ford sends them out the door with cash on the hood, who really knows how well they'd really be received. All things equal, I'd take the 5.0 V8.

I agree with the reviews that it just didn't live up to the hype.

@HEMI V8 - Your burnt Mustang wasn't even on any recall. I know '89s had Fox steering columns and switches. They were totally different from the rest of Ford's lineup by '89 as Mustangs were the last to still use the Fox platform.

Old wires and switches can arc as they decay or deform from repeated heat cycles so not all car fires are due to OEM negligence. Rarely if actually.

I'm sure you were smart enough to have auto insurance, right? Got insurance on your V8 HEMI???

If it's true that Ford is the toastiest OEM this side of Ferrari, I'm sure your actual chances of an OEM caused fire are still one in a million.

By continuously reminding us of your unwarranted and ongoing vendetta against Ford, it becomes clear why you favor and Spam for Ram... It all makes perfect sense now!

You really should get grief counseling though. I'm serious. Keep copying and re-pasting that (fictional) story if it helps you cope... PLEASE!!!

@Lou, I drive a company truck. MPG does not mean much to me. I drive my truck pulling my trailer and sometimes on the weekend. I like POWER. The 6.4L HEMI is going to have plenty of it. If I was going to worry about MPG I would not have put 35.5" BFG'S on my truck and lifted it 4" with 4.56 gears. People that are worried about MPG should stick to driving the prius. Some of us need a powerful V8 to get the job done. That's why I drive a Dodge with a HemiV8. In 03 It was by far the most powerful 1/2 ton on the market.

@Denvermike, READ THIS!!!!!!!

Recall number: 96V071000
Recall date: 05/01/1996
Problem Summary:
Corrective Action:
The manufacturer first notified owners of this recall on 06/07/1996.
This recall affects vehicles manufactured between 08/01/1987 and 09/30/1992.


All that talk and it still doesn't change the fact that the V8 was sentenced to death decades ago, and it is as strong as ever.

I feel sorry for all the fools in Canada who bought an egoboost looking for a work truck with mpg. NewsFlash turbos need to be cooled when working. The extra cooling hurts mpg. The Hemi already gets better FE then the egoboost when towing, and now that it has proper gearing it will get better then the egoboost in city/hwy driving as well.

@Jeff S (and Hemi V8)
Here is a link to the 265 Hemi E49 Charger. Possibly the fastest 6 cylinder muscles car (we even made 6 cyl muscle cars) and even maybe the quickest 265 Hemi powered vehicle made.

Valiant was Australia's Chrysler brand, but they went broke because of a lack of sales


@HEMI V8 - Thanks for the link. Mustangs aren't mentioned in your above links and specific info is hard to find on cars that popular.

Still, you always need to carry insurance and anger/grief isn't a good thing.

I have owned several 'affected' Mustangs from 87s to 92s.


Rams don't have enough room? Ram is the only truck that has a megacab.

Bumpy Floors? Ram has a load flat floor option.

Don't like the low payloads? Rams are on par with GM and Ford if you don't get there max tow haul options (which most of the competition isn't sold with)

No tail gate step? Who cares, you can step into the bed of a 2013 Ram with AirSpring suspension.

Shorter boxes? If you need a longer box get an 8' option.

Reliability? New 6 speed on the Fords is not holding up well, or how about the Condensation in the Intercooler problem the EB are suffering from (google them). Plus the latest JD power had Ram on top of Ford and GMC. Boy sounds like you make the up. The Ram is just as reliable as the competition.

I'll tell you one thing, if Dodge does bring out a 6.4L Hemi, I can't wait to see what Ford and GM will do to counter it. Rumors of a 7.0L Vortec and a twin-turbo 5.0L Ecoboost have been floating around for a while now.

The 4.7l V8 was and is a blast to drive in the Dakota/Durango. I had a 2003 Quad Cab Dakota, SLT, 4X4 that towed a 4,000lb + boat 3 days a week when I fished BASS/BFL tournaments. That truck went through allot of hell and never gave a single issue except brake rotors. This was a known issue at the time. The 4.7L would return 23 MPG on all highway trips and still got 12-13 MPG towing my Bass Rig at 70 MPH. Now if the new V6 can put out great numbers with the 8-spd that will be great for the person that needs a trucks bed capabilities once a month for home chores or for a basic work truck/fleet.
I now have a 08 HEMI RAM 1500 and yet again not a single issue. It has taken me all over the East coast of America towing my Sea Hunt 225 TRITON Center Console. From Big Pine Key up to the Chesapeke Bay. Not a issue one and plenty of power to spare with the 345hp version of the HEMI. The new 390/404 HEMI with the 8-SPD is going to be a hell of a combination.
Before I bought my 08 I went out and test drove every single truck on the market. All V8 units from - Toyota - Ford - GMC - Chevy - Nissan - RAM.
All had their perks and flaws but I ran each on the same stretch of road on the same day and got a really good feel for each trucks road manners, acceleration, braking, and MPG. The HEMI was the winner and I could not be more satisfied with my choice.
I drive a Corolla to work and have had multiple issues with the car. Dang 5-spd manual transmission went out at 67,000 miles (3rd gear)... Last 2 GM products I owned were complete junk. The Ford V6 work trucks I ran out of for 5 years were always having electrical issues. No motor or transmission issues and believe me we beat the snot out of them!
Bought a 07 Toyota Double Cab V6 with the 6-spd manual NEW after doing allot of research on the mid-size units and thought I was getting a dependable hunting/surf fishing rig ---- CRAP! 4X4 issues, horrible mileage (15-16 MPG on highway), no bed space or load capabilities.... Always something breaking or falling off... Plain old piece of crap in my book. I'd never buy another Toyota with your money!!!!

*Everyone here that is bashing another brand of truck and has never owned one....and are going off someone elses problems.... LOSE your brand loyality and go out and test run each truck. I would buy a FORD 6.7 Diesel tomorrow if I needed one. I would not buy a GMC/Chevy due to the weak body panels and outdated interiors. Love the D-Max and Allison! Love the Cummins and the G56 manual... TOWING MACHINE!!! The interiors of the new RAMs are waaaaaay beyond that of the rest.

Competetion is a great thing and it is making all of the BIG 3 step up and make great products. The new GM will be a great truck! Ford will look at this and make theirs better than what it is today. RAM will continue to do the same.

The future for trucks will be smaller displacement motors...more gears...and Diesel Power as a option in the 1/2 ton segment. The 2500/3500 trucks will get bigger gas motors and probably have a smaller Diesel option with a 8spd tranny to up the mileage for Fleet buyers that need long lasting units with great/better fuel mileage at medium loads that a 1/2 ton cannot do on a DAILY basis.


@ James. When I was looking at trucks last year the Ram quad cab had more room in the rear than the ford did. It also had a convenient fold flat floor in the quad cab configuration. Don't know how the crew cabs compare, but those crew cabs are so big I can't imagine anyone complaining that one or the other is actually small. In my opinion the Ram drove nicer and had the nicer interior. Ford had the better specs, towing and fuel economy. I did not end up buying either, but if I had had to make a choice then I would have likely gone with the Ram, in large part because the dog would have liked that little bit of extra space in the rear of the quad cab, and the fold flat floor would have been appreciated.

@joeblou, Ford and G.M. have enough to deal with Chrysler's V8's much less what could be coming down the road from CHRYSLER, FERRARI, MASERAITI joint technology in the future.

A new Enzo supercar will highlight six new models that Ferrari is considering for production in the next three to four years. According to Autocar, the reinvented Enzo will be powered by either a direct-injection twin-turbo V-8 or a direct-injection twin-turbo V-6. It will also show off a new technology called active aerodynamics that pumps air out through the body to influence the way air flows over and under the skin.


@HEMI V8. Ferrari is Ferrari, you will not be getting any crossover technology. Fiat yes, maybe IVECO.

@RobertRyan, Educate yourself. READ THIS BUDDY!!!!!

In January 2011, Sergio Marchionne confirmed a Jeep Grand Cherokee-based Maserati to be made in Detroit. Powered (as predicted) by a 4.7-liter Ferrari V8 and ZF eight-speed automatic, a sportier version of the luxury SUV was unveiled on September 13, 2011, at the Frankfurt Auto Show, as the Maserati Kubang. The final production vehicle will use an engine created by Paolo Martinelli and developed exclusively by Maserati, though made by Ferrari.


@HEMI V8 - if you do not care about MPG, why do you keep bringing it up?
WTF? Now you are going to brag about Ferarri?
What next?
Bragging about pizza and pasta?



@HEMI V8. Yes the Chassis MAYBE from the Jeep Cherokee, but the rest is from Italy. Since then the European market has crashed and I suspect that even the chassis will be coming from there as well.

@Lou, Ya, you got so much to be proud of with your flaming Ford's LOL
2013 still Flaming after all these years. ESCAPE the FLAMES.


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