Ram 1500 to get Pentastar V6, 8-speed auto transmission
The idea of a Pentastar powered 2012 Ram first came up last summer, when several sources reported information from a source inside of the Chrysler Group who claimed that the 3.6L Pentastar V6 found in nearly every other Chrysler Group product would become the entry level engine for the 2012 Ram 1500. The Pentastar will replace the current 3.7L V6, much like it has in the Jeep lineup this year and while the exact output of the Ram 1500 Pentastar is unknown – we know for certain that it will be more than the 215 horsepower and 235lb-ft of torque offered by the current Ram V6.
The 3.6L Pentastar V6 is currently used in both all wheel drive and rear wheel drive configurations by the Dodge Challenger, the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Charger, the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee with varying outputs that make it harder to predict how much power the Pentastar will make in the new Ram 1500. The 3.6L V6 makes 305 horsepower/268lb-ft of torque in the Challenger while making 292hp/260lb-ft of torque in the Charger, 300, Durango and Grand Cherokee. Based on the output of the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles, which make slightly less power from the same 5.7L Hemi that is available in the Ram 1500 – we would expect that the entry level Ram with the Pentastar will make around 300 horsepower and 265lb-ft of torque. This way, Dodge can still brag that their 2 door muscle car packs the most powerful Pentastar while also giving the Ram a power advantage over the SUVs.
In addition to offering more power than the current V6 option, the new Pentastar V6 headed under the hood of the Ram 1500 is expected to offer a fair improvement in base model fuel economy for the Ram lineup. No estimate as to how much better the fuel economy will be of the 3.6L V6 compared to the current 3.7L mill but in addition to the new engine, the Ram 1500 will soon benefit from a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Chrysler Group has stated that the new 8-speed gearbox will improve fuel economy by around 12% compared to the current 5-speed automatic transmission. Based only on the current fuel economy of the 3.7L V6 of 14/20 (which we would expect to be lower than the MPG of the Pentastar), a 15% improvement would bring the Ram 1500 V6 up to around 15.6mpg around town and 22.4mpg…making the V6 Ram one of the most efficient full sized trucks on the market. Ford boasts of having the most fuel efficient truck on the market with numbers of 16/22, so with a little tuning and the fuel-friend 8-speed gearbox, the Pentastar Ram could best Ford for the claim of the most efficient full sized truck in America.