Chrysler’s Ram truck brand announced an industry first diesel engine option in the Ram 1500 today, a move which the company’s rivals will be watching closely, though none of them have any plans to emulate.
Ford’s U.S. truck communications manager Mike Levine told AutoGuide.com that Ford has no plans for a diesel F-150, and that Ford’s EcoBoost engines will remain competitive in the segment.
Toyota’s chief truck engineer Mike Sweers said something similar; that the Japanese brand’s V8 engines are tried, tested and true, and diesel is not on the docket.
When asked about diesel engines for the Silverado, Chevrolet truck communications manager Tom Wilkinson responded: “[Chevrolet] looked at diesels for [light-duty] pickups but [we] don’t have plans for one at this point.” Essentially, he said, it “comes down to cost of ownership, with the slightly higher fuel economy offset by the higher cost of the truck and relatively high cost of diesel fuel.”
Cost of ownership was also brought up by Toyota engineer Mike Sweers, saying that the company, “can’t justify a diesel engine” in the new 2014 Tundra, because the cost of ownership would be too high.
Diesel engine parts are more expensive than gas engine components, and on top of that, diesel fuel is more expensive at the pump. Clearly Ram thinks that the diesel option will pay off, while its rivals say customers won’t be willing to pay the extra money for the oil-burning engine.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is expected to achieve 30 mpg highway when equipped with the same 3.0-liter diesel and 8-speed automatic transmission that will find its way under the hood of the Ram 1500.
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost powered F-150 is EPA rated at 21 mpg highway, while the 2013 Silverado achieves 21 mpg highway when equipped with the 5.3-liter V8. The 2013 Toyota Tundra brings up the rear with 19 mpg highway when equipped with the 4.6-liter gas motor, leaving the Ram as the clear fuel economy winner, assuming it achieves around the same numbers as the Grand Cherokee is estimated to hit.
While the brands seem to be united in their plan not to offer a comparable diesel half-ton truck, their opinions might change if the 3.0-liter diesel Ram turns out to be a hit.