Ram recently announced its new 1500 diesel model, powered by a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6; but the story behind that engine’s development actually involves one of the American automaker’s major competitors.
The diesel powerplant with 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque will also be used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but was actually originally developed by General Motors for the European Cadillac CTS. In a strange twist of fate, Chrysler–Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne might have to give thanks to GM CEO Dan Akerson if the diesel motor becomes a hit with its buyers.
In July 2007, GM bought 50 percent of Italian engine maker VM Motori, and tasked it with the job of developing a 2.9-liter V6 turbo-diesel engine for the European Cadillac CTS that was scheduled to launch in 2009. But then GM filed bankruptcy in 2009 and Cadillac’s European plans faltered. Meanwhile, VM Motori continued developing the engine which never made its way into a GM-manufactured vehicle.
Fast forward to February 2011 and Fiat came along to purchase 50 percent of VM Motori. Though there were some design changes made, the turbo-diesel V6 that was originally developed for Cadillac ended up in Chrysler’s hands.
Though GM hasn’t announced any official plans to offer a turbo-diesel for its trucks, it could end up using the same powerplant since VM Motori is free to sell it to anyone.
GALLERY: 2014 Ram 1500
[Source: Automotive News]
Discuss this story at RamChargerCentral.com