How the Ram 1500’s Diesel Almost Wound Up in the Cadillac CTS

How the Ram 1500’s Diesel Almost Wound Up in the Cadillac CTS

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, ChryslerFiat CEO Sergio Marchionne might have to give thanks to GM CEO Dan Akerson if the diesel motor becomes a hit with its buyers.

SEE ALSO: 2014 RAM 1500 3.0L Diesel a $2850 Option with 420 lb-ft

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

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[Source: Automotive News]

Discuss this story at

  • jimmy joe

    When Dodge has a winner with Cummons why would they go with an Italian produced engine. It might be a performer on the track but guarinted you will need a team of
    ” tecnitions” to keep it running. I will stick with Mack or Communs. Thats the old Mack I`m talking about, since Volvo bought Mack that engine is a lot more trouble also. A pain in the butt when new dealing with warrenty and dealers shops.You won`t catch me jumping in there any time soon.

  • yellowdogdemocrat

    It’s CUMMINS. Dodge was working with Cummins on 4.2L V6 and 5.6L V8 diesels but those projects were shelved when it went bankrupt. Fiat bought part of VM Motori and that’s where this light duty diesel comes from. I’m like you I much prefer the inline 6 motors(I owned two Dodge Cummins) but this one probly fits the engine bay better than the long six. This engine will get around 30mpg maybe better so what’s not to like??

  • Zach

    Agreed, sure it will never be a Cummins but hey its a half ton diesel that will get amazing mileage, heck the first factory pickup to hit 30mpg! So who cares, it will be a good pickup for that guy that wants the torque of a diesel, the size of a half ton and the mileage of a Honda.

    It will be interesting to see how the transmission holds up 😛 haha

  • yellowdogdemocrat

    If they put the ZF 8 speed with the diesel there won’t be a problem. The new Sting Ray has much more HP and that’s the transmission it has.