2013 RAM 1500 Priced from $23,585

2013 RAM 1500 Priced from $23,585

Chrysler just announced pricing for the 2013 line of RAM pickup trucks, marking the brand’s introduction of its Pentastar V6 engine mated to an eight-speed transmission meant to contend with Ford’s popular EcoBoost.

In a segment previously governed as much by brand loyalty as actual vehicle quality, Ford made a shrewd gambit by offering its V8 killing EcoBoost, forcing an answer from both Chevrolet and Chrysler. While the bow tie brand still seems to be speechless, Chrysler is dropping the one-size-fits-all Pentastar into the RAM 1500 with the eight-speed for the first time in 2013, though the Hemi will remain as well.

Carrying a starting price of $23,585, admission for the new RAM is almost identical to Ford’s non-turbo V6 option, at least in terms of money. With 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque the truck is hardly a slouch, but utterly fails to compete with the Ford’s Ecoboost from a power perspective.

Then again, Chrysler has been quick in the past to point out that Ford’s reliance on turbocharging could prove to be expensive for consumers in the long run. A turbocharged engine can require more care than a naturally-aspirated motor, which could be arguably cheaper to maintain.

For those that won’t consider committing construction site blasphemy, the 5.7-liter Hemi sits atop the RAM range, now paired with the eight-speed transmission as well, promising to improve fuel economy.

In top trim, the Laramie Longhorn Crew with four-wheel drive costs $48,415. As a generously-appointed truck it swings in with a significantly smaller price tag than much of Ford’s luxo-truck line. For example, a well-equipped F-150 Platinum with the EcoBoost V6 will cost around $54,300.

GALLERY: 2013 RAM 1500