Can The 2019 Ram Be The Most Fuel Efficient Truck? A Look At The Tech Fueling More MPG’s
Ram 1500 Fuel Economy
There was a time when manufacturers could build engines without regard for fuel economy, or the environment for that matter. As the industry has progressed and humans have become more knowledgeable about the affects of manufacturing and industry on the climate, automakers have begun to focus on increasing the fuel economy of their vehicles. There are many factors that determine the gas efficiency of a vehicle, but the displacement of your engine, weight of your car, the way your transmission is geared and the aerodynamics of the body are the biggest when looking at fuel efficiency. Luckily, companies like Ram are working proactively to find solutions for fuel efficiency without diminishing everything you would expect from a 1500, 2500 or 3500!
What are the factors that impact better MPG’s?
Displacement of the Ram 1500
The size of an engine is often referred to as the “engine capacity” or “engine displacement”. The simple definition is the amount of space that the engine’s pistons have to operate in. The larger the number, the more air and fuel the pistons can mix in order to fuel the car. This is usually measured in cubic centimeters or litres (i.e. a 3.0 Liter engine will draw in and expel 3 liters of air in a single revolution). The more air your motor can draw in, the more fuel it will burn and this is why smaller displacement engines have become popular over the past few decades in regard to fuel efficiency.
Ram has been hard at work designing an array of new engines that will meet future fuel efficiency standards without the loss of power that most smaller displacement ones experience. The 3.0L Ecodiesel V-6 began as a block of graphite iron and aluminum, but evolved to provide the 2018 Ram 1500 with the best-in-class fuel economy with a range of more than 700 miles on 4×2 models! Did we mention that the Ecodiesel has been engineered to run on Biodiesel fuel? The most amazing thing about this game-changing engine is the fact that it provides improved gas mileage without reducing power, meaning you will have a lower cost of ownership and the ability to tow up to 9,290 lbs. No need to worry about towing your boat to the lake this weekend!
In addition to the 3.0L Ecodiesel V-6, Ram also has the 3.6L Pentastar V6 which offers slightly less fuel efficiency but more capability for individuals who want a good balance of power and gas savings! Ram has made If you are left with an itch for more power after viewing the Ecodiesel and Penstastar engines, Ram has a solution that will bring a smile to your face!
When most people think of a Ram, they picture a big, V8 HEMI motor and fortunately that is still an option on new 2018 and 2019 Rams! The brawny, 5.7L motor may not be as efficient as the smaller Ecodiesel, but you can rest assured knowing that all the power you need is available with the tap of a pedal! At just under 400 horsepower 410 foot-pounds of torque under the hood, the Ram HEMI will absolutely devour the road ahead, all while hauling your precious cargo!
To make the Ecodiesel, Pentastar and HEMI V8 motors even more efficient, Ram is employing several new technologies that will combine to decrease fuel consumption without reducing power. The first is Fuel Saver Technology, a system designed to reduce power when it is not necessary. Fuel Saver turns off half of the V8’s cylinders when traveling on the highway under light loads. So when you are cruising to the next job site, your Ram will turn off half of the motor that it does not deem necessary at the moment, meaning you burn less gas!
The next technology was first introduced in 2014 and made Ram 1500 the first non-hybrid full-size pickup to feature it: With stop-start technology, your engine will turn off upon a complete stop. Electronics such as the radio, gauges and climate control will continue to run but your engine will be off. When your foot is released from the brake, the engine roars back to life in less than a third of a second. This saves fuel in situations when your motor would normally be idling and wasting it, such as in traffic or at stop lights! Ram has been improving the technology over the past four years and it has been a game changer in the fight for better emissions!
Finally, for 2019, Ram has introduced the eTorque system. With the move to smaller displacement engines, companies such as Ram are using hybrid technology to create more power with less consumption and emissions. The new eTorque system uses a small, 100 pound battery pack to create a boost of 90 lb-ft of torque in the V6 model and 130 lb-ft of torque in the V8. That means there will be more power available for hauling or towing, without using more gas! Small, hybrid cars first introduced this technology more than a decade ago, but now you can find this innovative technology in trucks, including the new 2019 Ram lineup!
If you were to attach a V8 motor to a small vehicle, not only would it have an unbelievable power-to-weight ratio, but it would also be incredibly efficient as compared to a truck with the same V8 motor. That is because weight is a major factor in fuel efficiency and luckily the engineers have put the 2019 Ram lineup on a serious diet to shed any excess weight!
The 2019 Crew Cab clocks in at 225 pounds lighter than the 2018 model due to careful weight-loss engineering throughout the truck. For instance, an aluminum tailgate reduces the vehicle weight 15 pounds. New high-strength steel was used in the frame, including a few bits of aluminum, to reduce the Ram another 100 pounds. The frame is now 98% high-strength steel. Another 100 pounds was shaved out of the cab and box.
Unlike other manufacturers, the majority of the bodywork is still made from various types of steel, not aluminum; Ram is not following automakers like Ford who are switching to all-aluminum bodywork. Jim Morrison, head of the Ram brand, says “We’ve left steel where we need to deliver the long-term durability that we believe our owners want”. Even with a drastic diet, Ram is not cutting corners when it comes to the quality and reliability that our loyal customers have grown accustomed to.
Power and engine displacement have a lot to do with your overall fuel efficiency, but the way your vehicle uses that power is a critical factor when trying to get more miles out of a gallon. Your transmission is a system of gears that convert your engine revolutions into rolling tires. These gears multiply the work that your motor is doing in order to be more efficient. For example, if a car has a five-speed transmission, its engine must rotate faster compared to a car with a six-speed transmission in order to produce the same speed. Since you would be making fewer gear changes, a four or five-speed transmission is ideal while towing but it does not do much for the vehicles fuel economy.
Several decades ago manufacturers started introducing seven-speed transmissions in order to improve fuel economy and now many are moving toward 8-speeds in order to meet new and future economy standards. Ram is one those automakers and for the 2019 lineup, they have introduced an improved version of their existing ZF-designed, 8-speed automatic transmission. Improvements to the 2019 Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 transmissions include hardware and software updates that allow each vehicle to handle higher loads under a greater variety of conditions, including eTorque hybrid mode. With these upgrades, the transmissions found on the new Ram will be greener than ever before!
The size and shape of your car is a major factor in fuel efficiency that is often overlooked! It is one of the determinants that affects how hard your engine has to work in order to move your vehicle. Aerodynamics is the science of how your car moves through the air. Water and air have many similar properties and just like in water, the smoother the shape, the easier it moves. The motors in most large vehicles, like many trucks and SUVs, have to use more fuel to push the vehicle along.
Vehicle development is a long process, but aerodynamics play a huge role and manufacturers spend a large amount of time and resources to adjust a car’s exterior features to create less resistance, or drag. The way drag is calculated is into coefficients; a lower figure indicates a more aerodynamic shape.
The new Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 incorporate active aerodynamics to reduce drag, starting with active air grill shutters. These shutters are found in the grill and depending on conditions, open or close to reduce drag or increase engine cooling. For example, if you are traveling at highway speeds and producing moderate engine temperatures, the shutters will close, which directs airflow around the vehicle to increase efficiency and reduce drag. If the Ram is operating in heavy stop-and-go traffic or hauling a trailer, the shutters remain completely open to allow airflow into the engine bay for optimal cooling. In addition, the new 2019 Ram lineup includes an active air dam. This nifty little device deploys underneath the front bumper at speeds of over 30 mph and reduces drag while increasing the stability and handling of the vehicle.
Besides active aerodynamics, the Ram team has also re-engineered the roof and tailgate of the new 2019 Rams. The roof has been reshaped in order to increase airflow to the rear spoiler, which has been fitted to the top of the tailgate. This direction of airflow not only reduces drag, but also increases the stability and handling of the vehicle. Did we mention that the newly designed roof also makes room for the optional dual-pane sunroof that is now available? You can smile and soak up the rays this summer knowing that your roof is saving you fuel!