Chrysler has introduced the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500, featuring the first implementation of a cylinder deactivation system in a pickup truck. The company estimates that the Ram 1500 equipped with a HEMI engine and Chrysler’s Multi Displacement System will provide up to a 20% improvement in fuel economy over a non-MDS system. (Earlier post.)
The Ram’s 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers 345 hp (257 kW) of power and 375 lb-ft (508 Nm) of torque. The MDS transitions the engine from eight cylinders to four in 40 milliseconds (0.040 seconds) under certain driving conditions.
The RAM 1500 also offers a 4.7-liter V-8 and 3.7-liter V-6 engine. Because of MDS, the 5.7-liter HEMI delivers 46.8% more power than the 18% smaller 4.7-liter V8, it does so with only a 2% penalty in fuel economy. (Chart at right, Click to enlarge.)
That said, and as we noted in the earlier discussion of the Chrysler 300 with MDS, the Ram is still a big, heavy vehicle that consumes a lot of fuel. Fuel economy (combined) for the HEMI version is 15.6 miles per gallon US. Fuel economy for the 4.7-liter V-8 is 15.9 miles per gallon.
|2005 Dodge Ram 1500|
|Power||215 hp (160 kW)||235 hp (175 kW)||345 hp (257 kW)|
|Torque||235 lb-ft (319 Nm)||300 lb-ft (407 Nm)||375 lb-ft (508 Nm)|
Chrysler Group’s MDS-equipped lineup also includes the HEMI-powered Chrysler 300C, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum and Dodge Durango, with the all-new 2007 Jeep Commander arriving in showrooms this fall. By 2007, Chrysler Group will have nearly 1 million vehicles on the road with MDS.
The company’s approach with MDS is comparable to the approach GM has said it will take with hybrid powertrains—implement them on the high-power, high-volume vehicles first.
But with MDS, as with hybrid powertrains, both companies need to apply their technologies to enable engine downsizing, and significant increases in fuel economy, instead of applying the technology to increase power, while maintaining fuel consumption.