|Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, introduces the 2014 Ram ProMaster at the Chicago Auto Show. Click to enlarge.|
The Chrysler Group’s 2014 Ram ProMaster van, developed from the Fiat Ducato, will mark the the North American introduction of the 174 hp (130 kW) 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb-ft (400 N·m) as early as 1,400 rpm. The engine is paired with the new M40 electronically controlled six-speed automated manual transmission—exclusive to the EcoDiesel.
Designed by Fiat, which employs the engine in numerous applications including Class 2, 3 and 4 commercial vehicles, the 16-valve, dual-overhead cam I-4 has been adapted for the North American market with a wide range of modifications that enable regulatory compliance, while also enhancing performance. The 2014 Ram ProMaster also offers a 280 hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine option.
The Ram ProMaster program affords us the opportunity to expand our powertrain portfolio with a new turbo diesel that delivers a brand of capability unique to the North American market.—Bob Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine and Electrified Propulsion Engineering — Chrysler Group LLC
|3.0L I-4 EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
A new, 29,000-psi (2,000-bar) common-rail fuel-delivery system managed by the engine control unit (ECU) allows for variable timing and duration of multiple fuel-injection events. The combined effect of the extreme injection pressure and optimized injection strategy mitigates emissions, improves fuel economy and offers significant reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
Further refinement in the 3.0L diesel comes from a number of design features, such as:
- Isolated oil pan
- Hydraulic tappets and roller-finger followers for valve-lash mitigation and friction reduction
- Cast-iron engine block stiffened by bed-plate construction
- Lightweight alloy pistons
- Dual-mass flywheel
- High-efficiency exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) cooler (which also benefits emissions compliance)
Also new for North America is a quick-response variable-geometry turbocharger that delivers higher boost at low engine speeds.
The diesel engine’s block has been modified to accommodate a heater, which is standard equipment in Canada and optional in the US. The block heater improves cold starts at temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees, the same threshold as the transmission heater on the economical M40 automated manual gearbox that is exclusive to the turbo diesel.
To comply with US and Canadian emissions standards, the engine combines the benefits of a new EGR module with an after-treatment system.
The diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is integrated with heated lines to protect the system from freezing. The five-gallon DEF tank promises nearly 4,000 miles of service. Low-level warnings alert the driver to replenish the supply via a filler neck conveniently adjacent to the optional locking fuel cap.
Reduced total ownership cost is a primary objective of the engine’s design. Key components from the camshaft chain drive to power-steering pump to the high-pressure fuel pump with automatic tensioner (which also benefits NVH) are designed for long life.
Similarly, innovations such as wear-resistant cylinder liners, oil-cooled pistons and electronic engine-control units for continuous diagnosis and monitoring are specifically designed to ensure durability.
An oil-level sensor contributes to an oil-change schedule of up to 18,500 miles. The high-efficiency, oil-coalescent filter system features micro-fiber filters and mitigates oil dilution, while robust chrome-ceramic sealing reduces oil consumption throughout the engine’s lifetime.
Component location is a key maintenance consideration. Accordingly, the turbo diesel’s air intake is mounted at the grille cross-member—which also maximizes cool-air intake levels—on the driver’s side. The air filter service interval is 30,000 miles.
Also all-new to the turbo diesel is a front-end accessory drive (FEAD) that will accommodate an optional 220-amp alternator. A 180-amp unit is standard. The engine is certified to use a maximum blend of 5% biodiesel (B5) fuel, commensurate with ASTM specification D975.
M40 automated manual. The gearbox delivers the efficiency of a manual transmission with the functionality of an automatic. At its core, it is a manual, but gearshifts and clutch functions are accomplished with electro-hydraulic actuation system.
However, the driver can opt for manual shift-lever inputs when desired. But the driver needn’t do all the work. Gearbox software delivers a unique response to driving conditions.
Shift logic is adjusted according to grade steepness. Particularly challenging conditions, such as hauling full loads through mountainous terrain, trigger the M40’s “Everest” setting, which delivers optimal performance.
The new transmission also features road-bend detection, which prevents gearshifts when the Ram ProMaster is negotiating winding curves.