Ford, Chrysler counter GM with new V6 pickups for 2014

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:22am EDT
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By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT (Reuters) - The battle in six-cylinder pickups takes an interesting twist this fall with the launch of the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor and the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

Both trucks feature turbocharged V6 engines, but take different approaches to reach different segments of the full-size pickup audience.

The new Ford and Ram entries - one built for speed, the other for high mileage and heavy loads - are hitting the U.S. market as General Motors Co's (GM.N: Quote) recently redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are beginning to reach U.S. dealers in significant numbers.

Chrysler Group LLC hopes to divert some attention from the new GM trucks with its new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, the industry's first light-duty diesel-powered pickup.

Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote) is counterpunching with the 2014 Tremor, the industry's quickest and most powerful six-cylinder pickup.

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel features a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel from Italy's VM Motori, a longtime supplier to Chrysler and an affiliate of the U.S. automaker's corporate parent Fiat SpA FIA.MI.

Fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the EcoDiesel delivers 240 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque. Chrysler said the diesel version of the Ram 1500 will deliver better than 25 miles per gallon in highway driving.

Ford's Tremor, a short-wheelbase version of the regular-cab F-150, gets the company's 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, a turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline V6 rated at 365 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet. A special "performance" axle helps the Tremor accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in about 6.5 seconds. EPA highway fuel economy is 22 miles per gallon.   Continued...