Automotive News reports Chrysler has big plans for its line of Ram pickup trucks. According to a group filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the new Ram set to debut next month will no only boast a Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 option, but an eight-speed automatic transmission and new lightweight axles as well.

The gearbox alone is said to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 12 percent compared to current models. Right now, buyers with an eye toward economy are forced to cope with an anemic 215 horsepower 3.7-liter V6. While Chrysler hasn't released any specifications for the Ram-bound Pentastar, the most powerful form of the 3.6-liter V6 currently available produces 292 hp.

The 2012 Ram 1500 yields just 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway in its most efficient configuration, but the new hardware should help yield significantly improved figures and help the Ram line be more competitive against the Ecoboost-equipped Ford F-150. Chrysler is expected to reveal full details on the upcoming Ram in April.

In related news, Kicking Tires reports that the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango will also be getting new eight-speed gearboxes, which ought to result in similar fuel savings for the 'utes as it does for the Ram.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anybody realize the error of the "most powerful pentastar v6 is 285hp"? The most powerful comes in the Challenger and produces 306hp!! This is almost as bad as the yahoo automotive journalists.
      • 3 Years Ago
      As others have noted, Autoblog, you have many errors. Including that power rating you listed for the Pentastar as being the MOST powerful version...
      • 3 Years Ago
      In order to compete with the Ecoboost F-150, Ram should twin-turbo charge the 3.6 liter V6 pentastar! Twin-turbo 3.0 v6 CRD would be even better. :)
        • 3 Years Ago
        Turbochargers are AWFUL in a pickup truck if you actually have to tow or require any reasonable payload.... Look at the review of the Ford EcoBoost with tow weight and/or payload...
      Bret Frohwein
      • 3 Years Ago
      Automotive news is wrong.. the most powerful version of the pentastar produces 305 HP in the Challenger.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pentastar v6 make 292hp in both the 300 and Charger and 305hp in the Challenger
      • 3 Years Ago
      If they could get low 20s combined that would be awesome.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please Chrysler, put the 8-speed in the V-8 sedans.
      Steven Zozzaro
      • 3 Years Ago
      " the new Ram set to debut next month will no only boast ". I find so many errors on Autoblog.. these bloggers need to proofread better.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds good...about time.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This will give Mulally acid indigestion. The way for MOPAR to pass Toyota is to just hammer the crap out of Ford's way overrated lineup. The Ford destroyers are coming. This Pentastar Ram is one of the hammers, the new Dart will be another hammer and what can Ford put up against the insane success of the Grand Cherokee. The 300 will outsell the entire Lincoln lineup for some time to come. This summer Ford will still be dorking around with Sync while out of nowhere, Mopar attacks their most important profit centers with incredibly attractive products that beat the best Ford has in style, gravitas, gas mileage, performance and NAFTA/domestic content. Chrysler has turned into a very aggressive vehicle manufacturer right in there with KoreaInc.. When this 8 speed ZF automatic transmission factory Chrysler has in Indiana starts rocking, the American car business will never be the same. I wouldn't trade Marchionne for Mulally, Ghosn, Romney or anybody else, even Wofgang Bernhard. When Mercedes ran Chrysler, I thought it was being run by Klaus Von Bulow. When Cerebrus ran Chrysler it ran like it was run by Art Nardelli. Marchionne has built a house that's a lean mean fighting machine that achieves new objectives every opportunity. We have never seen a carmaker like this, it could be Apple all over again.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I've tended to lean Mopar for a few years now, but I don't think Chrysler will ever rival the takeup of Ford or GM (nor should they aim to). Chrysler is doing great (IMO the best out of everyone right now, circumstances given), but Ford is really on their game too. I also don't see this Pentastar and 8-spd as a necessary alternative to the Ecoboost. I doubt it'll have near the towing capacity. There's no direct substitute for low-end torque, and the Ecoboost has got an abundance. BTW, why mention Toyota? The Tundra can hardly match the last-generation Ram.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Durango w/ Pentastar = 23 MPG hwy. Durango ~ Ram 1500 in weight. =>> Ram w/ Pentastar ~ 23 MPG hwy. + 12% increase for 8 speed = ~25MPG hwy. that sounds like it's class leading to me
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