Dodge's history with diesels


Dodge's history with diesels

Rudolf Diesel

After his most successful demonstration in 1896, Rudolf Diesel’s compression engine – the direct ancestor of the modern diesel – took the world by storm as a strong alternative to coal-fired steam engines, making the inventor a millionaire by the turn of the century.

In 1896, Horace and John Dodge were only close to the burgeoning American automotive industry in a geographical sense, working as machinists at Dominion Telegraph in Windsor, Ontario. In 1897, fresh off of the Horace’s invention of the first dirt-proof ball bearing, they founded a bicycle shop – and in three short years, sold it off to found their first machine shop in Detroit.

But despite Dodge’s shared history with the first great Detroit automakers, including its purchase by Chrysler in 1928, it would be years for diesel engines to make their way into the North American consumer sphere in either cars or trucks. With substantial manufacturing infrastructure already in place, even the bulk of World War II Allied vehicles were gasoline-based.

It’s important to note that in the consumer space – that is, away from industry and shipping applications – diesel has long been a tough sell for North American drivers. Europe’s history with them is longer, and despite a number of attempts to introduce them to the US and Canada, they never quite caught on. But thanks to numerous innovations in long-term reliability, winter performance, and emissions, consumer diesels have made enormous strides over the past 25 years.

1989 Dodge RAM

For Dodge, that first breakthrough was the introduction of the Cummins B-series turbo diesel as an optional powertrain for the 1989 Dodge RAM light-duty truck. Diesel engines’ higher torque than equivalent gasoline engines means more power right off the line, and that means smooth towing and cargo hauling in a variety of mission profiles. Heavy-duty engineering of the modern diesel engine contributes to substantially longer, trouble-free stretches between oil changes, as well as a longer overall lifespan.

6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel and 3.0L Ecodiesel V6

And though Dodge and RAM split into separate brands in 2011, Hanna Chrysler continues to honor the century of history between them by carrying more RAM trucks than any other make. With both the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel and 3.0L Ecodiesel V6 available throughout the line, there’s a wealth of RAM diesel options available at Hanna Chrysler:


  • RAM 1500 (Ecodiesel V6)
  • RAM 2500, 3500, and Chassis Cab (Cummins Turbo Diesel)

Promaster professional-grade vans:

  • Promaster 1500, 2500, and 3500 (Ecodiesel V6)
2016 Dodge RAM 3500 on the highway

So now you have a better picture of Dodge, Chrysler, and RAM’s history as it relates to diesel engines. This kind of modern performance has something for every kind of driver – so why not take a look at what the Hanna Chrysler team has to offer? Our online inventory is always available, so it’s only a click or tap away.

If you have any questions that we haven’t covered here – about diesel technology, specific RAM models, or about Hanna Chrysler itself – don’t hesitate to call the sales department at 1 (866) 489-5316. Customers like you are what we’re here for.

And for additional information about the history of Dodge and the technology behind the modern diesel engine, these pages can help you get a fuller picture:

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