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Dodge Without Cummins?

Would You Buy a Dodge with a Fiat Engine
Posted September 11 2009 10:33 AM by Edward A. Sanchez 
Filed under: Opinions, Diesel News, Diesel Observations, Trend Observations, Dodge

Fiat N67 450 Marine Diesel

Matt Stone, executive editor at Motor Trend, posted a thought-provoking blog this morning regarding the possible future direction of Chrysler, and specifically Cummins and the Ram. He hypothesized, and not that far-fetched, considering recent events, at the possibility Fiat would drop the Cummins option in Dodge trucks in favor of one of their own diesel engines. He also went on to say that he thought this would be a very dumb move on Fiat's part. I agree. Of all the groups in the Diesel Power Forums, none are more passionate and involved than the Cummins owners. Going a step further, you almost NEVER hear of a Duramax swap into a Ford or a Power Stroke swap into a Dodge, but frequently hear about swapping a Cummins into just about anything.

Now, looking at this purely objectively, Fiat has extensive expertise in diesels, and actually pioneered common-rail injection in the 1990s, and later sold the technology to Bosch, which commercialized it on a wide scale.

If there's one potential consolation prize in all this, it's what could potentially find its way under the hood of the Ram. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the Fiat Powertrain Technologies N67 560. It's a marine-application 6.7 liter inline-six diesel, which in its top trim, produces 560 horsepower. Doing a little voodoo math reverse-calculation, it appears in this trim, the engine would produce approximately 980 lb./ft. of torque. The chances that we'd get this super high-performance version is highly unlikely. But there are two other versions, one with 500 horsepower, and another with 450. The rough torque calculations for these other variants are 875 lb./ft. and 788 lb./ft., respectively.

The bad news (if there is any) is this hoss weighs a crushing 1,400 pounds, and that's just the engine! Also, to put things in perspective, marine engines are also not subject to the impossibly stringent smog and emissions requirements for trucks, so once you strap all of that junk on, you're probably looking at an engine that's probably in the ballpark of the new Ford Scorpion, power-wise.

But considering Fiat's extensive diesel experience and significant R&D resources, it's possible they could deliver this engine with high output and clean emissions. So...we may all be sad to see Cummins go, but this would be one heck of a consolation prize.

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