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Dodge used to make trucks. The Dodge Ram pickups were a legendary line of trucks until Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) split Dodge and Ram apart for the 2010 model year. Today, you can get the Ram 1500 with the same engines you find in Dodge muscle cars. But you can also order your truck with some special Ram-only powerplants.

The Ram 1500 shares a V6 and a HEMI V8 with Dodge

Render of the drivetrain of a 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck with Dodge HEMI V8 visible.
2019 Ram 1500 drivetrain with Dodge 5.7L HEMI V8 | Stellantis

The base engine in the Ram 1500 is the 3.6L Pentastar V6. FCA introduced this engine in 2006 and uses it across many products under multiple brands.

Why is it called the Pentastar? Because the old MOPAR logo shared across Chrysler brands was a pentagon made out of five triangles with the outline of a star in the middle. It was called the Pentastar.

If you drop $2,295, you can upgrade your Ram 1500 with a 5.7L HEMI V8. This engine family is named for its hemispherical combustion chambers, and Dodge has been building them since 1951. The 5.7 belongs to the third generation of the HEMI.

Dodge muscle cars with the “Scat Pack” badge feature the larger, 6.4L HEMI V8. Ram offers the same engine, but only in its heavy duty trucks. You’ll need to opt for the Ram 2500 or 3500 for the 6.4L V8.

The Ram 1500 TRX shares the Hellcat’s supercharged V8

Michigan factory workers installing a Dodge SRT Hellcat V8 into the frame of a Ram 1500 TRX truck.
Dodge SRT Hellcat engine on Ram 1500 TRX frame | Stellantis

Dodge brought the Charger back for the 2006 model year and the Challenger back for 2008. Though Dodge treated the Charger to a visual upgrade in 2011, neither car had received a fully reimagined drivetrain. Then Dodge’s Street and Racing Technology team began tinkering with both cars.

For 2015, SRT launched its 6.2-liter Hellcat engine with variants in both the Charger and Challenger. The Hellcat was the first factory-supercharged engine in Dodge history. This HEMI makes 700+ horsepower.

Ram unveiled its first truck prototype with a Hellcat engine in 2016: the Ram Rebel TRX. It took five years for Ram to produce a TRX, but the end result was a desert-racing truck nearly as gnarly as the prototype.

The production TRX is another true Dodge/Ram crossover. The 2021 and 2022 Ram 1500 Rebel trucks feature the supercharged Dodge SRT Hellcat engine, making over 700 horsepower.

Ram also offers diesel and hybrid options

Cutaway of a Ram 2500 heavy-duty truck with Cumins turbodiesel engine available.
2022 Ram 2500 with Cummins turbodiesel | Stellantis

RAM: Does the 2022 Ram 1500 Have a Hybrid Engine?

You can get every Dodge engine in a Ram truck. But when you buy a Ram you can also get engines not available in any Dodge.

Firstly, no current Dodge product comes with a diesel engine. But you can opt for a diesel engine in any Ram truck.

If you are ordering a Ram 1500 you can upgrade to the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel for $4,995. This engine earns its name by getting up to 33 mpg on the highway. One of the most popular options for the Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks is the infamous Cummins 6.7L I6 diesel engine. This diesel makes 1,000 lb-ft of torque and affords the heavy-duty Ram a maximum towing capacity of 20,000 pounds.

Another unique Ram truck engine is the eTorque mild hybrid system. Some ingenious Ram engineers retuned the older Pentastar V6 and HEMI V8 to get a couple more mpgs.

Firstly, they combined the starter and alternator into one electric motor/generator unit. Then, they programmed this unit to help slow the drivetrain–and charge up a 48 volt battery–whenever you tap the brakes. Finally, they set it to launch the truck from a standstill when you touch the accelerator, giving the gas engine a moment to catch up.

The eTorque system is standard on every Pentastar V6 in a Ram and optional on the 5.7L HEMI V8. You can’t currently get eTorque on a Dodge. But with the brand’s recent oath to embrace “eMuscle” we suspect the Ram eTorque system is in Dodge’s near future.


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