Ram is rolling out something crazy clever for 2019…


Ram is set to offer a new motor configuration that isn’t quite a hybrid, yet still takes advantage of a torque-increasing electric motor in place of a traditional alternator.

 

The 3.6-liter 24-valve V6 with eTorque will be the standard engine in most models. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 model is an option in all Ram trucks. The Hemi V8 will be available with and without the eTorque system.


eTorque replaces the engine's alternator with a small, 10-hp electric motor that's belt-driven off the engine's crankshaft. On the V6, the motor is water-cooled and part of the water pump assembly, while the unit on the V8 is air-cooled and spun with a unique belt drive separate from the other accessories. Mounted upright behind the rear seat inside the cabin is the Power Pack Unit, which is about the size of a briefcase. It's basically a tiny 48-volt lithium-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-Graphite battery pack with a 3-kilowatt DC-to-DC converter to maintain the battery's charge and convert 48 volts to 12 volts to power the truck's accessories for up to 10 minutes. Like an alternator, it also charges the truck's conventional 12-volt lead-acid battery. With all the wiring, the system adds 90 lbs to a V8 Ram and 105 lbs to a V6 truck.

This year the V6 gets a higher 11.3:1 compression ratio, up from 10.2:1, and cams with more exhaust valve lift. It's rated 305 hp at 6400 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque at 4800 rpm. The Hemi is rated 395 hp at 5600 rpm and 410 ft-lbs of torque at 3950 rpm.

The engines power ratings remain the same with or without the eTorque system, and the system doesn't affect the truck's payload and tow ratings. Torque is used to smooth the engine's start/stop function and spin the engine for a very brief time at very low engine speeds to improve efficiency and smooth operation. The electric motor is just taking some work off the gas engine's plate when it's just restarting or just coming off idle – a supplement at low speeds, not an enhancement overall.

For restarting the engine, by 800 rpm, the electric motor's work is done. It takes just 400 milliseconds, or less than half a second, for the eTorque system to prime the truck's engine, which is when the motor and engine overlap for the first half-rotation of the truck's wheels, about 145 milliseconds. From that point forward the internal combustion engine is fully functional and powering the vehicle down the road.

Because eTorque can manipulate the engine's speed of rotation, it's also used to adjust its RPM slightly during gear changes to smooth those transitions. And there is regenerative braking, to keep the small battery pack charged. But there's so little battery capacity, it doesn't take much to keep them topped off and the system is completely transparent to the driver.

Categories: New Inventory

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