Starting in 1994, judges at Ward's Auto have selected the ten most groundbreaking engine designs for each year. This year, only one truck engine made it into the top ten: the Ram 1500's 3.6L Pentastar V-6. Thanks to a best-in-class tow rating of 6,500 pounds, improved fuel economy, and smooth power output, the new engine is being heralded as a huge leap forward for the Ram lineup.
With Ford's EcoBoost engine offerings gaining serious traction in the truck market, Ram needed a solid V-6 option to stay competitive, and the Pentastar design has delivered. We got the chance to get behind the wheel of a Pentastar-powered 2013 Ram recently, and with a 305-horsepower output and quick-shifting Torque-Flite eight-speed automatic, it felt smooth and responsive. The new Pentastar brings a massive 90 more horsepower and 34 more pound-feet of torque than the old 3.7L V-6. In fact, it makes nearly as much as the 4.7L V-8. It's even available in 4WD models now, making it a more practical option than ever.
Before you start thinking Ward's is playing favorites, both Ford and GM had engines that made the Top Ten (the Shelby GT500 5.8L V-8 and Cadillac ATS 2.0L, respectively). However, when it comes to new truck engines, we think they made a good call picking the Pentastar. It'll be interesting to see how it competes with the F-150's venerable EcoBoost in the years to come.
To read the full judgement and see more of the winners, head to Ward's site.