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What do you get when you take a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and improve its aerodynamics? You get a truck that’s capable of 29 MPG on the highway and 24 MPG combined, good enough to be best in class.

The Ram 1500 HFE debuted today at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, promising some pretty impressive fuel numbers. The trim package is only available on the Ram 1500 Tradesman Quad Cab four-door with a 6-ft 4-in bed and 20-inch wheels.

The fuel economy gains come thanks to wheel-to-wheel side steps and a tri-fold tonneau cover which contributes to better fuel efficiency through aerodynamics. That’s in addition to the usual fuel economy saving features like the eight-speed automatic transmission, 3.0-liter diesel engine, stop-start system, grille shutters and air suspension.

HFE models also get a unique badge that heralds their MPG claims. Full fuel economy ratings are 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. Ram says that its truck is now 12 percent more fuel efficient than its closest competitor.
For more information on this story, 2015 RAM 1500 HFE Hauls 29 MPG Into Detroit and for all of our North American International Auto Show coverage please visit AutoGuide.com.
 

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I've been saying this for years, the GM trucks are getting bigger and bigger, which adds weight, and adds wind resistance, which doesn't help MPG. The engines have become more efficient, but the truck
itself has not. Its a freaking competition to see whose truck is the biggest box on wheels, and now they need to break from the pack. Shrink the outside of the package, round off the front end and make
it more aero, use the newer high strength-lightweight steel/aluminum for the body, cab and bed and add 8 and 10 speed transmissions across the line-up. Although at this point, I feel GM may not be the
first to crack the 30mpg mark for trucks.
 

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Here's the real story...our wonderful government at work...allows this perfectly legal move:

From Car & Driver:

There is one difference between the 29-mpg 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE that debuted at the Detroit auto show and the 28-mpg 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel that has been on sale since February: the HFE badge on the tailgate.

We’re not being dramatic or cynical here, just honest. There isn’t a single mechanical change to raise the HFE’s city, highway, and combined fuel economy ratings by 1 mpg each. Instead, the 21/29-mpg HFE is the result of Ram engineers shrewdly navigating the EPA’s byzantine fuel-economy regulations and recognizing that one configuration of the umpteen-million cab, bed, and equipment combinations cuts through the air with slightly less drag. That truck is the two-wheel-drive Ram 1500 quad cab equipped with 20-inch wheels, wheel-to-wheel step bars, and a tonneau cover.

The distinct trim name allows Ram to certify the HFE separately from the rest of the 1500 lineup. Because the tonneau cover is standard equipment on the HFE, it remains in place when the Ram team conducts the coast-down portion of the fuel-economy testing procedure. The cherry-picked quad-cab configuration also lands in a lower weight class than what was used for all two-wheel-drive Ram 1500 EcoDiesel models last year. Those two particulars mean that the resistance is dialed down on the dynamometer when the HFE actually runs the fuel-economy test.

We were left wondering about the 20-inch wheels. Surely they’re heavier than the smaller wheels available throughout the Ram lineup, we assumed. They are, but the Goodyear Wrangler SR-As used for the 20-inch wheels also happen to have the lowest rolling resistance of any tire currently fitted to the Ram.
 

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I've been saying this for years, the GM trucks are getting bigger and bigger, which adds weight, and adds wind resistance, which doesn't help MPG. The engines have become more efficient, but the truck
itself has not. Its a freaking competition to see whose truck is the biggest box on wheels, and now they need to break from the pack. Shrink the outside of the package, round off the front end and make
it more aero, use the newer high strength-lightweight steel/aluminum for the body, cab and bed and add 8 and 10 speed transmissions across the line-up. Although at this point, I feel GM may not be the
first to crack the 30mpg mark for trucks.
They must be listening to you. Google Chevy Colorado. It won motortrend truck of the year over the new F150 because of it.
 

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I've been saying this for years, the GM trucks are getting bigger and bigger, which adds weight, and adds wind resistance, which doesn't help MPG. The engines have become more efficient, but the truck itself has not.
I agree but want to add that all fullsize trucks have gotten too large for their applications.

Now if, and this is a big IF, GMs competition starts to shrink their full sized trucks where will that leave GM?
 

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Here's the real story...our wonderful government at work...allows this perfectly legal move:

From Car & Driver:

There is one difference between the 29-mpg 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE that debuted at the Detroit auto show and the 28-mpg 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel that has been on sale since February: the HFE badge on the tailgate.

We’re not being dramatic or cynical here, just honest. There isn’t a single mechanical change to raise the HFE’s city, highway, and combined fuel economy ratings by 1 mpg each. Instead, the 21/29-mpg HFE is the result of Ram engineers shrewdly navigating the EPA’s byzantine fuel-economy regulations and recognizing that one configuration of the umpteen-million cab, bed, and equipment combinations cuts through the air with slightly less drag. That truck is the two-wheel-drive Ram 1500 quad cab equipped with 20-inch wheels, wheel-to-wheel step bars, and a tonneau cover.

The distinct trim name allows Ram to certify the HFE separately from the rest of the 1500 lineup. Because the tonneau cover is standard equipment on the HFE, it remains in place when the Ram team conducts the coast-down portion of the fuel-economy testing procedure. The cherry-picked quad-cab configuration also lands in a lower weight class than what was used for all two-wheel-drive Ram 1500 EcoDiesel models last year. Those two particulars mean that the resistance is dialed down on the dynamometer when the HFE actually runs the fuel-economy test.

We were left wondering about the 20-inch wheels. Surely they’re heavier than the smaller wheels available throughout the Ram lineup, we assumed. They are, but the Goodyear Wrangler SR-As used for the 20-inch wheels also happen to have the lowest rolling resistance of any tire currently fitted to the Ram.
Sounds about right. I don't see a problem with it as long as it hits its EPA target.
 

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For more information on this story, 2015 RAM 1500 HFE Hauls 29 MPG Into Detroit and for all of our North American International Auto Show coverage please visit AutoGuide.com.
EcoDiesel, eh? 24mpg combined?

At the gas station near my house, regular unleaded is 1.99. Diesel is 2.99. So it costs me 12 cents to go a mile in this Ram.

If my maths are correct, it would also cost me 12 cents a mile in a 16mpg gas truck...
 
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