Can the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Out-tow the Mighty Hemi on the World’s Toughest Towing Test? Ike Gauntlet (Video)

What's more important for towing: torque or horsepower?

It’s time to put the new 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel V6 on the Ike Gauntletâ„¢ – world’s toughest towing test. In this video review, we will see how the newest and torquiest half-ton diesel will do towing a 8,700 lbs trailer up and down the gnarliest parts of I-70 in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The Ike Gauntlet is an 8-mile stretch of I-70 interstate with a 7% grade and a maximum power-robbing elevation of 11,153 ft above sea level.

This Ike Gauntlet test is also part of our 2020 Gold Hitch towing awards. Once we finish testing all half-ton diesel trucks, we will be able to add up all the scores and proclaim a winner in each truck category. Stay tuned – we generally announce winners in early spring.

As always, this towing video is made possible by Transwest. They provided the trailer we are towing. Check them out for your truck, trailer, and RV needs.

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This new Ram 1500 is powered by a 3rd-generation turbo-diesel V6. It’s rated at 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. This is the most torque currently available in any half-ton truck with the exception of the Ford Raptor high-output EcoBoost. The engine is mated to an updated 8-speed automatic transmission, and this truck is equipped with a 3.55 rear axle ratio.

We are also putting this diesel truck up against our long-term project 2019 Ram Rebel Rouser truck. The Rebel is powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque. It produces 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. It’s also mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Let’s see how each behaves on this extreme towing test.

Ram Rebel performance:

  • Downhill: 5 brake applications
  • Uphill trip meter economy: 4.7 mpg
  • Uphill time: 7 min 47 sec

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel performance:

  • Downhill: 4 brake applications
  • Uphill trip meter economy: 5.4 mpg
  • Uphill time: 8 min 43 sec

On the subjective scale: Mr Truck gave the 2020 ram EcoDiesel 19.5 pts and I gave the truck 23 pts (out of 25 pts).

Total pts for the new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel for the 2020 Gold Hitch awards competition is: 80.5 pts (out of 100 pts).