Archive for May, 2018|Monthly archive page

It’s a truck. It’s a car. It’s a 2019 Ram 1500

A powerfully built pickup truck, capable of towing 12,750 pounds, competed for the title of ‘Best Family Car’ … and won!

Nope, it was no mistake. The 2019 Ram 1500 was recently chosen  overall ‘Best Family Car’ by the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) at its Family Car Challenge.

So, how does a pickup truck capture the hearts and votes of the only vehicle competition specific to the needs and desires of today’s families?

Versatility, that’s how!

The Ram 1500 cabin happens to be the largest in the segment with plenty of wiggle room for mom, dad, the kids … even the family dog. Backseat passengers will enjoy the luxury of reclining seats and best-in-class 45.1 inches of legroom.

2019 Ram 1500 – Eight-degrees of Rear Seat Slide Recline

Helping to keep everyone in the family happy and informed, a massive 12-inch Uconnect 4C infotainment system delivers segment-leading size and performance with split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L.

2019 Ram 1500 – Uconnect 4C with 12-inch Screen

Families and ‘stuff’ are like peanut butter and jelly. They go together. The Ram 1500 is designed to handle 151 liters of interior storage, nearly 100% more than its closest competitor. The redesigned center console alone has 12 different storage combinations to hold everything from a 15-inch laptop to tablets and cupholders at the front and rear of the console.

2019 Ram 1500 Limited – Center Console

Fold up the rear bench seat to create 20 liters of additional storage. A clever fold-out feature doubles that capacity to 40 liters. Two RamBins on either side of the flat-load floor are ready made for those larger items.

2019 Ram 1500 Rear Seat lifted with Flat-load Floor Bin Out and RamBin In Floor Storage


A redesigned upper glove box acts as a shelf for smaller items with more storage available in the lower compartment.

2019 Ram 1500 Limited – Dual Glove Box

On the exterior, the industry-first RamBox cargo management system offers weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage for even more ‘stuff-to-go. A new HVAC system keeps every family member cool and comfortable with 50% more airflow to rear passengers than previous models.

2019 Ram 1500 – RamBox

Helping to keep your family safe and secure on the road, the 2019 Ram 1500 boasts more than 100 active safety and security features, including Blind-spot Monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, Ready Alert Braking, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus, adaptive front-lighting system and more.

2019 Ram 1500 ParkSense and LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus


Ram 1500’s segment-leading fuel efficiency helps give the family wallet a much-needed rest thanks to the class-exclusive air suspension, the eTorque mild hybrid system on the second-generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engines and an overall vehicle weight reduction of 225 pounds.

The two Ram 1500 engine options – 3.6L Pentastar V-6 and 5.7L HEMI® V-8 with eTorque


GAAMA members also found the Ram 1500’s no-compromise ride and handling something families hitting the road will really appreciate. Who knows? “Are we there yet?” could become a thing of the past.

Along with picking up GAAMA’s overall ‘Best Family Car’ honors, the Ram 1500 also took home the association’s award for ‘Best Family Pickup Truck’ for the third consecutive year.

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Wrangler Wednesday: Cutting through the air in the all-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler


Small changes to the design of the all-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler yielded big improvements in the vehicle’s aerodynamics.

The new Wrangler stays true to the original design with a wide, muscular stance, trapezoidal wheel flares and the legendary seven-slot grille.

Jeep’s design team built upon this iconic design with subtle changes to improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

These enhancements include an updated look to the legendary seven-slot keystone-shaped grille, sweeping it slightly back, for improved aerodynamics. The windshield also was angled slightly back to improve airflow over the vehicle.

“Its heart is still a Wrangler, it’s still boxy looking,” said Brian Leyes, Jeep Wrangler chief engineer, as he was discussing the new Wrangler’s aerodynamics in the FCA US Aero Acoustic Wind Tunnel. “A lot of people will say it’s a brick, and I will joke and say I’ve made an aerodynamic brick.”

Leyes added that aerodynamics is one area designers always look to improve as they move from one generation of a vehicle to another. Typically, that improvement is in the 3-5% range. With the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler, the design team was able to find a 9% improvement.

“The fact that the team was able to find 9% on this vehicle, and it still looks like a Jeep and it still looks like a Wrangler, was a pretty impressive feat by the whole team,” he added.

The all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

There are some additional features that are not as immediately noticeable, but still improve aerodynamics.

  • Looking down on the vehicle from above, the vehicle tapers in a little bit starting at the C-pillar, creating a better flow of air around the vehicle

    All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

  • The side mirrors are roughly same size, but also were redesigned to increase efficiency

    All new 2018 Jeep Wrangler mirror.

  • Another feature designed to reduce turbulence on Wrangler is a lip spoiler on the hard top model, which is angled slightly down and helps with the airflow over the top of the vehicle and around the back

    Lip spoiler on the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

“It’s about shaping the air you are going through,” added Leyes. “We wanted to give fuel economy improvements to our customers and be environmentally responsible.”

To learn more about the new features available on the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler, visit the Jeep website.

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The all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler roots date back to wartime service

In the months before the United States entered World War II, the U.S. military informed automakers that it was looking for a new “light reconnaissance vehicle.”

More than 130 manufacturers bid on production of the new vehicle, which had to meet specifications including a 600-lb. load capacity, a wheelbase less than 75 inches, a rectangular-shaped body, a four-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case and a fold-down windshield.

Three companies, including Willys-Overland, produced prototypes for the Army. Willys built an initial 70 sample vehicles of the Willys Quad. In the next round of contracts in March 1941, Willys-Overland would build 1,500 Quads.

Further testing and evaluation led to the Army’s selection of Willys-Overland as the primary manufacturer. Vehicles produced by the other manufacturers were sent to Great Britain and Russia as part of the lend-lease program.

The Willys Quad became the MA, and later the MB, through modifications and improvements. During the war, Willys-Overland would build more than 368,000 vehicles.

The rugged, reliable olive-drab vehicle would forever be known for helping win a world war, and it would be known by the name “Jeep.”

But the origins of the Jeep name vary.

Some claimed that the name came from the slurring of the letters “GP,” the military abbreviation for “General Purpose.” Others say the vehicle was named for a popular character named “Eugene the Jeep” in the Popeye cartoon strip.

Either way, the name entered in American lexicon and the vehicle entered the civilian market in 1945 with the CJ-2A.

Through the years, additional creature comforts were added, the vehicle’s name was changed from letters to “Wrangler” and a four-door model is now offered. Despite those changes, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the authentic SUV’s class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility.

These timeless traits can be found in the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler, along with features from the first Willys, such as the rectangular-shaped body, four-wheel drive with an available two-speed transfer case and a fold-down windshield.

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2019 Ram 1500 takes interior luxury to the max

For 2019, the Ram Truck interior design team turned its creative focus toward introducing a new standard of luxury to the all-new Ram 1500. Although everyone tends to have their own ideas of personal luxury, most of us would probably agree that comfort, unique styling, quality craftsmanship, over-the-top customization and some very ‘cool’ detailing throughout add up to a luxurious ride.

This Truck Thursday, we say ‘welcome aboard’ the new definition of driving luxury.

Every surface you touch, everywhere you look, the cabin of the all-new Ram 1500 fulfills the mission these designers set out to accomplish with full-grain leathers, real wood, striking metal accents and a Harman Kardon speaker system specially tuned for the 2019 Ram 1500 cabin. You can’t get much more ‘personalized’ than that!

Ryan Nagode, chief designer for Ram Truck Interiors, talks about how he and his team turned a luxurious concept into a luxurious reality for the 2019 Ram 1500.

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2019 Ram 1500 named to Ward’s 2018 10 Best Interiors List


Say hello to the 2019 Ram 1500, newly honored with a coveted spot on Ward’s 2018 10 Best Interiors list.

The Ram Truck Interior Design team set out to wrap owners of the all-new Ram 1500 in a luxury experience with every touch and texture. After evaluating 40 new or completely new contenders for the Best Interiors honor, the Wards Auto judges gave a big thumbs-up to the 2019 Ram 1500.

This #TruckThursday, Ryan Nagode, chief designer for Ram Truck interiors, takes us behind the inspiration he and his team followed to make sure owners of this hardworking truck experience a matchless level of comfort no matter which trim level they choose.

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The 2019 Jeep® Cherokee features a ‘fresh’ new exterior appearance

The 2019 Jeep® Cherokee enters the largest SUV segment in the world with a new exterior design that aligns it with the premium side of the Jeep family while staying true to its fabled nameplate.

“There’s a number of changes and enhancements we’ve made for the 2019 Cherokee,” said Scott Tallon, director Jeep brand. “First of all, you’re going to notice the exterior styling. It’s very much a modern evolution of the previous-generation Cherokee.”

One of the most noticeable features of the new Cherokee is the front of the vehicle, where some of the “pointiness” was taken out of the front of the brow. This brings it more in line with the style of the Compass and Grand Cherokee.

While designers updated the front fascia and liftgate for the vehicle, they also maintained some heritage features, such as the seven-slot grille.

“We have probably the most recognized face in the automotive industry, but what’s unique on the Cherokee is it’s now part of the hood,” said Mark Allen, head of design for Jeep. “The grille and the hood are one piece and it’s presented as seven separate boxes. It’s a premium look, but I never want to change the seven-slot grille.”

Jeep unveiled the 2019 Cherokee at the North American International Auto Show and it is now arriving in dealerships.

Moving beyond the front fascia, consumers will find a new push-push fuel door and a capless fuel fill that eliminates the need to touch and turn the vehicle’s gas cap when refilling.

The back of the Cherokee has a new, contemporary look for 2019 with a redesigned lightweight composite liftgate. This new, lighter design offers improved fuel economy, an integrated light bar with a release handle repositioned higher for added customer convenience.

Consumers can also choose from five new wheel offerings and 12 different exterior colors.

Learn more about the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee by visiting the Jeep website.

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Jeep® and Ram Truck Brands Dominate Annual Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) "Mudfest"

  • All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler named 2018 Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year
  • 2018 Jeep Wrangler also takes the Compact and Mid-size Utility Vehicle category and the Extreme Capability category
  • All-new 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel named winner in the Pickups category

Jeep® and Ram Truck brand vehicles cleaned up at the 24th annual “Mudfest” competition hosted by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA). Jeep and Ram won three of the six vehicle categories with the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler taking home top honors, being voted “Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year” by automotive journalist members of NWAPA.

“Jeep has taken the Wrangler to a new level, adding safety, technology and on-road refinement to its unparalleled off-road prowess. NWAPA members were impressed by the Wrangler’s performance both on and off the road,” said John Vincent, President of NWAPA. “The 2019 Ram 1500 once again raises the bar for full-size pickup comfort and refinement. It features a cabin that rivals luxury cars, and capability to do any work that it is asked.”

In addition to taking overall top honors, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler was also named the winner of the Compact and Mid-size Utility class and the Extreme Capability class.

The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel won the Pickups category. Rebel topped a field that included entries from every pickup truck manufacturer in the U.S. market.

“The Jeep Wrangler and the Ram 1500 Rebel have well-earned reputations for capability,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep & Ram Brands. “Winning a head-to-head third-party off-road comparison test, such as Mudfest, is clearly yet another strong endorsement for the Jeep and Ram brands.”

More than 25 NWAPA automotive journalists spent two days testing vehicles on paved and off-road routes. Testing took place at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington. Journalists tested 26 vehicles from 16 manufacturers to select winners in six categories: Subcompact Utility, Compact and Mid-size Utility, Family Utility, Premium Utility, Trucks and Extreme Capability. The overall winner, the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler was selected from the category winners to be named the 2018 Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year.

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Truck Thursday: 2019 Ram 1500 takes lighting to new level of impact, design

It turns out ‘see and be seen’ isn’t just a mantra for fashionistas!

This Truck Thursday, we’re going to shed some light … on light. More specifically, the innovative direction the FCA exterior lighting team took in developing the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 exterior lighting package.

Given the growing importance of seeing and being seen behind the wheel to avoid road hazards, navigate those ever-present orange cones or handle rough weather, Mike Nicholas, chief designer for exterior lighting, says his team really ‘sweated the details’ over many months to create an exterior lighting package that not only delivers the maximum intensity impact, but looks great doing it.

Nicholas recaps for us how all those details came together as he and his team took their original design concept from drawing board to final production roll-off.

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Wrangler Wednesday: Testing the all-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler to the ends of the Earth

When it came time to take the next step in the development of the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler from the drawing board to actually testing the latest version of the iconic vehicle, a test track just would not do.

For more than seven decades, the Jeep Wrangler has been known for its rugged, go-anywhere versatility. Thus, a sanitized, boring and controlled environment would not be the proper venue to test the capabilities of the latest version of the Wrangler.

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

To do this, the engineers took the vehicle for months at a time to the blistering cold of Alaska and scorching Arizona heat for extreme-weather testing. They also took it through the Northern Michigan mud and the Rubicon Trail.

Additionally, as the popularity of the Wrangler has spread around the globe, the newest version of the Wrangler underwent testing around the world in countries such as China, Brazil, India, Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

When all the miles were tallied, the all-new Wrangler underwent more than 3.9 million miles of testing. This was one of the highest number of miles of testing ever for any FCA US vehicle. It was also something that was necessary for a vehicle with the pedigree of the Wrangler.

“When we were designing, developing and engineering the next generation Wrangler, there were a few things that we knew,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand. “We had to be absolutely authentic to what Wrangler stands for: that’s its capability, its versatility, the whole sense of being able to do more tomorrow than you’ve done today. We knew that and our fans had told us that. We had to stay true to that.”

Learn more about the capabilities of the all-new Wrangler by visiting the Jeep website.

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Get where you’re going and everywhere in between with the Uconnect 4C navigation system

With the long winter finally breaking and Memorial Day just around the corner, there is no doubt that summer travel will be top of mind for many of us. Whether you’re planning a long weekend or a cross-country adventure, FCA’s Uconnect 4C navigation system helps guide you to your destination easily and efficiently.

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon with available fourth-generation Uconnect navigation system.

The available navigation feature allows you to identify points of interest with stunning 3-D graphics and detailed views of landmarks, cities and terrain. It’s also voice-controlled, so you can simply say an address to get directions. Sensor-assisted GPS helps ensure accurate positioning for your vehicle – even as you travel through tunnels, indoor parking garages and other areas where GPS signals can be obstructed.

The Uconnect 4C navigation system also offers multi-touch gestures, which allows you to pinch, tap and swipe the screen for better viewing and navigating.

Not sure about weather along the way? SiriusXM Travel Link makes every trip more manageable by providing up-to-date weather, fuel prices, sports scores and movie listings.

Also, with SiriusXM Traffic your drive may never come to a standstill as it works with the navigation system to display traffic speed and flow information, along with accident notifications to help drivers ease around congested areas.

The Uconnect 4C navigation system is available on select Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram and FIAT vehicles. Also, it can be added for an additional fee to any FCA vehicle preloaded with the Uconnect 8.4 System.

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