Archive for November 12th, 2018|Daily archive page

Ram 1500: 2019 Motor Trend Truck of the Year Finalist

WE LIKE New eTorque V-8, high-quality interiors across the line

WE DON’T LIKE Base eTorque V-6 could use a bit more low-end power

It’s gotta be tough playing third fiddle in the truck sales race to the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado, but FCA’s Ram team seemed to have turned any animosity it has toward its crosstown rivals into a new pickup that ought to have them looking over their shoulders.

Ram brass freed its engineers from chasing down the (relatively) lightweight Ford F-150‘s segment-best payload and towing figures so that they could focus on a holistic approach to improving performance and fuel economy. The driver behind that is largely Ram’s new lineup of eTorque mild-hybrid engines, which use small electric starter-generators paired with a tiny 0.43-kW-hr battery to help the stop/start system and provide a minor torque assist while cruising so the standard eight-speed automatic doesn’t need to downshift. The new eTorque technology is standard on the base 305-hp 3.6-liter V-6 and available on the 395-hp 5.7-liter V-8. A non-eTorque version of the V-8 is also available.

 The base eTorque V-6 feels gutsy for such a small engine, though we noted it felt like it made most of its power higher in its powerband. Additional low-end torque would be welcome, especially when towing and hauling. Both V-8s felt smooth and powerful, even with a trailer attached, but especially the eTorque one. “I find the eTorque drivetrain a bit smoother through the revs and shifts and when accelerating up steep grades,” features editor Scott Evans said.

Although Ram may not lead the pickup sales race, its refresh should make even the most brand-loyal Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, and Toyota buyers think twice.

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