Archive for the ‘chevy silverado’ Tag

2019 Ram 1500 4×4 V-6 eTorque First Test

The question Ram and its customers have likely been asking since the mild-hybrid 2019 Ram 1500 debuted at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show is “Is the hybrid system worth the cost, weight, and complexity?” Now, with official EPA numbers in, part of that answer is here, because the electrified truck scores 3 mpg better than its non-hybrid predecessor.

All V6 variants of the new-for-2019 “DT” generation Ram pickup will come with a lithium ion battery pack behind the rear bench and a Motor Generator Unit taking the place of an alternator. And while some customers might prefer the simplicity of a standard, non-electrified truck, the good news is that the mandatory mild hybrid system on the entry-level DT at least offers some significant fuel economy benefits. Well, according to EPA ratings.

Data from RAM

Back when I reviewed the Ram eTorque a few weeks back, we already knew that the 5.7-liter V8 eTorque Ram offered an improvement of 2 mpg city and highway combined compared to its non-hybrid counterpart, but V6 numbers weren’t available yet.

Today, Ram says it has the official figures, so the brand sent me the table above. As you can see, the V6 eTorque scores up to 20 mpg city and 22 mpg combined, or 3 mpg city and 2 mpg combined higher than the 3.6-liter non-hybrid Ram Classic (this is the “DS” last-generation truck). Those are improvements of roughly 10 to 20 percent, and that’s significant.

Still, even if the improvement for the Ram is nothing to scoff at, it’s worth mentioning that the more powerful Ford F-150 with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost turbo V6 manages up to 20 mpg city and 22 mpg combined as well, but gets 1 mpg higher on the highway at up to 26 mpg—and this is without a hybrid system. And it’s also worth mentioning that a 5.0-liter V8 Ford F-150 has the same fuel economy scores as the mild hybrid Ram V8, despite having similar horsepower figures and despite lacking hybrid hardware.

So it’s a big step for Ram, but still not quite at the leading edge of gas half-ton pickup truck fuel economy. Though really what matters is how the truck does in real-world driving conditions, and for that, we’ll only find out as these things start rolling out to customers.

2015 Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 SAE Tow Ratings

The 2015 Ram pickup trucks now have new tow ratings that were certified under the stricter demanding SAE J2807 regulation. Impressively, not a single model sees its ratings decline under the new certification process — and some even see ratings increase slightly. All versions of the 2015 Ram 1500, 2500 HD, and 3500 HD will henceforth have towing figures that meet the stricter tow ratings.

For light-duty pickup trucks, the 2015 Ram 1500 has SAE J2807 tow ratings as follows. Models with the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission can tow up to 9200 pounds, trucks with the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 can manage up to 7600 pounds, and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 5.7-liter V-8 engine can tow as much as 10,650 pounds. For the 3.6-liter V-6, that’s an increase of 150 pounds compared to 2014 ratings, while the 5.7-liter V-8 see its maximum rating rise 200 pounds.

The 2015 Ram 2500 and 3500 are also subject to the new SAE J2807 ratings. With a 6.4-liter gasoline V-8, the 2500’s max tow rating is 16,300 pounds, or 17,970 pounds with the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel inline-six. Those figures are unchanged from last year. As for the 2015 Ram 3500, trucks with the 6.4-liter engine can tow as much as 16,420 pounds, while models with the 6.7-liter mill boast maximum tow ratings of 30,000 pounds.

Earlier this year, General Motors, Ford, and Ram all confirmed plans to adopt the SAE J2807 ratings. The new certification process is more rigorous and is designed to test the real-world towing abilities and safety of the trucks. It includes tests for the vehicles’ acceleration, braking, and cooling-system performance, as well as things like understeer and double-lane-change handling tests.

GM already confirmed the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s ratings under the SAE J2807 standards. The pickup truck saw some of its models’ ratings decline by 300-400 pounds, depending on engine and configuration, when switching to the new rules.

Source: Chrysler

Read more at: http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autostrucks/2015-ram-1500-2500-and-3500-sae-tow-ratings-announced/ar-AA2T4pr

Ram grille change no big deal?

Opinion/Analysis:  it seems to me that the uproar over the new grilles on the Ram Laramie and Rebel is a classic case of making a mountain out of a molehill: a task made more difficult because it starts without a molehill.

Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette and Allpar’s Daniel Bennet have written about the change, saying it’s a sign that the Ram brand is suffering from an identity crisis. Their argument is that Ram trying to further distance itself from Dodge by moving away from the crosshair grille and the ram’s head badge.

The more likely reason for the change is to let buyers know this is a new Ram pickup [as alluded to by designer Greg Howell].

How long has the Ram pickup used the same general grille design with only very small changes that most consumers won’t even notice? Since Ram became a separate brand five years ago? In fact, the same general grille design was used on the last model year of the Dodge Ram pickup.

Maybe it’s time for a change?

The fact the new grille’s first appearance on a regular production truck came on the top-of-the-line Laramie is an indication that Ram is looking to persuade owners of earlier premium Ram pickups to trade their old truck by making the new truck visibly different.

When I was young, grille changes were an annual event, making each new model distinct from those that came before. Automakers don’t do that any more, but a change after six years seems reasonable.

The use of the prominent “RAM” on the Rebel’s grille is similar to what Ford has done on the Raptor, which has a big “FORD” on the grille instead of a blue oval. It sets the special truck apart from other models.

As for the large RAM on the tailgate, name a pickup brand that hasn’t done this at one time or another.

In short, there’s no identity crisis required to explain the change.

As far as establishing a brand identity, I would imagine that if you asked most male consumers to complete the phrase “Guts, Glory…”, most would say “Ram.” They might even try to sound like Sam Elliott. That’s successful branding.

Worries about losing the classic Ram logo would seem to be unfounded. A look at the interior shows the familiar shield is right in  the center of the steering wheel. Considering that it’s much less costly to change a small badge than it is to change a grille and tailgate, one would assume any effort to rebrand would include that change.

Consider the ProMaster City. While the big ProMaster was already in production, it would have been easy to change the small van’s grille and badging. Yet the ProMaster City has Ram shield badges front and rear.

Now consider at the two brands’ product lines: Ram has pickups, chassis-cabs and commercial vans (ProMaster City is clearly targeted at businesses). Dodge has passenger cars, family minivans and SUVs. The only Dodge fleet vehicles are special purpose, such as the Charger Pursuit and the Durango SSV. There isn’t any overlap, even in the same showroom.

It was Chrysler, not Fiat, that originally pushed for a retail network in which as many dealers as possible sold all the Chrysler brands.

If anyone is worried that Ram is phasing out the Ram logo, the first question that comes to mind is “Why would they?” The brand name is Ram; what else are they going to use?

It’s unlikely that Bob Hegbloom, Sergio Marchionne or Olivier Francois lose much sleep over whether dealers or consumers call the truck a Ram or a Dodge Ram. FCA US and people can call it anything they want as long as it changes hands from the first group to the second group in large quantities, and Ram U.S. sales last year were the best since the all-time record year of 2003 and missed setting a new all-time Graham/Dodge/Ram sales record by just 9,583 sales.

In the end, the grille change isn’t a quest for identity or an escape from the shadow of another brand. It is a relatively inexpensive styling change made by a brand that seems comfortable enough in its own skin to try something new.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/03/relax-ram-grille-change-no-big-deal