Archive for the ‘ram 1500’ Tag

Ram Truck Launches New 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock

  • Based on the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, Warlock features the bold grille with R-A-M lettering, front and rear powder-coated bumpers, 1-in. factory ride height lift, Warlock decals and an available Sport hood
  • First introduced in 1976, the factory-customized Warlock pickup trucks appealed to young buyers looking for a custom-look truck right from the factory floor
  • 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock goes on sale late first quarter of 2019
  • Warlock pricing starts at $35,345 (not including $1,695 destination)

Ram Truck unveiled today the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock. The Warlock pays homage to the original Warlock pickups of the 1970s and offers buyers a well-equipped, factory-customized truck with unique style, capability and value.

“The Ram 1500 Classic Warlock is proof positive that value never goes out of style,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand, FCA. “With its sinister monochromatic exterior, award-winning interior and great price, this mean machine is certain to resonate positively with consumers.”

The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock features a black grille with bold R-A-M lettering, 20-inch semi-gloss black aluminum wheels, front and rear powder coated bumpers, 1-in. factory lift, black wheel flares, LED fog lamps, projector headlamps with dark bezels, LED rear tail lamps, black badging, tow hooks, unique hood decals, heavy duty rear shocks and an optional Sport hood. Warlock decals on the bedsides round out the package.

Standard on the Warlock package is Diesel Grey cloth seating, ParkSense rear park assist and Ram 1500 Classic’s Luxury Group that includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, overhead console, 7-inch cluster display, LED bed lighting and power foldaway mirrors. Customers can also add heated bench or bucket seats, an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen with navigation, black side steps and a spray-in bedliner.

The Warlock is available with either with the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 (305 horsepower /269 lb.-ft. of torque) or the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine (395 horsepower/410 lb.-ft. of torque) — both mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission — 4×2 or 4×4, Quad Cab or Crew Cab (5-ft. 7-in. bed only) configurations.

The Ram 1500 Classic Warlock is available in Blue Streak, Bright Silver Metallic, Bright White, Diamond Black, Delmonico Red, Flame Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel, Pearl White and True Blue.

The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock goes on sale late first quarter of 2019. Warlock pricing starts at $35,345, not including $1,695 destination.

Warlock History
In 1976, the first production Dodge Warlock was introduced following the public’s positive response to a pickup originally designed as an auto show concept vehicle. The Warlock was a factory-personalized pickup that could “play as hard as it works,” according to the period literature, complete with bucket seats, “fancy wheels, fat tires,” chrome-plated running boards, real oak sideboards and special gold accent stripes inside and out. Production ran until 1979.

Ram 1500 Classic
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic boasts numerous segment-exclusive features in areas most important to truck buyers. Outstanding ride and handling is accomplished via a unique link-coil rear suspension. Other features, such as RamBox bedside storage, hidden bins and a flat-load floor, offer unique solutions for cargo. New “Classic” badging is located on the front fenders.

The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock will be produced at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Michigan), which has built more than 12.5 million trucks since it started operations in 1938.

About Ram Truck Brand
In 2009, the Ram Truck brand launched as a stand-alone division, focused on meeting the demands of truck buyers and delivering benchmark-quality vehicles.

That focus leads Ram to design the industry’s most innovative, award-winning trucks, emphasizing durability, strength, technology and efficiency.

With a full lineup of trucks, including ProMaster and ProMaster City vans, the Ram brand builds trucks that get the hard work done and families where they need to go. From the no-compromise Ram 1500 that defines the future of pickup trucks with innovative design, the highest quality materials and class-exclusive technology, to the Ram Heavy Duty which combines the ability to out-power, out-tow and out-haul every single competitor with the segment’s most comfortable ride and handling, Ram is committed to product leadership.

Ram continues to outperform the competition and sets the benchmarks for:

  • Most powerful: 1,000 lb.-ft of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
  • Highest towing capacity: 35,100 lbs. with Ram 3500
  • Heaviest payloads: 7,680 lbs. with Ram 3500
  • Most luxurious: Ram Limited with real wood, real leather and 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen
  • Best ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions
  • Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab
  • Most capable full-size off-road pickup – Ram Power Wagon
  • Highest owner loyalty of any half-ton pickup
  • Over the last 30 years, Ram has the highest percentage of pickups still on the road

Giving maximum effort all day, every day with confidence, the Ram Truck lineup steps forward with the full force of modern capability providing confidence-inspiring features and class-exclusive vehicle safety.

Read more at: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ram-truck-launches-new-2019-ram-1500-classic-warlock-300795799.html?fbclid=IwAR3j9SrG8RG2MLoXqRCVNF3DXseJ5s54bbi1ve81KmMLhE0SW0qyWrqrbbo

Advertisements

Ram Adds Multifunction Tailgate to 2019 Ram 1500

Ram Truck today unveiled a new multifunction tailgate that adds even greater utility to the truck industry’s cargo-management and storage leader.

The Ram 1500 multifunction tailgate feature is unique among all pickups and offers customers cargo-access flexibility without compromise.

In addition to retaining the capabilities of a fully dampened, drop-down tailgate with remote release options, the Ram multifunction tailgate adds a first-of-its-kind 60-40 split, swing-away functionality.

Ram multifunction tailgate’s dual side-hinged tailgate doors further enhance the 1500’s bed access and utility. Independent opening features make curbside loading easier. Being able to access the bed closer to the bumper makes stepping up easier; makes loading bulky items easier; makes unloading and washout easier and allows forklift loading.

Unlike other multi-element tailgates, the Ram multifunction tailgate is trailer-friendly and does not require that the trailer and hitch be removed before opening. With a 2,000-lb. load rating, Ram multifunction tailgate retains all of the traditional tailgate’s capability.

“The Ram multifunction tailgate is intuitive to operate and owners will find it immediately useful,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand – FCA. “Combined with Ram’s class-exclusive RamBox feature and new tailgate step, we’re taking Ram’s cargo management and storage to the next level.”

Ram’s multifunction tailgate has four configurations: open flat, open left door only, open right door only and open both doors. Each door swings open 88 degrees and access can be further enhanced via a retractable center-mounted step option.

Among the 2019 Ram 1500’s other innovative storage solutions are the RamBox cargo management system. The RamBox system includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage bins built into the bed rails. RamBox bins also feature a handy 115-volt, 400-watt outlet. Also available with RamBox is a pickup bed divider/two-foot bed extender and cargo rail system with four sliding, adjustable cleats.

Interior storage was also high on the priority list for the new Ram 1500.

A reimagined center console with 12 different storage configurations offers never-before-seen customization for the most active interior real estate. The Ram 1500’s second row includes seats that recline up to eight degrees, a true flat-load floor with integrated RamBins with tie-down rings and expandable under-seat storage.

In total, the Ram 1500 features more than 151 liters of interior storage capacity — nearly 100 percent more than the closest competitor.

The multifunction tailgate will be available across all seven 2019 Ram 1500 models and will reach dealerships in the second quarter of 2019. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $995. The optional center step is $295.

Read more at: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ram-adds-multifunction-tailgate-to-2019-ram-1500-300790602.html?fbclid=IwAR2l5mcvLDW4I8HMkfnx6KqX3-nSI9c3Ykyp3nT0IXpR9Orpo0jC9mLXcJg

2020 Ram Power Wagon 2500 Pickup Spied

2020 Ram Power Wagon 2500 Pickup Spied in Its Birthday Suit

What It Is: The 2020 Ram Power Wagon, caught completely uncovered in metro Detroit. Even before the recently refreshed 2019 Ram 1500 was released into the wild, camouflaged test mules of the Ram HD 2500 and 3500 trucks were common sight in Michigan, so we knew it would only be a matter of time until we snagged a photo of a Ram HD wearing nothing but the paint it was born in. In this case, it’s a Power Wagon, Ram’s reptilian off-road beast based on the Ram 2500.

Why It Matters: The new-for-2019 Ram 1500 has impressed many with its class-leading ride and well-executed interior, to the point of attracting the attention of die-hard Ford and Chevy fans. If Ram’s HD trucks can pull off the same trick, it could mean some big returns in the cash office, because heavy-duty pickups are a high-margin product.

Platform: While we don’t expect it to deviate dramatically from the current robust body-on-frame construction, the 2500-based Power Wagon captured here appears to be taller and larger overall, taking many of its styling cues from the 2019 Ram 1500 series. As an indicator of its overall size, note how small the wheel-and-tire combination looks in those giant wheel openings. Expect Power Wagon standbys to return, including front anti-roll-bar disconnect, locking differentials, and an integrated winch. It will be interesting to see whether Ram outfits the new HD series with the same active vibration-quelling technology used in the new 2019 Ram 1500.

The grille looks similar to those on previous models, but the hood shape is new, and the bumper appears to be an all-new design that “kicks up” on the ends below the headlamp housings. The rearview mirrors are also similar, but the plastic wheel arches feature a slightly new design with a notch at the top. The taillamps are of a new design, but for obvious reasons the tailgate doesn’t display the Power Wagon nomenclature; the integral front winch, however, is traditional Power Wagon kit.

Powertrain: We don’t expect much in the way of powertrain changes. The 410-hp 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 and six-speed manual transmission are likely to return, although we wouldn’t be floored if Ram upped the gear count for improved fuel economy. As long as we have our wish list out, the return of the venerated Cummins turbo-diesel as an available engine in the Power Wagon would be a welcome addition to the lineup.

Estimated Arrival and Price: Price is still undecided, but without revolutionary technology or powertrain updates the Power Wagon will need to stay near the current model’s $54,540 base MSRP. Expect the 2020 Ram HD and Power Wagon to break cover at the 2019 Detroit auto show. Currently assembled in Ram’s Saltillo, Mexico, facility, Ram HD assembly is slated to be moved to its Warren, Michigan, plant in or around 2020, where it will be produced alongside the 1500. Whether or not Ram will wait until the move is completed to put the next-gen HD trucks on sale is yet to be seen. Either way, tradition dictates that it hit showrooms by the third quarter of 2019.

Read more at: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/ram-power-wagon-2020-pickup-spy-shots?src=socialflowFBRAT&fbclid=IwAR2Mt-7-2am2VB8RXU-lQlVRbPa2CraV4XJmAYXZgQumbWj8F5GlMiplsw0

Ram 1500 is the 2019 MotorTrend Truck of the Year

Americans ask more of our trucks than we do of any other vehicle. In any given week, the average half-ton pickup might find itself commuting like a sedan, hauling a bed full of bricks and sand, towing some Jet Skis, navigating muddy ranchland, or exploring off-road trails. It’s no wonder that we bought 2.8 million of the things last year.

The best-selling pickup in the United States last year—and indeed in every year for the past four decades—has been the Ford F-Series. But our 2019 Truck of the Year should give pause to prospective Blue Oval loyalists (or buyers of any truck, for that matter) because there isn’t a truck out there that so precisely hits the diverse needs of the segment better than the 2019 Ram 1500.

The fifth-generation Ram 1500 is the latest in a long line of evolutionary leaps for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ bread-and-butter truck. The newest version, more than any other, seems poised to meet the needs of the 21st century truck buyer, with more variety, capability, comfort, convenience, and value than ever before.

Advancement in Design

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s no arguing that Ram retains its reputation for stylish functionality. “Best-in-class: sophisticated without going over the top,” editor-in-chief Ed Loh said.

The 2019 Ram 1500’s clean-sheet redesign throws out many of the design cues we’ve come to expect from a Ram pickup—while still being unmistakably Ram. Gone are the crosshair grilles, mini-Mack fenders, and even the traditional Ram badge in most places. Instead, the 1500 provides buyers a choice of seven grilles and three head- and taillamp designs. Its 15 wheel designs feature stronger six-bolt hubs, ranging from an off-road-friendly 18 inches to an urban cowboy 22-inch style. And that’s on top of your typical pickup choices of extended or crew cab and bed sizes of either 5-foot-7 or 6-foot-4. A regular cab and 8-foot bed are expected next year.

 “I love the styling,” road test editor Chris Walton said, eyeing the Ram 1500 Rebel. “It’s like the Viper of Rams.”

The interior updates, from the volume-grade Big Horn all the way up to the luxurious Limited, are even more impressive. Every Ram cabin has the tools needed for both work and play. The Ram’s configurable center console turns the space into an office, with room inside to swallow a bag and laptop, space for your phone and drinks, and a center console lid that can function as a desk.

When it comes to technology, Ram provides three versions of its Uconnect infotainment system, including a choice of an 8.4-inch or Tesla-like 12.0-inch touchscreen. “The center stack layout is a combination of Volvo (screen), Audi (switches), and Jaguar (rotary shifter),” Walton said. “The clever center console (phone charger/pocket, sliding bins, and side pockets) is something Honda would do. Ram has done its homework on picking the benchmarks for both design and packaging.”

Although a Silicon Valley-aping infotainment suite will certainly draw eyeballs in showrooms, the cabin’s functionality and furnishings are even more impressive.

Crew cab versions feature a flat floor in back and seats that flip up, allowing you to store valuables in the safety of the cabin. RamBins, hidden underneath the rear floormats, have grown in size to better accommodate hitch receivers or ratchet straps. In a first for pickups, the new Ram 1500’s higher trim levels have a rear bench seat that reclines up to 8 degrees and is heated and cooled, as well. Ever been chauffeured in a truck before? Now you can be.

2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 front in motion
2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4x4 front in motion
2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 front three quarter in motion
2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4x4 front three quarter in motion

We were particularly impressed by the level of fit and finish. Every trim, from the base Tradesman up to the Limited, furnishes at least one two-tone cabin treatment, injecting a bit of personality and style into the cabin at any price point. Unlike some of its competitors, Ram took the profitable luxury market seriously by offering two flavors of luxury trucks—the saddlebag-equipped (seriously) Laramie Longhorn and the thoroughly modern Limited.

“GM has to be kidding, going up against this with the High Country and Denali,” features editor Scott Evans said. “This is a luxury interior. Look at this wood! This leather! The metal, stitching, design, attention to detail! The leather on the grab handles! Cadillac could learn a thing or two by spending an afternoon in this cabin.”

Hyperbole aside, he’s right. The Ram’s cabin ain’t just good for a truck. It’s good, period.

Engineering Excellence

Looks can be deceiving, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the 2019 Ram is a bit old school in its approach. Freed from the obligation (and expense) of chasing maximum payload and towing capacities with all-aluminum construction, the Ram team instead invested in a shotgun approach to improve capability, efficiency, and performance. Underpinning it all is a new high-strength steel platform, 4.0 inches longer and about 17 percent lighter than the old chassis. The aerodynamic sheetmetal is largely built from steel but with the strategic use of lighter metals for a total weight decrease of about 200 pounds.

Like the previous version of the Ram 1500, our 2019 Truck of the Year continues to come standard with a coil-spring rear suspension (now with frequency dampers), which slightly sacrifices towing and payload capacity in favor of a better ride when compared to leaf-sprung competitors. A four-corner air suspension with five ride heights and load leveling is available, giving the best of both worlds when it comes to ride and performance.

“It’s really a surprise on the road,” testing director Kim Reynolds said after a stint in an air suspension-equipped 1500. “It’s way more refined and sophisticated than the GMs. Steering is fluid and quality-feeling.” The standard suspension won praise at the expense of its competitive set, too. “The coil-spring suspension is better in the Ram than the ride in any of the GM trucks,” MotorTrend en Espanol managing editor Miguel Cortina said.

Despite the minor diet, maximum payload is up to 2,320 pounds, and max towing capacity rises to 12,750 pounds, besting Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, and Toyota‘s half-ton offerings (though shy of Big Daddy Ford’s max towing by 450 el-bees).

Things get even more impressive under the hood. Embracing global realities, two of the three available Ram 1500 engines come with supplemental electric motors to improve fuel economy and performance. These mild-hybrid powerplants, dubbed eTorque, use small starter-generators and a tiny 0.43-kW-hr battery stashed in the rear wall of the cab to aid the stop/start system and provide torque assist to allow the engines to lug around at cruising speed in four-cylinder mode longer and without having to downshift.

The eTorque system is standard on the base 3.6-liter V-6, which makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, and is also available for a small premium on the top-level 5.7-liter V-8, which turns out 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. A non-eTorque 5.7-liter V-8 generating the same output as the eTorque version slots between the two electrified mills. (Because these motors aren’t assisting when the engines’ are generating peak power and torque, they don’t affect those figures.) An eight-speed automatic is standard across the line, as is rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive, limited-slip or locking rear axles, and three final drive ratios are also available.

2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 Limited 4x4 8
2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 side in motion
2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 engine 2
2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4x4 engine 2

In back-to-back driving of our otherwise identically equipped V-8 Ram 1500 Longhorn and Limited models, Evans was one of the few judges who could feel the Limited’s eTorque assist at work. “I find the eTorque drivetrain a bit smoother through the revs and shifts and when accelerating up steep grades,” he said.

The fuel economy benefits of the eTorque V-8s show up in our data, but towing performance is a bit of a wash; all of the Ram V-8s, eTorque or not, performed nearly identically in both instrumented tow tests (where the Rams towed between 6,600 pounds and 11,400 pounds) and in our Davis Dam frustration test, which saw our V-6 Ram tester tow 4,020 pounds and the V-8s tow 7,780 pounds.

Performance of Intended Function

Despite the many hats we expect our trucks to wear, at their heart, they are beasts of burden. To that end, the 2019 Ram 1500 excels.

The most important part of any pickup is its bed, and Ram continues to deliver. The bed rails have been raised 1.5 inches to increase cargo volume, and the optional RamBoxes grow in size with minimal impact on bed space.

Some previous Ram innovations carry over, including the segment’s best combo bed extender and cargo divider, which stashes against the cab when not in use, and a CHMSL-mounted camera that looks down into the bed so you can triple-check your tie-down work while on the move.

2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4x4 rear interior seats
2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4x4 interior detail 8
2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4x4 interior detail 5
The one area where the Ram’s bed could be better is its use of tie-downs, or lack thereof. GM changed the game this year—providing 12 standard tie-downs in the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra (three in each corner) and the ability to expand with movable optional tie-downs. Ram offers the standard four (one in each corner), plus another four optional moveable rail-mounted tie-downs. Ram would do well to follow GM’s lead here.

The ability to access the bed is arguably as important as its construction. Missing GM’s standard bumper steps, Ram makes up for it with its option sheet. One of the air suspension’s many benefits is its access height mode, which lowers the bed’s step-up height to match that of the bumper step. For those who skip the air suspension, Ram also offers a kick-down rear step that stashes up and away behind the rear bumper.

Ram made towing improvements, too. For those who simply want to hitch up and go, Ram makes life easy. The rearview cameras have high resolution, making it easy to hitch up without a spotter. Trucks equipped with blind-spot sensors have an extra party piece, too; after you hitch up and make a couple of turns, the blind-spot sensors will determine the length of your trailer and increase the size of the alert zone to include the trailer length.

2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 front interior seats
2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 rear interior seats
2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 engine 2
2019 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4x2 exterior detail 2
 As for straight-up towing, the Ram 1500 is rock-solid, especially when equipped with the air suspension. Towing the exact same 8,300-pound trailer as the GMC Sierras and Chevrolet Silverados, the Rams feel so much more confident and just plain happy while at work.

Efficiency

Pickups aren’t traditionally known for fuel efficiency, but that didn’t stop Ram from easing the pain at the pump. Lots of credit goes to the lineup of eTorque engines, but Ram also worked hard at ensuring the new 1500 is as aerodynamic as possible without sacrificing the utility of its pickup body. Its segment-best 0.357 Cd is achieved using grille shutters and spoilers integrated into the trailing edges of the roof and tailgate. On trucks without air suspension, an air dam deploys automatically at 35 mph; those with air suspension get an aero-mode ride height.

The result is that Ram has the most efficient V-8 in its class; the V-8 eTorque is EPA-rated at 17/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined with rear drive or 17/22/19 with four-wheel drive. Non-eTorque Ram V-8s net 15/22/17 (rear drive) or 15/21/17 (four-wheel drive) mpg. Our Real MPG testing of the V-8 models generally falls in line with the EPA’s results, but our eTorque V-8-powered 1500 Limited 4×4 beat the feds’ numbers with an 18.7/22.6/20.3 score.

The one weak point would be the hard-working V-6 eTorque powerplant. EPA-rated at 20/25/22 mpg with rear drive and 19/24/21 mpg with four-wheel drive, our Big Horn 4×4 model achieved an unimpressive 15.4/19.7/17.1 Real MPG score.

Safety

The NHTSA has not crash-tested the 2019 Ram 1500 yet, but the IIHS has. The new Ram achieves top scores with a Good rating (the highest possible) in all six crash tests, with its only demerit a Marginal headlight illumination score. The 1500’s new chassis is built of high-strength steel and includes octagonal front-frame rail extensions designed to protect occupants in often-deadly small-overlap front crashes.

The Ram 1500 is also available with forward and reverse collision warning systems, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitors, and 360-degree camera systems, with the ultimate aim of helping the driver avoid accidents in the first place. That’s the true measure of safety.

Value

With pickup trucks, value is ultimately relative over a life of hard knocks and long miles. But we were impressed by the breadth of the Ram lineup. The base Tradesman model starts at $33,390 and should need little more than a spray-in bedliner and tow hitch to be ready for work. The volume Big Horn model is even more impressive. One step up from the Tradesman and starting at $40,090, the Big Horn models offer two-tone interiors, a smartphone-friendly 8.0-inch touchscreen, and more. Editors lauded our two Big Horn testers for their premium-feeling materials and high amount of content for the dollar.

Where Ram makes the biggest value argument is surprisingly in its two most expensive trims: the $52,685 1500 Laramie Longhorn and $55,285 Limited. These two luxe trucks simply blow the competition out of the water. They offer the tech that contractors and civilians alike require and expect, and quite a few luxury automakers could learn a thing from the way Ram matches colors, textures, and materials in these cabins. And it’s a bargain, considering our loaded Ram Limited tester stickered for $68,340, about the price of a comparable GMC Sierra Denali and less than an equivalent F-150 Limited.

Bringing Home the Gold

No segment is more competitive or more important to Detroit’s automakers and blue-collar American workers than half-ton pickups. These trucks are the face of their brands—purchased, driven, and loved by millions. They’re dependable commuters, tools, and toys that form the backbones of our families. With such a diverse skill set needed, it’s easy to just miss the target. But the Ram 1500 hits the bull’s-eye. No pickup in the segment better balances capability, efficiency, value, and quality. The Ram 1500 retains its old-school appeal while being refreshingly modern in style and substance. It’s refined and sophisticated without surrendering its dirty-fingernails roots. For that, the Ram is our 2019 Truck of the Year.

 

Read more at: https://www.motortrend.com/news/ram-1500-2019-truck-of-the-year/

FCA US Captures Motor Trend's 2019 SUV, Truck and Person of the Year Awards

  • Jeep® Wrangler is 2019 SUV of the Year®
  • Ram 1500 is 2019 Truck of the Year®
  • Sergio Marchionne honored posthumously with 2019 Person of the Year Award
  • Motor Trend “Of the Year” award honors vehicles that best represent design advancement, engineering excellence, safety, efficiency, value and performance of intended function

All-new 2019 Ram 1500 Captures Motor Trend’s 2019 Truck of the Year®

2019 Jeep® Wrangler Captures Motor Trend’s 2019 SUV of the Year®

 FCA US has landed Motor Trend’s 2019 SUV, Truck and Person of the Year awards. The editors of the automotive publication have named the Jeep® Wrangler as the 2019 SUV of the Year® and the Ram 1500 the 2019 Truck of the Year® — two of the most coveted automotive industry awards in extremely competitive segments. Former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is honored posthumously with Motor Trend’s 2019 Person of the Year.

Motor Trend’s “Of the Year” awards recognize the best vehicles representing exceptional value, superiority in their classes and impact on the automotive scene.

“The Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 are significant products at FCA; concurrently winning Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year titles is a proud accomplishment, and a testament to the capability and determination of our employees,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. “These awards help to acknowledge our team’s tireless efforts to ensure the new Wrangler and the new Ram 1500 stand out in their competitive segments.

“On behalf of all FCA employees, we also deeply appreciate Motor Trend’s recognition of Sergio Marchionne as Person of the Year. His legacy in the industry, and his lasting impact on FCA will be remembered forever.”

Motor Trend’s “Of the Year” program is open to any all-new or substantially upgraded 2019 model-year vehicles. Instead of being compared against one another, contending vehicles are first put through Motor Trend’s full battery of performance tests to evaluate virtually every aspect of each vehicle. All competitors are then evaluated on three separate courses at a professional automotive test center before finalists are selected.

“For 2019, the Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler blew away our Motor Trend editors and judges by not only delivering class-leading capability for work and play, but truly impressive levels of refinement, technology, style and comfort,” said Ed Loh, Motor Trend editor-in-chief. “Congratulations to FCA for delivering two real winners.

“Sergio was a special leader who salvaged troubled Chrysler and Fiat, saving thousands of jobs across the globe,” added Loh. “He was a man who did not do something unless he was convinced it would be successful. Sergio Marchionne got the work done and he left an indelible mark on the automotive industry.”

After weeks of testing conclude, the judges determine which vehicles will be given “Of the Year” titles. The winners are not chosen from a direct comparison against other finalists, but instead a result of how each contender measured against the award’s six criteria: design advancement, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value and performance of intended function.

A full report on Motor Trend’s comprehensive testing will be featured on MotorTrend.com and in the January 2019 issue of Motor Trend.

Person of the Year Award
Every year, Motor Trend also honors automotive leaders who deserve attention for setting rules or for breaking them, and who contribute to expansion of industry thinking. Former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has been named as Motor Trend’s 2019 Person of the Year, marking the third time he has been recognized for his leadership, contributions, and passion for the automotive industry and its people.

2019 Jeep Wrangler
Jeep Wrangler continues to deliver class-leading capability, and has been completely refined to offer consumers a vehicle truly built for work, play and for driving every day … on the road, on the trail and in any weather condition. The all-new Jeep Wrangler is loaded with advanced technology and connectivity, and boasts a remarkably comfortable interior, improved on-road driving dynamics, unique and authentic styling, new levels of safety and security features, and powertrain options that include the dependable 3.6-liter V-6 engine and an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that provides even more performance and fuel efficiency. Jeep Wrangler remains the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world.

2019 Ram 1500
The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is a no-compromise truck, leading in luxury, efficiency, capability and innovation. Ram leads the full-size truck segment with significant gains in fuel efficiency through an all-new eTorque mild hybrid system in both V-6 and V-8 configurations. Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds. The frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for 12,750 pounds of towing capability and 2,300 pounds of payload. The new Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the pickup world with technology, featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L. Active safety and security systems join the technology onslaught with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and Blind-spot Monitoring.

Read more at: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fca-us-captures-motor-trends-2019-suv-truck-and-person-of-the-year-awards-300755267.html

2019 Ram Promaster

Furnace inspection, extra insulation, lawn and garden cleanup – these are just some of the Fall winterizing tasks in full swing around the country. Busy contractors need tools they can count on to get the job done the first time, every time. And one tool they count on the most is their truck.

Ram Commercial vans and 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs are built to handle big payloads, tow heavy loads and efficiently adapt to each contractor’s specific needs with class-leading capability and a host of class-exclusive features. You’ve seen these hardworking trucks on the road all over town. Now, #TruckThursday kicks off a five-week video series focusing on the capability and features of this hardworking truck lineup, beginning with the 2019 Ram ProMaster.

 

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.

Ram 1500 Uconnect Screen Hits a Home Run ‘Double’

Just as home base is baseball’s ultimate winning destination, the unique Home button on the 2019 Ram 1500’s Uconnect touchscreen is the opening play to a road map full of helpful digital destinations.

Weather forecasts, directions, favorite tunes, driving comfort – the Uconnect Home button lets you program all your favorite apps for quick and easy access when you need them. What makes the Home button unique is a ‘double play option offering the chance to view two different apps simultaneously on the 12-inch display with new split-screen capability.

Brad Gieske, FCA Experience design manager, takes the Uconnect Home button for a spin to show how easily and quickly you can hit a home run with every trip you take in your all-new Ram 1500.

Next week, Gieske puts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two newly integrated Uconnect systems, through their paces. Don’t miss it!

2019 Ram 1500 First Look

Since its 2009 model-year launch, the current Ram has very gradually increased its share of the full-size truck market from 16 to 22 percent. Half-ton pickup buyers are fiercely loyal, and indeed no other manufacturer has seen fluctuations of more than a couple percent during that time, which suggests that Ram is growing by snagging first-time truck buyers. It makes sense that the truck with the most carlike ride might attract unbiased folks moving out of cars or crossovers, so for 2019 Ram is amping up the comfort, efficiency, and luxury of its 1500 models to keep those newcomers coming.

Headline upgrades include 48-volt mild hybridization, a claim to the longest and strongest chassis, and class-leading 0.357 Cd aerodynamics. Will this be enough to continue attracting new blood in the face of a recently refreshed 2018 Truck of the Year–winning Ford F-150, an anticipated all-new Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra duo expected in 2019, and a renewed Toyota Tundra arriving shortly thereafter?

Let’s start with what’s not new: the interior window switches, the pickup box floor stampings, and some fasteners. Although the gasoline powertrains mostly carry over, the Pentastar V-6 and Hemi V-8 engines both employ fancy new eTorque starter/generators that store deceleration energy in a 0.43-kW-hr battery pack. The energy is then fed back to the powertrain in such a way as to optimize fuel economy—like helping sustain a cruising speed without downshifting or reverting from four- to eight-cylinder mode. More than 40 shift maps allow the eight-speed transmission and the eTorque motors to cooperate to wring every possible mile from a gallon of gas. The V-6’s unit is water-cooled and contributes 12 hp and 90 lb-ft; the V-8’s is air-cooled and delivers 16 hp and 130 lb-ft. These motors start the engine in 0.55 second after an auto stop, and they’re used on initial starts except in cold conditions, when a conventional starter does the job.

Two more novel fuel-economy boosters: A heater/cooler for the rear differential oil in rear-drive trucks enables the use of lighter-weight lower-friction oil, and a pair of active mass dampers on the frame cancel vibration so the Hemi can lug a bit more in cylinder deactivation mode without anyone feeling it. The ultimate fuel-saver, an EcoDiesel V-6, arrives later in 2019 without eTorque mild hybridization (that same engine in the new Wrangler produces a Ford F-150 Power Stroke diesel-besting 260 hp and 442 lb-ft).

Let’s talk chassis: The entirely new, 98 percent high-strength-steel ladder frame features a taller, narrower boxed cross-section that improves bending strength. Octagonal-section front frame-rail extensions are mandrel-bent and welded into that shape from tailor-rolled sheet steel that varies from 3 to 2 mm thick going forward to ensure they crumple. These octo-rails splay outward to capture small-offset crash forces. Despite a 4-inch wheelbase stretch (to a claimed longest in class), the new frame dropped 100 pounds for a 17 percent weight savings. Max payload increases by 420 pounds to 2,300, and towing capacity increases from 10,650 to 12,700 pounds. (That beats Chevy, Nissan, and Toyota but falls short of Ford’s 3,270 and 13,200 ratings.)

Other chassis upgrades include a novel upper control arm made of reinforced nylon molded around a steel stamping. It doesn’t save weight, but it efficiently adds the strength needed to permit a 22-inch wheel option on 4×4 models. New frequency-response dampers from Hitachi—a Ram exclusive feature—greatly improve ride quality, especially on high-frequency chatter bumps. (Rebels still get off-road-optimized reservoir shocks.) New variable-rate rear coil springs help comfortably shoulder heavy loads without bottoming out.

Available off-road options include an electronic-locking rear differential and unique rear-axle-locating geometry to raise the coil-spring suspension’s ride height by an inch. This setup becomes standard on Rebel models, lowering the entry cost relative to the 2018 model with standard air ride. Upsizing the base wheel from 17 to 18 inches allows the front brakes to grow from 13.2 to 14.9 inches in diameter, which shaves a claimed 7 feet from the 60–0-mph stopping distance. (We’ve measured 122 to 138 feet.)

That claimed class-leading aero figure—a 9 percent improvement over the current generation—is due primarily to a new active front air dam that lowers 2.7 inch at speeds above 35 mph and rises again below 15 mph. It’s standard on all coil-sprung Rams except Rebels and those with the Off-Road package. Raising the sides of the bed by 1.3 inches and sculpting a vortex-generator into the center of the trailing edge of the roof to manage airflow over the truck helped considerably (and gave Ram the largest standard box capacity). The HFE fuel-economy-special model adds flatter, smoother wheels and air-damming running boards that span between the front and rear tires.

Another 100 pounds came out of the body, thanks to clever hydroforming of the front upper crash rails and tailgate surround structure and use of aluminum for the hood and tailgate (the latter saving 15 pounds). Speaking of the tailgate, it offers electric release, a tailgate-ajar warning, damped lowering from any height, and assist with lifting. Added content like this conspires to limit net weight reduction to about 130 pounds—not bad for a cab body that’s said to measure roughly 4 inches longer and a half inch wider and lower.

Ram is parting with a few storied design icons for 2019. Gone is the cross-hair grille, replaced by seven designs featuring a revised Ram wordmark in the center, most of which are offered in multiple finishes. The ram’s head logo, which dates to 1981, gets updated to a more angular look and now adorns the tailgate of all but the Rebel model, which retains the giant wordmark.

The low-fender/high-hood big-rig look is only hinted at now—the fender gets taller and narrower and the hood bulge widens. Oh, and those tacked-on fender flares that adorn over half of all Rams are tacked on more robustly to reduce car-wash warranty claims. And hallelujah! Ram has ditched the metal mast radio antenna most pickups still employ.

Six price classes plus HFE are now offered: Tradesman, Big Horn, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited. These are amply differentiated, thanks to three headlamp and taillamp designs, the aforementioned array of grilles, 15 wheel designs spanning 18-inch steel through 22-inch aluminum (all of which now attach with six bolts, up from five), and the choice of chrome, blackout, or body color for various trim pieces. Also new: Sport (body color trim) and Black appearance packages are available across nearly all of the lower price classes instead of occupying a single rung on the price ladder. Speaking of ladders, a motorized running board is now available.

New electrical architecture brings all the expected safety gear, including available adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot detection with trailer sensing, and 360-degree camera view. Parallel and perpendicular parking assistance is offered, but trailer-backing assistance is not. Ram expects to achieve best-in-class safety ratings.

Interior space, comfort, and noise levels will all take a big step forward in 2019, we’re assured. On crew cab models, the aforementioned 4-inch stretch amounts to an extra inch in the front and rear doors plus 2 inches behind the rear door. (The eTorque battery and a subwoofer reside behind the rear seat.) The rear floor is now completely flat and features four tie-down rings and in-floor stowage bins that are enlarged to fit the receiver drop hitch. The seat bottom flips up as before to facilitate carrying large items indoors. Beneath it is a 1.4-cubic-foot storage area (twice as big as before) that can now accommodate rifles or fishing rods. On upper trim models, the rear cushion can slide forward 3.1 inches, reclining the backrest 8 degrees in the process. The entire center third of the seat back folds down as an armrest and cupholders, forming both a more comfy armrest and a better third-passenger backrest.

All of the price classes look classier, with even the cloth or vinyl-lined Tradesman variants getting some contrast stitching and a 3.5-inch color driver-information screen in the cluster. These bench-seat models get a three-point center front seat belt for 2019. Big Horn models add the option of two-tone interior trim. Rebels get red anodized trim and other red accents, seats with inserts patterned after its new Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tire tread, and a larger 7.0-inch info screen in the cluster. Laramie leather seats get suede bolster inserts, and Longhorn models add filigree accents in the leather and wood trim.

The Limited trim is what happens when a company has no Imperial sedan with which to separate rich folks from big money. The wood veneers have argent stripes laminated in, and there’s all sorts of fancy embroidery. Leather covers the dash, console sides, and seat backs, and the navy blue and “frost” two-tone leather treatment would suit Aston Martin’s first pickup truck. These trucks reportedly offer more real wood, leather, and metal trim than any other. And between acoustic-laminated glass and active noise cancelation on all models, Ram claims this will be the market’s quietest truck. So much the better to enjoy the top 900-watt 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

A choice of three touchscreen infotainment systems is offered—two 8.4-inch versions (with and without navigation) and a fabulous 12-inch one that seems to split the difference between Volvo’s Sensus and Tesla’s Model S screens (see sidebar). Naturally there’s onboard Wi-Fi served up by a dedicated SIM card that comes with a 12-month “free trial” and five USB ports—four of which incorporate a forthcoming Type C format slot (FCA will be first to market with this) and three of which can contribute content to the Uconnect system.

The front console offers a smartphone/tablet docking slot with Qi wireless charging, and in the rear of the console there are two cupholders across which is a slot sized to hold a tablet at a comfortable viewing angle for rear-seat occupants. Cool. Similarly, the center console incorporates a hanging file folder area in the back with room for purses or laptops (which can be plugged into a 110-volt outlet—there’s another in the rear and one in the optional deeper cargo Ramboxes). There’s also a sliding lid with cupholders and a shallow stowage bin. Inside is an Easter egg image of the four generations of “big-rig” Ram trucks.

The steering wheel now telescopes as well as tilts, the pedals also still adjust for reach, and the front power seats now feature four-way headrests and four-way lumbar adjustment and can motor 0.8 inch lower to better accommodate 10-gallon hats.

As new truck launches go, this should be an exceptionally smooth one because Ram production is moving to the Sterling Heights plant recently vacated by the Chrysler 200. That’s allowed Ram to start production early and ramp it up gradually. Considerable overlap of the current-gen 2018 Ram is expected from the nearby Warren plant, so we can expect a rich mix of fancy 2019 Rams selling alongside lots of 2018 Tradesman models at the beginning. If Ram’s claims on the comfort, quiet, and efficiency front pan out, we’re bullish on Ram’s likelihood of continued market share growth.

Big-Screen Uconnect

Ram introduced 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment to the pickup world, and now it’s doubling down with a portrait-oriented 12.0-inch screen that works like two of the old screens, only brighter and sharper. How bright? 1,000 candela per square meter. Recent iPhones manage only 625 cd/m2. And at 1,280 by 800 pixels, it about matches the iPhone 8’s Retina HD display for resolution.

Not surprisingly, this tablet doppelganger functions much like a tablet, supporting pinch-to-zoom and the ability to move frequently used app buttons to the home row at the bottom. As in a Tesla, you can view the map, audio, or other content in full screen or opt to split the screen with any choice of content on the upper and lower halves of the screen.

Another cool feature is expanded SiriusXM functionality including On Demand content. This allows you to listen to archived shows or stream your favorite team’s game from a home-team station. You can also pause streaming content of any type and resume it on your smartphone or home system (where you can ask Alexa to resume it). Better still, your onboard cellular Wi-Fi link can seamlessly switch to the online stream if you drive into a tunnel or skyscraper jungle and lose the satellite stream. Uconnect gets exclusive access to this feature for a year.

Read more at: http://www.motortrend.com/cars/ram/1500/2019/2019-ram-1500-first-look-review/

 

100+ mph, off-road: 2017 Ram Rebel TRX concept pickup truck

First shown as a surprise launch at the Texas State Fair, the concept Ram 1500 Rebel TRX was powered by a 575 horsepower supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi, with 37 inch Toyo tires and six-piston calipers. It has side-exiting exhausts ahead of the rear tires, built into the rock rails; steel bumpers, skid plates, and “all the cooling you’d want.” It has two spares, and six-point harnesses to hold the driver and passengers in.

575 horses easily beats the Ford Raptor’s 450 horsepower. Why, people ask, is it “only” 575 hp, when the Challenger does 707 with the same engine? Our guess is two-fold: so you can still control the truck, and because it’s a 4×4, and the powertrain parts (particularly the front differential) can only take so much.

Jim Morrison said it could “handle the harshest terrains at speeds over 100 mph,” aided by a full 13 inches of suspension travel, at all four corners. To support all that suspension movement, they had to make the fenders six inches wider than those of a normal Rebel, resulting in an hourglass shape (as seen from above).

Why the Borg-Warner 44-45 transfer case? It doesn’t have an automatic mode, but it locks fully, which is better for durability off-road or in deep snow. It’s the same transfer case used by the Rebel and Outdoorsman.

The transmission is the “TorqueFlite Eight,” an eight-speed automatic, with paddle shifters. The 4×4 performance control system works with the BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case, with user-selectable normal, wet/snow, off-road, and Baja modes.

The front and rear axles have severe duty components, and the 13” wheel travel is over 40% more than the normal nine inches front, 9.25 inches rear. Adjustable front and rear bypass shocks are included.

The standard Ram 1500 front axle is used with an open differential and custom constant-velocit half-shafts to handle the wider track; spindles were moved forward to make room for the 37 inch tires.

The rear axle is a Dynatrac Pro 60, which uses a selectable electric locker to 35-spline, 1 1/2 inch axle shafts. The locker is available on all modes and “commits both rear wheels to traction at the same speed, spreads the torque load and maximizes the tractive effort (power put to the ground) in full-throttle maneuvers.”

The unique from grille was needed for extra airflow. Inside, it adds not only the six-point harnesses but leather/suede seats, carbon-fiber trim, and new materials and colors.

The frame is “virtually unchanged” from the standard one. The front suspension uses custom-built upper and lower A-arms with special attention to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. The goal was to have a smooth ride over smaller bumps, and when the bumps become mounds, to have high reaction speed and heat dissipation to avoid shocks while keeping full traction.

The Ram 1500 link coil rear suspension system shares its basic architecture with desert racing trucks; the frame’s hard points for the suspension were unchanged. The 2.5-inch bypass shocks use factory mounts, but performance rear coil springs were put into the factory-spec positions.

The factory hydraulic-boost compensation unit was kept but calipers were swapped out for Baer six-piston monoblock calipers with 15 inch rotors up front, 14 inch rotors in back.

High-speed off-road truck racing teams commonly use a 37-inch tire for its height and durability; hence the Rebel TRX’s 37 inch high tires, 13.5 inches wide, with a 10-ply design and custom Mopar beadlock wheels (which pinch the outside of the tire to the rim).

The two complete spare tire and wheel packages, with tools and jack in lockable storage in the bed, reflect the rigors of off-road racing.

The special grille was needed for air flow. A steel lower brush guard was needed for the “rock knock” test. To clear the Roots-style blower atop the HEMI engine, the Rebel TRX uses a hood based on the taller Ram Heavy Duty design.

The truck has bright LED clearance lighting, matching LEDs elsewhere in front and rear.

 

An open upper glove box with elastic straps holds a sturdy TRX-labeled bag with color matched tools. A camera mount is on the rear-view mirror. The Rebel TRX interior floor trades carpet for black rubberized coating. Black all-weather mats from Mopar reduce foot slip when foot-to-pedal placement is crucial.

Will it be made? It’s quite possibly a design study for a challenge to the Ford Raptor — so “maybe.” As we say in the following video, you can certainly see how they thought about production as they designed the concept.

Update: Will it be made? If not, why go out of their way to use (and point to use of) production parts and attachment points? Ram’s web site has this interesting disclaimer: “Concept vehicle shown. Vehicle specifications may change.”

It goes on to say, “With a 6.2L supercharged HEMI® V8 engine and sturdily built with an off-road suspension, the RAM 1500 Rebel® TRX will be the most powerful factory-engineered half-ton pickup.” At least one observer believes they would use the 392, though, and not the Hellcat.

A company named Prefix, which does Viper work, makes a similar-concept, Ram-based truck called the Minotaur. “Ramajama” pointed out that they use a Kore Tactical suspension with close to the same specs as the TRX, but with 35” tires rather than 37”; the Minotaur is even available with a 475-hp Hemi 392, with TRX-like side exhausts.

Read more at: Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/cars/concepts/ram/rebel-TRX.html