Category Archives: Ram

NAIAS 2018: Ram Unveils 2019 Ram 1500, Boasts Class Exclusive 12-inch Infotainment System

The pickup truck wars are entering a new battlefield with more automakers pushing to add green technology to vehicles that are already tasked with hauling big loads and offering optimum levels of passenger comfort. With the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford F-150 either being completely overhauled or updated, The 2018 Ram and its aging hardware were on the outside looking in. RAM aims to completely reverse this with the 2019 Ram 1500 and it appears that it has a fighting chance at completely shifting the sales race on its head.

The exterior styling is not as revolutionary as many predicted, but the more evolutionary position it embraces is still a good thing. For starters, the headlights are a welcome evolution of the current generation’s units with the big rig-esque motif still visually intact. The 2019 Ram 1500 will have two different headlight designs for buyers to choose from with lower trims getting standard halogen units that largely look similar to what we have now. Top tier Rams get all new LED lighting elements that are noticeably slimmer, but without losing the wideness that buyers love. The taillights are a tasteful evolution of the current units, and they certainly look great at least to our eyes.

The biggest change that many buyers will notice is the lack of a crosshair style front grille. The crosshair motif has been around in one shape or form since the middle half of the 1990’s with the look being the last remaining remnant of its past association with Dodge (who still uses the crosshair grille.) The new grille is emblazoned with the RAM nameplate, and while the look will certainly be popular with some buyers, we suspect Mopar and the aftermarket will have T-shaped grilles available for those that prefer to live in nostalgia. Another minor change is the elimination of the drop fender, which has been lifted upwards for this new iteration of Ram in an attempt to add more refinement to the truck.

In addition to these key changes, RAM engineers also put the truck on a major crash diet removing 225 lbs of flab from the Ram’s flanks. Strategic uses of aluminium also help contribute to the weight loss with the tailgate alone cutting 15 lbs, and the lighter frame cutting an additional 98 lbs. Despite the insertions of aluminium at select points, the 2019 Ram is not taking the plunge and following the F-150 into all aluminium bodywork for the immediate future. Look for this to please commercial buyers that want to save money in the event that their truck gets banged up on the job especially since aluminum requires specialized tools and training to service properly.

The interior of the 2019 Ram also sees its fair share of updates with engineers building upon the relatively upscale layout that was left by the previous generation 1500. The buttons and switch gear (a persistent weakness in many Chrysler offerings) have been replaced with more stylish units, while material quality overall has seen an enormous jump especially in higher grade RAM models. For instance in the Limited model we spent time in, designers added more metal trim, as well as better looking leather and wood accents. Storage solutions are also plentiful in the 2019 Ram 1500, with the typical assortment of nooks and crannies being augmented by new rear mounted Ram bins that can swallow up small items, and are hidden from view by special mats.

The trump card here though is the infotainment system. While lower grade models make do with 5 and 8.4 inch infotainment units, higher tier Rams utilize a massive 12 inch infotainment system, with inspiration clearly borrowed from Tesla. This monstrous screen is the biggest in the segment, and FCA claims that it also boasts higher resolution and sharper clarity than even the 8.4 which is an impressive piece of hardware in its own right. All three infotainment systems are complimented by bulky physical controls that were designed to be operated easily when occupants are wearing thick gloves. All three  also run FCA’s latest iteration of Uconnect which promises to be sharper and more precise with inputs.

Performance for the 2019 Ram 1500 will initially come from two very familiar engines with base models being powered by the venerable 3.6 liter V6. Output here remains identical to the outgoing model with 305 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 brings 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque to the festivities. While both of these engines may seem like shameless retreads of the same old story, RAM engineers uses both of them to introduce all new mild hybrid technology that adds a distinctive touch to them for 2019. Dubbed “e-Torque,” the system uses a 48 amp generator to help provide extra torque to the engine during acceleration. RAM claims that the system can send 90 extra lb-ft to the V6, while V8’s benefit from a 130 lb-ft boost. While RAM did not reveal any specifics regarding fuel economy, we suspect that there will be a small increase especially in city driving with the V6.

All of this power is rooted to either the rear or all four wheels through an eight speed automatic gearbox that has more than 40 shift maps pre-programmed into it, this allows the truck to be highly adaptable to its surroundings, however in a segment where 10-speed automatics have become the norm, having two less cogs in its transmission could place the ram at a slight disadvantage when compared to its peers.

That might not matter as much to the two off-road variants that will be available for buyers. While RAM is offering a separate 4×4 package that adds the essentials like skid plates and tow hooks, the bulk of the attention will be focused on the revamped Rebel variant. While we still prefer the look of the older Rebel versus its new successor, RAM engineers made it more capable with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires and a potent electronic locking differential. The Rebel also comes with standard coil spring suspension and a 1-inch lift from the factory. This is a notable change from the old Rebel which only offered the lift and standard Active Level air suspension when it was in production. Buyers that prefer the old setup can take solace knowing that it is still available as an optional extra on the current Rebel.

Pricing information has not been announced, but look for the 2019 Ram 1500 to not deviate too much from the old model with base models starting in the mid $20,000 range, with prices shooting all the way past $60,000 for a range topping Ram Limited. The first units are expected to arrive in dealerships later this year, with more information including final fuel economy and pricing information gradually being revealed closer to its official launch to dealerships

2019 Ram 1500

Spied: 2019 Ram 1500

It’s not too often we have a chance to encounter upcoming model, but that’s exactly what happened when we had the opprotunity to encounter this 2019 Ram 1500 quad cab tester in the wilds of Michigan.

Being an early stage mule, this particular tester does not shed a whole lot of light on the styling direction that the next generation Ram 1500 will embark on. However, a closer look does showcase glimpses of whats in store. For example the switch from the traditional 5-lug setup to an all new 6-lug arraignment for its wheels could suggest that the new Ram is gaining weight, and that in turn could lead to increased towing and payload capacities.

Extensive interior camoflauge thwarted our efforts to get a clear view of the IP and dashboard. But the appearance of a Chrysler Pacifica derived steering wheel, as well as a mysterious contraption on the front grille could indicate that some of the van’s technologies will carry over to the 2019 Ram 1500. These could include lane keep assist, collision detection software, as well as adaptive cruise control.

Performance hardware is unknown at this juncture, but look for the familiar 3.6 liter V6 and 3.0 liter diesel engine to make their respective returns. The 5.7 liter Hemi V8 however could be axed, and replaced with an all new engine that would embrace turbocharging. This would allow Ram to follow Ford’s lead in this area, while also improving fuel economy.

Look for the 2019 Ram 1500 to eventually make its debut either later this year, or early next year at a future auto show, most likely in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, or the Chicago Auto Show.


Rebel Black 4

Ram Goes To The Darkside With 1500 Rebel Black [Video]

With the Ram Rebel scorching its way through backwood trails and snowy roads, Ram has revealed a special edition model dubbed the Rebel Black.

As its moniker implies, the Rebel Black embraces black accents and includes black rims, brush guard, and an all black interior. This special edition truck is thankfully avalible rm017_070fn8l8bi9hs9g3fng8v9pjf254v67__midin the full color pallate which should please folks that love the standard model’s trademark red hue.

The all black interior features heated seats with “Rebel” embroidery andonized accents on the doors, center console and instrument cluster as well as Light Slate grey accent seat stitching in lieu of the standard Rebel’s red hued stitching. Black Katzkin leather thrones are avalible as a luxurious upgrade.

“Adding the Rebel Black package to an already aggressive off-road package will continue feeding the momentum Rebel is creating for the Ram Truck brand” revealed Mike Manley Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “The Ram Rebel is unique in the full-size truck segment with 33-inch off-road tires, air suspension, and custom interior details.”

Like the rest of the Rebel lineup, performance for the Rebel Black comes from either the base rm017_069fnumb206akgk1ftp5rkn6bk6rk8__mid3.6 liter Pentastar V6 or the optional 5.7 liter Hemi V8. The V6 model comes in 4×4 guise only, but V8 rigs can be had either as a 4×4 or a 4×2.

The Ram 1500 Rebel Black is scheduled to arrive in showrooms this March, with a base price of $45,590. This is before the $1,320 dedtination fee, but its still a reasonable price, especially for a truck that embraces the dark side. In the mean time, you can see it shred some powder in the video below.


GMC Unveils 2500 HD All Terrain X

The off-road pickup truck segment has seen a spike in growth recently with Ram unveiling the 2500 Power Wagon, the recently launched V6 powered Ford F-150 Raptor, and the iconic Jeep Wrangler. General Motors looks to take a slice of this potent sales pie for itself, and has unveiled the 2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD All Terrain X.

Following on the heels of the recently launched Canyon and Sierra 1500 All Terrain X, the beefy 2500 variant aims to go toe to toe with the Ram Power Wagon, and on paper it appears to have the goods to do just that. The exterior styling continues the all black motif 2500 HD All Terrain Xthat has defined GMC’s off-road models and includes the blacked out front grille surround, 18-inch aluminium wheels, as well as its black hued four-inch side steps. The truck also features a black sports bar that further emphasizes its rugged intentions.

The interior of this bruiser is also a clever mix of elegance and functionality and comes equipped with a heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals, rear view camera, and blacked out leather seats with front seat heat. Speaking of the seats, we are happy that GMC chose a more tasteful design for the thrones versus the decidedly more garish looking tire tread style cues that defines the Power Wagon’s seats. Rounding out this is GM’s eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features the latest iteration of IntelliLink.

Performance for the 2500 HD All Terrain X is shared with the standard 2500 4×4 model, and comes equipped with two different engine choices. The base engine is a 6.0 liter V8, but look for the majority of buyers to go with the 6.6 liter Duramax turbodiesel engine which 2500 HD All Terrain X fender shotbrings 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque to the festivities. The All Terrain package also includes meaty Goodyear Duratec off road tires, GM’s off road focused Z71 suspension, an Eaton locking differential, and package exclusive underbody shielding. This should allow the X to keep up with the Power Wagon on rugged backwoods trails, and please buyers looking for an alternative to the Ram.

GMC has not released formal pricing or launch details for the 2500 HD All Terrain X, but look for the truck to possibly make its debut either at the LA Auto Show or the North American International Auto Show in January.

Ram Updates Power Wagon For 2017

With the recent surge in sales that the Ram brand has experienced the past few years, the pickup truck oriented division of FCA has been undertaking a recent push to update its products, and has unveiled the latest iteration of the off road oriented Power Wagon for 2017.

While the truck still shares its underpinnings with the standard 2500 4×4, the 2017 model has received several new styling cues including a new front grille that shares its inspiration with the Ram Rebel as well as projector beam headlamps and LED running IMG_0448lights. The 2017 version also gets a healthy dose of retro themed touches that pay homage to its late 70’s ancestor. one of these is a vertical stripe that runs behind the cab, and is adorned with Power Wagon script. The stripe is available in either black or silver, and depends on the color that is chosen.

The 17-inch rims were also updated for 2017, and feature 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off road tires. The rear fascia meanwhile received new badging, and the prominent Ram and Power Wagon logos will make sure that the rig is not mistaken for anything else out on the road. Lastly new powder coating for the front and rear fascias helps protect them from errant rocks and branches.

The interior design of the Power Wagon has not changed that much from last year, but Ram representatives claim that it has been upgraded with better build quality and improved materials. The standard cloth seats feature the same tire tread inspired IMG_0449graphics package that first made its debut on the Rebel. I still think it’s an unnecessary gimmick, but the look does grow on you after seeing it a few times. A black headliner is also new for 2017, and the fore-mentioned graphics package can be added to the optional leather seats.

The 2017 Power Wagon gets its grunt from the carryover 6.4 liter Hemi V8 which brings 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque to its trail busting resume. A six speed automatic transmission is the sole choice available, and allows the Power Wagon to tow up to 10,030 lbs and haul 1,510 pounds of cargo.

Off road enthusiasts wondering whether the Power Wagon has somehow gotten soft will be pleased to hear that it still has the trail busting swagger and capability that have IMG_0446defined the nameplate for several decades. A beefed up suspension and a disconnecting sway bar helps improve axle articulation, while front and rear electronic locking differentials maintain optimal levels of grip. In the event that the Power Wagon somehow becomes stuck in the muck, the truck can pull itself (and rivals) out of trouble thanks to its standard 12,000 lb winch.

Look for the 2017 Power Wagon to go on sale later this year with pricing and other information being released closer to its official launch date. Overall the whole design (minus the over the top graphics package) is a notable improvement over its predecessor, which used a bit too much chrome and simply did not look purposeful enough when compared to established off road brutes like the F-150 Raptor.

Ram Reveals Ram Rebel Off Roader, Raptor Fighting Rebel Features Class Exclusive Air Suspension, Unique Styling Cues

Following the surprise unveiling of the 2017 Raptor yesterday, Ram has fired a salvo in response unveiling the 2016 Ram Rebel to a packed house at the 2015 North American International Auto Show.

The Rebel is built off of a Ram 1500 crew cab and as a result is only available in that configuration along with its five-foot seven inch bed. The front fascia of the Rebel ditches the traditional crosshair grille that is commonly found on other Ram models, and instead comes equipped with a single slat version that features an over-sized RAM logo on the front (a cue borrowed from the Raptor and its equally massive Ford Logo.) The Rebel also IMG_9173features a newly revamped blacked out front bumper that incorporates a powder coated skid plate, new LED fog lamps, and new tow hooks. Black bezeled projector beam headlamps are also part of the package and feature LED marker lights. Meanwhile an aggressively sculpted aluminium hood shaves weight while also adding a dollup of aggression to the Rebel’s distinctive lines. The rear of the Rebel features a model exclusive tail gate (complete with obnoxiously sized RAM logo) blacked out tail lamps, and a blacked out rear bumper that is nestled over a class exclusive dual exhaust system.

The interior of the Rebel also has been heavily revamped for off road duty and features model exclusive seats that are not only covered in high durability grade vinyl, but also IMG_9185come embossed with the tread pattern that also is present on the massive 33-inch Toyo all-terrain tires. During my brief time inside the Rebel, the seats did feel very comfortable and had an acceptable amount of support though the trucks substantial suspension lift did make entry and exit somewhat difficult. The black instrument panel is nicely contrasted by red and gray stitching while the center console has an appearance that resembles cast iron which is thanks to a special Iron Gray Metallic finish for the plastic.

Our lone gripe centers around the performance hardware for the Rebel. While the base 305 horsepower Pentastar V6 engine is an understandable addition that helps increase fuel economy as well as accessibility of the model, our crosshairs are centered around the optional 395 horsepower 5.7 liter V8. While this motor is very good at what it does, The Rebel was designed to be an alternative to the desert friendly Raptor, and as such it would have been neat to see the 5.7 nixed in lieu of the more potent 6.4 liter V8 that currently sees duty in its HD siblings. This engine would not only have helped the Rebel be closer to the Raptor in terms of muscle, but also allow the truck to better embody its rebellious theme. Musings about the engine selection aside, both the V6 and the V8 are hooked up to the familiar eight speed automatic transmission with buyers having the option of choosing either two or four wheel drive for their Rebel purchase.

Handling for the Rebel was also tweaked for off road duty, and in addition to the fore-mentioned Toyo Tires providing grip in the roughest of driving conditions, the Rebel also IMG_9178comes equipped with an air suspension system (something the Raptor does not have) which allows it to achieve a class exclusive 10.3 inches in overall ground clearance. This is very useful in navigating deep rivers as well as rough trails that have varying degrees of quality.

Look for the 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel to arrive on dealer lots later this year. While it is unclear how much of a premium the Rebel will charge versus a standard Ram 1500, look for that bit of information as well other details to emerge closer to the Rebel’s official launch. In the meantime you can check out more pictures of the Rebel in the gallery below.