Ram updates its best-selling vehicle

All-new Ram 1500 bows in Detroit

Ram unveiled its new 1500 pickup truck Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit

The truck has been completely redesigned and will be available in three trim levels. The Laramie is the standard version while the Limited gets lots of luxury and technology upgrades. For those needing a more off-road capable truck, there’s the Rebel version with its beefy suspension, skid plates and extra tow hooks.

Powering the trucks are a 3.6-liter V6 good for 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, or a 5.7-liter V8 that generates 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.

Either engine can be paired with Ram’s eTorque mild hybrid system that uses energy that would have been lost to braking to provide a little extra boost when needed.

An upgraded diesel option will also be available later.

All that power needs to move a little less heft. The new truck weighs about 220 pounds less than the current version, thanks to more use of high-strength steel, aluminum in the hood and tailgate and composite materials in places where they are best used.

Aerodynamically, the truck is smoother, too. Ram managers say aerodynamics have been improved 9 percent over the previous generation, which helps contribute to fuel economy.

Storage is a big concern for the big truck. The bed of the truck is 10 percent larger, according to Ram managers, and there are 150 liters worth of cubbyholes throughout the cab of the truck. Ram’s cargo boxes in the rear fenders will return for 2019 as well.

Overall, the truck is half an inch wider and four inches longer. The cab is also four inches longer, contributing to more space for the rear passengers.

Inside, the truck can be had with a 12-inch center touchscreen, one of the largest in the industry, and available 900-watt Harman Kardon audio system. All the while, Ram managers say the cab of the new truck will be the quietest in the segment.

Other notable features in the truck include a 360-degree camera system to see all around the vehicle, and available headlights that can pivot up to 15 degrees to point in the direction of travel. 

Big trucks are a big business for Fiat-Chrysler America (FCA), Ram’s parent company. In 2017, the company sold a little more than half a million Ram pickup trucks.

By comparison, FCA’s second-best-selling vehicle was the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which sold a respectable 240,000 units, but was still fewer than half of the Ram trucks sold. The entire Dodge brand sold just under 447,000 vehicles for the same time period.

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