A brand new Ram 1500 has been revealed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, looking to take on the freshly revealed 2019 Chevy Silverado and Ford’s best-selling F-150.
New modern style has arrived for the Ram 1500, dropping the famous crosshair grille that has been a staple of this truck for so long. Now, this style change is certainly the biggest change you’ll notice about the new Ram, but the changes here are much deeper than the skin.
Under the hood, Ram will still be offering a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 and a 3.6-liter V6, but both engines now incorporate eTorque, a 48V mild hybrid system that powers the stop/start system, can deliver more torque to the crankshaft for a short duration and can harvest energy from the brakes. Physically, eTorque is a belt-driven generator that replaces the traditional alternator on the engine, feeding a suitcase-sized air-cooled battery pack that is mounted to the rear wall inside the Ram’s cabin.
Power output for the V6 is rated at 305 hp at 6,400 rpm and 269 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm, with eTorque adding an additional 90 lb-ft of torque for launch off the line. In the V8, power is rated at 395 hp at 5,600 rpm and 410 lb-ft of torque at 3,950 rpm, with an extra 130 lb-ft of torque available off the line. Both engines can be had without the eTorque system, but only in basic trim levels and for fleet sales.
Both engines use variable valve timing to help save fuel, while the HEMI V8 also gets cylinder deactivation. A new 850-watt electric cooling fan that tailor’s the fan’s energy draw to the cooling demand has also been added, helping to keep load off the engine when it isn’t needed. As is the case today, both gas engines are still hooked to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
At this time, Ram hasn’t mentioned a diesel yet for the new truck, though the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel is likely to return in 2019.
Equipment and Specs
Maximum tow rating has been increased to 12,700 pounds, while 2,300 pounds of payload will be held in the bed of a properly configured truck.
Upgraded equipment on the truck includes new axles and a new transfer case. In the rear end, the Ram offers a 3.21, 3.55 and 3.92 axle ratio while the axles now use a six-lug hub. A new electronic locking differential is available on four-wheel drive trucks with any of the rear ends, while two-wheel drive trucks will need to get the 3.92 ratio to get the locker. As for the transfer cases, the truck offers two, either the BorgWarner 48-12 for part-time four-wheel drive operation or the 48-11 which has on-demand four-wheel drive.
In the back, a new aluminum tailgate features damping during opening but also a lift assist. The latch mechanism is now electronic as well, which means customers can drop the tailgate at the touch of a button.
A highlight of the 2019 Ram 1500 is a new Off-Road Package available on nearly every trim which adds a one-inch lift whether or not the truck has four-corner air suspension. Big 32-inch tires on 18- or 20-inch wheels are fitted, an electronic-locking rear differential is standard along with hill-descent control, unique shocks and special suspension tuning. Skid plates protect the transfer case, steering, engine, and gas tank, while rear-fender decals let the world know this is an off-road Ram.
If the Off-Road Package isn’t enough, you can opt for the 2019 Ram Rebel, which packs 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires straight from the factory. A one-inch lift is also present on the Rebel, which comes standard with coil spring suspension, leaving airbags as an option. New Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs are used on the new Rebel which now has more underbody protection, bigger tow hooks and hill-descent control.
Looking inside, Ram has overhauled the cabin of the 1500, though the changes feel evolutionary. First, overall length of crew cab models has been increased by four inches, making the interior of the new truck that much more spacious offering rear seat passengers 45.1 inches of legroom. The biggest and most visually striking change is the new 12-inch touchscreen stuck in the center console, offering Uconnect 4C, a 360-degree camera view of the truck and a new entertainment service from SiriusXM called 360L.
The Ram 1500 will be the first vehicle to debut with 360L, a service that makes smart recommendations and has thousands of hours of on-demand content. Best of all, all that music can be sent through the most powerful audio system ever available in a pickup, a 900-watt Harman Kardon with 19 speakers. Of course, these features will only be available on higher-trim trucks, while more basic Rams will be available with the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen and the small 5-inch screen.
A total of five USB ports can be found in the new center console, with two three-pronged 115-volt plugs can be found in the truck, one in the front and another in the rear. An additional 115-volt plug can be found in the RamBox storage space out back.
A true flat load floor has also been engineered into the back of the new 1500, a feature which up until now only Ford offered, and new RamBins offer in-floor storage, enough to fit a four-inch drop hitch.
The modernization of the Ram also includes plenty of new safety technology. First of all the Ram’s new frame was designed with energy absorption in mind, while frame-mounted high-strength steel tire blockers keep the wheels from protruding into the cabin in a partial overlap head-on crash.
Adaptive cruise control is now available on the Ram and is able to control the truck in stop-and-go traffic, the headlights are now adaptive and follow the steering of the truck and the brakes are now the biggest in the segment with the front stoppers measuring 14.9 inches. Other safety tech includes blind spot monitoring, an electronic parking brake, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, automatic parallel and perpendicular parking abilities, rear cross path detection, a tailgate ajar light in the dash and even more.
Backing it all is a five-year/60,000-mile Powertain Limited warranty, while a standard three-year 36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty covers the truck bumper-to-bumper.
The 2019 Ram 1500 will be built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) in Sterling Heights, Michigan.