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Mega, indeed: Dodge launches an even bigger Ram

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WES RAYNAL
Published Date: 9/5/05
2006 DODGE RAM MEGA CAB 2WD
ON SALE: Now
BASE PRICE: $32,760
POWERTRAIN: 5.7-liter, 345-hp, 375-lb-ft V8; rwd, five-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 6179 lbs
0 TO 60 MPH: n/a
FUEL MILEAGE: (EPA COMBINED): 16 mpg

http://autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=103090

You say your Dodge Ram Quad Cab, all 20 feet of it, simply isn’t big enough? Help is on the way.

According to Dodge, the new Ram Mega Cab boasts a number of “bests,” or at least “biggests,” in its class: largest cab, most interior cargo volume, most cargo volume behind the rear seat, most second-row legroom... you get the idea.

Creating the Mega Cab doesn’t sound that difficult: Dodge took a Ram Quad Cab with an eight-foot bed, replaced that with a six-foot bed, and extended the cab roughly two feet. Voilà , the Mega Cab in all its 6000-plus pounds of glory.

That’s the how. What about the why? Officials say Dodge created the Mega Cab because four-door quad-cab pickups are gaining in popularity, accounting for nearly 40 percent of a 2.7-million unit truck market, up from 8 percent five years ago. Dodge felt it didn’t really have a true quad cab, more like an extended cab with four doors, and it wanted to take advantage of that increase.

The Mega Cab comes in 1500, 2500 and 3500 models, and all are built on the Ram Heavy Duty platform. Dodge’s 5.9-liter Cummins turbo­diesel (325 hp, 610 lb-ft) is available on the 2500 and standard on the 3500. The 5.7-liter Hemi (345 hp, 375 lb-ft) is standard on the 1500 and 2500.

Driving this beast is like driving most other huge pickups. You climb way up to the cab, and the ride is stiff but not overly so, just big, heavy-duty-truck stiff. Suspension is independent in front (coil springs and gas shocks) on two-wheel-drive models, live axle on 4wd models (4x4s start at $35,980), with a live axle in the back. Stopping power comes from four-wheel discs with four-wheel ABS. It is no rocket ship, but the Hemi is more than adequate, and the Cummins turbodiesel’s oodles of torque should be just the ticket next time you want to climb up the side of a building.

And there really is a ton of room inside, enough to seat seemingly dozens of people (six in reality, quite comfortably), with a limo-esque 44 inches of legroom in the back seat.

Do you want one? It’s a stretch (get it?) for everyday use. But if you have a boat to haul and want to take five friends to the lake with you in comfort, this could be your ride.
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