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  1. Ram is putting serious thought into building a full-size SUV to take on the likes the Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition, and GMC Yukon XL. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne expressed his interest during a call announcing the third-quarter financial results. The large SUV segment is “the near-exclusive use of some others. We have a reasonable chance of getting at least part of that market,” said Marchionne. Marchionne explained that Ram begins to redesign its pickup lineup and add production, space for such a vehicle begins to open up. “I think we have a unique opportunity with renewal of the pickup line, with the powertrains we selected, to significantly increase output. We will also be exploring, as a result of that investment, some other segments.” Now there is a slight issue to this vehicle for Ram. Jeep is currently working on three-row SUV named the Grand Wagoneer that has been pushed back till 2019. Marchionne says the possible Ram SUV will not compete with the Grand Wagoneer as the latter model will take on the likes of the Range Rover. “I don’t think anybody who buys a large SUV is confusing it with a Range Rover,” said Marchionne. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  2. Ram announced pricing for two new members of the Ram 1500 today. First off is the Ram 1500 Rebel. Positioned as the brand's off-road special with off-road tires, a front skid plate, tow hooks, and blacked out bumper. The base 2WD Rebel starts at $43,985 - includes a $1,195 destination charge. The base model boasts the 5.7L HEMI V8 engine. Those who 4WD with their Rebel will need to fork over $45,915 for the 3.6L Pentastar V6 or $47,565 for the V8. Next is the Laramie Limited which boasts a number of luxury appointments such as 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum wheels and a handsome interior. Prices start at $51,870 for the base 2WD, HEMI V8 model. If you want the EcoDiesel, add $3,120 to the pricetag. Four-Wheel Drive will set you back $3,505 no matter which engine you choose. Source: Ram Trucks Press Release is on Page 2 Ram Truck Announces Pricing for 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel and Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Ram 1500 Rebel makes a statement with increased ride height, standard 33-inch tires, skid plates, tow hooks and unique interior starting at $42,790 Chrome accents, prominent badges, Argento wood and premium leather are key ingredients of new Ram 1500 Laramie Limited with a starting price of $50,675 June 9, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Ram 1500 continues to move forward with two mid-year 2015 offerings that carry into the 2016 model year – the Ram 1500 Rebel and Ram 1500 Laramie Limited. The Ram 1500 Rebel brings a one-of-a-kind, off-road design to the full-size truck segment. The Rebel drops right into a core segment of the truck market with unique design cues and mechanical innovation backed by Ram Truck engineering. Rebel features an all-new grille with a prominent billet silver “RAM” letter badge. Departing from the brand’s iconic “crosshair” designs, the blacked-out Rebel grille tops a completely new black off-road front bumper design with a durable powder-coated surface. It also incorporates a powder coated, billet silver skid plate, front tow hooks, 33-inch Toyo tires and an all-new 17-inch aluminum wheel. Inside, Rebel is every bit as brawny and rugged as it is outside. The truck features industry-exclusive seating elements finished in Radar Red and black with fabric inserts embossed with the Toyo tire tread pattern, matching the Rebel’s actual footprint. Standard heated front seats feature Light Diesel Gray accent stitching, Radar Red Ram’s head embroidery on the headrests and black with Light Diesel Gray Rebel nameplate embroidered on the upper seat bolsters. Ram Truck brand also has taken the Ram Laramie Limited – the benchmark in truck opulence – to an even higher level of sophistication and attention to detail. Featuring premium materials, such as all-black, full-leather seating, real wood interior components and unique badges, Limited is a “black-tie” luxury alternative to the popular southwestern-themed Laramie Longhorn edition pickup. The Limited’s all-new grille is the most prominent change of the exterior. As the leading point, its new billet port grille breaks from the long tradition of crosshair styling with bold “RAM” lettering. Additional chrome exterior accents and a chrome “RAM” tailgate logo distinguish the Limited model. Limited also features an all-new 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum wheel – unique in the truck market. Subtle stitching accents, pinstriping, unique materials and patterns are found throughout the interior. A new console bin houses a cellular phone and tablet holder, which can be concealed with a new tambour sliding door made from Black Argento wood, the chosen timber for the Limited interior. The collective silver pinstripe theme runs through the truck, including black premium Berber carpet inserts, which can easily be removed from the floor mats to reveal double-duty slush mats. Debuting on the Limited and Rebel models, is an all-black headliner and pillars combination. The Ram 1500 leads pickup truck fuel economy with the exclusive 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine delivering 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 29 miles per gallon (mpg). Ram Truck offers the best value in half-ton trucks with a starting price of $25,410, plus $1,195 destination, and includes a standard 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine. 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel and 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited pricing:1500 Rebel 4x2 Crew Cab 5.7-liter HEMI V-8: $42,790 1500 Rebel 4x4 Crew Cab 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6: $44,7201500 Rebel 4x4 Crew Cab 5.7-liter HEMI V-8: $46,370 1500 Laramie Limited 4x2 Crew Cab 5.7-liter HEMI V-8: $50,675 1500 Laramie Limited 4x2 Crew Cab 3.0-liter EcoDiesel: $53,7951500 Laramie Limited 4x4 Crew Cab 5.7-liter HEMI V-8: $54,180 1500 Laramie Limited 4x4 Crew Cab 3.0-liter EcoDiesel: $57,300 Prices do not include $1,195 destination
  3. Sergio Marchionne isn't the only person who is interested in doing a midsize truck for Ram. Speaking with The Detroit News, Jeep and Ram Trucks' CEO Mike Manley says he sees an opportunity. “I think there’s opportunity there in the U.S. if you look at what’s happened in the mid-size segment here – significant growth last year. I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there,” said Manley. One of the two offerings is the upcoming Jeep Wrangler pickup due next year. Manley said he doesn't believe there will be overlap in terms of buyers who want the Jeep or a possible Ram truck. Manley admitted that Ram could use a Fiat platform for a new midsize truck. A possible candidate for this is the new Fiat Toro pickup sold in South America, although it is quite small. The Toro is about 20 inches shorter than the Chevrolet Colorado. Source: The Detroit News
  4. With the midsize truck market on the rebound, FCA is considering whether or not to do a midsize for Ram. “We’re looking into it. I have a keen interest in getting it done. The big question is whether it should be body on frame,” said Marchionne to reporters at the Geneva Motor Show. Previously, Ram was considering doing a midsize truck on a unibody platform. But this idea was tossed out due to problems with getting decent fuel economy and pricing the model at an affordable point while still making a profit. Marchionne says the biggest hurdle for a Ram midsize truck is trying to make a business case for it. When Marchionne looks at GM's midsize trucks - Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon -, he assumes the profit margins are less than the full-size trucks due to pricing. Still, Marchionne believes there is a place for a midsize truck. “I think it’s a good place to be. Ram needs to expand its lineup.” Source: Motor Trend
  5. The Ram Power Wagon is one of the most capable off-road trucks on the market today. For 2017, RAM has redesigned the Power Wagon. The Ram gains the Ram 1500 Rebel grille, enlarging it for 2500 use. Six colors will be available along with additional custom colors and graphics. Inside, the seats get a tire tread pattern that matches the tread pattern of the 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires. But what matters most on the Power Wagon is the hardware you can't see. Motive power comes from a standard 6.4 liter Hemi V8 with 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, that allows the Power Wagon to tow 10,030 lbs. The front suspension has Ram's Articulink system that has high movement joints and sway-bar disconnect that allows for extra axle movement during crawling maneuvers. For those who want the Power Wagon without all of the flashy graphics and paint, a Power Wagon Tradesman will be available in more subdued colors and with the standard Ram cross-hair grille, but with all of the same hardware under the covers. You can get the rest of the details on the hardware aspects of the Power Wagon on Page 2. New 2017 Ram Power Wagon – The Ultimate Off-road Truck Benefits From New Design New 2017 Ram Power Wagon front grille design styling super-sizes Ram 1500 Rebel Tops Ram – “The Off-road Truck Leader” – 4x4 lineup New colors, lighting, wheels, grilles and legacy graphic takes cues from 1979-80 “Macho Power Wagon” New interior colors and materials, including Diesel Gray and Black seats with tire tread-matching pattern Unique 17-inch wheels and 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires pull dirt from its comfort zone Standard 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with best-in-class 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque features unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/60,000 miles Unique Ram “Articulink” front suspension system incorporates high movement joints and sway-bar disconnecting system, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation Ram engineering continues to lead heavy-duty segment innovation with five-link coil rear suspension to deliver best-in-class ride and superior axle control Ram Power Wagon features standard front and rear electronic-locking differentials for true four-wheel drive and maximum traction Standard Warn 12,000-lb. electric winch mounted behind the front bumper, able to hang competitors off the ground Power Wagon available in Tradesman trim and design Up to 10,030 pounds of towing capacity Introduced in 1945, Power Wagon was first mass-production 4x4 pickup — simply no other pickup on the market matches Power Wagon’s on- and off-road capability February 11, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram Truck continues to build the best pickups. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel delivers the industry’s best fuel economy at 29 miles per gallon (mpg). Ram’s Heavy Duty truck line owns best-in-class towing at 31,210 pounds and best-in-class torque at 900 lb.-ft., but Ram Truck has held one title longer than any production pickup: the most off-road-capable. Engineered to conquer the great outdoors, the 2017 Ram Power Wagon receives all-new exterior and interior design elements to match its aggressive behavior and off-road biased lifestyle. For 2017, Power Wagon will top a lineup of off-road trucks that includes Rebel and the 4x4 Off-road Package and will support the Ram brand’s claim to being the off-road truck leader. Based on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab, the Power Wagon features a number of off-road-specific enhancements, including a unique suspension with more than two inches of lift, locking differentials and a 12,000-lb. winch, giving this beast a significant advantage over all production pickups. “The Ram Power Wagon is an off-road, all-access pass, removing the limitations, instilling confidence and allowing owners to reach areas of recreation and lifestyle not attainable with any other pickup,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA - Global. “The 2017 Ram Power Wagon delivers to those who travel into extreme terrain, while providing the towing and payload capability required in a heavy-duty truck.” The 2017 Ram Power Wagon engineering efforts include a best-in-class 410 horsepower, 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 engine. “Dating back to 1945, the Ram Power Wagon’s heritage holds a distinctive position in the Ram Truck lineup as an example of engineering innovation and off-road capability,” said Rob Wichman, Director – Ram Truck Engineering. “For 2017, the Power Wagon’s best-in-class, can-do toughness is matched by can’t-stop-me looks.” The Power Wagon nameplate was initially produced from 1945 through 1980. Early trucks were based on the Weapons Carrier (WC) series of Dodge ¾-ton military-use trucks built during World War II. The Power Wagon went on to become a well-known civilian vehicle. The iconic truck was reintroduced in 2005 and now exists as an independent model in the Ram Truck lineup. Exterior Design The 2017 Ram Power Wagon backs up its “ultimate off-road truck” claim with a new exterior design that leaves little doubt as to its capabilities. Similar to the Ram 1500 Rebel, the new Power Wagon has an all-new grille with a prominent Billet Silver “RAM” letter badge. The larger blacked-out grille is bookended by Black bezel bi-functional projector headlamps with LED marker lights. The vent-stamped hood also includes a Gloss Black graphic, which occupies mid-hood to the windshield. Truck color dictates the Power Wagon’s graphic features. While the optional two-tone, lower Black paint is carryover, the design team pulled a popular graphic from the late 1970s for the profile. The 2017 model receives a thick vertical stripe aft of the cab with “Power Wagon” in a large rotated font, paying tribute to an admired design from 36 years ago and providing quick identification of the Power Wagon model. The optional graphics come in two slightly different color variations, depending on vehicle paint. Bright White, Flame Red, Bright Silver, Blue Streak and Granite Crystal receive Gloss Black graphics, where Black Power Wagon’s are covered in Bright Silver graphics. Front and rear bumpers receive a healthy dose of powder coating. The bold front bumper effectively hides a Warn 12,000-lb. winch, roller fairlead and 125 feet of line with nothing visible except a single heavy gauge steel cable and dozer-size hook that attaches to one of the two massive front tow hooks. All-new and unique to Power Wagon, the 17-inch forged, multi-surface aluminum wheels with Silver outer and Matte Black inner are bound in 33-inch tires and feature exposed lug nuts with a small center cap. The blacked-out theme continues on the flanks, where wheel-arch moldings, badges, mirrors and lower body panels create a distinctive appearance. Continuing around to the rearview is a 324-point bold original font “RAM”-stamped tailgate with blacked-out lettering. The Power Wagon Gloss Black graphics meld with the Black powder-coated rear bumper and Black bezel tail lamp housings. A black “Power Wagon” decal crosses the bottom of the tailgate. The 2017 Power Wagon includes an optional backup camera in the tailgate, providing a better field of vision when maneuvering. Also optional is Ram’s exclusive cargo-view camera. This unique view allows owners to monitor bed loads without turning around. A touch screen toggles your choice on the Uconnect 8.4, alternating the view from tailgate to truck bed. Additionally, a new optional tri-fold tonneau cover is embossed with the Ram logo. The Power Wagon also is available as a Tradesman Crew Cab 4x4 model. Although this option does not include the same interior and exterior design elements, it does include the same unique off-road equipment, including the winch, lockers, larger tires, electronic disconnecting sway bar, suspension and under-body armor. Monotone paint covers this package. The grille-surround and inserts are from the Tradesman model and are colored Black as are the headlamp filler panels and wheel flares. Interior Design The new Power Wagon is available in a choice of two interiors and offers a uniquely designed cabin that focuses on function with flair. Major upgrades to touch points and wrapped and stitched surfaces are evident from the previous year. The Power Wagon’s interior has been upgraded with unique technical grain seats finished in Diesel Gray and Black with Sedoso fabric inserts embossed with the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tire tread pattern, matching the Power Wagon’s actual footprint. Front seats with heated option feature Light Slate Gray accent stitching and Ram logo embroidery on the headrests and Black with Light Diesel Gray Power Wagon nameplate affixed to the upper seat bolsters. A premium trim option steps up to leather seats with Power Wagon and Ram logos tastefully embroidered on the bolsters and Ram logos on the sides of the headrests. Matching Slate Gray stitching gives the material connection points a clean, detailed appearance. Ambient lighting brightens overhead, door panels and foot wells to complete the upscale atmosphere. Both trims share an all-Black instrument panel, door armrests and 20 percent seat console armrest cover, which are accented in Light Slate Gray stitching. The 7-inch center cluster uses “Power Wagon” startup graphics, which complement the 8.4-inch Uconnect backdrop screen featuring an off-road theme. The center stack and doors are finished in Iron Gray Metallic paint, giving a cast-iron appearance and adding industrial color of a serious nature to the interior. Satin Chrome vent rings outline air output points and the cluster. The steering wheel is wrapped with semi-perforated Black leather with an available heat feature, accented with Slate Gray X-stitches, and the upper glove box door and cluster are finished with a Power Wagon nameplate badge. On the floor, “deep dish” all-weather rubber mats with contrasting Diesel Gray Ram’s head logo help contain dirt, snow and debris. Overhead, a new Black headliner and matching upper pillars finish out the alterations of the 2017 Power Wagon interior. Powertrain Undeniable numbers tell the best-in-class story of the standard 6.4-liter HEMI 16-valve V-8 engine: 410 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•m) at 4,000 rpm. The engine calibration is unique to Power Wagon to enhance its off-road maneuverability and finesse. When driving in four-wheel-drive "Low," the throttle response softens and the idle speed increases by 100 rpm (from 650 to 750 rpm) – providing added control when ascending and descending off-road obstacles at slow speeds. The legendary HEMI architecture provides the foundation of the 90-degree V-8 engine. But its advanced technology is decidedly forward-looking. Cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) delivers greater efficiency and elevated refinement. These attributes are manifested in reduced pumping losses and lower emissions. Pumping losses are further reduced by variable-valve timing (VVT). Efficiency is a hallmark of the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, starting with the company’s Fuel Saver cylinder-deactivation technology. When conditions allow, as in highway cruising, the system seamlessly shuts down four cylinders to conserve fuel. The engine features an active dual-runner-length intake manifold optimized specifically for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup. The result is improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-end power. Efficiency is further reflected in a revised positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system, which is integrated in the intake manifold. The resulting benefit is improved oil efficiency. Heat is the enemy of durability. But the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 includes such features as: Robust/high-volume oil cooler Oil jets for piston cooling Aircraft grade, stainless steel gaskets and fasteners for improved durability at high temperatures In addition, computational fluid dynamics was employed to optimize the cooling circuit in the block, heads and water pump. With upgraded valve-seat material to fight wear, and anchored by a cast-iron block, aluminum cylinder heads and forged-steel crankshaft, it is little wonder the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 boasts a five-year / 60,000-mile warranty. The 6.4-liter HEMI is offered with the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission and connects to a part-time, manual-engagement Borg Warner BW 44-47 transfer case. Hill-descent Control allows drivers to control Power Wagon’s speed down steep, rugged grades with the buttons on the column shifter – without the need for throttle or brake pedals. The Power Wagon’s axles are the pinnacle of durability. Built by American Axle Manufacturing, the units measure 9.25 inches in the front and 11.5 inches in the rear (an increase from 10.5 inches), delivering power via a 4.10:1 ring and pinion ratio. Robust rear axle shafts are upgraded to 38 mm, providing rotating force directly to the 33-inch tire/wheel combination. Both axles include electronic-locking differentials driven by electro-magnetic actuators. All Ram Heavy Duty trucks incorporate a segment-exclusive, front-axle disconnect system. When conditions warrant, front drivetrain components are disconnected to reduce parasitic loss and improve overall efficiency. The system provides a gain in fuel efficiency of up to 1 mpg. Additional axle data: FRONT REAR 9.25 AAM 11.5 AAM Front pinion: 98.3 mm Rear pinion: 121.3 mm Front ring gear: 235 mm (9.25 inches) Rear ring gear: 292 mm (11.5 inches) Front axle shaft diameter: 35 mm Rear axle shaft diameter: 38 mm Crawl ratio - 3.23 (1st gear ratio) * 2.64 (transfer case ratio) * 4.10 (axle ratio) = 35:1 Suspension The 2017 Ram Power Wagon features a specifically designed suspension system, including Bilstein shocks, modified control arms, spring rates and more than two inches of lift. In the front, the entire Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness reduces body roll or lean, and is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck’s body tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering. The Ram Power Wagon packages a unique-to-model design of the standard three-link suspension system with Bilstein monotube shocks. The Ram Articulink design incorporates high movement joints at the control-arm-to-axle mount, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation. Additional suspension flex is achieved via the class-exclusive electronic disconnecting sway bar, which allows the front axle to move more independently of the truck’s frame. The driver-actuated "Smart Bar" disengagement is possible in both four-wheel-drive "High" or four-wheel-drive "Low" at speeds below 18 miles per hour (mph). As a safety feature, the Smart Bar automatically re-engages at speeds above 18 mph, increasing roll stiffness. Heavy Duty trucks generally have a rear suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This usually leads to a harsher ride when unloaded. Ram innovation leads again. All Ram 2500 Heavy Duty trucks, including the Power Wagon, use a segment-exclusive five-link coil rear suspension system for best-in-class ride and handling. The exclusive five-link coil design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system and the robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling heavy payloads. Although the 2017 Ram Power Wagon is loaded with off-road components, owners will appreciate a payload of up to 1,510 pounds and a towing capacity of up to 10,030 pounds. The five-link coil design provides support at all major points of force. Leaf spring suspensions struggle to combat axle wrap by using staggered shock absorbers (one mounted on the front of the axle tube and one mounted on the rear of the axle tube). The superior design of the five-link coil system functionally resists unwanted axle rotation. Leaf spring configurations also lack lateral support, forcing the leaf ends and shackles to hold against lateral loads — a task they're not particularly good at and one reason the competitive leaf-sprung rear suspensions shutter on rough surfaces. Because of the unique five-link axle control and natural rotation, U-joints in the driveshaft run smoothly and with less vibration through the suspension’s range of motion, an advantage not shared with leaf springs. Another benefit of coil springs is less unsprung mass and elimination of stick-slip friction found between the leaf springs. Additionally, links are engineered in-line with frame rails, so overall packaging is better, not to mention an overall weight reduction of more than 40 pounds when compared to a leaf-spring configuration. The rear suspension also includes Bilstein monotube shocks, and a Bilstein dampener links the top of the rear axle to the frame, providing additional control – bringing the Ram Power Wagon far beyond what competitors offer for axle control. The 2017 Ram Power Wagon's combined axle and suspension package adds to greater suspension articulation, a determining factor when negotiating extreme obstacles. With Smart Bar engaged, the Ram Power Wagon reaches a Ramp Travel Index (RTI - a measurement of a vehicle's suspension articulation) of 510 (26 inches of travel). Ground Clearance and Protection Power Wagon provides optimal balance between on-road civility and off-road capability with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, which feature a beefy tread pattern to help grab ledges along the trail and deliver optimum traction through sand, mud and snow — a workhorse tire for rugged off-road terrain that still offers a quieter ride on paved roads. Larger tires and a suspension lift contribute to the Power Wagon’s 14.3-inch ground clearance, compared to 12 inches on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty. The truck’s approach angle is boosted to 33.6 degrees, the departure angle is increased to 26.2 degrees and the breakover angle is enhanced to 23.5 degrees. This gives the Ram Power Wagon significant clearance for navigating a variety of severe inclines and declines, as well as providing up to 30 inches of water-fording capability. Underneath the 2017 Ram Power Wagon are generous underbody protection components. Fore-aft bars bring together the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, resulting in armor that minimizes underside damage and rock wedging. Frame Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature frames built with high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Chassis controls on the Ram Heavy Duty models ensure outstanding noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measurements and ride-and-handling characteristics. A large plated-structure interface to the frame brings a lengthened weld surface creating a stiff, robust front section. The design ensures optimum mass efficiency with no need for reinforcements to deliver strength, despite shape complexity. Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and offers a factory-installed rear axle cross-member. Steering The hydraulic steering system features recirculating ball steering gear, which delivers precise on-center feel, despite the vehicles immense towing and payload capacities. Brakes Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all 2017 Ram Heavy Duty Truck models. Front rotors measure 14.17 inches (373 mm) in diameter and are clamped with dual-piston calipers; rear rotors are 14.09 inches (356 mm) also use dual-piston calipers. All Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature standard four-channel electronic stability control (ESC). Body The Ram Heavy Duty is equipped with robust engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at the C-pillar positions for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics, despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing. The Power Wagon features a standard Class 5 receiver hitch with four- and seven-pin connectors on the bumper. A tailgate handle-mounted, high-definition rear backup camera system is available with dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, an optional cargo-view camera located in the center high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for monitoring payload. Electrical As the Ram Truck Brand continues to offer more featured content, it’s created the need for a technology that allows more information to be electronically communicated within the truck. The Powernet electrical architecture system allows both high and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers. Within the Powernet high-speed network, each module (e.g., electronic stability control) processes its individual data and transmits the appropriate commands within the vehicle to activate any additional systems (e.g. anti-lock brake system and cruise control). A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system and certain fleet customers require access to vehicle information to even be considered, especially ambulance packages and some utility companies. A best-in-class vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules. The VSIM upfitter interface module features a total of 53 circuits, including lighting controls, door position, and throttle and transmission position. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug and play connectivity for upfitter friendliness. The 2017 Ram Heavy Duty is equipped with intelligent battery sensor technology, which continually measures the flow of current in and out of the battery. The system is an enabler for intelligent load shedding, systematically shutting off select electrical systems onboard the vehicle when the battery is running low, to help prevent further depleting the battery. The new Power Wagon offers a dual-alternator system – the first of its kind for 3/4- and 1-ton pickup trucks with gas powertrains – combining 220- and 160-amp units for 380-amps of total best-in-class output. Additional features Ram Power Wagon customers can enjoy the convenience of power folding mirrors and power rear-sliding window with defrost. Also, one-touch, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage lids. Spray-in bedliner, LED bedlighting, front and rear park-assist system, power-adjustable pedals and remote start also are available, adding to a truckload of content. Total cost of ownership and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty The 2017 Ram Power Wagon is backed with a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard three-year/36,000-mile basic limited warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Power Wagon, from the body to the electrical system. Manufacturing The 2017 Ram Power Wagon is built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico and will be available in the fourth quarter of 2016. Power Wagon history – America’s first mass-produced civilian 4x4 truck After World War II, G.I.s returning home wrote to Dodge and asked, "Where can we get a truck like the ones we used in the war?" Dodge responded by building the Power Wagon. Virtually unchanged from its introduction in 1945, Power Wagons first appeared on the civilian market in 1946 as the model WDX. The truck was similar in design to the ¾-ton military weapons carrier, with a 126-inch wheelbase and closed cab. The model designations changed over the years, but the Power Wagon was offered only as a 1-ton truck through 1968. The original Power Wagon featured a 230 cubic-inch flathead six engine, a two-speed transfer case, a four-speed transmission with a power take-off opening, which would send power to the front and back of the truck for operating auxiliary equipment and big 9.00/16-8 ply tires on 16x6-inch five-stud wheels. The 1-ton rated Power Wagon's maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) was 8,700 pounds. Its maximum payload was 3,000 pounds. A pickup box was designed that measured 8 x 4.5 feet. Dodge factory-built this four-wheel drive truck over a year-and-a-half before the Willys 4T and 10 years before other manufacturers began producing 4x4 trucks, making it the first mass-produced civilian 4x4 truck. The 1947 WDX featured such amenities as electric wipers, a single driver's sun visor and armrest, dome light, a heater and 10,000-lb. winch. In 1957, Dodge introduced another line of four-wheel-drive trucks, also known as Power Wagons, with the model designations W100, W200, W300 and W500. More conventional in styling, these Power Wagons were available with different engines, including V-8s. The body transitioned in 1972 through 1980 with a number of identifiable grilles and paint schemes. Utility and function was not challenged by the few competitors in the segment, as the towing, payload, and snow plowing capacity of the Power Wagon equipped with "Dana 60" eight-lug axles was the “King of Durability.” After the 1980 model year, the Power Wagon went out of production with the introduction of the Dodge Ram, with the four-wheel-drive models being sold under the "Power Ram" nameplate through 1993. The Power Wagon nameplate was reintroduced in 2005, where it continues to hold the top spot in pickup truck off-road capability.
  6. One of the more notable segments that has been seeing massive growth is the compact commercial van. What used to be a place where the Ford Transit Connect and Ram C/V Tradesman (AKA Dodge Caravan Cargo Van), has now become a battleground. There's the new Ford Transit Connect, the Nissan NV200/Chevrolet City Express twins, and now the 2015 Ram ProMaster City. The ProMaster City is the Fiat Doblo wearing some new clothes. The front end wears a large Ram grille and restyled headlights. Otherwise, the ProMaster City and Fiat Doblo are the same from the A-Pillar and back. Ram will offer the ProMaster City in one wheelbase (122.4 inches) and two different configurations; the Tradesman cargo van and five-passenger passenger wagon. Power comes from the 2.4L TigerShark four-cylinder paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Output sits at 178 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Ram says with this powertrain, the ProMaster City has a best-in-class payload rating of 1,883 pounds. The ProMaster City cargo van boasts 131.7 cubic feet of cargo volume, which spans 60.4-inches wide and 87.2-inches deep. Both vans feature 60/40-split cargo doors in the rear and sliding doors on the side. Ram hasn't revealed pricing or fuel economy numbers at this time. We'll likely have that information sometime later this year when the ProMaster City goes on sale. Source: Ram Press Release is on Page 2 Ram Truck Continues Building a Commercial Presence with New 2015 Ram ProMaster City, Offering Best-in-class Specs Where They Count 2015 Ram ProMaster City aggressively competes in the compact Class 1 van segment with a focus on commercial customer needs and total cost of ownership Available in cargo and passenger wagon configurations, new ProMaster City creates opportunity for Ram product line expansion and increased commercial market share The new 2015 Ram ProMaster City is developed from the successful Fiat Doblò and features exceptional cargo capability and durability Ram ProMaster City best-in-class features: Combined fuel economy 178 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque Payload – 1,883 pounds Cargo volume – 131.7 cubic feet Cargo width and length – 60.4 inches and 87.2 inches Distance between wheel wells – 48.4 inches Wheelbase – 122.4 inches 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 engine, featuring MultiAir2 valve-actuation technology World’s first commercial-van application of nine-speed automatic transmission Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles Available in two-seat Tradesman cargo van and five-seat passenger Wagon configurations, new Ram ProMaster City offers modern styling and professional appeal in a small, capable package Ram ProMaster City offers more than 30 safety and security features, including seven available air bags and electronic stability control technologies Ram Truck continues to work with Fiat Professional to develop new product lines in North America June 26, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is Ram’s newest addition to its commercial vehicle lineup, and contributes to the expanding, purpose-built, van segment with a number of best-in-class, functional elements tied directly to commercial customer demand. The new Class 1 entry opens a door for incremental growth of Ram’s brand sales volumes. Joining the larger and highly capable Ram ProMaster and popular Ram C/V as a Class 1 van offering, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City will compete with compact commercial and passenger vans with best-in-class attributes in the areas that count: payload capacity, cargo area, performance and fuel economy. “As businesses strive for lower costs, the demand for a smaller, more efficient van has increased and Ram Commercial is answering the bell with the all-new ProMaster City,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Years ago, the selection of delivery and cargo vehicles was limited and those offerings didn’t focus on cost of ownership. Today all of that has changed with the recent introduction of the full-size Ram ProMaster, and the now the Ram ProMaster City.” Ram Truck is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, backed by more than 110 years of experience. That knowledge has helped Ram Truck enter new segments and expand its product line. Based on the successful Fiat Doblò, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold, the Ram ProMaster City will incorporate familiar Ram Truck design elements and offer features, systems and powertrains preferred by North American customers. The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is the brand’s second shared collaboration with Fiat Professional. The 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size van was the first. Engineered for the North American market Whether the job is delivering packages, organizing and hauling the tools of a professional tradesman or carting the band’s gear to the next gig, the all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City van is designed and engineered to tackle big jobs with best-in-class cargo area, payload capacity and standard fuel economy. It does so while delivering versatile functionality, durability and superior ride and handling. The 2015 Ram ProMaster City shares its basic design with the highly successful, two-time International Van of the Year Fiat Doblò, which is sold around the world. Now in its third generation, the Fiat Doblò is the preferred workhorse for business and commercial uses, a status gained via its ideal size for crowded urban environments and a host of thoughtful and innovative features. Starting with a winning template, Ram Truck engineers subjected the front-wheel-drive van to the full spectrum of severe-duty use expected of commercial vehicles in North America. The lessons from millions of combined development miles make the 2015 Ram ProMaster City more robust, durable, functional, comfortable and cost effective for any use. The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be offered in two-seat Tradesman cargo van and five-seat passenger Wagon configurations. Unibody design: rugged and weight smart The foundation of the 2015 Ram ProMaster City is a steel unibody design. The unibody architecture helps minimize curb weight, a key contributor to the ProMaster City’s best-in-class payload capability of 1,883 pounds. A best-in-class wheelbase of 122.4 inches offers impressive ride and handling while creating the space needed for the largest cargo area in the segment. Suspension The Ram ProMaster City’s front axle uses a proven, durable and compact MacPherson strut suspension, tuned for rougher North American roads and class-leading payload capacity. In a departure from standard practice in the Class 1 van category of using rear leaf springs, the Ram ProMaster City upgrades to an independent, coil-sprung bi-link rear suspension. The ProMaster City’s rear suspension incorporates a category-unique independent bi-link configuration that increases driving comfort, enhances stability, and ensures maximum safety characteristics in all load situations. Front-wheel drive The Ram ProMaster City uses a front-wheel-drive layout that provides several benefits: Fewer mechanical parts, resulting in less weight, lower maintenance costs (in large part because there’s no rear differential), enhanced mechanical efficiencies and enhanced fuel efficiency Optimal cab and cargo compartment space, attributable to the absence of a transmission/prop shaft tunnel – a key enabler to achieving a flat floor in the cargo compartment area More predictable handling in emergency maneuvers (reduced over- and under-steer characteristics) Enhanced traction in rain, mud and snow, a result of the engine weight being situated over the drive wheels Greater payload capacity due to lighter overall vehicle weight Dimensions The Ram ProMaster City is thoughtfully designed with working people in mind. The hard-working credentials start with a 48.4-inch span between the rear wheel wells, the widest in the class. Construction tradesmen know that 48 inches is a common dimension for building materials and loaded pallets – yet those materials rarely measure exactly 48 inches. The width between the ProMaster City’s wheel wells provides an extra margin of capacity so that building materials and pallets can be loaded quickly and easily, without concern over whether the load fits. Above the wheel wells, the ProMaster City’s nearly vertical side panels give it a best-in-class width of 60.4 inches. Combined with an interior roof height of 51.8 inches, the result is best-in-class volume of 131.7 cubic feet for the cargo van version of the ProMaster City. The vertical side panels are upfitter-friendly and simplify the attachment of shelves or storage racks for specialized commercial use. The floor of the ProMaster City cargo van measures 87.2 inches in length and is fitted with six standard equipment D-ring tie downs to secure cargo in place. Each side of the Ram ProMaster City is fitted with a sliding door with a 26-inch opening to access the cargo compartment. The roof of the Ram ProMaster City is prepped for load rails or roof racks, available through Mopar with a weight capacity of 154 pounds. The rear of the Ram ProMaster City is fitted with 60/40 split swing doors. Using lessons learned from European customers, the larger door swings open toward the traffic (driver) side of the van, making it easy to quickly access larger cargo items and not block the path to the curbside of the van. Both rear doors initially swing open 90 degrees, and – for dock loading – can swing to 180 degrees with a simple press of a release button on the door latch. The latch automatically re-engages when the door is closed. The passenger wagon version of the Ram ProMaster City is equipped with a three-passenger second row. The second-row seating is split 60/40, with each section capable of folding and tumbling forward to expand cargo room. With the seats in place, the ProMaster City passenger wagon offers close to four feet of cargo length to the rear doors. With seats folded and tumbled, Ram’s new van provides nearly six feet of cargo length. Upfitter friendliness Ram Truck is known industry-wide for being the most upfitter-friendly brand in the truck market. The Ram ProMaster City continues the tradition and features a variety of available upfit systems through Mopar. Adding to the design for adaptability, virtually all primary vehicle systems are packaged forward of the cargo area, leaving the box open to creativity. Powertrain The 2015 Ram ProMaster City’s powertrain combines MultiAir2 engine technology and an exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission to deliver best-in-class performance and best-in-class combined fuel efficiency. Tigershark The all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4. The engine generates a best-in-class 178 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, while its peak torque – 174 lb.-ft. (231 N•m) at 3,900 rpm – is greater than any standard-equipment engine in the ProMaster City’s segment. The engine’s thoughtful construction also suits its Tigershark moniker, while benefiting the ProMaster City’s rugged duty cycle. The engine’s four-valve aluminum head hosts advanced valve-actuation technology that is exclusive to Chrysler Group in North America. Dubbed MultiAir2, the acclaimed electro-hydraulic fully variable system uses a column of oil in place of the traditional mechanical link between the camshaft and intake valves. As a result, it affords precise control of the intake-valve events – beginning and end – which reduces engine-pumping losses, increases volumetric efficiency and cuts carbon-dioxide emissions. Engine accessory drives tighten the ProMaster City’s grip on best-in-class fuel efficiency. “Smart alternator management” and a variable A/C compressor tap the most efficient times to initiate a duty cycle. Unlike most alternator systems, which operate continually, the ProMaster City’s smart-charge system uses moments of deceleration or braking to run at capacity when necessary. The variable A/C compressor has the ability to operate at multiple speeds rather than full-capacity and off. By reducing the need for full-capacity compressor cycles, engine load is decreased, giving efficiency a boost. Load reduction also translates into overall performance. Transmission The centerpiece of the all-new ProMaster City’s powertrain is its segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission. The ProMaster City is the first commercial van ever to feature a nine-speed automatic, and one of the first vehicles to be so equipped in automotive history. Also known as the 948TE, the transmission is part of the ProMaster City’s standard equipment list. Leveraging its wide gear ratio spread and 3.73:1 final-drive ratio, the advanced-technology transmission and well-matched engine will combine to deliver fuel economy ratings unsurpassed by any standard-equipment powertrain in the ProMaster City’s segment. The 948TE delivers the right response at the right time. Its 4.70 first-gear ratio delivers the kind of acceleration required of nimble delivery vans: 0-to-30 mph in an estimated 3.7 seconds and 0-to-60 mph in an estimated 9.8 seconds. The new transmission also delivers power smoothly, a result of optimized gear-ratio steps, which provide the perfect balance of power, comfort and fuel economy. While the 948TE is plenty efficient on its own, Electronic Range Select (ERS) offers hands-on control of its unique capabilities. ERS allows customers to manually set the highest available gear for a particular task, such as operating under heavy loads. The result is enhanced throttle response when it is needed most. Design The Ram design team started with a functional exterior and interior, adding distinct Ram styling while adapting the new van for North America. Exterior The exterior design and related body systems on the all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City collectively deliver outstanding versatility, practicality and a level of refinement unexpected in the commercial small van category. Exterior styling is identified by smooth body lines, wraparound bumpers and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. Although the cargo area is carry-over from the previous model year Fiat Doblò, from the front door cut forward the Ram ProMaster City is all new, encompassing the signature crosshair grille and ram’s head logo as the focal point. The fluid body lines give ProMaster City a strong, modern and professional representation and assure its presence in the Ram Commercial lineup. The tucked front-wheel-drive packaging is compact allowing for a short hood. This design provides a better vantage point of the front corners, useful when maneuverability is key and important to commercial customers. Borrowing from its big brother, the ProMaster City’s front and rear bumpers run high on the body to keep functional lighting out of danger, resulting in reduced repair costs and downtime. The new van features plenty of real estate on all sides. This space allows for businesses to post signage and graphics – a rolling billboard to help promote the owner’s business or sponsor. Three different window options are available on both trim levels. The Ram ProMaster City may be loaded and unloaded multiple times a day, leaving impressive dimensions and capacities as must-have features. The Ram ProMaster City offers a cargo area width of 60.4 inches, a cargo area height of 51.8 inches and a step-in height of 21.5 inches. In addition, on each side of the vehicle there is a small, practical step that allows the user to get into the load area. Interior The Ram ProMaster City Tradesman and SLT trim levels use a simplified color palette with durable fabrics. Inspiration for the all-black with gray accents came from items that can be found in a vocational environment: tool boxes, hand tools and lumber. The new van achieves a commanding presence that promotes roominess, ergonomics and practicality for increasingly demanding customers who depend on their vehicle as a partner for vocational use or to transport passengers. Interior design and function is paramount for a light commercial van in which the driver may be on the road for most of the day, sometimes under harsh conditions. The cabin of the ProMaster City was therefore designed with comfortable driving ergonomics, important because the van may be a mobile office and/or small work shop. ProMaster City cargo models offer a load compartment with an easy, four-way access, best-in-class cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet and cargo width of 60.4 inches. Because goods always need to be transported securely, the new van is fitted with accommodations to hold down goods on the floor. Six tie-down rings, with a 1,000-pound combined rating, fold away to maintain a flat floor for easy loading and unloading operations. A high roof height allows ease of movement when working in the cargo area and contributes to best-in-class standard cargo capacity. Ideal for locksmiths, caterers, package delivery, telecommunications, heating and cooling, painters or florists, the best-in-class 48.4-inch width between wheel wells allow the ProMaster City to load up a full-size pallet. Wagon models feature four tie-down rings, a full length headliner and carpet that covers the floor. Panel moldings cover the rear of cargo area, up, over and around the wheel wells and additional storage trays at seated shoulder level incorporate a retractable cover to keep cargo out of view. Safety and security Safety and security were two of the guiding principles followed by engineers throughout the development of the new 2015 Ram ProMaster City. Ram’s new Class 1 van offers 34 active and passive safety and security features. The ProMaster City also includes standard ESC, hosting a number of technologies to assist the driver. Security also means notification of the traffic around you. Ram ProMaster City features available ParkView backup camera and ParkSense with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering in the city. Electronic stability control The standard electronic stability control (ESC) system on the new Ram ProMaster City is a sophisticated four-channel (independent control to all four corners of the vehicle) active handling system that links the vehicle’s dynamic control systems to assist the driver in maintaining control under demanding or adverse conditions such as wet, snow-covered or icy roads, tight turns and evasive maneuvers. In effect, the ESC determines the driver’s intentions and optimizes overall vehicle control to keep the dynamic forces within select limits in any driving situation – nearly transparent so control seems almost intuitive. Uconnect ProMaster City customers can make the best use of their valuable time by leveraging Uconnect’s easy-to-learn, easy-to-use interface – acclaimed for its convenience and sensible design. Handsfree calling in the all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City is made convenient via reliable Bluetooth technology. A full-color, five-inch touchscreen is available with global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation, providing Ram ProMaster City customers the ability to chart time-saving routes to their destinations. Uconnect Web, powered by Autonet Mobile, is available to U.S. customers. This system delivers continuous Internet connectivity, creating an efficient workspace and real-time information access on the go. Best practices In total, the Ram ProMaster City test fleet accumulated millions of miles enabling Ram and Fiat teams access to real-world data. This includes testing performed in laboratories in Turin, Italy and Auburn Hills, Mich., at Fiat and Chrysler Group proving grounds, as well as reliability testing on public roads in many different climates in Europe and the United States. The 3/36 Reliability Testing, appropriately named as each test car accumulates 36,000 miles (equivalent to three years of use) in about three months, is conducted day and night by teams of drivers. To reflect typical daily driver scenarios, the test drivers do not originate from the engineering ranks and are intentionally chosen from diverse backgrounds to represent customers of different ages, sizes and ethnicities. The test drivers scrutinize all the customer functional aspects of each vehicle as well as overall driving evaluations. This includes radio and navigation system checks, seat-belt buckling, heating and ventilation operation and opening and closing storage compartments and windows. Configurations The 2015 Ram ProMaster City offers eight different configurations: Tradesman Cargo with security panels Tradesman Cargo with rear windows Tradesman Cargo with rear and side windows Tradesman SLT Cargo with security panels Tradesman SLT Cargo with rear windows Tradesman SLT Cargo with rear and side windows Wagon with rear and side windows Wagon SLT with rear and side windows Manufacturing The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be assembled at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey. Awarded the World Class Manufacturing Gold Medal, this 3.6-million sq. ft. (83.7 acre) state-of-the-art plant also assembles the Fiat Doblò. The optional cargo van configuration is upfitted at The Chrysler Group Transformation Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
  7. Today in Auburn Hills, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles presented their five-year plan to the press and investors. The plan divulges what's in store for all of the brands in the coming years. The last time Chrysler did this back in 2009, many of the items shown were accurate (minus Alfa Romeo). We're going to fill you in on the plans in store for all of the brands and the company itself in the next few years. Jeep Leading off the presentations today was Jeep. Brand CEO Mike Manley described the off-road brand as the "lead global brand" of the company. The brand plans on expanding its lineup from five nameplates to six and sell them in more countries. Jeep hopes by 2018, 1.9 million vehicles will be sold worldwide. To pull this off, Jeep is planning to expand production and sales in China and Latin America with localized models for each market. Jeep will also expand U.S. production from 800,000 vehicles to 1 million vehicles. On the model front, Jeep will introduce a replacement for the Compass and Patriot, along with a refreshed Cherokee in 2016. 2017 will see a brand new Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, along with a refreshed Renegade crossover. A new three-row SUV named the Grand Wagoneer will arrive in 2018 and sit above the Grand Cherokee. Chrysler Next up was Chrysler who announced some dramatic changes. First is that Chrysler is changing their focus from premium to mainstream and become FCA's volume brand. The brand has set a sales goal of 800,000 vehicles by 2018. An ambitious goal to say in the least, but Chrysler model plan they hope can achieve this. It begins with the refresh of the 300 sedan which will debut later this year. Then in 2016, two big debuts happen. The first is the next-generation Town & Country, which will become the sole minivan in FCA's lineup. Following that is the 100 which will be a compact sedan. 2017 brings forth a midsize crossover, while a compact crossover comes a year later. A redesigned 300 is due in 2018. Dodge Dodge took the stage next and the big news was a refocusing on the brand. The brand will change from being the mainstream brand to FCA's performance brand. This will mean the departure of the Avenger and Grand Caravan in 2015. It also means that SRT, Chrysler's performance will be folded into Dodge. What this means for the future of the 300 SRT and Grand Cherokee is unknown at this time, but expect both to drive off into the sunset. The brand has a sales goal of 600,000 vehicles in 2018. The changes begin this year with the introduction of the refreshed Charger and Challenger. Mid-2015 brings a refresh to the Dodge Viper (not SRT Viper any more). 2016 brings a brings forth a new Dart and a Journey. Towards the end of the year, the long-rumored Dart SRT will become a reality. 2017 brings out a Journey SRT with a turbo V6 and all-wheel drive, along with refreshed Durango. 2018 is a big year as new versions of the Challenger and Charger come out, as well as a new B-Segment sedan and hatchback. Fiat Fiat came bnext and compared to all of the other brands, they didn't have much to talk about. The brand announced by 2018, they plan on selling 100,000 vehicles. 2015 will see the introduction of the 500X, which is the sister car to the Jeep Renegade, and a specialty model. No one is quite sure what that is, but there is some speculation that its the vehicle from the former Mazda/Alfa Romeo partnership. Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo had the most intriguing presentation today. CEO Harold Webster talked about how the brand strayed from its roots of being brand that delivered sexy designs, perfect 50-50 weight-distribution, and a number of other items. To rectify this, Alfa Romeo has started a skunkworks that consists of two senior head from Ferrari and 200 handpicked engineers to get the brand back on track. That number will grow to 600 by the end of 2015. FCA will invest close to $7 billion into the brand. Alfa Romeo is projecting sales of 400,000 by 2018. A bit ambitious to say in the least when you take into consideration the brand only sold 74,000 vehicles in 2013. The plan calls for a new midsize sedan in late 2015, followed by a number of vehicles from 2016 to 2018 which include two compact cars, a second mid-sized car, a large car, two utility vehicles, and a specialty vehicle. Ram Ram's presentation was much like Fiat's, not much. The big story is Ram expanding their commercial vehicle sales in the coming years. The brand plans on enhancing capabilities of their dealers, increasing the amount of the dealers who specialize in commercial vehicles from 332 to 900, more marketing, and leveraging Fiat Professional, FCA's main commercial vehicle division. The commercial division will also get two new vehicles this year; the Promaster Diesel and the Promaster City. As for Ram, minor updates are due in 2015 for the 1500 and 2016 for the heavy duties. An extensive refresh follows two years after the minor changes. Maserati Maserati took the stage next and announced projected sales of 75,000 global sales in 2018. That made everyone raise their eyebrows and wonder how the company would pull this off. Well it begins next year as the Levante crossover arrives with the choice of either 350 or 425 horsepower V6 engines. Following that will be the Alfieri coupe in 2016. The Alferi will be the sole sports car in Maserati's lineup as the GranTurismo will be retired after 2014. The Alferi will be available with a 410 horsepower V6 with rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive with the choice of either a 450 or 520 horsepower V6. 2017 brings the Alferi convertible, and the year after is the return of GranTurismo coupe Other changes include the addition of two new V6 engines for the Ghibli, a new V8 for the Ghibli and Quattroporte, and new diesel engines for the Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante. Ferrari Ferrari's presentation was very short. It consisted of the brand launching a new model every year. Each model will have a four-year lifecycle after which, "M" versions will be produced. Again, the 'M' versions will have a four-year lifecycle. Ferrari is also sticking with their 7,000 vehicle production limit for the time being. Other Notes: Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand CEO will oversee SRT immediately. Ralph Gilles who was the CEO of SRT will continue as FCA’s senior vice president of product design and CEO of Motorsports. The long-rumored Hellcat Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8? Its real. In a slide during Dodge's presentation, there is a mention of supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8. No mention on when it will come out or how much power its packing. Sticking with engines, FCA will be introducing a new range of four-cylinder engines that will share parts and can be inexpensively customized for different markets. A Plug-In Hybrid Town & Country is coming in 2016 CEO Sergio Marchionne said " I have better uses for aluminum than on a pickup truck" when asked about aluminum. Went onto say that they would consider it if Ford is successful with the next F-150 Marchionne plans to stay as CEO through the duration of the current plan Quote of the entire presentation: “This thing is truly a freak show on wheels with almost compact-carlike fuel economy and the ability to tow 9,200 pounds,” said Ram brand chief Reid Bigland about the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  8. Since its beginnings as a military truck back in the forties, the Dodge Power Wagon has earned a reputation of being a off-road vehicle that could take on anything in its path. The 2014 Power Wagon continues that well-earned reputation with improvements to make it a bit more functional for the daily drive. Using the bones of the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab, Ram begins the changes with a larger 6.4L HEMI V8 engine that will make 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. A cylinder-deactivation system and six-speed automatic transmission should help improve fuel economy. Under the skin, Ram has taken the coil spring setup idea from the 1500 and applied it to the heavy duties with a three-link front and five-link coil rear setup. Ram hasn't forgot about the Power Wagon's trump card; off-road ability. That starts with a new Articulink system on the front suspension which includes a front sway bar disconnect to allow for additional flexibility and articulation. There is also Bilstein monotube shocks at all four corners, manually engaged Borg-Warner transfer case, larger rear axle, front and rear electronic-locking differentials, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratec tires, and a electric Warn winch can handle 12,800 pounds. This allows the Power Wagon to list such specs as a 34-degree approach angle, a 23.5-degree departure angle, a breakover angle is 25.5 degrees, and fording up 30 inches of water. The 2014 Power Wagon will start at $45,690 (includes $1,195 destination charge) for the base Tradesman. The SLT trim begins at $50,340 and comes with the Power Wagon graphics, red grille inserts, LED taillights, and LED turn signals. The Laramie trim completes the lineup with the addition of chrome grille, monotone paint scheme with painted wheel arches, and polished wheels. That model begins at $56,015. Ram will be officially introducing the 2014 Power Wagon at the New York Auto Show next week, with models arriving at dealers this summer. Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 New 2014 Ram Power Wagon—The Most Off-road-capable Pickup—Has Evolved from America’s First Mass Production 4x4 Simply no other pickup on the market matches Power Wagon’s on- and off-road capability Standard 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with best-in-class 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque features unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles Unique “Ram Articulink” front suspension system incorporates high movement joints and sway-bar disconnecting system, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation Ram engineering continues to lead Heavy Duty segment innovation with new 5-link coil rear suspension to deliver best-in-class ride and superior axle control Ram Power Wagon features standard front and rear electronic-locking differentials for true four-wheel-drive and maximum traction Standard Warn 12,000-lb. electric winch mounted behind the front bumper will recover competitor’s trucks stuck in the mud Up to 10,810 pounds of towing capacity New exterior design: colors, lighting, wheels, grilles and tri-color graphics Introduced in 1945, Power Wagon was first mass-production 4x4 pickup April 9, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram Truck brand’s quest to build the best pickups continues. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel delivers the industry’s best fuel economy at 28 MPG. Ram’s Heavy Duty truck line owns best-in-class towing at 30,000 lbs. and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) at 37,600 lbs., but there’s an additional title Ram Truck has always held: the most off-road-capable pickup. Built to master the most rigorous off-road trails, the 2014 Ram Power Wagon is based on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab, but features a number of off-road-specific engineering enhancements, including a unique suspension with more than two inches of lift, locking differentials and a 12,000-pound winch to give the truck a significant advantage over all production pickups. “Capability is top of mind with heavy-duty pickup truck customers. Ram trucks are expected to work every day without breaking a sweat,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO—Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “The 2014 Ram Power Wagon fills a need for those who travel into extreme terrain for rescue or recreation, while delivering on-road civility and the towing capability expected from a heavy-duty truck.” The 2014 Ram Power Wagon engineering story begins with a new frame, suspension and top-of-segment off-road technology and equipment complemented by the new, best-in-class 410 horsepower, 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine. “The Ram Power Wagon’s heritage dates back to 1945. It holds a special place in the line-up as an example of engineering innovation and off-road capability,” said Mike Cairns, Director—Ram Truck Engineering. “It may look similar to a Ram 2500 Heavy Duty but under the skin is a unique story, giving the Power Wagon its best-in-class off-road pickup competence.” The Power Wagon nameplate was produced from 1945 through 1980. Early trucks were based on the Weapons Carrier (WC) series of Dodge ¾-ton military-use trucks built during World War II. The Power Wagon went on to become a well-known civilian vehicle and continued the lineage of Dodge four-wheel-drive trucks from the 1930s, proving basic four-wheel-drive design concepts and representing a significant predecessor to the many four-wheel-drive trucks in modern use today. The iconic truck was reintroduced in 2005 and now exists as an independent model under Ram Truck Brand. POWERTRAIN Compelling numbers tell the best-in-class story of the standard 6.4-liter HEMI 16-valve V-8 engine: 410 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•m) at 4,000 rpm. The engine calibration is unique to Power Wagon in order to enhance its off-road maneuverability and finesse. When driving in four-wheel-drive "Low," the throttle response softens and the idle speed increases by 100 rpm (from 650 to 750 rpm) — providing added control when ascending and descending off-road obstacles at slow speeds. The legendary HEMI architecture provides the foundation of the 90-degree V-8. But its advanced technology is decidedly forward-looking. Cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) delivers greater efficiency and elevated refinement. These attributes are manifested in reduced pumping losses and lower emissions. Pumping losses are further reduced by variable-valve timing (VVT). Efficiency is a hallmark of the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, starting with Chrysler Group’s trademark Fuel Saver cylinder-deactivation technology. When conditions allow, as in highway cruising, the system seamlessly shuts down four cylinders to conserve fuel. The engine features an active dual-runner-length intake manifold optimized specifically for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup. The result is improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-end power. Efficiency is further reflected in revised positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system, which is integrated in the intake manifold. The resulting benefit is improved oil efficiency. Heat is the enemy of durability. But the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 includes such features as: Robust/high-volume oil cooler Oil jets for piston cooling Aircraft grade, stainless steel gaskets and fasteners for improved durability at high temperatures In addition, computational fluid dynamics was employed to optimize the cooling circuit in the block, heads and water pump. With upgraded valve-seat material to fight wear and anchored by a cast-iron block, aluminum cylinder heads and forged-steel crankshaft, it is little wonder the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 boasts a five-year / 100,000-mile warranty. The new 6.4-liter HEMI is offered with the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission and connects to a part-time, manual-engagement Borg Warner BW 44-47 transfer case. The Power Wagon’s axles are the pinnacle of durability. Built by American Axle Manufacturing, the units measure 9.25 inches in the front and 11.5 inches in the rear (increase from 10.5 inches), delivering power via a 4.10:1 ring and pinion ratio. Robust rear axle shafts are upgraded to 38 mm, providing rotating force directly to the 33-inch tire/wheel combination. Both axles include electronic locking differentials driven by electro-magnetic actuators. New for 2014, all Ram Heavy Duty trucks incorporate a segment-exclusive front axle disconnect system. When conditions warrant, front drivetrain components are disconnected to reduce parasitic loss and improve overall efficiency. The system provides a gain in fuel efficiency of up to 1 mile per gallon (mpg). Additional axle data: FRONT REAR9.25 AAM 11.5 AAM Front Pinion: 98.3 mm Rear Pinion: 121.3 mmFront Ring Gear: 235 mm (9.25 inches) Rear Ring Gear: 292 mm (11.5 inches) Front Axle Shaft Diameter: 35 mm Rear Axle Shaft Diameter: 38 mm SUSPENSIONThe 2014 Ram Power Wagon features an all-new suspension system, some of which was specifically designed for the Power Wagon, including Bilstein shocks, control arms, spring rates and more than two inches of lift. In the front, the entire Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness reduces body roll or lean, and is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck’s body tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering. The Ram Power Wagon packages a unique-to-model design of the standard three-link suspension system with Bilstein monotube shocks. The Ram Articulink design incorporates high movement joints at the control-arm-to-axle mount, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation. Additional suspension flex is achieved via the class-exclusive electronic disconnecting sway bar, which allows the front axle to move more independently of the truck’s frame. The driver-actuated "Smart Bar" disengagement is possible in both four-wheel drive "High" or four-wheel drive "Low" at speeds below 18 miles per hour. As a safety feature, the Smart Bar automatically re-engages at speeds above 18 miles per hour, increasing roll stiffness. Heavy Duty trucks generally have rear suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This usually leads to a harsher ride when unloaded. Ram innovation leads again for 2014. All Ram 2500 Heavy Duty trucks, including the Power Wagon take lessons learned from the Ram 1500 and add an all-new, segment-exclusive five-link coil rear suspension system for best-in-class ride and handling. The exclusive five-link coil design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system and the robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling heavy payloads. Although the 2014 Ram Power Wagon is loaded with off-road components, owners will appreciate payload up to 1,490 pounds and towing capacity up to 10,810 pounds. The five-link coil design incorporates support at all major points of force. Leaf spring suspensions struggle to combat axle wrap by using staggered shock absorbers (one mounted on the front of the axle tube and one mounted on the rear of the axle tube). The superior design of the five-link coil system functionally resists unwanted axle rotation. Leaf spring configurations also lack lateral support, forcing the leaf ends and shackles to hold against lateral loads — a task they're not particularly good at and one reason competitive leaf-sprung rear suspensions shutter on rough surfaces. Because of the unique five-link axle control and natural rotation, U-joints in the driveshaft run smoothly and with less vibration through the suspension’s range of motion, an advantage not shared with leaf springs. Another benefit of coil springs is less unsprung mass and elimination of stick-slip friction found between the leaf springs. Additionally, links are engineered in-line with frame rails, so overall packaging is better, not to mention an overall weight reduction of more than 40 pounds when compared to a leaf-spring configuration. The rear suspension also includes Bilstein monotube shocks, and on some models, a Bilstein dampener links the top of the rear axle to the frame, providing additional control, bringing the Ram 2500 far beyond what competitors offer for axle control. The 2014 Ram Power Wagon's combined axle and suspension package adds to greater suspension articulation, a determining factor when negotiating extreme obstacles. With Smart Bar engaged, the Ram Power Wagon reaches a Ramp Travel Index (RTI - a measurement of a vehicle's suspension articulation) of 510 (26-inch vertical height). DESIGN The 2014 Ram Power Wagon receives a variety of exterior design treatments, each unique to the three trim levels. All models are bookended with chrome front and rear bumpers. The bold chrome front bumper neatly hides a Warn 12,000-lb. winch with nothing to show except a single heavy gauge steel cable and pronounced hook that attaches to one of the two massive front tow hooks. The unique 17-inch forged and polished aluminum wheel designs are wrapped in 33-inch tires and feature exposed lug nuts with a small center cap. On the Power Wagon Tradesman trim, monotone paint covers the truck. The grille-surround and inserts are colored black as are the headlamp filler panels and wheel flares. A Power Wagon decal spreads across the bottom of the tailgate. The SLT trim features the most visible change. The crosshair grille divides the frontal area into four quadrants. Truck color decides whether or not the SLT-trimmed Power Wagon receives the special red billets in the four quadrants (Bright White, Flame Red, Black, Bright Silver and Granite Crystal) providing quick identification of the Power Wagon package. Bi-functional halogen projector headlamps, underlined with an LED array are set into a dark background. Two-tone paint and rear-bound, Tri-color Carbide Blade graphics are matched to the Power Wagon colors. The new graphics come in two slightly different color variations, depending on vehicle paint. In conjunction with the side graphics, a large Power Wagon decal covers the bottom of both side doors. The LED trend is carried to the rear tail lamps and a theme-matched Power Wagon graphic adorns the base of the tailgate. Black wheel flares and door handles round out the SLT trim. The Laramie trim is more understated. The truck features an all chrome grille and bi-functional halogen headlamps set into a chrome background. As in the SLT, LEDs serve as markers in the front and rear. The monotone painted body and wheel flares combine with polished wheels and a unique Power Wagon chrome tailgate badge, giving the Laramie Power Wagon a sleeper appearance considering its capability. Of course, as with all Laramie trim level Ram trucks, the interior is top notch with leather seating surfaces, premium materials and soft touch points. For 2014, the Ram Power Wagon offers up to 12 different colors depending on model: True Blue, Maximum Steel, Deep Cherry Red, Blue Streak, Black Gold, Western Brown, Prairie, Flame Red, Bright White, Black (monotone), Bright Silver and Granite Crystal. GROUND CLEARANCE AND PROTECTIONNew to Power Wagon and providing optimal balance between on-road civility and off-road capability are 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, which feature a beefy tread pattern to help grab ledges along the trail and deliver optimum traction through sand, mud and snow. Larger tires and a suspension lift contribute to the Power Wagon’s 14.5-inch ground clearance, compared to 12 inches on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty. The truck’s approach angle is boosted to 34 degrees, the departure angle is increased to 23.5 degrees and the breakover angle is enhanced to 25.5 degrees. This gives the Ram Power Wagon significant clearance for navigating a variety of severe inclines and declines as well as providing up to 30-inches of water-fording capability. Underneath the 2014 Ram Power Wagon are generous underbody protection components. Fore-aft bars bring together the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, resulting in armor that minimizes underside damage and rock wedging. FRAME Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature frames built with high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Chassis controls on the new Ram Heavy Duty ensure outstanding noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measurements and ride and handling characteristics. Wide front frame rails enable front suspension springs to be positioned slightly outboard – an enabler for generating positive roll stiffness. A large plated-structure interface to the frame brings a lengthened weld surface creating a stiff, robust front section. The design ensures optimum mass efficiency with no need for reinforcements to deliver strength, despite shape complexity. Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and offers a factory-installed rear axle cross-member. STEERINGThe hydraulic steering system features recirculating ball steering gear, which delivers precise on-center feel despite the vehicles immense towing and payload capacities. BRAKES Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all 2014 Ram Heavy Duty Truck models. Front rotors measure 14.17 inches (373 mm) in diameter and are clamped with dual-piston calipers; rear rotors are 14.09 inches (356 mm) also use dual-piston calipers. All Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature standard four-channel electronic stability control (ESC). BODYThe Ram Heavy Duty is equipped with robust engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing. The Power Wagon features a standard Class 5 receiver hitch with four- and seven-pin connectors on the bumper. A tailgate handle-mounted, high-definition rear camera backup system is available with dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, an optional cargo-view camera located in the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for monitoring payload. ELECTRICAL As the Ram Heavy Duty continues to offer more featured content, it created the need for a technology that allows more information to be electronically communicated within the truck. The Powernet electrical architecture system allows both high and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers. Within the Powernet high-speed network, each module (e.g., electronic stability control) processes its individual data and transmits the appropriate commands within the vehicle to activate any additional systems (e.g. anti-lock brake system and cruise control). A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system and certain fleet customers require access to vehicle information to even be considered, especially ambulance packages and some utility companies. A best-in-class vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules. The VSIM upfitter interface module features a total of 53 circuits, including lighting controls, door position, and throttle and transmission position. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug and play connectivity for upfitter friendliness. The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is equipped with intelligent battery sensor technology, which continually measures the flow of current in and out of the battery. The system is an enabler for intelligent load shedding, systematically shutting off select electrical systems onboard the vehicle when the battery is running low to help prevent further depleting the battery. The new Power Wagon offers a dual-alternator system – the first of its kind for 3/4- and 1-ton pickup trucks with gas powertrains –combining 220- and 160-amp units for 380-amps of total best-in-class output. ADDITIONAL FEATURESRam Heavy Duty customers can enjoy the convenience of power folding mirrors and a combination, power rear-sliding window with defrost. Also, one-touch, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage lids. Spray-in bedliner, auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also are available, adding to a truckload of content. Total Cost Of Ownership And Unsurpassed Powertrain Warranty - Five Years/100,000 Miles Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in: Fuel economy Extended maintenance cycle (oil change of 15,000, fuel filter life on diesel) Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard five-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system. MANUFACTURING The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.
  9. Back in 2008, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) came up with a new standard for light-duty pickup tow ratings. Called J2807, the standard would simplify the testing methods for determining the max tow weight a light-duty pickup could handle. The standard was to be implemented in the 2013 model year, but it wasn't. Ford in 2012 surprised everyone by saying it would not adopt the new standard for the 2013 F-150 and would wait till the 2015 redesign. GM and Ram followed suit there after. The reasoning behind this? J2807 would have likely lowered the tow ratings and that wasn't something you really wanted to market. Toyota was the only manufacturer to do it and saw its towing ratings on the Tundra drop 400 pounds. Now two out of those three implement the standard for 2015. Automotive News reports that Ford and Ram will adopt J2807 for the 2015 model year. As for GM, a spokesman says "when the other two major manufacturers move, we will move at that time." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 2, 2013 We've been reporting for the past few years on Ram getting a version of the Fiat Doblo to compete with the likes of the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV200. Well today Ram has finally confirmed that a version of Doblo would be introduced into the U.S. sometime next year wearing the ProMaster City name. "The Ram ProMaster City further expands the Ram Commercial truck lineup, which includes everything from vans to pickups to Class Four and Five trucks. As Ram Commercial continues to gain share and grow sales in the market, we will be aggressive in our goal of expanding our commercial vehicle offerings," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Ram Commercial Confirms New Small Van December 2, 2012, Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Ram Commercial Truck division today announced that it will offer an all-new small van for the North American market. Joining the larger and highly capable Ram ProMaster as an additional van offering, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City will compete with small commercial and passenger vans. "The Ram ProMaster City further expands the Ram Commercial truck lineup, which includes everything from vans to pickups to Class Four and Five trucks," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "As Ram Commercial continues to gain share and grow sales in the market, we will be aggressive in our goal of expanding our commercial vehicle offerings." "Our successful relationship with Fiat Professional, one of the world's foremost commercial truck manufacturers, gives Ram a competitive advantage with access to proven products and technology that will resonate with our U.S. and Canadian customers," added Bigland. Based on the successful Fiat Doblo, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold, the Ram ProMaster City will encompass familiar Ram Truck styling cues and offer features and powertrains preferred by North American commercial customers.
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 29, 2013 Next week comes a bit of madness. I'm referring to the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show taking place in Las Vegas next week. The show gives automakers a chance to show what crazy things they have cooked up. For Chrysler, SEMA is where their Mopar brand can show off some of their new parts and accessories. Plus some crazy ideas as well. I had the chance to head down to Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan to see some of the twenty vehicles that will be at SEMA next week. Ram Sun Chaser Out of all the vehicles shown at Chrysler's SEMA preview, the Ram Sun Chaser was the most polarizing. Draped in a Vibrance Orange Blast color, with two-tone Brilliant Black paint, the Ram Sun Chaser isn't for the faint of the heart. This concept was built with the surfer in mind and includes such touches such as concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack” and two adjustable support rails to hold varying sizes of surfboards. There is also a shower kit in the Ram Box which consists of a water tank, pump, hose, and shower head to rinse off items. Other modifications to the Sun Chaser include a two-inch lift, beadlock wheels, cut-back exhaust, and leather seats. Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver For Jeep, Mopar focused on making the Cherokee more capable, while keeping a distinctive looks on the road. Hence the Cherokee Trail Carver. Mopar started with the Cherokee Trailhawk and built from there. There is a set of meaty off-road tires, rock rails, and orange tow hooks shows it's ready to tackle anything. The Cherokee's exterior is dipped in a Auburn Pearl paint color. The hood and roof feature a topographic map graphic. The roof also sports a concept roof basket design. Fiat 500L Adventurer Mopar's take on the 500L is something quite unexpected. They took the subcompact crossover and made more rugged. To pull this off, Mopar raised the 500L by about an inch, added body cladding and a black stripe around it, and a set of eighteen-inch wheels. The body is painted in a Bright White with a 500L graphic on the doors. The roof is draped in a orange with a set of roof rails and a basket. Inside, the 500L Adventurer has a set of seats wrapped in black perforated suede and pearl leather. There is some orange trim pieces around the bezels, speaker surrounds, and the steering-wheel badge. 2014 Chrysler 300S Mopar didn't make many modifications to this 2014 300S, but the ones they did make really change the 300S. To start, this 300S is painted in a Phantom Black Tri-coat paint color. Adding some menace is a black “Gotham” grille surround and lowering kit. Finishing off the exterior touches is a SRT rear spoiler and a set of twenty-inch wheels from the 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition finished in a bronze color. Inside, the 300S comes with black and Katzkin “Bisque” leather on the seats, center console, and doors. The seatbacks have the 'Imported from Detroit' logo embroidered. Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Reveals Mopar-Modified Show Vehicles Ahead of 2013 SEMA Show Mopar Flashes Creative Muscle Twenty customized Chrysler Group LLC show vehicles to be exhibited in 15,300 square-foot SEMA Show display Exhibit to highlight hundreds of Mopar performance parts and Jeep® Performance Parts from the Mopar Off-Road Division Ram Sun Chaser show vehicle features makeshift shower kit and “Flip-Up” seatback tailgate bench Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver carries a unique concept roof-rack basket design to store off-road gear Fiat 500L Adventurer takes new five-seater off the beaten path And even more Mopar magic applied to the Chrysler 300 Mopar news and images, as well as link to the livestream broadcast from SEMA, are available at mopar.com/sema October 29, 2013, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC is preparing to head west with a Mopar-customized contingent of creations along for the ride. At the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nov. 5-8, 20 vehicles customized with existing Mopar parts and accessories, as well as concept products designed to elicit feedback, will take the spotlight in the 15,300 square-foot Mopar display at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Mopar-modified vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, SRT, and FIAT brands will be prominently featured at the premier aftermarket event. “The SEMA season is our favorite time of the year,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “It’s a chance for us to flex our creative muscles and showcase our vast portfolio of proven, quality-tested performance parts and accessories.” Following are select Mopar-modified 2013 Chrysler Group LLC SEMA display vehicles headed for this year’s SEMA show: Ram Sun Chaser When Ram isn’t hard at work, it’s back to the beach with the Ram Sun Chaser show truck. Vibrance Orange Blast, with two-tone Brilliant Black paint, color this Ram 1500 Quad Cab. A unique concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack,” and two adjustable support rails housed within the tracks of the truck’s bed, accommodate a long surfboard. As an added bonus, hooks on the side of the rails can also carry up to four boards. To wash off salt water or seaweed, Ram Sun Chaser’s exclusive RamBox bed-side storage features a concept water tank equipped with a hose and a portable shower head, forming a makeshift shower kit that may be clipped on to the rack for a quick rinse. A bed step enables easy access to gear. Surfers or paddle boarders can take a seat when taking off gear or waxing their board with the concept “Flip-Up” seatback tailgate, which converts into a bench by folding back toward the cab of the truck. New concept 17 x 8-inch beadlock wheels with color-keyed rings, concept flares with exposed fasteners and modified black tubular side-step rails fit the sand dune-ready theme of the vehicle. Orange tow hooks, a satin badge, and a spray-on bedliner are also added by Mopar. Inside, Katzkin leather seats feature stitching accented to match the Vibrance Orange Blast paint, as well as the dash, display bezels and door inserts. Sill guards and all-weather mats also accent the interior. Powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI® engine, the Ram hits the sand with a sport performance hood, a 2-inch performance lift kit and a Mopar cat-back exhaust. Fiat 500L Adventurer The Fiat 500L Adventurer illustrates the versatility of the new five-seater, with modifications that transform the vehicle and equip it with a tough, rugged appearance. The exterior is enhanced with Bright White body paint, two-tone accent wheel flares and rockers painted in Satin Black. Color is added with Vibrance Bright Orange on the roof, which totes Mopar roof rails and a large roof basket. The vehicle sits on 18 x 7.5-inch custom concept wheels embellished with FIAT logo center caps. A custom 500L graphic augments door panels, with the L painted orange to match the roof. Orange mirror caps, tinted taillights, tinted chrome exhaust tips, molded splash guards, and a chrome FIAT logo ring further enhance the exterior styling. The interior is upgraded with black perforated suede Katzkin seats and pearl leather seatbacks. Matching orange accents are featured inside as well, with orange-painted bezels and orange accents surrounding the speaker grills and steering-wheel badge. The two-tone instrument panel is black with a white leather insert. A Mopar seatback coat hanger, all-weather mats, a pedal kit, doorsill guards and a cargo organizer are included from the Mopar catalog. A performance boost is achieved with a Mopar cold-air intake and Mopar cat-back exhaust. Jeep® Cherokee Trail Carver Jeep Cherokee is for trail addicts seeking a vehicle with the capabilities to handle the rugged off-road, while projecting a unique, customized and luxurious look on the streets. Going to the next level of customization, the Mopar-modified Jeep Cherokee uses the Trailhawk 4x4 package powered by a 3.2-liter V-6 engine as a starting point. Its exterior is colored in Auburn Pearl paint, with low-gloss black and Granite Crystal with low-gloss clear touches. Unique Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk hood and roof topographical graphics are bordered in Crush Orange, with matching orange tow hooks. The top of the modified Jeep Cherokee sports a concept roof basket design, with orange accent side panels wrapped in woven metallic fabric. A front wind deflector, which includes the Mopar logo, completes the design. Aggressive tires highlight the off-road flavor of the vehicle, and rock rails protect this Jeep Cherokee from trail obstacles. The inside is enhanced with Katzkin Amaretto leather seats, with colored leather in the center, ensuring a premium feel. Leather wrapping on the center console, storage door and armrest, and matching color stitching on the seats, offer even more appointments. The top and bottom of the steering wheel are leather, and painted trim provides highlights throughout the inside. Other Mopar goodies include bright door-sill guards with the Jeep Cherokee logo, a wireless smartphone charger, and WiFi. The Jeep Cargo Management Receiver System (JCMRS), a unique option that features a running bar along the left interior, to which Mopar items may be mounted, is also utilized. The Mopar roadside emergency kit, Trailhawk bag and first-aid kit are mounted to the JCMRS. In the Jeep Performance Parts department, a Mopar cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust are put to work to achieve horsepower gains. 2014 Chrysler 300S The iconic and elegant Chrysler 300 is elevated even further to reach the ultimate in style and street cred with a variety of Mopar appointments utilized to create the 2014 Chrysler 300S for the SEMA Show. Phantom Black Tri-coat colors the exterior, maintaining the elegance of the Chrysler 300S, while adding a menacing edge. Fitting its gritty, big-city vibe, the front is reinforced by a 13-bar black “Gotham” grille surround, with a lowering kit, dropping the 2014 Chrysler 300S closer to the streets. The wheels pull from the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition with 20 x 8-inch wheels finished in a Mopar bronze, accented with Mopar wheel center caps. A black SRT spoiler embellishes the tail and helps drive the rear towards the pavement when in motion, enabling the 300S to corner urban canyons with impressive agility. Luxurious touches rule the interior, with seats and door bolster inserts wrapped in Katzkin “Bisque” leather. Leather seatbacks are embossed with the “Imported From Detroit” logo, and matching Katzkin “Bisque” threads border the seats, door and console armrests. All bright trim is changed to Satin Black, and the Mopar Lite Bronze found on the wheels is also featured in the trim accents.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 23, 2013 Chrysler is taking the Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept out to dealer shows to gauge reception and find out from dealers if the concept should become a production model. "We will take it to some dealer shows and talk to dealers. We try to listen to the dealers. They know their marketplace," said Dave Sowers, Ram's head of marketing. "It is something that we could execute.” However if the Rumble Bee is given the green light, there will be a few items that will be left out. "Some of the things that we put on the truck weren't volume production possible for us. That flat yellow paint would be a little bit of a challenge in the plant and the actual bee in the shifter would be tough to execute," said Sowers. Source: Edmunds William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 17, 2013 Let's go back in time to 2003, when Ram was still part of the Dodge family. It was around that time when a special model of the Ram was introduced. Called the Rumble Bee, this special Ram 1500 regular cab donned a yellow and black paint job and a number of touches to pay homage to the Rumble Bee cars of the sixties. Well Ram is doing it again. At the Woodward Dream Cruise today, Ram unveiled a concept version of the Rumble Bee. Starting with the lightest configuration of the Ram 1500 (regular cab with 2WD), Ram applies a Drone Yellow paint job with a matte finish, back accent strip with the Rumble Bee logo, and a Mopar ground effects kit to give it an aggressive stance on the road. Blacked out twenty-inch wheels and trim pieces finish the exterior touches. The black and yellow theme continues inside with leather and mesh bucket seats. The Rumble Bee logo appears on the chairs and floor mats. Now the coolest or oddest feature is the actual amber-encased bee found within the rotary shift knob. This isn't a joke. Power comes from a 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic with a revised 4.10 final drive ratio should make this very quick off the line. There is also two buttons below the shift knob that you can control how loud the Mopar cat-back dual-exhaust system. The two settings are 'loud' and 'LOUDER!'. Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept Buzzes into Detroit for Woodward Dream Cruise - Inspired by the Super Bee of the late 60's, the Rumble Bee concept celebrates its 10-year anniversary at the 2013 Woodward Dream Cruise - Ram Truck brand continues with tradition and creative design, building unique pickups for consumers to enjoy Woodward Dream Cruise, Mich., Aug 17, 2013 - Ten years ago, the Ram Truck Brand introduced the Rumble Bee, a popular model inspired by the Super Bee muscle car of the late '60s. Today, Ram unveiled a new HEMI-powered Ram 1500 Rumble Bee concept to celebrate the 10-year anniversary and the heritage of Ram's unique truck designs that include the Lil Red Express, Warlock and Power Wagon. "The Ram 1500 Rumble Bee continues to have a strong fan base and what better place to celebrate its 10-year anniversary than Woodward Dream Cruise," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO of Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "There's a lot of energy surrounding concept trucks and buzz models, and the Ram Design Team revels in creating something that is unique for our customers to enjoy." The Rumble Bee concept began life as a 2013 Ram 1500 R/T. Keeping with tradition, the lightweight, two-door; 2WD configuration is covered in "Drone Yellow" paint with a unique matte finish. The rare color/finish flows over the entire truck including the bumpers, flares and the Mopar ground effects kit. True to form, a new "Speed Bee" design is swathed on both sides of the truck within a gloss black stripe that fades into honeycomb. The stripe glides front to rear, around the top of the bed and over the Mopar tonneau cover to memorialize HEMI-powered vehicles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which dominated the racing scene. Factory 22-inch wheels are replaced with gloss black, 24-inch, Vellano VRH custom rollers and a 2-inch drop provided by King Suspension enhances handing performance and appearance with the help of a reservoir shock at each wheel. The grille, hood vents, badging, fuel door and the dual exhaust tailpipes are coated in gloss black, carrying the theme on all sides. The colors and graphics spread through the Ram R/T-based interior, featuring black and Drone Yellow leather sport mesh seats with two-tone yellow/light-grey stitching. "Rumble Bee" lettering and Ram logos adorn chairs, floor mats and door bolsters. The interior center-piece is an actual amber-encased bee mounted into the 8-speed rotary shifter knob that lights up to expose a honeycomb pattern background. Two buttons below the knob control exhaust cutouts to bypass the Mopar cat-back dual-exhaust system, allowing the full sound force of a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 to escape - loud and LOUDER! The unique honeycomb pattern is shared with door trim and the dash, where a milled aluminum "10th Anniversary" commemorative badge serves as the truck's ID. Under hood, the Ram 1500 Rumble Bee concept houses a 5.7-liter HEMI with 395 horsepower and 407 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. The HEMI is fitted with a custom gloss yellow and black engine cover with honeycomb graphic pattern. Mopar's cold-air intake system gives the HEMI a bump in performance and relentless torque is transferred through a 4.10 gear set for quick jumps off the line.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 13, 2013 At one time, the term 'luxury pickup truck' was an oxymoron. But now, automakers are churning them out like they're not going out of style. Ford has three different luxury versions of the F-150 (King Ranch, Platinum, Limited), General Motors has the GMC Sierra Denali and Chevrolet Silverado High Country, and Ram has the Laramie Longhorn and Laramie Limted. However, Ram CEO Reid Bigland believes there is more room for a more posh truck. “I don’t even know where the ceiling is on the premium pickup truck,” Bigland said to reporters this week. For those wondering, the Ram Laramie Longhorn models start at $44,585 for the 1500 and goes upward from there. “We don’t even know if that’s the ceiling or if we should go above that,” Bigland said. Bigland didn't go into details of what a super-premium pickup would look like, but noted Ram would have to be careful the add-ons weren’t “frivolous.” Source: Automobile Magazine William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  15. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 10, 2013 Ford, General Motors, and Ram are continuing their stance on ignoring the SAE testing procedure for towing ratings according to Automotive News. The procedure, named J2807, is designed to reflect how the pickups are really used, and are supposed to be more accurate than the non-SAE numbers, which manufacturers supply. The procedure tests a pickup’s structure, propulsion, handling, braking, and thermal-handling ability, in a set environment. This procedure also has the truck equipped and not equipped with a load. All of the truck manufacturers agreed to start this procedure in 2013. Only one manufacturer has actually gone ahead and implemented the procedure; Toyota. Toyota isn't pleased their the only brand who is doing this and has called on the other manufacturers to “do the right thing.” The big three isn't budging. General Motors says they won't implement the procedure until Ford does it. Ram is in the same boat as GM. Ford says they thought the procedure only applies to new models starting this year. They went onto say that the new F-150, due out in 2015, would use this procedure. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 24, 2013 The Ford Raptor doesn't have any competition. Okay, you could make the argument that the Ram Runner is the closest one. The difference between the two is that the Raptor is built on the production line, while the Ram Runner is built at a dealership after a buyer buys the modifications necessary. That could be an item of the past for Ram as Chrysler debates whether to offer it as a production model. “My boss would really like us to try to do a little more research on the Raptor and how it does (in the market),” said Pat Dougherty, the vice president of Mopar parts, sales and field operations. “If we could see that the volume was significant enough that it makes sense to do it, we’ll do it. But if we don’t, then we’ll continue to do it the way we do it.” Source: Wards Auto William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 6, 2013 Ram has gone ahead and announced pricing for the new 2014 ProMaster van lineup due later this year. The lowest priced ProMaster you can get is the ProMaster 3500 chassis cab cutaway with a 136-inch wheelbase is the $27,025 (includes $995 destination charge). A ProMaster 1500 Cargo van starts at $29,625. While Ram announced pricing for fourteen different versions of the ProMaster, what they didn't announce is the pricing for the EcoDiesel engine and the six-speed automated manual transmission powertrain combo and if it would be available in all models. That will likely come later down the road. Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Ram Truck Brand Announces Pricing for All-new 2014 Ram ProMaster Van Lineup -Ram ProMaster pricing starts at $26,030 plus destination for Cutaway Chassis Cab -All-new 2014 Ram ProMaster lineup offers a list of key best-in-class features including fuel economy, cargo capacity and total cost of ownership -Ram Truck Brand features best powertrain warranty in segment: 5 years / 100,000 miles -2014 Ram ProMaster offers outstanding uptime, commercial-grade diesel and gas powertrain systems, front-wheel-drive capability and the only automated manual transmission in segment -Ram Commercial incorporates a dedicated team including sales, marketing, product development and world-class customer support -Ram Commercial offers exclusive pre- and post-sale solutions with BusinessLink and On the Job customer service programs Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today announced pricing for the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster Cutaway, Chassis Cab and Cargo Van models. Prices start at $26,030, $26,530 and $28,630, respectively, not including $995 destination. Ram ProMaster vans have a targeted list of best-in-class claims and the best powertrain warranty in the industry: 5 years/100,000 miles. "The latest addition to the Ram Commercial division, our 2014 Ram ProMaster is an incredible value and contributes to a one-stop shop experience for customers looking for a full-line of commercial-duty Ram trucks and vans," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. "The ProMaster focuses on principal segment demands with best-in-class features, quality, durability, capability and low total cost of ownership." ProMaster boasts numerous best-in-class features that are appreciated by the hard-working customers of Ram's new van to deliver a proven solution for businesses and fleets: -Fuel economy -Cargo capacity -Payload -Total cost of ownership -Turning radius -Interior ceiling height -Step-in height Joined by the 2014 Ram C/V, the 2014 Ram ProMaster targets countless businesses in a variety of industries, including service and repairs, construction, transportation/shipping, large-medium-small businesses and agriculture. The economy has incurred pent-up demand to replace aging commercial vans and vehicles that are no longer offered in the market. This has created an opportunity and the ProMaster will be an attractive choice with a variety of capable and efficient models ready for any job. Timing of Ram ProMaster launch aligns with the recent announcement of Ram Commercial, a new division of the Ram Truck brand to meet the unique requirements of commercial customers. With the entire auto industry growing by two million units year over year in 2012, and further growth expected in 2013, commercial business is key as it represents about one quarter of the total U.S. sales volume. Top reasons for purchase in the segment: -Value -Quality, reliability, dependability -Cargo space and payload -Total cost of ownership Ram Commercial is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, offering more than 110 years of experience. That knowledge will help the Ram Commercial enter new segments and expand its product line. The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, which is now in its third generation with more than 4.5 million sold worldwide. The Ducato platform offers Ram a proven, award-winning workhorse with an incredible combination of durability, value, efficiency, and capability like no other in its class. Additionally, the ProMaster is the only offering in its competitive set to provide both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. 2014 Ram ProMaster Pricing ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 118-inch wheelbase low roof - $28,630 ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase low roof - $29,520 ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 118-inch wheelbase high roof - $30,520 ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof - $31,520 ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof - $32,875 ProMaster 2500 Window-equipped Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof - $33,255 ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof - $35,350 ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof extended body - $36,150 ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 136-inch wheelbase - $26,030 ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase - $26,435 ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase extended frame - $26,935 ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 136-inch wheelbase - $26,530 ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase - $26,935 ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase extended frame - $27,435 *Note: Prices don't include a $995 destination charge.
  18. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 14, 2013 It has been long rumored and caught on camera, but now it can come out. Chrysler announced today that the 2014 Ram 1500 will come with the option of diesel V6 engine, making it the only light-duty pickup to come with a diesel in the marketplace. “Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. The half-ton truck market is incredibly competitive, and although we’re honored the Ram 1500 has received a number of prestigious awards, we cannot rest on what we have accomplished, we must keep pushing.” said said Fred Diaz, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico in a statement today. The diesel V6 in question is the 3.0L VM Motori engine that will be used on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The engine will be mated to a eight-speed automatic. Chrysler is being quiet on power outputs for the Ram 1500 diesel, but we wouldn't be surprised if it matches or is slightly above the 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque that the 3.0L produces in the Grand Cherokee. The diesel option arrives in the third quarter of 2013. Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Ram to Build Industry’s Only Light-duty Diesel Pickup 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel to deliver best-in-class fuel economy, a title already owned by the 2013 Ram 1500 Clean diesel features low CO2 emissions and impressive V-6 capability Diesel engines praised for outstanding range and torque Ram first to market with game-changing technologies February 14, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Beginning in third-quarter 2013, Ram will become the only brand to offer a small-displacement diesel for its half-ton line of trucks. The 2014 Ram 1500 will offer a new, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, mated with the eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The powertrain is expected to deliver an outstanding combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency, best-in-class torque and impressive capability. “Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. “The half-ton truck market is incredibly competitive, and although we’re honored the Ram 1500 has received a number of prestigious awards, we cannot rest on what we have accomplished, we must keep pushing.” The 2013 Ram 1500 won Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year, The North American Truck of the Year and Truck of Texas -- a rare trifecta in the pickup segment. Building on the award-winning truck, the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will further stretch its best-in-class fuel economy title lead and continue to raise the innovation bar in one of the automotive industry’s most customer-loyal segments. “The Ram 1500 with 3.0-liter V-6 turbo EcoDiesel and TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission deliver on the demands of truckers by providing best-in-class torque, fuel economy and range. There’s no doubt that being the only truck manufacturer to offer this game changing technology will provide Ram with a competitive advantage.” The new 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel is among today's most advanced diesel engines. Its emissions are 60 percent less than those produced by diesel powertrains 25 years ago. The impressive combination of torque and fuel economy marks new levels of performance for small V-6 engines. Ram’s newest turbo diesel engine is manufactured by VM Motori, a Chrysler Group diesel engine supplier since 1992. Over the past 10 months, the Ram Truck brand has set an aggressive product cadence. Ram’s big push began in April 2012 with the introduction of the Ram 1500 with class-leading 25 mpg fuel efficiency and innovative features such as Active Level four-corner air suspension. The Ram Brand followed that news with the launch of the Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups. Their 30,000-pound trailer-tow rating – more than three tons more than their closest competitor -- and 850 lb.-ft. of torque are at the top of their class. Most recently, Ram introduced the new 2014 Ram ProMaster van with its own list of best-in-class features, including fuel efficiency, payload, cargo capacity and lowest cost of ownership.
  19. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 11, 2013 When Ram aired its "So God Made a Farmer" ad during the super bowl, it resonated with many people. Unfortunately for Ram, most would say it was the Dodge Ram ad, not the Ram ad. Even worse was certain media outlets calling it the Dodge Ram ad. "Does it bother me? A little bit. Does it really annoy me? A little bit. When you realize how long our trucks have been Dodge Ram trucks, you can't expect the whole world (to figure it out.) Look how long it took journalists — and we still have journalists that still call it Dodge Ram,” said Ram CEO Fred Diaz. Diaz admits that the rebranding could take a very long time for Ram to fully resonate with people, up to a "generation". "I think it's going to take an entirely new generation of people to be born and grow up with the Ram-only moniker before most of the world starts calling it Ram," Diaz said. Diaz says Chrysler will be sticking with the decision of rebranding Ram. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  20. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 8, 2013 The old cargo van guards are being replaced with a new flock of new commercial vehicles from Europe, like the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and now Ram. At the Chicago Auto Show, Ram introduced the new 2014 ProMaster. The ProMaster is the North American version of the Fiat Ducato van which means it has a unibody construction with a front-wheel-drive layout. Not quite the recipe you would expect for a commercial van. Chrysler has made numerous changes to the ProMaster to make it more friendly to the North American market. For starters you have the choice of two different engines. The base is Chrysler's 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque that's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. There is also a 3.0L inline-four EcoDiesel producing 174 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque that's paired with a six-speed electronically controlled automated manual gearbox. Under the skin, the ProMaster has re-engineered chassis, a more robust suspension setup, and two-piston Brembo calipers at each wheel. Ram has made sure to make the ProMaster very versatile. To that end, Ram will be offering the ProMaster two roof heights, three wheelbases and four body lengths. You'll also have the choice between cargo, chassis cab, and cutaway body styles. Other versatility tricks the ProMaster has include hinged rear doors open up 260 degrees, cargo space that measures up to 530 cubic feet, tie down rings built into the floor of the cargo area, and the option of dual sliding side doors. Production of the ProMaster will begin in the third quarter. Source: Ram Album: 2014 Ram ProMaster 10 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2014 Ram ProMaster New 2014 Ram ProMaster Expands Ram Commercial Offerings with New Full-size Van Featuring Best-in-class Fuel Economy, Cargo Capacity and Payload • 2014 Ram ProMaster puts Ram Truck back into the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer • New 2014 Ram ProMaster van developed from the successful, long-standing Fiat Ducato: 30-plus years of reliable service and more than 4.5 million units sold • Exceptional cargo capability, durability, a unique front-wheel-drive system and outstanding uptime • Ram ProMaster is a purpose-built, highly customizable van designed to exceed the demands of commercial customers • ProMaster best-in-class features: ♣ Fuel economy ♣ Cargo capacity ♣ Payload ♣ Total cost of ownership ♣ Turning radius ♣ Interior ceiling height ♣ Step-in height • North American debut of world-class, torque-rich 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel promises best-in-class fuel efficiency, robust capability and long service intervals • 280-horsepower output from award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 unmatched among Ram ProMaster competitors • Proven 62TE six-speed automatic transmission enhanced to suit unique ProMaster application • North American-first automated six-speed manual controlled by software that responds to road conditions • Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles • New Ram ProMaster combines functionality and versatility with modern styling and professional appeal • Ram ProMaster offers more than 35 safety and security features, including six air bags standard and electronic stability control technologies The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is Ram Commercial's latest addition to its popular commercial vehicle lineup. ProMaster takes its place in the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with a number of best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer. Coming from a strong background of commercial vehicles produced by Fiat Professional, the ProMaster is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production for more than 30 years. ProMaster boasts numerous best-in-class features that are appreciated by the hard-working customers of Ram's new van. Best-in-class fuel efficiency, cargo capacity, usability and of course total cost of ownership all combine to deliver a proven solution for businesses and fleets. "As Ram takes a larger presence in the commercial truck market, the 2014 Ram ProMaster is a great addition, contributing to a one-stop shop of commercial-duty Ram trucks and vans," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. "The ProMaster answers to key segment demands with best-in-class features, quality, durability, capability and low total cost of ownership." Ram Truck is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, offering more than 110 years of experience. That knowledge will help Ram Truck enter new segments and expand its product line. The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, which is the most popular full-size van in Europe. The 2013 Ram ProMaster is the Company's first shared truck collaboration with Fiat Professional. The Fiat Ducato is now in its third generation with more than 4.5 million sold worldwide. The Ducato platform offers Ram a proven, award-winning workhorse with an incredible combination of durability, value, efficiency, and capability like no other in its class. Additionally, the ProMaster is the only offering in its competitive set to provide both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. Engineered for the North American market Conceived and developed in Italy, Ram's new van also spent quality time proving itself on this side of the Atlantic undergoing extensive, extreme-duty testing to prepare for its North American debut as the Ram ProMaster. Engineering the new ProMaster for the Ram Truck brand required a number of changes for new capabilities, powertrains, environments, duty cycles and customers. Chassis The 2014 ProMaster is available in two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four body lengths. Additionally, the ProMaster offers both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. Its unibody frame architecture makes it significantly lighter than the competition. As a result, the ProMaster boasts an impressive best-in-class payload capacity up to 5,145 pounds and a maximum towing capacity up to 5,100 pounds. The gross combined weight rating (GCWR) for the 3.6-liter V-6 is 11,500 pounds and 12,500 pounds for the 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel. A unibody structural has additional advantages, including stability and strength from front to rear, a reinforced plenum area for optimized engine packaging, and "truer" tuning of chassis systems and related hardware when compared to more common body-on-frame applications. Front-wheel drive The unibody system under the cab is an enabler for the ProMaster's segment exclusive front-wheel-drive system. The body-integral construction and multiple configurations allow Ram's new 2014 ProMaster to be up-fitted for virtually every conceivable job. Without rear driveshafts or rear differentials, the proven drive system creates a number of advantages: • Best-in-class fuel economy • Best-in-class cargo capacity • Best-in-class step-in height and lowest load floor • Best-in-class ceiling height • Overall weight reduction and lower maintenance costs Cargo area Thanks to its unique front-drive system, body-integral construction and the multiple of configurations offered, Ram's new 2014 ProMaster can be upfit for virtually every conceivable commercial need. Proportionally, the ProMaster brings a new standard to the large commercial van-based segment. The ProMaster is available in two roof heights, 90 or 101 inches with best-in-class standard roof height and the most vertically oriented side walls in the cargo van category (nearly 90 degrees in relation to the cargo compartment floor). The ProMaster features a standard sliding door on the passenger side with an optional sliding door on the driver's side. The sliding door openings are based on roof height – 49 inch x 60 inch for the low roof model and 49 inch x 70 inch for high roof models. In the rear, an available two-position rear clamshell door swings open up to 260-degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van. All three door openings enable fork lift pallet loading and unloading, and spaciousness that leads the competitive set. Upfitter friendliness Ram Truck is well known for being the most upfitter-friendly brand in the truck market. The Ram ProMaster continues the tradition and features an integrated cab configuration for unmatched up-fitter/conversion solutions. Adding to the ProMaster's design for adaptability, virtually all primary vehicle systems are packaged forward of the cargo area. Electronic stability control The standard electronic stability control (ESC) system on the new Ram ProMaster is a sophisticated four-channel (independent control to all four corners of the vehicle) active handling system that links the vehicle's dynamic control systems to assist the driver in maintaining control under demanding or adverse conditions such as wet, snow-covered or icy roads, tight turns, and evasive maneuvers. In effect, the ESC determines the driver's intentions and optimizes overall vehicle control to keep the dynamic forces within select limits in any driving situation – nearly transparent so control seems almost intuitive. Powertrain The 2014 Ram ProMaster van's powertrain lineup features the award-winning standard-equipment, gasoline-fueled V-6 and a torque-laden, I-4 EcoDiesel engine. The engines are paired, respectively, with a proven six-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled six-speed automated manual. EcoDiesel The 2014 Ram ProMaster marks the North American introduction of the potent 174-horsepower 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb.-ft. at just 1,400 rpm. The engine features a number of refinements, including internal engine components, turbo and emission controls. Helping to reduced total cost of ownership, an oil-level sensor contributes to an oil-change schedule of up to 18,500 miles. Pentastar The standard-equipment 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is rated at 280 horsepower with peak torque of 260 lb.-ft., the dual overhead cam, 24-valve Pentastar delivers the capability required of a commercial van without compromising refinement – hallmarks that have contributed to its ranking among Ward's 10 Best Engines for three years running. Reducing vehicle operating costs was paramount in the minds of the powertrain engineers who contributed to Ram ProMaster's development. Recommended oil-change intervals range up to 10,000 miles. But an intelligent oil-servicing system that monitors vehicle usage will trigger an alert when service is most appropriate. Transmissions The smooth-shifting 62TE automatic transmission is upgraded to accommodate the Ram ProMaster's prodigious weight ratings. Specifically, its 3.86 final-drive ratio enables comfortable grade transit under full freight. The transmission more readily adopts the most appropriate ratio for a given driving situation. The numerically lower overall top gear ratio delivers a more economical highway operation. The trailer/tow program comes standard with 62TE and the new M40 automated manual, which is not only exclusive to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, it stands alone in the Ram ProMaster's competitive set. The unique M40 gearbox delivers the efficiency of a manual transmission with the functionality of an automatic. At its core, it is a manual, but gear shifts and clutch functions are accomplished with electro-hydraulic actuation system. However, the driver can opt for manual shift-lever inputs when desired. But the driver needn't do all the work. Gearbox software delivers a unique response to driving conditions. Shift logic is adjusted according to grade steepness. The result is a well-connected driving experience that delivers the fuel economy required of a commercial van such as the Ram ProMaster. Design The Ram design team started with a functional exterior and interior, adding distinct Ram styling while adapting the new full-size van for North America. Exterior The front of the new ProMaster is identified by visually durable bodylines, a broad wraparound bumper and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. True to the Ram Truck brand, the ProMaster leads with a bold, hexagon-shaped crosshair grille, featuring the Ram's head logo proudly displayed as the focal point of the crosshair. The cab-forward, short dash to front axle design pushes the nose inward and the headlamps upward. This design provides higher passenger seating positions and better visibility – obviously important for commercial users – thanks to a more confident vantage point from which to operate the vehicle. The front bumper is a three-piece styled modular design, resulting in reduced repair costs and downtime. Durable front-wheel arches are styled with the bumper to protect the doors. A unique step is designed into both front bumper corners, making it easy to clean the windscreen from either side. The new full-size van features plenty of real estate on all four sides. This space allows for businesses to post signage and graphics, making the van a rolling billboard to help promote the owner, trade or vocation. Interior The functional and innovative features continue inside the Ram ProMaster. Although much was borrowed from the Fiat version, Ram designers made alterations for U.S. customers. Interior design and function is of primary importance for a light commercial vehicle in which the driver normally spends long hours at the wheel, often under demanding conditions. The cabin of the ProMaster was therefore designed with comfortable driving ergonomics, important because the ProMaster is a place of work. Because goods always need to be transported in total safety, the new Ram ProMaster van is fitted with accommodations to hold down goods on the floor. Up to 17 tie-down rings with 1,000-lb. rating fold away to maintain a flat floor, easing loading and unloading operations. Available partitions also offer passengers excellent protection against the possibility of load shift the cabin. Safety Safety and security were two of the guiding principles followed by engineers throughout the development of the new 2014 Ram ProMaster van. Ram's new full-size van offers more than 35 active and passive safety and security features. The ProMaster also includes standard ESC, hosting a number of technologies such as trailer-sway control. Security also means notification of the traffic around you. Ram ProMaster features ParkView backup camera and ParkSense with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering a large van. Uconnect ProMaster customers can make the best use of their valuable time by leveraging Uconnect's easy-to-learn, easy-to-use interface – acclaimed for its convenience and sensible design. Handsfree calling in the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster is made convenient via reliable Bluetooth technology. Similarly, the truck's handsfree text-reply feature enables customers to quickly deliver messages. A full-color, five-inch touchscreen is available with global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation, providing Ram ProMaster customers the ability to chart time-saving routes to their destinations. Uconnect Web, powered by Autonet Mobile, is available to U.S. customers. This system delivers continuous Internet connectivity, creating an efficient workspace and real-time information access on the go. Best practices In total, the Ram ProMaster test fleet accumulated millions of miles enabling Ram and Fiat teams access to real-world data. This includes testing done in laboratories in Turin, Italy and Auburn Hills, Mich., at Fiat and Chrysler Group proving grounds, as well as reliability testing on public roads in many different climates in Europe and the United States. The 3/36 Reliability Testing, appropriately named as each test car accumulates 36,000 miles (equivalent to three years of use) in about three months, is conducted day and night by teams of drivers. To reflect typical daily driver scenarios, the test drivers do not originate from the engineering ranks and are intentionally chosen from diverse backgrounds to represent customers of different ages, sizes and ethnicities. The test drivers scrutinize all the customer functional aspects of each vehicle as well as overall driving evaluations. This includes radio and navigation system checks, seat-belt buckling, heating and ventilation operation and opening and closing storage compartments and windows. Configurations The 2014 Ram ProMaster offers 13 different configurations: ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 118-inch wheelbase low roof ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase low roof ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof extended body ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 136-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase extended body ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 136-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase extended frame ProMaster competitors are: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ford Econoline, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savanna and Nissan NV Cargo. Manufacturing Start of production for the 2014 Ram ProMaster is scheduled for third quarter of 2013. All configurations will be produced at the Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.
  21. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 30, 2013 Today, Chrysler announced its earnings for 2012 and the results are staggering. The company reported a net income of $1.7 billion, up substantially from minuscule $183 million profit earned in 2011. Chrysler also saw their 4th quarter net income increase from $225 million in 2011 to $378 million in 2012. The massive increases is due to Chrysler's market share increasing to 11.4%. Chrysler also unveiled a updated product plan for all of its brands. The big news is that Chrysler and Dodge have dropped their Fiat-based models. Instead, Fiat will introduce five new models including compact and subcompact cars. Here is the full breakdown: Alfa Romeo: 2013 will hopefully see the arrival of the 4C In 2015, four new models will be arriving. Chrysler: Originally Chrysler was to have three small vehicles built by Fiat in 2013. However those have been cut. New 200 is due out in 2014. Another model will get a refresh. 2015 sees three new models Dodge: Much like Chrysler, Dodge is dropping two Fiat built models. One model will see a refresh this year. Two models will get a refresh in 2014. New models are coming in 2015 and 2016. Fiat: The three Chryslers and two Dodges will become Fiats. Those will be coming in 2015 and 2016. 500L coming sometime this year Jeep: 2013 will see new Liberty/Cherokee 2014 is the new subcompact model based on a Fiat platform 2015 sees two new models. One of them is expected to be a new seven-seat Grand Wagoneer 2016 will see two models be refreshed Ram: Ram ProMaster (Sprinter replacement) due out sometime in 2013. 2014 will see the Ram van based on the Fiat Doblo 2016 will see two new Rams SRT: 2014 will see the 300, Charger, and Challenger get a refresh. 2015 is the Viper refresh. A new model is expected to join in 2016. Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group Reports Full-year 2012 Net Income of $1.7 Billion Full-year Modified Operating Profit Totaled $2.9 Billion, Up 47 Percent, and Free Cash Flow Was $2.2 Billion Chrysler Group LLC’s full-year 2012 net income improved more than eight-fold to $1.7 billion, from $183 million a year ago Net revenue for the year was $65.8 billion, up 20 percent from $55.0 billion a year ago; fourth-quarter revenue was up 13 percent to $17.2 billion Modified Operating Profit(b) improved to $2.9 billion for the year, up 47 percent from the prior year; fourth-quarter Modified Operating Profit was up 40 percent to $711 million Cash(d) at year’s end was $11.6 billion compared with $9.6 billion a year ago and $11.9 billion at Sept. 30, 2012; Free Cash Flow(e) for the year was $2.2 billion compared with $1.9 billion a year ago Net Industrial Debt(f) was $1.0 billion at Dec. 31, 2012, an improvement of $1.9 billion from a year ago Worldwide vehicle shipments were 2.4 million for the year, up 20 percent from 2.0 million a year ago; fourth-quarter shipments were 613,000 Worldwide vehicle sales for the full year 2012 totaled 2.2 million, up 18 percent from a year ago; fourth-quarter sales were 533,000 January 30, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported preliminary net income of $1.7 billion for the full year 2012, up from net income of $183 million a year ago, exceeding the guidance provided earlier in the year. Full-year 2011 Adjusted Net Income(a) was $734 million, after adjusting for the $551 million loss on extinguishment of debt recognized in the second quarter of 2011. “While we are pleased to have achieved strong financial results in 2012, the enterprise we are crafting is not complete,” Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne said. “The goals we’ve set for the year ahead reflect a common desire by everyone from leadership to the shop floor to succeed and sustain the power of the house we are building. Our aim is meaningful, but it is not complicated, and only a preoccupation with quality can achieve it. We pause for a moment to enjoy our accomplishments, but we will not stop. Our continued achievement relies upon maintaining a humble spirit and an intense focus on the integrity of our work. And so we press on.” For the fourth quarter, net income was $378 million on revenue of $17.2 billion, up 68 percent from $225 million a year earlier. For the year, the Company reported revenue of $65.8 billion, an increase of 20 percent from a year ago, primarily due to higher vehicle shipments. Modified Operating Profit was $2.9 billion for the year, or 4.4 percent of revenue, up 47 percent from $2.0 billion reported in the prior year. The increase resulted from continuing strong sales and pricing, partially offset by an increase in the proportion of sales from passenger cars, including the Dodge Dart and Fiat 500, versus trucks and SUVs; increased research-and-development costs for future models; and increased spending on advertising. Modified Operating Profit for the quarter was $711 million, a 40 percent increase from the same period last year. Modified EBITDA© was $5.5 billion for the year, or 8.3 percent of net revenue, an increase of 15 percent from the prior year. For the fourth quarter, Modified EBITDA was $1.3 billion.
  22. Previously, the market for vans was stagnate. Old models paired with poor optimism in the business world made vans appealing as cold liver and onions. But Bloomberg reports that vans are making a comeback. Data from Edmunds shows that van sales by unit have more than double in the past five years, outpacing the pace set by the auto industry overall. More surprising is that in the first quarter, sales of vans climbed another third. If this growth trend continues, its expected that 475,000 vans will be sold in the year. So what is causing this explosion in van sales? Two factors. First are new vans arriving in showrooms. Ford. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Ram have introduced new vans that are more efficient and boast more space. "The big trend that we’ve seen is customers being able to right-size their vehicle for the job that they need. We had a show where we had the Mustang GT500 and the conversion van, and the van actually drew as much attention,” said Yaro Hetman, the brand manager for the Transit. Secondly is the resurgent of specific jobs; skill trades, deliveries, and transportation. The National Federation of Independent Business says the optimism in business has been growing in the past few years. With this increased optimism, comes sales. Source: Bloomberg
  23. You would think that with the introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Terrain and refreshed Toyota Tacoma, the likes of Ford and Ram would be getting in the midsize truck action. But Ram boss Bob Hegbloom can't make it work for the brand. The problem according to Automotive News is the price of higher fuel economy. Hegbloom explained that back in the heyday of midsize trucks - the 1980's - consumers bought them because they were considerably smaller, less expensive, and boasted impressive fuel economy. Although midsize trucks had less capability than their full-size compatriots, consumers didn't mind. "When you look at those four factors, that's truly what a midsize pickup customer is looking for. I've been able to develop a strategy to come up with three of the four -- and even with what's out there on the market today, I haven't seen anyone who can deliver on all four," said Hegbloom. To Hegbloom, a midsize truck from Ram would have to achieve 35 MPG on the highway. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can achieve 29 MPG on the highway. "If full-size now is pushing 30 [mpg], you're going to expect a midsize to be at least at 35. You're also going to expect it to be significantly less expensive. But to bring the technology in to deliver on 35 mpg, then you're going to raise the price," said Hegbloom. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  24. Chicago is known as a place where truck manufacturers show off their wares. Case in point is Ram which is showing off a new version of its flagship trim - the Laramie Limited. Available on all Ram truck models, the Laramie Limited increases the amount of luxuries found in the cabin. There is black Natura Plus leather with gray piping; Black Argento wood trim, soft touch materials, and Liquid Graphite accents line the dash. The Laramie Limited's exterior throws subtlety out the window. The front end gets a new grille with a large 'RAM' emblem. Around back, a 20-inch 'RAM' badge sits on a rear tailgate. If you ever wanted to let everyone - especially in space - this is your truck. Other notes on the exterior include chrome bumpers and mirror caps; LED turnsignals and taillights; and 20-inch wheels. Ram says the Laramie Limited trim arrives in the third quarter of this year. Source: Ram Trucks Press Release is on Page 2 Efficiency, Capability, Class and Detail — Ram Truck Announces New Laramie Limited Ram continues building momentum with new top-of-class Laramie Limited model Prominent badge, Argento wood and premium leather are key ingredients of new Ram Laramie Limited design, treasured by high-end pickup buyers Laramie Limited trim is part of Ram’s strategy to continue its aggressive pace in the truck market February 12, 2015 , Chicago - Ram Truck brand is taking the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited – the benchmark in truck opulence – to an even higher level of sophistication and attention to detail. The upgraded interior and exterior trim aligns with a long list of best-in-class titles under the Ram moniker, including fuel economy, payload, torque and towing capacity. “Among Ram Truck’s greatest strengths is our ability to quickly react to customer demand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand — FCA US LLC. “The new Laramie Limited trim is a perfect example of how Ram directly responds to customer input with the highest level of luxury available in pickups. The Laramie Limited trim exceeds the high expectations of affluent truck buyers by combining capability with refinement.” Featuring premium materials, such as an all-black, full-leather seating, real wood interior components and unique badges, Ram Laramie Limited is a “black-tie” luxury alternative to the popular southwestern-themed Laramie Longhorn edition pickup. “Today’s high-end Ram pickups have more features than select luxury sedans,” added Hegbloom. “We will continue to strive for the highest levels of sophistication, while keeping the core needs of a truck owner top of mind.” The new Ram trim, available on the1500, 2500 and 3500 models, will make its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the media on Feb. 12, 2015. Exterior The Laramie Limited’s all-new grille is the most prominent change of the exterior. As the leading point of the new Limited, its new billet port grille breaks from the long tradition of a crosshair styling with bold “RAM” lettering. Exterior features include a body-color front fascia with fog lamps and a matching, painted rear bumper. For added flash, an optional exterior package covers the front and rear bumpers in bright chrome. To address customer demand, select-colored Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks come standard with chrome. On each side of the grille, a quad headlamp design includes a bi-functional halogen projector system placed in a dark background. Fifteen amber LEDs illuminate park/turn/position lamps and three amber LEDs serve for the side markers. A vertically ribbed inner lens softens the glow and retains the improved visual component of the segment exclusive LEDs. The Ram design team carefully crafted the interior bezel and housing to create a visually entertaining, yet functional piece of hardware. Also, a Ram shield logo is molded into the housing, and the Ram name molded into the inside of the outer lens. The side profile of the Limited is dressed in chrome accents for body-side molding with etched “Limited” mirrors, door handles, window molding and standard wheel-to-wheel side steps. Ram 1500 Laramie Limited features an all-new 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum wheel – unique in the truck market and a detail not to be missed. Polished surfaces are accented with painted silver. Heavy Duty models also feature a new multi-surface 20-inch fully-polished aluminum, six-spoke wheels. Wheel centers are embossed with the Ram brand name. Matching the new front grille theme, a new tailgate design is fixed with a 20-inch-wide, bright chrome “RAM” badge so onlookers can clearly identify the truck. A new chrome accent strip lines the base of the gate. Premium tail lamps are equipped with 15 red LEDs and three red LEDs for the side marker. A frosted inner lens creates visual entertainment and softens the glow. The Ram Laramie Limited is available in seven exterior color choices, including: Brilliant Black, Bright Silver Metallic, Pearl White, Red Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic and True Blue Pearl. Interior The 2015 Ram Laramie Limited is the apex of modern luxury. Subtle stitching accents, pin striping, unique materials and patterns are found throughout the interior. These are details created for the customer who appreciates them. The Limited starts with an all-black leather cockpit – the seats are covered in Black Natura Plus premium leather. Unique pinstripe stitching designs lend the Ram Laramie Limited an unmatched level of sophistication and style. Graystone leather piping rides the stitching peaks, creating a visible silhouette profile of the seats contrasting an all-black backdrop. Using an idea borrowed from the Longhorn trim, rear flap-closure seatback map pockets with modern, chrome Ram-lettered buckles also are unique to Laramie Limited. Passenger touch points are given a soft, comfortable feel. The Ram Laramie Limited’s newly designed, deep and double-stacked center console is topped with a forgiving, French-stitched full-leather lid and pronounced Limited badge, covering USB, Auxiliary and 12-volt service points. Just forward of the console lid, a new bin houses a cellular phone and tablet holder, which can be concealed with a new tambour wood sliding door. The real wood door is made from Black Argento, the chosen timber for the Limited interior. The collective Silver pinstripe theme runs through the wood and a satin chrome handle rolls the door with ease. Laramie Limited includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel from the 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock positions. The remaining portion of the steering wheel receives high-gloss Black Argento treatment with silver accent lines. A-pillar and B-pillar handles feature a leather wrap with rollover Graystone stitching. The column-mounted shifter on Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models also receives leather treatments with accent stitching and satin chrome accents. Ram 1500 models feature a machine-spun aluminum shifter mounted on the instrument panel with knurled edges to assure finger and glove traction. Placed into a black mask background, Ram Laramie Limited’s Liquid Graphite-faced gauges are surrounded with diamond knurled, Liquid Chrome rings, a design cue inspired by modish watches. Gauge needles are finished in white with Liquid Graphite painted hubs. Limited’s cluster also has a unique modern font, with clean white accent lighting to further differentiate the trim. The instrument panel is topped with Graystone accent stitching and fitted with a Liquid Graphite glove box spear, pinstripe design and understated “Limited” badge. The 2015 Laramie Limited features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with standard navigation. Digital background screens are tailor-made to the high-class trim, another detail valued by premium truck customers. The center stack is finished off with K-black Dark Metallic paint, Argento inlays and surrounded by large Liquid Graphite bezels. Front and rear door trim are layered in premium leather. Armrest uppers are accented with matched French stitching and pinstripe stitching designs. The top of the door panel is covered in ultra-soft Natura Plus leather, uncommon in trucks. High-gloss Argento wood spears with silver accent lines lay above the armrest upper and satin chrome trim rings and badges provide subtle flair. Ram Laramie Limited editions receive remote LED lighting at the inside door handles, and a full-length light that illuminates the truck’s multifunction lower map pockets, front and rear. Beneath the dash is soft footwell lighting, providing both functional and aesthetic properties. New for Ram Truck, and debuting on the 2015 Laramie Limited model, is an all-black headliner and pillars combination. This change allowed designers to control where contrasts exist best for visual appeal. Finally, passengers will enjoy solid Black premium Berber carpet floor mats, which are removable by using Liquid Graphite snaps, leaving a rubber, slush and mud-capturing mat with Limited badge. The carpet continues the silver-lined theme, which matches the steering wheel, center stack, console tambour door and door spears. For entry and exit, brushed-silver Ram-branded door-sill plates resist scuffs and add visual appeal and close out the most luxurious interior available in a pickup — the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited. Other Features Ram Laramie Limited also is equipped with air suspension (1500 only), wheel-to-wheel side steps, navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, power adjustable pedals with memory, heated steering wheel, front ventilated and heated seats, heated rear seats and RamBox (Heavy Duty, 6-foot, 4-inch bed only). The Laramie Limited trim will be available in Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 single- and dual-rear-wheel; Crew Cab and Mega Cab (Heavy Duty); four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; and short- and long-wheelbase models. The Ram 1500 Laramie Limited luxury trim will be available in the second quarter of 2015 as a 2015 model. The Ram Laramie Limited 2500 and 3500 will be available in the third quarter as a 2016 model.
  25. Even though the Ram ProMaster City is hitting dealerships right now, there is already talk of expanding the lineup. Edmunds spoke with Joe Benson, head of Ram's commercial truck operations who hinted that more variations of the ProMaster City could be forthcoming if the demand is there. "When we learn more about our customer needs here, then we can go to that portfolio and bring in what we need, which includes the diesel engine, a short wheelbase, maybe a seven-passenger version. We have that flexibility in the future," said Benson. Other models up for consideration include a high-roof variant and a pickup variant with drop-down sides to access the cargo bed. Benson predicts that sales of compact cargo vans to reach 100,000 units by 2016, a two-fold increase to the 50,000 units predicted for this year. His reasoning comes from owners of the Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari vans looking to get into a new van. Source: Edmunds

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