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Found 128 results

  1. (Author's Note: As was pointed out to me on Facebook, the diesel engine is nowhere to be seen on the consumer site or the configurator. Yet, it appears in FCA's media materials. In an email sent this afternoon, Ram Trucks spokesman Nick Cappa said the option has been dropped for 2018. This review has been updated with this new information. -WM) I’ll admit that I was a bit crazy requesting a 2018 Ram ProMaster van for review. Ever since it was introduced, I have been interested in this rebadged version of the Fiat Ducato van sold elsewhere. Unlike most vans that use a rear-wheel drive layout, the ProMaster uses a front-wheel drive one. I wanted to know if this works for a vehicle designed for work. But I also have an odd curiosity to cargo vans in general as I wondered what it would be like to drive one for a week as my daily driver. This is what I found out. Function over form best describes the design brief for the Ram ProMaster. The overall profile reminds us of an oversized dustbuster with a steeply raked and short front end and tall sides. Awkward is the kindest word to use on the ProMaster’s front end with the grille placed very low, acres of gray plastic, headlights positioned near the windshield, and a large glass area. The rest of the ProMaster’s design fits in line with other cargo vans with clean sides, split-opening rear doors, and a set of optional wheels.  The ProMaster offers a wide variety of configurations. With three weight classes, three body styles, and various roof height and length options, you’ll be able to find a van that fit your needs. Our particular tester is one of the popular configurations; a 2500 with the 159-inch wheelbase and high roof option. Getting inside the ProMaster isn’t tough thanks to wide opening front doors and steps to help you climb up. Once in, you’ll notice one of the key benefits to the ProMaster’s exterior. The large glass area not only makes the interior feel airy, it provides excellent outward visibility. This helps make maneuvering in tight spaces easier. The design is very utilitarian with a plain look and controls within easy reach of the driver and passenger. There are some clever touches such as the integrated clipboard latch on the top of the dash to hold paperwork and numerous storage spaces. Many surfaces are covered in hard plastics which will hold up to the various work demands being put upon by owners. One area that will be a major issue for drivers is the seating position. Instead of you sitting in front of the steering wheel, Ram has the wheel set up similar to a school bus or semi-truck where you sit over it. Not helping is the placement of the pedals where you step down instead of push forward. The end result is a driver being in a hunched over position. This could be somewhat alleviated if there was a tilt adjustment for the steering wheel. But Ram only offers a telescoping adjustment. The only way to get a sudo-tilt adjustment is to adjust the angle of the seat. The seats themselves are perfect for a long workday with excellent support and firm cushioning. It needs to be noted that the ProMaster only offers the bare minimum when it comes to seat adjustments such as angle and position. If you want lumbar adjustments, you need to tick that box on the option list. All ProMasters come with a 5.3-inch touchscreen with FCA’s UConnect infotainment system. Our test van came with the optional TomTom navigation system. The small screen makes it slightly difficult to look at quickly or use while on the move. We would skip the TomTom navigation system as the graphics are quite dated and it takes some time to process before providing directions. At least the base UConnect system has many of the qualities we like on the larger systems such as a simple user interface and snappy performance. Step behind the cockpit to enter the massive cargo space. Our particular ProMaster configuration boasted 420 cubic feet of space and max payload of 4,020 pounds. One of the reasons I had requested the van was to get a number of items at my parent’s house to be donated. The van was up to the task by swallowing up everything including a dining room set. The low step-in height, rear-doors that open up 260-degrees, and numerous tie-down points to keep cargo in its place were appreciated. There are two engines on offer for the ProMaster. We had the base 3.6L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. There is an optional a 3.0L turbodiesel inline-four with a six-speed automated manual. (No more diesel for 2018 according to FCA). The V6 engine moves the van with no issue even with a large amount of cargo. As for the automatic, it delivers smooth shifts. However, the transmission showed some slowness to change gears. We’re assuming this is due to van only having 350 miles when we took delivery. For those who need a specific setup in the cargo area such as plumbers or painters, Ram offers various uplift packages that include such items as shelving, integrated tool boxes, and dividers. The low mileage might also explain the fuel economy figure of 15.7 mpg in mostly city driving. No EPA numbers are available due to the van’s gross vehicle weight being above 8,500 pounds. It is evident that Ram’s prime consideration for the suspension was tuned to deal with heavy loads and not comfort. With the van empty, the ride quality is quite harsh with many bumps making their way inside. Fill up the van and the ride begins to smooth out somewhat. Steering takes a lot of effort as it's very slow and requires a driver to make a number of rotations to do simple turns. There is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming inside the passenger compartment. If I was to judge the ProMaster like I would with a normal passenger car or SUV, it would be towards the bottom. There is a long list of problems such as the odd driving position, the number of comfort features that are optional, slow steering, and harsh ride. But I need to look at the ProMaster in a different light since it isn’t built for people like me. It is built for people who need a vehicle that can handle holding a lot of cargo or tools, along with being on some sort of worksite for periods at a time. Then the ProMaster begins to show some bright spots. The massive cargo area with the low step-in and tie-down point make it great for deliveries or moving. Using a front-wheel drive setup doesn’t hurt the ProMaster’s capability in terms of payload, and will help the van when the weather becomes terrible like a snowstorm. Finally, the V6 engine is plenty powerful for any situation the ProMaster is in. While I found the ProMaster to be a bit much to be used a daily driver for me, I can very much see the appeal for those in the commercial market. Just be sure to try the seating position as that will be the item that will influence your decision the most. Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the ProMaster 2500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Ram Trucks Model: ProMaster Cargo Trim: 2500 159" Wheelbase - High Roof Engine: 3.6L DOHC 24-Valve V6 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 4.483 lbs Location of Manufacture: N/A Base Price: $35,095 As Tested Price: $43,460 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge) Options: Sliding Driver-Side Door without Glass - $595.00 Trailer Tow Group - $585.00 UConnect 3 Navigation with 5-inch Display - $495.00 16-inch x 6.0-inch Aluminum Wheels - $445.00 Wood Composite Floor - $445.00 Premium Appearance Group - $395.00 Interior Convenience Group - $345.00 ParkSense Rear Park-Assist System - $295.00 Rear Hinged Doors with Deep Tinted Glass - $295.00 Speed Control - $295.00 Upper and Lower Side Wall Paneling Group - $295.00 LED Cargo Areas Light Bars - $285.00 225/75R16C BSW All-Season Tires - $250.00 Driver/Passenger 6-Way Adjustable Lumbar Seats - $245.00 Power Folding/Heated Mirrors - $245.00 Security Alarm - $245.00 DOT Certified Roadside Safety Kit - $195.00 Heated Driver Seat - $195.00 Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel - $195.00 SiriusXM Sat Radio w/1-Year Subscription - $195.00 Rear Assist Handles - $150.00 Heated Passenger Seat - $145.00 Instrument Panel Bright Bezels - $95.00 12-Volt Rear Auxiliary Power Outlet - $45.00
  2. (Author's Note: As was pointed out to me on Facebook, the diesel engine is nowhere to be seen on the consumer site or the configurator. Yet, it appears in FCA's media materials. In an email sent this afternoon, Ram Trucks spokesman Nick Cappa said the option has been dropped for 2018. This review has been updated with this new information. -WM) I’ll admit that I was a bit crazy requesting a 2018 Ram ProMaster van for review. Ever since it was introduced, I have been interested in this rebadged version of the Fiat Ducato van sold elsewhere. Unlike most vans that use a rear-wheel drive layout, the ProMaster uses a front-wheel drive one. I wanted to know if this works for a vehicle designed for work. But I also have an odd curiosity to cargo vans in general as I wondered what it would be like to drive one for a week as my daily driver. This is what I found out. Function over form best describes the design brief for the Ram ProMaster. The overall profile reminds us of an oversized dustbuster with a steeply raked and short front end and tall sides. Awkward is the kindest word to use on the ProMaster’s front end with the grille placed very low, acres of gray plastic, headlights positioned near the windshield, and a large glass area. The rest of the ProMaster’s design fits in line with other cargo vans with clean sides, split-opening rear doors, and a set of optional wheels.  The ProMaster offers a wide variety of configurations. With three weight classes, three body styles, and various roof height and length options, you’ll be able to find a van that fit your needs. Our particular tester is one of the popular configurations; a 2500 with the 159-inch wheelbase and high roof option. Getting inside the ProMaster isn’t tough thanks to wide opening front doors and steps to help you climb up. Once in, you’ll notice one of the key benefits to the ProMaster’s exterior. The large glass area not only makes the interior feel airy, it provides excellent outward visibility. This helps make maneuvering in tight spaces easier. The design is very utilitarian with a plain look and controls within easy reach of the driver and passenger. There are some clever touches such as the integrated clipboard latch on the top of the dash to hold paperwork and numerous storage spaces. Many surfaces are covered in hard plastics which will hold up to the various work demands being put upon by owners. One area that will be a major issue for drivers is the seating position. Instead of you sitting in front of the steering wheel, Ram has the wheel set up similar to a school bus or semi-truck where you sit over it. Not helping is the placement of the pedals where you step down instead of push forward. The end result is a driver being in a hunched over position. This could be somewhat alleviated if there was a tilt adjustment for the steering wheel. But Ram only offers a telescoping adjustment. The only way to get a sudo-tilt adjustment is to adjust the angle of the seat. The seats themselves are perfect for a long workday with excellent support and firm cushioning. It needs to be noted that the ProMaster only offers the bare minimum when it comes to seat adjustments such as angle and position. If you want lumbar adjustments, you need to tick that box on the option list. All ProMasters come with a 5.3-inch touchscreen with FCA’s UConnect infotainment system. Our test van came with the optional TomTom navigation system. The small screen makes it slightly difficult to look at quickly or use while on the move. We would skip the TomTom navigation system as the graphics are quite dated and it takes some time to process before providing directions. At least the base UConnect system has many of the qualities we like on the larger systems such as a simple user interface and snappy performance. Step behind the cockpit to enter the massive cargo space. Our particular ProMaster configuration boasted 420 cubic feet of space and max payload of 4,020 pounds. One of the reasons I had requested the van was to get a number of items at my parent’s house to be donated. The van was up to the task by swallowing up everything including a dining room set. The low step-in height, rear-doors that open up 260-degrees, and numerous tie-down points to keep cargo in its place were appreciated. There are two engines on offer for the ProMaster. We had the base 3.6L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. There is an optional a 3.0L turbodiesel inline-four with a six-speed automated manual. (No more diesel for 2018 according to FCA). The V6 engine moves the van with no issue even with a large amount of cargo. As for the automatic, it delivers smooth shifts. However, the transmission showed some slowness to change gears. We’re assuming this is due to van only having 350 miles when we took delivery. For those who need a specific setup in the cargo area such as plumbers or painters, Ram offers various uplift packages that include such items as shelving, integrated tool boxes, and dividers. The low mileage might also explain the fuel economy figure of 15.7 mpg in mostly city driving. No EPA numbers are available due to the van’s gross vehicle weight being above 8,500 pounds. It is evident that Ram’s prime consideration for the suspension was tuned to deal with heavy loads and not comfort. With the van empty, the ride quality is quite harsh with many bumps making their way inside. Fill up the van and the ride begins to smooth out somewhat. Steering takes a lot of effort as it's very slow and requires a driver to make a number of rotations to do simple turns. There is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming inside the passenger compartment. If I was to judge the ProMaster like I would with a normal passenger car or SUV, it would be towards the bottom. There is a long list of problems such as the odd driving position, the number of comfort features that are optional, slow steering, and harsh ride. But I need to look at the ProMaster in a different light since it isn’t built for people like me. It is built for people who need a vehicle that can handle holding a lot of cargo or tools, along with being on some sort of worksite for periods at a time. Then the ProMaster begins to show some bright spots. The massive cargo area with the low step-in and tie-down point make it great for deliveries or moving. Using a front-wheel drive setup doesn’t hurt the ProMaster’s capability in terms of payload, and will help the van when the weather becomes terrible like a snowstorm. Finally, the V6 engine is plenty powerful for any situation the ProMaster is in. While I found the ProMaster to be a bit much to be used a daily driver for me, I can very much see the appeal for those in the commercial market. Just be sure to try the seating position as that will be the item that will influence your decision the most. Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the ProMaster 2500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Ram Trucks Model: ProMaster Cargo Trim: 2500 159" Wheelbase - High Roof Engine: 3.6L DOHC 24-Valve V6 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 4.483 lbs Location of Manufacture: N/A Base Price: $35,095 As Tested Price: $43,460 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge) Options: Sliding Driver-Side Door without Glass - $595.00 Trailer Tow Group - $585.00 UConnect 3 Navigation with 5-inch Display - $495.00 16-inch x 6.0-inch Aluminum Wheels - $445.00 Wood Composite Floor - $445.00 Premium Appearance Group - $395.00 Interior Convenience Group - $345.00 ParkSense Rear Park-Assist System - $295.00 Rear Hinged Doors with Deep Tinted Glass - $295.00 Speed Control - $295.00 Upper and Lower Side Wall Paneling Group - $295.00 LED Cargo Areas Light Bars - $285.00 225/75R16C BSW All-Season Tires - $250.00 Driver/Passenger 6-Way Adjustable Lumbar Seats - $245.00 Power Folding/Heated Mirrors - $245.00 Security Alarm - $245.00 DOT Certified Roadside Safety Kit - $195.00 Heated Driver Seat - $195.00 Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel - $195.00 SiriusXM Sat Radio w/1-Year Subscription - $195.00 Rear Assist Handles - $150.00 Heated Passenger Seat - $145.00 Instrument Panel Bright Bezels - $95.00 12-Volt Rear Auxiliary Power Outlet - $45.00 View full article
  3. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Ram 1500 Limited

    It feels somewhat weird to be writing a review of the 2018 Ram 1500 as the 2019 model begins to slowly roll out to dealers. Ram is trying their best get the 2018s out the door. At the time of this writing, Ram is offering up to $12,356 bonus cash on certain 1500 models. Seems very tempting, but are there some other reasons to consider the older 1500 over the new one? Design is very subjective. One person may like the design of a vehicle, while the another may think it is quite ugly. Case in point, I’m not a fan of 2019 Ram 1500. The new shape makes the Ram look like any other pickup truck on sale. At least the 2018 model still retains the big-rig styling that was introduced with the 1994 Ram 1500. The front end is in your face with a large grille, square headlights, and muscular hood. The side profile shows off a set of 20-inch wheels standard on the Limited and the optional RamBox storage system. That isn’t to say the 2018 Ram 1500 doesn’t have design issues either. The Limited trim swaps the standard crosshair grille for one that features ‘RAM’ in big letters. It is just a bit much and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the truck. Since our last review of the Ram 1500 in 2016, not much has changed in the interior. It still has one of cleanest layout for controls and material quality is quite high. Some will snicker at the belt-buckle seat pockets and a ‘Limited’ badge stitched in the center console, but thankfully those touches are only on the higher end models. I do wish Ram would put in a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel as it would make easier to find a comfortable driving position. The adjustable pedals alleviate this issue somewhat. One change I was glad to see was the newest version of UConnect being installed on the 2018 model. This brings an updated interface and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The new interface makes UConnect even easier to use with clearer text and brighter screen. Integration with Apple CarPlay is one the best as it only took a few seconds for the system to find my phone and bring up the CarPlay interface. If you decide to go with the Limited, the only engine on offer is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive complete the powertrain. Those wanting other options will need to drop down to one of the lower trims. On paper, the HEMI V8 seems like a capable performer with close to 400 horsepower. On the road, the HEMI doesn’t quite match up to those expectations. Despite having a muscle car snarl when accelerating, the HEMI V8 is noticeably slower than competitors. As an example, the Ram 1500 took a few ticks longer to hit 70 mph than the previous GM or Toyota full-size trucks I have driven. I cannot pinpoint the possible culprit to this, but I have the feeling the truck’s curb weight and the eight-speed automatic play a role. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Ram 1500 with the HEMI V8 and four-wheel drive are 15 City/21 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 14.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Ram still holds an edge when it comes to the ride quality. The coil-spring setup for the rear suspension gives the truck a ride quality more akin to a sedan with most bumps being smoothed over. This truck also came with an optional air suspension which lowers the truck at highway speeds to improve fuel economy. It also makes getting in and out of the Ram 1500 slightly easier. One item I hope Ram has improved with the 2019 model is the steering. The system used in the 2018 Ram 1500 is quite slow and light, meaning it takes more effort to do simple tasks such as pulling into a parking spot. The Ram 1500 Limited is only available in one configuration - Crew Cab, 5’7” cargo bed, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 4WD. Base price is $56,375, with our test truck coming in at $63,870. For most folks, I would recommend dropping down to the likes of the Big Horn or Laramie as they offer more configuration options in terms of powertrains, cabs, and features. Aside from the deep discounts being on offer for the 2018 Ram 1500, deciding whether to go for the old or new model will come down to personal desires. For some, seeing the various improvements and the shiny new body will draw them towards the 2019 model. For others, the deep discounts and being a proven product will bring them over to the 2018 model. I fall into the latter category at the moment, but it might change whenever I get the chance to drive the 2019 Ram 1500. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Ram Model: 1500 Trim: Limited Engine: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/21/17 Curb Weight: 5,387 lbs Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI Base Price: $53,595 As Tested Price: $63,870 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge and $300 Suede Headliner Delete Credit) Options: Limited Package 26V - $3,200.00 Limited Tungsten Edition - $1,825.00 Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295.00 Power Sunroof - $1,095.00 Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $595.00 Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle - $435.00 Single Disc Remote CD Player $345.00 Trailer Brake Control - $295.00 3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $95.00
  4. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Ram 1500 Limited

    It feels somewhat weird to be writing a review of the 2018 Ram 1500 as the 2019 model begins to slowly roll out to dealers. Ram is trying their best get the 2018s out the door. At the time of this writing, Ram is offering up to $12,356 bonus cash on certain 1500 models. Seems very tempting, but are there some other reasons to consider the older 1500 over the new one? Design is very subjective. One person may like the design of a vehicle, while the another may think it is quite ugly. Case in point, I’m not a fan of 2019 Ram 1500. The new shape makes the Ram look like any other pickup truck on sale. At least the 2018 model still retains the big-rig styling that was introduced with the 1994 Ram 1500. The front end is in your face with a large grille, square headlights, and muscular hood. The side profile shows off a set of 20-inch wheels standard on the Limited and the optional RamBox storage system. That isn’t to say the 2018 Ram 1500 doesn’t have design issues either. The Limited trim swaps the standard crosshair grille for one that features ‘RAM’ in big letters. It is just a bit much and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the truck. Since our last review of the Ram 1500 in 2016, not much has changed in the interior. It still has one of cleanest layout for controls and material quality is quite high. Some will snicker at the belt-buckle seat pockets and a ‘Limited’ badge stitched in the center console, but thankfully those touches are only on the higher end models. I do wish Ram would put in a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel as it would make easier to find a comfortable driving position. The adjustable pedals alleviate this issue somewhat. One change I was glad to see was the newest version of UConnect being installed on the 2018 model. This brings an updated interface and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The new interface makes UConnect even easier to use with clearer text and brighter screen. Integration with Apple CarPlay is one the best as it only took a few seconds for the system to find my phone and bring up the CarPlay interface. If you decide to go with the Limited, the only engine on offer is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive complete the powertrain. Those wanting other options will need to drop down to one of the lower trims. On paper, the HEMI V8 seems like a capable performer with close to 400 horsepower. On the road, the HEMI doesn’t quite match up to those expectations. Despite having a muscle car snarl when accelerating, the HEMI V8 is noticeably slower than competitors. As an example, the Ram 1500 took a few ticks longer to hit 70 mph than the previous GM or Toyota full-size trucks I have driven. I cannot pinpoint the possible culprit to this, but I have the feeling the truck’s curb weight and the eight-speed automatic play a role. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Ram 1500 with the HEMI V8 and four-wheel drive are 15 City/21 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 14.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Ram still holds an edge when it comes to the ride quality. The coil-spring setup for the rear suspension gives the truck a ride quality more akin to a sedan with most bumps being smoothed over. This truck also came with an optional air suspension which lowers the truck at highway speeds to improve fuel economy. It also makes getting in and out of the Ram 1500 slightly easier. One item I hope Ram has improved with the 2019 model is the steering. The system used in the 2018 Ram 1500 is quite slow and light, meaning it takes more effort to do simple tasks such as pulling into a parking spot. The Ram 1500 Limited is only available in one configuration - Crew Cab, 5’7” cargo bed, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 4WD. Base price is $56,375, with our test truck coming in at $63,870. For most folks, I would recommend dropping down to the likes of the Big Horn or Laramie as they offer more configuration options in terms of powertrains, cabs, and features. Aside from the deep discounts being on offer for the 2018 Ram 1500, deciding whether to go for the old or new model will come down to personal desires. For some, seeing the various improvements and the shiny new body will draw them towards the 2019 model. For others, the deep discounts and being a proven product will bring them over to the 2018 model. I fall into the latter category at the moment, but it might change whenever I get the chance to drive the 2019 Ram 1500. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Ram Model: 1500 Trim: Limited Engine: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/21/17 Curb Weight: 5,387 lbs Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI Base Price: $53,595 As Tested Price: $63,870 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge and $300 Suede Headliner Delete Credit) Options: Limited Package 26V - $3,200.00 Limited Tungsten Edition - $1,825.00 Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295.00 Power Sunroof - $1,095.00 Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $595.00 Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle - $435.00 Single Disc Remote CD Player $345.00 Trailer Brake Control - $295.00 3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $95.00 View full article
  5. It has been a rough start for the 2019 Ram 1500 production line. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said on an earnings call last week that the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, home to the 2019 model is only operating at 60 percent of where the company wants it to be. Automotive News learned from sources at the FCA and suppliers that the plant was building around 1,000 trucks per day last week. "That's not where we need to be. We allowed enough time in 2017 to get that installation up, but it's proven to be challenging," said Marchionne. Why the low production rate? A union source explained there are a few reasons. One is that suppliers are having a difficult time with providing parts for two-generations of the Ram 1500 - FCA is planning on building the last-generation model to help keep sales up while production ramps up on the next-generation 1500. The Sterling Heights' plant is also undergoing construction for the 2019 Ram 1500, which cuts the number of trucks that can be built. Also, the union source said that some workers still lack proper training on building the new model. Another source said that more than 2,500 2019 Ram 1500s were sitting in holding areas due to an electrical issue. Once fixed, the trucks will be shipped out to dealers. Getting production up and running for the 2019 Ram 1500 is important for FCA. Marchionne said it and the redesigned Jeep Wrangler need smooth launches if the company wants to achieve its financial goals for this year. To this end, the company is planning on spending more than $300 million to get the production ramp-up back on track. Automotive News also obtained a revised production calendar from March that indicates FCA will run the Sterling Heights plant every weekend and holiday through Labor Day. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  6. It has been a rough start for the 2019 Ram 1500 production line. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said on an earnings call last week that the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, home to the 2019 model is only operating at 60 percent of where the company wants it to be. Automotive News learned from sources at the FCA and suppliers that the plant was building around 1,000 trucks per day last week. "That's not where we need to be. We allowed enough time in 2017 to get that installation up, but it's proven to be challenging," said Marchionne. Why the low production rate? A union source explained there are a few reasons. One is that suppliers are having a difficult time with providing parts for two-generations of the Ram 1500 - FCA is planning on building the last-generation model to help keep sales up while production ramps up on the next-generation 1500. The Sterling Heights' plant is also undergoing construction for the 2019 Ram 1500, which cuts the number of trucks that can be built. Also, the union source said that some workers still lack proper training on building the new model. Another source said that more than 2,500 2019 Ram 1500s were sitting in holding areas due to an electrical issue. Once fixed, the trucks will be shipped out to dealers. Getting production up and running for the 2019 Ram 1500 is important for FCA. Marchionne said it and the redesigned Jeep Wrangler need smooth launches if the company wants to achieve its financial goals for this year. To this end, the company is planning on spending more than $300 million to get the production ramp-up back on track. Automotive News also obtained a revised production calendar from March that indicates FCA will run the Sterling Heights plant every weekend and holiday through Labor Day. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  7. William Maley

    Spying: 2019 Ram 1500's Face Peeks Out

    In a couple of weeks, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will roll out the 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. Before this, a fresh stack of spy photos have made their way online revealing the front end. The biggest change is Ram dropping the oversize, rectangular grille that has been a key part of their trucks for a number of years. In its place is a hexagonal grille with a narrow bar and 'RAM' name. We're thinking this could be one of a range of different grille inserts for the truck. There are square headlights featuring some sort of LED lighting. The rest of the front looks to be an evolution of the current model. From a previous report, we're possibly expecting some sort of split tailgate for the rear, along with the return of the RamBox storage system. Source: Autoblog, Motor1
  8. In a couple of weeks, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will roll out the 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. Before this, a fresh stack of spy photos have made their way online revealing the front end. The biggest change is Ram dropping the oversize, rectangular grille that has been a key part of their trucks for a number of years. In its place is a hexagonal grille with a narrow bar and 'RAM' name. We're thinking this could be one of a range of different grille inserts for the truck. There are square headlights featuring some sort of LED lighting. The rest of the front looks to be an evolution of the current model. From a previous report, we're possibly expecting some sort of split tailgate for the rear, along with the return of the RamBox storage system. Source: Autoblog, Motor1 View full article
  9. A few years ago, reports popped up about a patent filed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It was a tailgate that could be folded down or split open into two swing-out halves. That patent has now become reality as a new set of spy photos reveals a next-generation Ram 1500 sporting one. Compared to the original patent filing which showed a 50/50 split, the one shown in the spy photos appears to be a 70/30 split. We're assuming this to allow Ram to use the same handle mechanism on this and a standard tailgate. The one item the spy photos don't tell us is how you open the split tailgate. There might be handle on the top of the tailgate, but we're speculating here. There were some other Ram 1500 mules capture who had their tailgates covered up. But they did reveal that the RamBox storage system would be making a return. Source: Autoblog, AutoGuide View full article
  10. William Maley

    Spying: Ram 1500 Sporting A Split Tailgate?

    A few years ago, reports popped up about a patent filed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It was a tailgate that could be folded down or split open into two swing-out halves. That patent has now become reality as a new set of spy photos reveals a next-generation Ram 1500 sporting one. Compared to the original patent filing which showed a 50/50 split, the one shown in the spy photos appears to be a 70/30 split. We're assuming this to allow Ram to use the same handle mechanism on this and a standard tailgate. The one item the spy photos don't tell us is how you open the split tailgate. There might be handle on the top of the tailgate, but we're speculating here. There were some other Ram 1500 mules capture who had their tailgates covered up. But they did reveal that the RamBox storage system would be making a return. Source: Autoblog, AutoGuide
  11. There have been countless rumors and leaks pertaining to the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. But now we have something official from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. An employee from FCA tweeted out a picture charting how some of its plants will retool for various products in the coming year. The picture confirms that the Wrangler will be shown in November and enter production sometime in the fourth quarter. There is also the mention of the next Ram 1500 debuting in January with production beginning sometime in the first quarter. It would be safe to assume that the Wrangler will be shown at LA and the Ram 1500 at Detroit. We also learned that an updated Cherokee will go into production early next year, but no mention of a possible reveal date. Source: Jeff Bennett on Twitter View full article
  12. William Maley

    Jeep to Debut 2018 Wrangler Next Month

    There have been countless rumors and leaks pertaining to the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. But now we have something official from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. An employee from FCA tweeted out a picture charting how some of its plants will retool for various products in the coming year. The picture confirms that the Wrangler will be shown in November and enter production sometime in the fourth quarter. There is also the mention of the next Ram 1500 debuting in January with production beginning sometime in the first quarter. It would be safe to assume that the Wrangler will be shown at LA and the Ram 1500 at Detroit. We also learned that an updated Cherokee will go into production early next year, but no mention of a possible reveal date. Source: Jeff Bennett on Twitter
  13. William Maley

    Spying: 2019 Ram 1500 Shows Off Its Mega Cab

    The current Ram 1500 has been with us since 2009 and it is clear that it needs a major overhaul in light of the updated Ford F-150 and upcoming redesigns of GM's half-tons. We now have gotten our first look at the next-generation model - codenamed DT. Ram has gotten this mule fully covered up, but we can make out some key details. It looks like Ram is going evolutionary in terms of the 1500's design with the blunt shape and crosshair grille. The mule seen here is the Mega Cab variant with its larger rear doors. The spy shots given to Car and Driver also give us a good idea of what changes are taking place inside. It appears that Ram is getting the newest version of UConnect along with redesign controls for the audio and climate system. Towards the bottom of the center stack, you can make out a set of aeronautical-style switches and the rotary gear selector. In terms of engines, the next-generation 1500 will retain the 3.6L V6 and 5.7L HEMI V8. Rumor has it that the V6 could get direct-injection. The fate of the EcoDiesel appearing the next-gen pickup depends on the legal proceedings dealing with illegal software on the current EcoDiesel engine. Expect to see the debut of the next Ram 1500 sometime next year. Source: Car and Driver
  14. The current Ram 1500 has been with us since 2009 and it is clear that it needs a major overhaul in light of the updated Ford F-150 and upcoming redesigns of GM's half-tons. We now have gotten our first look at the next-generation model - codenamed DT. Ram has gotten this mule fully covered up, but we can make out some key details. It looks like Ram is going evolutionary in terms of the 1500's design with the blunt shape and crosshair grille. The mule seen here is the Mega Cab variant with its larger rear doors. The spy shots given to Car and Driver also give us a good idea of what changes are taking place inside. It appears that Ram is getting the newest version of UConnect along with redesign controls for the audio and climate system. Towards the bottom of the center stack, you can make out a set of aeronautical-style switches and the rotary gear selector. In terms of engines, the next-generation 1500 will retain the 3.6L V6 and 5.7L HEMI V8. Rumor has it that the V6 could get direct-injection. The fate of the EcoDiesel appearing the next-gen pickup depends on the legal proceedings dealing with illegal software on the current EcoDiesel engine. Expect to see the debut of the next Ram 1500 sometime next year. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  15. It is quite amazing how in the past few years, the humble heavy-duty pickup has morphed into a prized luxury vehicle. You might think that I am crazy for writing this, but consider how in the few years, truck manufacturers have been tailoring their models to appeal to a new audience. From new trim levels that focus primarily on luxury to new features that one would expect to find in an expensive sedan such as massaging front seats and high-quality leather. That doesn’t mean these luxury pickups have forgotten their main priority; to shoulder the weight of the world in terms of hauling and towing. Recently, we spent a week in the GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD and Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn to get a reading on where luxury heavy-duty trucks currently stand. Exterior Neither one of these trucks has gone through any significant changes since we last reviewed them. The 2500HD comes with a new hood scoop if you option the Duramax V8 turbodiesel, while certain Ram models such as our tester come with a new grille insert featuring “RAM”. The two trucks could not be more different in terms of design elements. The Denali is more modern with a mesh grille, square headlights with LED strands, and a seemingly endless amount of chrome trim. We've found ourselves wondering if we could blind anyone while driving if the sun hit the Denali in just the right way. Meanwhile, the Laramie Longhorn feels right at home on a farm or ranch. The two-tone paint scheme of brown and beige really sets off the Ram 2500, along with the meaty 18-inch chrome wheels. The ‘RAM’ grille is a bit much, but at least it doesn’t come with large chrome lettering on the tailgate that can be reportedly seen from space. Our test truck came with Ram Box storage system. We like the additional storage and ability for the boxes to be locked, but it also means the bed is slightly narrower than a truck without it. Interior At one time, Sierra Denali was considered the pinnacle of luxury for pickup trucks. But now it pales in comparison to the likes the Ram and Ford. The Sierra Denali has the basics such as leather upholstery and stitching on the dash. But that’s about it as there isn’t the option of wood or aluminum trim. Instead, you get painted and faux-chrome like on other Sierra models. A lack of special touches hurt the Denali as well. It would be nice if there was some exclusive feature for the Denali such as a premium audio system or massaging seats. On the upside, the dashboard is laid out in a logical fashion and controls are within easy reach. Both rows of seats provide excellent support for long trips and plenty of space for most passengers. The Sierra also earns points for having numerous USB ports. Getting in and out of the Sierra 2500HD is slightly easier than the Ram 2500 as the cab height is slightly lower. Ram does a better a job in terms of luxury appointments. The Laramie Longhorn features what Ram calls ‘Natura Plus’ leather that feels quite nice when you run your hand across it. Real wood is used on the steering wheel and center stack trim to set it apart from other trims. Rear seat passengers will like the availability of heated seats, something not available on the Denali. There are other touches such as different background for the gauge package and seat pockets that are designed to look like saddle bags. It might look ridiculous to some, but Ram deserves some credit for trying to stand out. Like the Sierra, Ram has a well-laid out dashboard with controls in the place you would expect. Seats aren’t as comfortable as the Sierra, but the 2500 does match it in terms of interior space. The Ram 2500 is somewhat harder to get in as feel like to you have to take a running leap, despite there being entry rails and grab handles. It is also quite the drop when getting out. Technology If there is an area that the Sierra leapfrogs the Ram, it is in technology. The Denali comes with an eight-inch screen featuring GMC’s Intellilink system as standard. This system has been improving since we first tried it a few years ago with improved performance and better stability. The only thing that needs to fixed is the slow response of the navigation system when first launched. Using the system is easy thanks to a simple interface and physical buttons underneath the screen. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto give Intellilink more of an edge over other systems. Ram’s UConnect system was for a time considered one of the best systems thanks to a large screen and interface that offers large touchscreen buttons. It still retains these plus points, but it looks quite dated to the system found in the Sierra. A lot of this comes down to the interface which hasn’t changed since UConnect was launched a few years ago. There is a new version of UConnect that FCA has implemented into various models such as the Pacifica and the 2017 Dodge Charger that brings an updated look along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Sadly, the Ram 2500 misses out on this and it is unclear whether it will get in this current-generation or in a redesign. Performance Both trucks came with their respective optional diesel engines. For the Sierra Denali 2500HD, it is an updated 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel V8 offering 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Ram sticks with 6.7L Cummins turbodiesel inline-six with 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with six-speed automatic transmissions, but the Ram is available with a six-speed manual. On paper, the Sierra Denali 2500HD smokes the Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn and this plays out in the real world as well. The Duramax gets the Sierra 2500HD up to speed at a surprising rate. It feels more like a muscle car thanks to an abundance of low-end torque and being the lightest truck in the class - 6,532 lbs for a 4WD crew cab and 6’6” box vs. 7,625 lbs for the Ram 2500 when similarly equipped. A lot of these performance gains come from changes GM made to the Duramax V8 for 2017 with most of the engine’s internals being replaced and new cool air system with a hood vent. Aside from increased power, the changes also affect how quiet this engine is. Start the engine up and you’ll faintly hear the diesel clatter from inside. The 6.7L Cummins cannot match the Duramax in outright performance. It takes about a second or two longer to hit the same speed as the Duramax. The large deficit in power and being slightly heavier than the Sierra 2500HD are the main reasons as to why. Not helping matters is the Cummins being quite louder than Duramax. At idle, it sounds like a semi-truck. Fuel Economy Neither truck is rated by the EPA as they're exempted from testing due to their heavy weight. In our week-long evaluation, both trucks returned an average of 15 mpg in mostly city driving. Towing Ram shines here as the maximum tow rating for our particular configuration (crew cab, 6’6” bed, and 4WD) comes in 17,200 lbs. GMC comes up short at 13,000 lbs in the same configuration. Ride and Handling While the Sierra Denali 2500HD may trail the Ram in terms of towing, it runs away when it comes to the ride. Despite sticking with a set leaf-springs in the rear, the Sierra 2500HD does a better job smoothing out bumps than the Ram’s coil-spring setup when the beds are empty. Fill them up and it becomes a dead heat in terms of ride quality. Ram does claw some points back as body motions are controlled better when turning and the steering doesn’t wander as much when driven on the highway. Noise isolation goes to the GMC as there has been a fair amount of work done on adding more sound insulation to the truck, along with the improvements made to the engine. Value Both of these trucks are expensive propositions. The Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn comes in at $73,310 as equipped and the Sierra Denali 2500HD is slightly less at $70,540. The key reason for the high prices are the optional diesel engines - $8,700 for the Ram and $9,550 for the Sierra. Considering how much power you get, we give this to Sierra by a hair. Verdict If we consider these two trucks as luxury models, then we would rank the Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn ahead of the Sierra Denali. It makes passengers feel special with various touches such as the unique leather for the trim and heated rear seats. But both trucks pale in comparison to all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty that brings massaging seats and impressive material qualities in its top trim. But when it comes to heavy-duty truck things, the GMC Sierra Denali stands above. While the Ram 2500 may have the more impressive towing numbers, the Sierra fights back with the more powerful diesel engine, better NVH containment, and a more comfortable ride. Hence why it takes this comparison test by a very narrow margin. Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors Provided the trucks, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: GMC Model: Sierra 2500HD Trim: Denali Engine: 6.6L Duramax Turbodiesel V8 Driveline: Allison Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 445 @ 2,800 Torque @ RPM: 910 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 6,532 lbs Location of Manufacture: Flint, MI Base Price: $58,495 As Tested Price: $70,540 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge and $750.00 Duramax Plus Package Discount) Options: Duramax Plus Package - $9,550.00 Power Sunroof - $995.00 Dark Slate Metallic - $395.00 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Trailer Hi Tch Prep Package - $370.00 Off-Road Suspension Package - $180.00 Roof Marker Lamps - $55.00 Radiator Cover - $55.00 Year: 2017 Make: Ram Model: 2500 Trim: Laramie Longhorn Engine: 6.7L Cummins Turbodiesel Inline-Six Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 370 @ 2,800 Torque @ RPM: 800 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 7,625 lbs Location of Manufacture: Saltillo, Mexico Base Price: $57,575 As Tested Price: $73,310 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge) Options: 6.7L Cummins Turbodiesel Inline-Six - $8,700.00 RamBox Cargo Management System - $1,295.00 Power Sunroof - $1,095.00 Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $545.00 Convenience Group - $395.00 Wheel to Wheel Side Steps - $395.00 Center High-Mount Stop Lamp w/Cargo View Camera - $345.00 LT275/70R18E OWL On/Off-Road Tires - $245.00 Off-Road Package - $200.00 Keyless Enter n' Go - $195.00 Power Chrome Trailer Tow Mirrors w/Power Fold Away - $195.00 Rear Window Defroster - $195.00 Clearance Lamps - $95.00
  16. It is quite amazing how in the past few years, the humble heavy-duty pickup has morphed into a prized luxury vehicle. You might think that I am crazy for writing this, but consider how in the few years, truck manufacturers have been tailoring their models to appeal to a new audience. From new trim levels that focus primarily on luxury to new features that one would expect to find in an expensive sedan such as massaging front seats and high-quality leather. That doesn’t mean these luxury pickups have forgotten their main priority; to shoulder the weight of the world in terms of hauling and towing. Recently, we spent a week in the GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD and Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn to get a reading on where luxury heavy-duty trucks currently stand. Exterior Neither one of these trucks has gone through any significant changes since we last reviewed them. The 2500HD comes with a new hood scoop if you option the Duramax V8 turbodiesel, while certain Ram models such as our tester come with a new grille insert featuring “RAM”. The two trucks could not be more different in terms of design elements. The Denali is more modern with a mesh grille, square headlights with LED strands, and a seemingly endless amount of chrome trim. We've found ourselves wondering if we could blind anyone while driving if the sun hit the Denali in just the right way. Meanwhile, the Laramie Longhorn feels right at home on a farm or ranch. The two-tone paint scheme of brown and beige really sets off the Ram 2500, along with the meaty 18-inch chrome wheels. The ‘RAM’ grille is a bit much, but at least it doesn’t come with large chrome lettering on the tailgate that can be reportedly seen from space. Our test truck came with Ram Box storage system. We like the additional storage and ability for the boxes to be locked, but it also means the bed is slightly narrower than a truck without it. Interior At one time, Sierra Denali was considered the pinnacle of luxury for pickup trucks. But now it pales in comparison to the likes the Ram and Ford. The Sierra Denali has the basics such as leather upholstery and stitching on the dash. But that’s about it as there isn’t the option of wood or aluminum trim. Instead, you get painted and faux-chrome like on other Sierra models. A lack of special touches hurt the Denali as well. It would be nice if there was some exclusive feature for the Denali such as a premium audio system or massaging seats. On the upside, the dashboard is laid out in a logical fashion and controls are within easy reach. Both rows of seats provide excellent support for long trips and plenty of space for most passengers. The Sierra also earns points for having numerous USB ports. Getting in and out of the Sierra 2500HD is slightly easier than the Ram 2500 as the cab height is slightly lower. Ram does a better a job in terms of luxury appointments. The Laramie Longhorn features what Ram calls ‘Natura Plus’ leather that feels quite nice when you run your hand across it. Real wood is used on the steering wheel and center stack trim to set it apart from other trims. Rear seat passengers will like the availability of heated seats, something not available on the Denali. There are other touches such as different background for the gauge package and seat pockets that are designed to look like saddle bags. It might look ridiculous to some, but Ram deserves some credit for trying to stand out. Like the Sierra, Ram has a well-laid out dashboard with controls in the place you would expect. Seats aren’t as comfortable as the Sierra, but the 2500 does match it in terms of interior space. The Ram 2500 is somewhat harder to get in as feel like to you have to take a running leap, despite there being entry rails and grab handles. It is also quite the drop when getting out. Technology If there is an area that the Sierra leapfrogs the Ram, it is in technology. The Denali comes with an eight-inch screen featuring GMC’s Intellilink system as standard. This system has been improving since we first tried it a few years ago with improved performance and better stability. The only thing that needs to fixed is the slow response of the navigation system when first launched. Using the system is easy thanks to a simple interface and physical buttons underneath the screen. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto give Intellilink more of an edge over other systems. Ram’s UConnect system was for a time considered one of the best systems thanks to a large screen and interface that offers large touchscreen buttons. It still retains these plus points, but it looks quite dated to the system found in the Sierra. A lot of this comes down to the interface which hasn’t changed since UConnect was launched a few years ago. There is a new version of UConnect that FCA has implemented into various models such as the Pacifica and the 2017 Dodge Charger that brings an updated look along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Sadly, the Ram 2500 misses out on this and it is unclear whether it will get in this current-generation or in a redesign. Performance Both trucks came with their respective optional diesel engines. For the Sierra Denali 2500HD, it is an updated 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel V8 offering 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Ram sticks with 6.7L Cummins turbodiesel inline-six with 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with six-speed automatic transmissions, but the Ram is available with a six-speed manual. On paper, the Sierra Denali 2500HD smokes the Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn and this plays out in the real world as well. The Duramax gets the Sierra 2500HD up to speed at a surprising rate. It feels more like a muscle car thanks to an abundance of low-end torque and being the lightest truck in the class - 6,532 lbs for a 4WD crew cab and 6’6” box vs. 7,625 lbs for the Ram 2500 when similarly equipped. A lot of these performance gains come from changes GM made to the Duramax V8 for 2017 with most of the engine’s internals being replaced and new cool air system with a hood vent. Aside from increased power, the changes also affect how quiet this engine is. Start the engine up and you’ll faintly hear the diesel clatter from inside. The 6.7L Cummins cannot match the Duramax in outright performance. It takes about a second or two longer to hit the same speed as the Duramax. The large deficit in power and being slightly heavier than the Sierra 2500HD are the main reasons as to why. Not helping matters is the Cummins being quite louder than Duramax. At idle, it sounds like a semi-truck. Fuel Economy Neither truck is rated by the EPA as they're exempted from testing due to their heavy weight. In our week-long evaluation, both trucks returned an average of 15 mpg in mostly city driving. Towing Ram shines here as the maximum tow rating for our particular configuration (crew cab, 6’6” bed, and 4WD) comes in 17,200 lbs. GMC comes up short at 13,000 lbs in the same configuration. Ride and Handling While the Sierra Denali 2500HD may trail the Ram in terms of towing, it runs away when it comes to the ride. Despite sticking with a set leaf-springs in the rear, the Sierra 2500HD does a better job smoothing out bumps than the Ram’s coil-spring setup when the beds are empty. Fill them up and it becomes a dead heat in terms of ride quality. Ram does claw some points back as body motions are controlled better when turning and the steering doesn’t wander as much when driven on the highway. Noise isolation goes to the GMC as there has been a fair amount of work done on adding more sound insulation to the truck, along with the improvements made to the engine. Value Both of these trucks are expensive propositions. The Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn comes in at $73,310 as equipped and the Sierra Denali 2500HD is slightly less at $70,540. The key reason for the high prices are the optional diesel engines - $8,700 for the Ram and $9,550 for the Sierra. Considering how much power you get, we give this to Sierra by a hair. Verdict If we consider these two trucks as luxury models, then we would rank the Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn ahead of the Sierra Denali. It makes passengers feel special with various touches such as the unique leather for the trim and heated rear seats. But both trucks pale in comparison to all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty that brings massaging seats and impressive material qualities in its top trim. But when it comes to heavy-duty truck things, the GMC Sierra Denali stands above. While the Ram 2500 may have the more impressive towing numbers, the Sierra fights back with the more powerful diesel engine, better NVH containment, and a more comfortable ride. Hence why it takes this comparison test by a very narrow margin. Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors Provided the trucks, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: GMC Model: Sierra 2500HD Trim: Denali Engine: 6.6L Duramax Turbodiesel V8 Driveline: Allison Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 445 @ 2,800 Torque @ RPM: 910 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 6,532 lbs Location of Manufacture: Flint, MI Base Price: $58,495 As Tested Price: $70,540 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge and $750.00 Duramax Plus Package Discount) Options: Duramax Plus Package - $9,550.00 Power Sunroof - $995.00 Dark Slate Metallic - $395.00 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Trailer Hi Tch Prep Package - $370.00 Off-Road Suspension Package - $180.00 Roof Marker Lamps - $55.00 Radiator Cover - $55.00 Year: 2017 Make: Ram Model: 2500 Trim: Laramie Longhorn Engine: 6.7L Cummins Turbodiesel Inline-Six Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 370 @ 2,800 Torque @ RPM: 800 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 7,625 lbs Location of Manufacture: Saltillo, Mexico Base Price: $57,575 As Tested Price: $73,310 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge) Options: 6.7L Cummins Turbodiesel Inline-Six - $8,700.00 RamBox Cargo Management System - $1,295.00 Power Sunroof - $1,095.00 Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $545.00 Convenience Group - $395.00 Wheel to Wheel Side Steps - $395.00 Center High-Mount Stop Lamp w/Cargo View Camera - $345.00 LT275/70R18E OWL On/Off-Road Tires - $245.00 Off-Road Package - $200.00 Keyless Enter n' Go - $195.00 Power Chrome Trailer Tow Mirrors w/Power Fold Away - $195.00 Rear Window Defroster - $195.00 Clearance Lamps - $95.00 View full article
  17. 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. View full article
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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 View full article
  21. 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 View full article
  22. William Maley

    Marchionne Wants A Midsize Truck for Ram

    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
  23. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2016 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

    Ever since Ford introduced the F-150 SVT Raptor back in 2009, there hasn’t been a manufacturer that has built a true competitor to it. Models such as the Ram 1500 Rebel and Toyota Tundra TRD Pro seem ok playing underneath the Raptor by offering a middle ground between it and your standard four-wheel drive pickup. But there is another truck that shares the Raptor’s trait of not having a true competitor. What truck may that be? That would be the Ram 2500 Power Wagon. The Power Wagon is based on the bones of the Ram 2500 heavy duty and features numerous upgrades to make it an off-road beast. The list of upgrades includes a beefy ladder chassis, solid axles, electronically disconnecting sway bar to allow for more flex when tackling difficult terrain; locking differentials, meaty off-road tires, and a new front bumper with a winch. The only powertrain on offer is the 6.4L HEMI V8 with 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. I really didn’t get the chance to put all of the Power Wagon’s upgrades to the test. But with the small amount of off-road driving I was able to do, I can say Ram has a very capable truck. The four-wheel drive system is activated by a floor-mounted shifter and has a nice solid feel when moving into 4HI or 4LO. Once activated, the system paired with the locking differentials keeps power flowing to all of the wheels, despite the conditions. The suspension has excellent articulation and helps the Power Wagon drive over logs or rocks. A set of Goodyear Wranglers tires provided decent grip on loose gravel. In the mud, the Wranglers were struggling. The tires were slipping around, giving the impression that the truck on ice. Keep that in mind if you plan on taking your Power Wagon to any muddy place. Leaving the beaten path, the Power Wagon is surprisingly very refined. Despite the changes made to the suspension, the ride is very smooth and the truck glides over bumps. Ram’s engineers also did an excellent in noise isolation, a bit surprising considering the off-road tires fitted to this vehicle. The one thing that you notice is how big the Power Wagon is. Due to its size and slow steering, trying to navigate the Power Wagon into an average parking space was almost ‘Mission Impossible’. The 6.4L HEMI V8 is used in a number of FCA’s performance vehicles such as the Charger R/T Scat Pack I drove a few weeks back. But don’t think this makes the Power Wagon into a speed demon. With a curb weight that tips over 7,000 pounds, a lot of the V8’s power is used to overcome this. Despite the weight, the V8 didn’t feel overwhelmed. It was more than able to keep up with traffic. There is the added bonus of a distinctive engine note. It should be noted that 2500 Power Wagon has a max towing capacity of 9,790 pounds. In terms of fuel economy, I got an average of 12 MPG for the week. The EPA doesn’t provide fuel economy numbers since the Power Wagon is over a certain weight. The exterior is a bit much with ‘Power Wagon’ decals on the doors and tailgate, and an interesting splatter pattern on the rear fenders. I found it to be a bit much. At least on the SLT trim, there is an option to delete the graphics. Also, you can order the Power Wagon in the Tradesman and Laramie that don't come with the graphics. Getting into the Power Wagon does require some athleticism as you’ll need to leap into the cabin, despite there being some entry rails. Once inside, you’ll find a decently finished cabin with supportive cloth seats for five passengers. No one will feel uncomfortable in the back as there is more than enough head and legroom. Infotainment duties are handled by Chrysler’s eight-inch UConnect system. The system is very easy to use and quite responsive when changing from screen to screen or choosing a various audio source. The 2016 Ram 2500 Power Wagon starts at $50,715 and my tester came to a final price of $57,480 with a fair amount of options. The Power Wagon is an interesting beast in the truck landscape. It offers a surprising amount of off-road capability while retaining a high tow rating and having a very comfortable ride. But it is built for a specific audience. One that will be putting all of the off-road parts to work and being ok with having a high gas bill. It is in a class of one, much like the Raptor. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 2500 Power Wagon, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Ram Model: 2500 Trim: Power Wagon SLT Engine: 6.4L HEMI MDS V8 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 410 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 429 @ 4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 7,056 lbs Location of Manufacture: Saltillo, Mexico Base Price: $50,715 As Tested Price: $57,480 (Includes $1,195 Destination Charge) Options: Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295 UConnect 8.4 - $1,005 Cloth 40.20/40 Premium Bench Seat - $900 Luxury Group - $695 Spray-In Bedline - $475 ParkSense Front/Rear Park Assist System -$395 Center High-Mount Stop Lamp w/Cargo View Camera - $325 ParkSense Rear Back-Up Camera - $200 Remote Start System - $200 Front and Rear Rubber Floor Mats - $80
  24. Ever since Ford introduced the F-150 SVT Raptor back in 2009, there hasn’t been a manufacturer that has built a true competitor to it. Models such as the Ram 1500 Rebel and Toyota Tundra TRD Pro seem ok playing underneath the Raptor by offering a middle ground between it and your standard four-wheel drive pickup. But there is another truck that shares the Raptor’s trait of not having a true competitor. What truck may that be? That would be the Ram 2500 Power Wagon. The Power Wagon is based on the bones of the Ram 2500 heavy duty and features numerous upgrades to make it an off-road beast. The list of upgrades includes a beefy ladder chassis, solid axles, electronically disconnecting sway bar to allow for more flex when tackling difficult terrain; locking differentials, meaty off-road tires, and a new front bumper with a winch. The only powertrain on offer is the 6.4L HEMI V8 with 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. I really didn’t get the chance to put all of the Power Wagon’s upgrades to the test. But with the small amount of off-road driving I was able to do, I can say Ram has a very capable truck. The four-wheel drive system is activated by a floor-mounted shifter and has a nice solid feel when moving into 4HI or 4LO. Once activated, the system paired with the locking differentials keeps power flowing to all of the wheels, despite the conditions. The suspension has excellent articulation and helps the Power Wagon drive over logs or rocks. A set of Goodyear Wranglers tires provided decent grip on loose gravel. In the mud, the Wranglers were struggling. The tires were slipping around, giving the impression that the truck on ice. Keep that in mind if you plan on taking your Power Wagon to any muddy place. Leaving the beaten path, the Power Wagon is surprisingly very refined. Despite the changes made to the suspension, the ride is very smooth and the truck glides over bumps. Ram’s engineers also did an excellent in noise isolation, a bit surprising considering the off-road tires fitted to this vehicle. The one thing that you notice is how big the Power Wagon is. Due to its size and slow steering, trying to navigate the Power Wagon into an average parking space was almost ‘Mission Impossible’. The 6.4L HEMI V8 is used in a number of FCA’s performance vehicles such as the Charger R/T Scat Pack I drove a few weeks back. But don’t think this makes the Power Wagon into a speed demon. With a curb weight that tips over 7,000 pounds, a lot of the V8’s power is used to overcome this. Despite the weight, the V8 didn’t feel overwhelmed. It was more than able to keep up with traffic. There is the added bonus of a distinctive engine note. It should be noted that 2500 Power Wagon has a max towing capacity of 9,790 pounds. In terms of fuel economy, I got an average of 12 MPG for the week. The EPA doesn’t provide fuel economy numbers since the Power Wagon is over a certain weight. The exterior is a bit much with ‘Power Wagon’ decals on the doors and tailgate, and an interesting splatter pattern on the rear fenders. I found it to be a bit much. At least on the SLT trim, there is an option to delete the graphics. Also, you can order the Power Wagon in the Tradesman and Laramie that don't come with the graphics. Getting into the Power Wagon does require some athleticism as you’ll need to leap into the cabin, despite there being some entry rails. Once inside, you’ll find a decently finished cabin with supportive cloth seats for five passengers. No one will feel uncomfortable in the back as there is more than enough head and legroom. Infotainment duties are handled by Chrysler’s eight-inch UConnect system. The system is very easy to use and quite responsive when changing from screen to screen or choosing a various audio source. The 2016 Ram 2500 Power Wagon starts at $50,715 and my tester came to a final price of $57,480 with a fair amount of options. The Power Wagon is an interesting beast in the truck landscape. It offers a surprising amount of off-road capability while retaining a high tow rating and having a very comfortable ride. But it is built for a specific audience. One that will be putting all of the off-road parts to work and being ok with having a high gas bill. It is in a class of one, much like the Raptor. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 2500 Power Wagon, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Ram Model: 2500 Trim: Power Wagon SLT Engine: 6.4L HEMI MDS V8 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 410 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 429 @ 4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 7,056 lbs Location of Manufacture: Saltillo, Mexico Base Price: $50,715 As Tested Price: $57,480 (Includes $1,195 Destination Charge) Options: Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295 UConnect 8.4 - $1,005 Cloth 40.20/40 Premium Bench Seat - $900 Luxury Group - $695 Spray-In Bedline - $475 ParkSense Front/Rear Park Assist System -$395 Center High-Mount Stop Lamp w/Cargo View Camera - $325 ParkSense Rear Back-Up Camera - $200 Remote Start System - $200 Front and Rear Rubber Floor Mats - $80 View full article
  25. If you needed a cargo van in the past, you could only get one in either large and extra-large. There wasn’t really an option for something smaller, which left a number of business in a tough spot. They needed something that could carry deliveries or equipment, but be somewhat maneuverable and get decent gas mileage. Sure, some automakers offered a cargo version of their minivans. But they were not big sellers and some worried about the overall durability. In 2009, Ford introduced the Transit Connect to the U.S. marketplace. This small van was aimed at small businesses who needed something that delivered good gas mileage, but was still capable of holding a fair amount of cargo. The van became an instant hit not only with small business, but also large corporations who saw the Transit Connect as a way to lower their fuel bills for their fleet. Now other automakers are throwing their hat into the small cargo van ring to serve this audience. The most recent is Ram with the introduction of the ProMaster City. Based on the Fiat Doblo sold in Europe, Ram hopes the ProMaster City can give the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV200 a run for its money. We spent a week in a ProMaster City Tradesman Cargo to find out. The basic shape of Fiat Doblo is unchanged. Ram has made some changes such as front bumper with a crosshair grille, and lights that are DOT compliant. The ProMaster isn’t going to be taking home any awards for design, most business/commercial buyers won't care. They're just looking for a flat surface to paint a logo. What they do care about is cargo space and that’s where the ProMaster City shines. Ram quotes total cargo space at 131.7 cubic feet which is larger than any other cargo van in the class, even the long-wheelbase Transit Connect. Other specs that make the ProMaster City perfect for cargo carrying duties include a low floor height (21.5 inches), wide cargo floor (60.4 inches and 48.4 inches at the wheel well), and payload capacity (1,886 lbs). The ProMaster also is very versatile thanks to split opening doors in the back, and sliding doors on either side. It was just the right vehicle for the week as the ProMaster was put on IKEA duty and easily swallowed the flat-pack furniture that we bought. Move up front and you’ll find a sparsely furnished interior with seating for two. Much of interior is carried over from Doblo. The only changes Ram made are a new steering wheel with audio controls and an AM/FM radio. Hard plastics line the dashboard and door panels, which should stand up to the hard work this van will be put through. Seats provided decent comfort and support. Our only complaint is with the adjustment knob for the seat. It's too far back to reach easily and the narrow space between the knob and door pillar makes adjusting the seat a pain. Our ProMaster City tester came equipped with the optional Uconnect 5.0 system with a backup camera. This system offers AM/FM/Bluetooth/USB/Aux and a trip computer. The system is very easy to use with large touchpoints, quick performance, and redundant buttons around the screen. The backup camera is a godsend as the rear windows in the ProMaster City Cargo are covered. The camera makes it easy to backup into tight spaces or when you are pulling out from a parking space. For power, Ram called in the 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir inline-four with 178 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque (available at 3,800 rpm). This is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The inline-four does feel torquey and willing to get up to city speed limits in a flash. Anything above that and the ProMaster City feels slow. Ram quotes a 0-60 MPH time of under ten seconds and it feels like it. The nine-speed automatic has been improving with every Chrysler vehicle that we have driven. The transmission smoothly transitions from gear to gear is willing to downshift when needed. Still, we weren’t able to get the vehicle into the mythical ninth-gear in our testing. Even doing an 80-Mile round trip on the freeway, we found the transmission would only go into eighth gear. The EPA rates the ProMaster City fuel economy at 21 City/29 Highway/24 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 22 MPG in mostly city driving. Ram made a number of changes to the suspension to get the ProMaster City ready for the U.S. Including raising the ride height and changing a number of components. It has paid off as the van provided a smooth ride even over some of the roughest roads. The ProMaster City also has one of the tightest turning circles of 32 feet, perfect for urban environments. However, the ProMaster isn’t what you would call fun to drive. There is an abundance of body roll when cornering, due to van’s height’s exceeding its width. Also, the steering a bit rubbery when you turn the wheel. This is pretty much expected for the class. Again, this isn’t a priority for most buyers. While Ram is late to small van party, it has very capable van in the form of the ProMaster City. It offers a number of best-in class figures, a comfortable ride, and decent performance. Paired with a lot of features for the price, the ProMaster City will give buyers what they want in a small van at a surprising price. Considering Ram has moved 8,113 ProMaster Cities through November, buyers seem to agree. Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the ProMaster City, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Ram Trucks Model: ProMaster City Trim: Tradesman Cargo Engine: 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir Inline-Four Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Nine-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 178 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 3,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/29/24 Curb Weight: 3,512 lbs Location of Manufacture: Bursa, Turkey Base Price: $24,130 As Tested Price: $25,475 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge) Options: Tradesman Cargo Van Package 24C - (-$1,000) Rear Back-Up Camera Group - $565.00 UConnect 5.0 AM/FM/BT - $495.00 Speed Control - $225.00 Front Carpet Floor Mats by Mopar - $65.00

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