Crossing Over Without Crosshairs: The 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Is Very Impressive

Crossing Over Without Crosshairs: The 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Is Very Impressive

Ram trucks have finally made the big jump in design to separate themselves from the rest of the Dodge brand. As a selling superpower, why shouldn't they have their own branch within the umbrella? With 2019's iteration of the Ram 1500, we see the crosshairs design that the trucks have carried since the dawn of time give way to a more sophisticated aerodynamic grille, and it looks amazing!

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Speaking of aero, there's quite a bit going on with the new Ram. The new grille features active shutters, and the front splitter underneath the chrome bumper will lower 2.5 inches around speeds of 35 miles per hour. If you tick the box for the air spring suspension for the Off-Road package, you do lose the splitter, but the air system will pick up the slack by lowering the truck just over half an inch instead. The new sculpted bedsides and hood also improve airflow over the new 1500, all in the name of efficiency.

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This is a completely reengineered Ram, from the ground up. A brand-new lighter and stronger high-strength steel chassis boasts a weight loss of about 100 pounds - and that's before we talk about the aluminum weight savings of the tailgate, steering unit, engine mounts, transmission crossmembers, and front suspension. The powerplants will stay the same, so you can still have your 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or 5.7-liter Hemi V8, however, these Ram's will feature a little boost from a hybrid system that FCA is calling "eTorque." In place of the alternator, a generator unit charges a 48-volt battery pack, which provides smoother start/stops and an additional kick of torque (an extra 90 lb-ft for the V6 and 130 lb-ft for the Hemi). The battery pack can also be recharged by way of regenerative braking.

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Inside, the Ram has enjoyed a much-needed overhaul. Most of the photos you see floating around are of the upper trim levels (Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited), which feature a gorgeous and heavily redesigned leather interior with a monstrous 12-inch touchscreen media interface right in the middle. The 12-inch models will come with FCA's new Uconnect 4 system, and the same is true for the smaller 8.4-inch unit found in the Big Horn, Laramie, and Rebel trims. With Uconnect 4, the Ram gains both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while an older Uconnect 3 system on a 5-inch screen is available for those who aren't fussed on the Tradesman, HFE, Big Horn, and Rebel iterations.

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What are the most important specs to a Ram enthusiast? The tow figures, of course! The 2018 truck boasts a payload of 1,880 pounds and can tow a rated 10,620 pounds, which is further improved by the 2019 model to 2,320 pounds of payload and 12,750 pounds of trailer. These improved numbers are provided to us via a V8-equipped Ram 1500 with the "Max Tow Package" option selected, which can only be equipped to the RWD V8 with 3.92:1 final drive ratio (3.21 and 3.55 also available). If a four-wheel-drive model is more your cup of tea, the highest ratings are 1,950 payload pounds and 11,460 pounds of towage. These boosted numbers are thanks to the added kick of eTorque, which has unexpectedly made us very excited about the future of hybrid technology in trucks.

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