2019 Ram 1500: All the Details You're Dying For

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
2019 ram 1500 all the details youre dying for

This year at the North American International Auto will surely be known as the “Year of the Pickup,” with Ford introducing it PowerStroke F-150, Chevy hauling the wraps off a new Silverado, and Ram rolling out a new truck for the first time since 2009.

After months of speculation and hundreds of spy photos, the 2019 Ram 1500 has finally arrived. Here’s what you need to know before the jump: weight is down 225 pounds, the ram’s head logo is back, and both V6 and V8 Rams will be available as a mild hybrid. Wait, what?

Yes, dear reader, under the new hood of the 2019 Ram, shoppers will find a mild hybrid system Ram calls “eTorque.” The second-generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and hairy-chested 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engines combine a belt-drive motor generator unit with a 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-term torque assist, and brake energy regeneration. The small-suitcase-sized, air-cooled battery pack mounts to the rear wall inside the Ram 1500’s cabin.

It’s interesting how different of an approach each of the Detroit Three are taking to make truck owners eat their vegetables. Ford deploys turbochargers, Chevy now opts for extreme cylinder deactivation (all the way down to one cylinder), and Ram choose electrification. It is an extremely interesting time to be a truck fan.

The Pentastar is rated at 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque on 87 octane. The Hemi puts out a familiar 395 horses and 410 units of twist. Both are hooked to an eight-speed automatic, two fewer cogs than its crosstown rivals. The eTorque V6 and V8 do not currently have an EPA mileage rating; the existing V8 Hemi promises 15 mpg/22 mpg on the city and highway cycles, respectively.

Weight is down by 225 pounds, according to Ram. The reduction is not credited to SlimFast but rather to a judicious use of high-strength steels, composites, and aluminum. Nearly 100 pounds are shed from the frame alone, yet it continues to be made from 98 percent high-strength steel. In a slight poke at Ford, Ram takes care to point out the frame includes the same impact countermeasures across all configurations.

A few other Lean Cuisine moments are courtesy of a sprinkling of aluminium. The sole exterior panel to be made of the lightweight metal is the power tailgate, but, underneath the new Ram, we find many components deploying the silver-white – including the engine mounts, front centre axle section, crossmembers, and steering system gear.

“The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers a no-compromise approach to the full-size truck segment with strength, durability, technology and efficiency,” said Mike Manley, head of FCA’s Ram brand. “The Ram 1500 offers truck buyers leading-edge innovation with 225 pounds of weight reduction, 12,750 pounds of towing capability, a stunning Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen display and active systems that improve fuel efficiency and assist drivers.”

Four-by-four systems will be familiar to current Ram owners, with a Part-Time unit available on all models and an On-Demand configuration (4WD Auto) offered on high-zoot trims. The current trio of axle ratios will also remain the same.

Frequency Response Damping (FRD) technology has found its way into the 2019 Ram 1500 shocks at all four corners. When the shocks experience a slower input, common during cornering and heavy braking, the bypass valve is closed for more aggressive damping, providing additional stability. When driving normally or exposed to faster shock inputs, common on rough roads or at higher speeds, the valve will open to soften the damping. This should make an already good riding truck even better. Naturally, an air suspension remains an option.

Speaking of suspension, Ram now adds a 4×4 Off-road Package for the Ram 1500 on nearly every trim. It includes a one-inch suspension lift, with or without the air suspension, along with an electronic-locking rear diff and 32-inch meats. Hill-descent Control and unique off-road-pair well with robust skid plates on the t-case, steering, engine and gas tank. This, I think, speaks to the popularity of the Rebel trim.

A trim the company, naturally, has tweaked as well. It’s now available on Quad Cab models and air suspension is no longer standard. This is undoubtedly a play to drop the cost of entry and increase the trim’s appeal. Newly designed Bilstein shocks feature remote reservoirs and Hill Descent Control appears here, too.

Inside, the 2019 Ram has been revamped and is now available with a gonzo 12-inch infotainment screen. The flush reconfigurable touchscreen features different graphics for various Ram models. Personalization is made easy with a split-screen function where one can operate two different applications, such as Apple CarPlay and HVAC controls, or one application, such as navigation across the entire 12-inch touchscreen. Redundant ventilation controls flank the screen. The Ram’s new 360-degree Surround View camera system will look like an IMAX presentation on this thing.

The cab itself has added a total of four inches more legroom. The second row will have a slide-recline feature and the load floor is now flat. The Crew Cab in-floor RamBins are bigger and can now spacious enough to accommodate a four-inch drop hitch. USB ports and 115-volt plugs pepper the interior. Back seat drivers will be happy to know the rear seats can be opted with heat and ventilation.

In terms of capability, the new Ram has a maximum payload of 2,300 pounds and a maximum trailer tow rating of 12,750 pounds. The popular short bed Hemi 4×4 Crew Cab will be able to tow 11,290 pounds when equipped with 3.92 gears. Selecting an eTorque Hemi will reduce that figure by 100 pounds. RamBoxes make a return, this time with a household power outlet.

The big question is, of course, styling. Ditching the crosshair grille is a bold move but should be expected, as the R A M billboard treatment has spread across the current Ram lineup like kudzu. What was not expected is the deep-sixing of Ram’s signature mini-Freightliner look, which used to feature aggro headlights dropped low on each side of a towering grille. This new hood is bulging like a strongman’s shirtsleeves and the grille, flanked by a set of sleek upswept headlamps, appears to be canted forward a bit at the top. It is certainly a different look than the one to which Ram buyers are accustomed.

Consumer interest in trucks has never been higher. With new product from GM, Ram, and Ford, customers will be spoiled for choice in 2018.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jan 15, 2018

    I Like that it doesn't scream at you anymore with RAM in 900 point font, but I don't need a truck and that's as far as I go with truck assessment. I don't know much about the GM twins and find the F250 and above to be quite noxious, even as somebody with a general preference for Ford (at least if talking about the Detroit 2.5). Also, did I read that right; GM offers cylinder deactivation to the tune of only 1 active cylinder? How would that even work mechanically and can that push that monster through the air with anything resembling ease?

  • OzCop OzCop on Jan 18, 2018

    I like it...My fear was it was going to be too Ford/Chevy-esque...I don't see that at all...I still see a unique design, readily identifiable Ram...

  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
  • ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.