Category: Ram

By on May 2, 2019

Image: FCAToday’s truck trio includes three very expensive rigs that aren’t likely be used for hauling duties or any other truck-type responsibilities. And that’s a good thing, because they’re loaded up on equipment and leather, and covered in nice metallic paint. Which nice truck gets used as kindling? Let’s find out.

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By on March 4, 2019

2019 RAM 1500 front quarter

I’ve long scoffed at the class of trucks often referred to “Cowboy Cadillacs,” those seemingly built for the well-heeled Texan deep within every suburban dad who wants to prove he’s the king of the bagged mulch pick-up lane at Home Depot. Loaded down either from the factory or a catalog with big wheels, low-profile tires, buckets of chrome, boastful badging, and plush leather, these rigs seemingly took everything that was good about a proper full-size truck and amplified the douche factor.

Then I drove one — this 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn. With badges illogically glorifying both Wyoming and Texas, I fully expected to be underwhelmed.

Nope. Not one bit. The newest Ram half-ton has had every possible superlative heaped on it, with good reason. This Ram is easily the best full-size truck you can buy right now.

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By on January 10, 2019

As we told you yesterday, a settlement in Fiat Chrysler’s diesel quandary could come any day. Today, we’re telling you it could come, well, today.

According to sources who spoke to the New York Times, FCA plans to settle a 2017 Justice Department lawsuit by making a collection of 104,000 trucks and SUVs greener, while adding an average of $2,500 to owners’ wallets. Read More >

By on January 9, 2019

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, Image: FCA

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is on the cusp of reaching a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over undeclared emissions control software that allowed 104,000 diesel vehicles to pollute beyond legal limits.

The settlement is expected to include significant civil penalties and fines to account for the excess diesel emissions while also covering claims from the Justice Department, various U.S. states, and vehicle owners — similar to Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate” settlement. A final agreement could be reached any day now.  Read More >

By on January 9, 2019

You hear it time and time again on the internet. “There are no bad cars today.” It’s proclaimed by those who lived through the Malaise Era and have personally experienced the build quality and reliability of an new Renault Le Car or Chevy Monza. And while things are most definitely better than they were, nothing’s perfect. Bring out your critical fingertips.

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By on December 6, 2018

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Earlier this year, we asked if the current automotive styling trend of ever larger grilles had reached a peak of excess. Had automakers carried it too far? The vehicle that sparked the question was the new-for-2019 Toyota Avalon, a vehicle that saw fit to appropriate about 90 percent of its front-end real estate for the placement of a grille, some of it functional.

The trend shows no sign of abating. Lexus is still hard at it, as my current ES 350 tester aptly demonstrates. (Quite a spindle snout on the thing, which continues to remind your author of the controversial 1961 Plymouth.) Elsewhere in autodom, expansive maws proliferate like rabbits, some of them far subtler than others — though beauty always remains in the eye of the beholder.

However, slapping a daring face on a relatively low volume car isn’t the same thing as making over your company’s bread and butter. That brings us to a tale of two trucks.
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By on December 5, 2018

Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

The Ford Super Duty line grew fairly grotesque in its latest iteration, and yesterday’s reveal of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD turned some people’s hair white with fright. I’ll admit the Chevy’s design works (looks better than the Silverado 1500, IMHO), but it’s jarring nonetheless.

With so much styling excess on hand, this writer often calls up images of the current, aging Ram 2500 and 3500 and breathes a sigh of relief. Soothing nerves since 2010, the Ram HD is. As Fiat Chrysler has now worked out the production bugs plaguing its 2019 Ram 1500, the stage is set for a larger follow-up. Next year brings the first new heavy duty Ram in a decade, and fear was high that FCA might join its Detroit comrades in going way out and wild.

Breathe easy. We’re here with completely uncamouflaged photos of the 2020 Ram HD line to show you there’s nothing to fear. Read More >

By on November 20, 2018

Despite redesigning the 1500-series for 2019, Ram’s leaner, meaner, and more economical pickup was already in danger of being overshadowed by the parade of special edition models pouring out of the factory. While many emphasize style over substance, the inverse is sometimes true — which happens to be the case with the 1500 North Edition.

Visually, there’s not much going on here. It’s definitely the new Ram 1500, but lacks some of the bolder designs that typically epitomize a special edition model. Based on the Big Horn, the North Edition focuses entirely upon adding equipment that might be useful in the snow. Presumably, Fiat Chrysler realized that bold graphics and bright colors lose some appeal when covered in road salt.

Unveiled to the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) members Monday evening, the truck will eventually be shipped to dealerships across America — so long as they see snow every winter. The North Edition Ram 1500 comes standard with winter-rated three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) Falken LT tires, one-inch factory lift, 4×4 transfer case (with auto, high and low), electronic locking rear axle, and engine block heater.  Read More >

By on November 8, 2018

Image: IIHS

You win some, you lose some. For Fiat Chrysler, the new Ram 1500 represents more of a win, both in terms of quality, drive experience, and especially crash ratings, which just rolled in from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The previous-generation 1500 lost marks in two areas: driver-side small-overlap front impacts (a weakness it shares with FCA’s rear-drive passenger cars) and roof strength. Both of these tests earned the 2018 1500 a “marginal” rating from the IIHS, sinking its overall score. FCA engineers clearly did their homework — the new truck aced all crash tests. Too bad about those peepers, though. Read More >

By on October 30, 2018

2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

With Fiat Chrysler’s third-quarter earnings report, released Tuesday, the automaker showed it could improve on the boosted North American profitability seen under late CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The automaker posted an EBIT (earnings before taxes and interest) profit margin of 10.2 percent in the region, helped by heady Jeep and Ram sales and the 2016 decision to cull its unpopular small cars. That’s up from the record 8.4 percent margins seen in the second quarter of last year, and a 51 percent increase from Q3 2018.

Good times? Overall, yes, but net profit took a hit from last year’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel saga. FCA expects to pay the federal piper for its undeclared auxiliary emissions control devices, with a dollar figure now attached to its penance. Read More >

By on October 29, 2018

2018 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten Edition, Image: FCA

In a bid to leapfrog General Motors in pickup sales, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley now claims his company’s Saltillo, Mexico assembly plant might continue cranking out heavy-duty Ram trucks after the next-generation model arrives.

Back in January, with the U.S. threatening steep tariffs on Mexican-made vehicles, FCA announced it would move Ram HD production to Warren, Michigan. The automaker promised $1 billion to Warren Truck Assembly to make it happen. Now, with a free trade agreement in place between the U.S. and Mexico, Manley says he doesn’t care where the trucks come from, so long as Americans choose them over FCA’s rivals. Read More >

By on October 1, 2018

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley just can’t keep his hands off the Jeep brand. In his first management reorganization since assuming the top position in July, Manley placed the responsibility for key FCA brands in trustworthy hands, though the CEO seems reluctant to part ways with his beloved Jeep.

Prior to becoming CEO, Manley headed up both the Jeep and Ram divisions. Now, Tim Kuniskis will add the Jeep North America file to his responsibilities, maintaining his grip on the Alfa Romeo brand. Given that there was no mention in Manley’s letter to employees of who’ll oversee Jeep’s global operations, it is assumed the chief executive will continue nurturing FCA’s most valuable asset on the world stage. Read More >

By on September 27, 2018

Yet another special edition Ram pickup has landed for your trucking enjoyment. With the freshly renewed half-ton truck finally finding its way into showrooms, FCA is continuing to throw premium materials at its heavy-duty brother in an attempt to tide it over until an all-new machine bows for 2020.

Aimed squarely at wealthy cowboys who tow a lot of stuff, the 2018 Ram Heavy Duty Longhorn Ram Rodeo Edition (yes, the word “Ram” appears twice in its official title) is laden with leather, chrome, trailering gear, and badges the size of Texas belt buckles.

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By on September 21, 2018

Image: FCA

It’s been eight minutes since Fiat Chrysler’s Ram division last announced a special edition trim, meaning we’re overdue for news of an appearance/content tweak designed to make brand die-hards feel special. Thankfully, the automaker made sure we didn’t go into the weekend without one.

The Ram 1500 Rebel, at least in previous-generation guise, remains a favourite among some TTACers. It just looked and felt right for a slightly macho mid-level pickup. Unlike the larger Power Wagon, it wasn’t over the top. Still, there’s always a subset of buyers looking for more in their pickup — just a tad more features, maybe a little more prestige. With maturity comes an appreciation of the finer things.

So, for buyers who like the Rebel and don’t want to climb the model ladder to scratch that upscale itch, Ram created the Rebel 12. It’s like a six-pack of Carlsberg for people who outgrew that two-four of Bud. Read More >

By on September 18, 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Ram pickup, the current batch has a grotesque number of special edition models to choose from. There’s the 2019 Ram 1500 Kentucky Derby Edition, 2019 Ram HD Harvest Edition, 2018 Ram Southfork, 2018 Ram Limited Tungsten, 2018 Ram Harvest, and 2018 Ram Sport Hydro Blue.

We figured the Ram Rebel TRX would be the next model to become an official special edition vehicle, but Fiat Chrysler threw us a curveball, indicating that the (probably) Hellcat-powered pickup won’t be available until next year. That leaves FCA with a small window in which to cram yet another limited variant of the Ram.

It’s called the 2018 Ram Power Wagon Mojave Sand and it’s really not so much a special edition as it is a new paint scheme. However, since FCA plans on restricting production to 1,500 units through the remainder of this year, we suppose it qualifies as much as the Sport Hydro Blue — which is limited to just 2,000 units.  Read More >

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