The 2018 North American International Auto Show has played host to something of a pick-up truck battle. A new Chevrolet Silverado was revealed, as was a US version of the Ford Ranger but one unexpected surprise was launched: the 2019 RAM 1500.
The 2019 RAM 1500 is a smaller version of the RAM 2500 that’s currently on sale in Australia, and the new version promises to be a big step up on the model it replaces. Whilst the engines carry over, new mild hybrid technology allows the RAM to be more efficient than before – RAM has claimed a 22mpg (just under 11L/100km) economy average for the 3.6-litre V6.
“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 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. The Ram 1500 stands out as the benchmark in a very competitive segment.”
Launching into North American markets in the first half of 2018, the 2019 RAM 1500 offers more in the way of luxury, performance and fuel economy than previous models. Whilst its appearance isn’t totally different to the previous model, it is more modern and appears to be much more expensive thanks to the use of more chrome and LED headlights with LED daytime driving lights.
The interior of the 2019 RAM 1500 is also a big improvement on the model it replaces, with significantly more available equipment than before. Centrepiece of the new interior is an optional huge 12-inch portrait infotainment system which can be configured to a driver’s taste. The standard system is a smaller 8.4-inch screen, but both screens are available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, as well as a choice of four audio systems, including a 900W 19-speaker Harman Kardon system at the top of the range.
Available engines in the 2019 RAM 1500 include the same 3.6-litre V6 and 5.7-litre V8 options as the current model. The V6 produces 227kW of power and 364Nm of torque – of which 122Nm of torque comes from the mild hybrid system. The V8 is more powerful, with 295kW of power and 556Nm of torque on offer with 176Nm coming from electric help. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Despite the current RAM 2500 being sold in Australia through a local conversion to right-hand drive, the future of the smaller truck being sold here is not confirmed. There have been reports that this generation of RAM 1500 will be sold properly in Australia through a right-hand drive conversion from factory, though that is yet to be confirmed. If this generation of RAM 1500 arrives in Australia, we’d suggest a minimum early 2019 timeframe.
This follows the recent announcement that HSV will be selling the Chevrolet Silverado in Australia from April, thanks to a local right-hand drive conversion – ironically, this happens in the same factory as the RAM 2500 thanks to a deal with Walkinshaw, who converts the RAM to RHD.
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for more news from the 2018 North American International Auto Show.