Production to simultaneously begin in January 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed the next-generation Ram 1500 is on-schedule for its debut and production in January 2018. The unveiling festivities will take place at the Detroit Auto Show between January 14 and 16, while production begins that same month at the Ram’s new Sterling Heights assembly plant. And despite its early production, the new Ram will be a 2019 model. The next-generation Ram 2500 and 3500 are expected to debut the following year with similar design and engineering updates.

The 2019 Ram – codenamed DT – is expected to be lighter thanks to an expanded use of aluminum, though its cargo bed will remain steel for durability. Spy shots of a longer Crew Cab version suggest a Mega Cab option for the 1500, as well, setting the Ram apart in its highly competitive segment. A rumored split-tailgate design is also a possibility. Ram’s prior patent drawings detail a tailgate that acts like the Honda Ridgeline’s, but with a vertical split in the middle allowing for added versatility. A new rear bench seat with “Stow-n-Go”-like folding abilities might offer a completely flat load floor, too, as reported by Allpar. Drivetrain options will include a new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with direct fuel injection and horsepower levels hovering between 310 and 320. An all-new turbocharged inline six-cylinder is expected for 2020, which might replace the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Rumors of an improved (and EPA-certified) EcoDiesel V-6 with a higher tow rating and a turbocharged four-cylinder have also been rumbling around the Internet. None of this has been confirmed, of course, as Ram has a tight hold on its upcoming pickup. Thankfully, the nitty-gritty details are coming in January.

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Why It Matters

The current Ram 1500 has been on the market since 2009 with its only major update coming in 2013. Despite it being the oldest pickup from the Big Three, the Ram consistently rivals General Motors’ half-ton pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. Ford, of course, continues to lead sales thanks to its massive lineup of trucks included in its F-Series line.

The Ram currently comes with three engines options: the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, and the (currently being investigated by the EPA and therefore on hold) 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. While the powertrain lineup is competitive, the Ram 1500 lacks a range-topping powerplant to compete with GM’s 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 and more fuel-efficient yet powerful gasoline engines available in Ford’s EcoBoost lineup. Updating its powertrain would certainly help Ram better compete with its cross-town rivals.

The 2019 Ram – codenamed DT – is expected to be lighter thanks to an expanded use of aluminum, though its cargo bed will remain steel for durability

Ram does carry the leadership baton in several areas, though. For one, its multi-link, coil-spring rear suspension and available air-ride system provide the smoothest driving experience in the half-ton segment, especially when unloaded. Ram also boasts its exclusive RamBox cargo bed. The weather-tight, insulated, illuminated, partitioned, and electronically locking storage boxes seamlessly integrate into the truck’s aesthetics while providing tons of added utility.

Overall, the Ram 1500 pickup continues to blaze off dealership lots, but improvements can certainly be made. We’re excited to see what the future holds for Ram. And as always, any breaking news will be covered right here at TopSpeed.com.

References

2019 Ram 1500 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our speculative review of the 2019 Ram 1500.

Source: Automotive News

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