Detroit 2008: 2009 Dodge Ram breaks through the gate
Since both The New York Times and AllPar.com have already broken the embargo, we don't mind telling you all you need to know about the 2009 Dodge Ram. The look is as aggressive as a Ram should be, but slippier through the air than past models. Instead of upping the ante with an even larger grille, Dodge designers instead tipped the angle of the grille forward to impart the face of their truck with a solid presence. Another interesting styling touch is molding the rear bumper around the two chrome tipped tailpipes instead of having the pipes just poke out beneath.
Mechanically speaking, the '09 Ram comes ready to play with a new 5.7L HEMI V8 with 380 HP and 404 ft.-lb. of torque (the Toyota Tundra's 5.7L V8 produces 381 HP and 401 ft.-lb. of torque for comparison's sake). There's also a 4.7L V8 available with 310 HP and 330 ft.-lb. of torque and a 3.7L V6 making 215 HP and 235 ft.-lb. of torque. Transmissions include a six-speed manual and four- and five-speed automatics, and gear ratios run from 3.21 to 3.55 to 3.92 to 4.10. When optimally configured, the new Ram can sprint to 60 MPH in a mere 7 seconds. Snappy for a full-size truck, wouldn't you say?
More after the jump, including the 2009 Dodge Ram's official rap sheet and 83 high-res images in our gallery below.
Cab configurations include the standard two-door Regular Cab, the Quad Cab and the new four-door Crew Cab. You also now have your choice of three bed lengths including a new 5' 7" bed that goes behind the big Crew Cab. The new Ram comes in five trim flavors as well, which include the ST, SLT, TRX, Sport and top shelf Laramie.
One bit of kit that will help set the Ram apart from its competition is the new multi-link coil spring rear suspension we told you about earlier. Ride and handling will be much improved in this beast of burden thanks to its new rear suspenders, and Dodge claims payload and towing capacity won't suffer one bit at 1,840 lbs. and 9,100 lbs., respectively.
The Ram's bed now also features an available RamBox cargo management system that places storage bins within the bed rails that are weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable. From the looks of it they can hold a lot of gear, too. Ram Crew 1500 models can also be had with a pair of "store in the floor" bins that can hold up to ten cans of pop, beer or whatever.
Here's what we like most about the new Ram: it's interior. That is, we like the interior in the uplevel Laramie model. It's hands down the best interior we've seen in a Chrysler product, which is not unlike what we said about Ford's interiors when the last-gen F-150 debuted. Soft-touch instrument panels, contrast stitching and chrome accents are what we'd expect in a Chrysler 300, and we're happy to see them in the new Ram.
Dodge Unleashes Game-changer Into Truck Market
All-new 2009 Dodge Ram Breaks From the Herd
- All-new, bold, powerful, "get-out-of-the-way" Dodge Ram design
- New, aggressive "grille-forward" design
- First-in-segment chrome-tipped dual exhaust styled dramatically into the rear bumper
- Best-in-class aerodynamics – an estimated .422 Cd
- Dodge Ram's first-ever crew cab, giving Dodge an entry into the largest and fastest-growing part of the market. Crew cab accounts for nearly 50 percent of market
- New 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 provides more horsepower (380 hp) and torque (404 lb.-ft.), with increased fuel economy (an estimated 4 percent)
- Best-in-class performance: 0-60 mph in under 7 seconds
- New interiors with premium seating, soft-touch materials, redesigned controls, floor console with shifter, and even more storage options
- More than 35 new or improved features
- Industry-first RamBox cargo management system (crew cab) includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage bins built into bed rails (a total of 8.6 cubic feet of space); pickup bed divider/2-foot bed extender; and cargo rail system with four sliding, adjustable cleats
- RamBox bins hold up to 10 cases of 12-ounce beverages, or other gear for work or leisure
- First-in-segment "store in the floor" storage bins with removable liners, big enough for ten 12-ounce beverages and ice
- First-in-segment heated and ventilated front seats
- Heated rear seats also available
- Heated steering wheel a first for any Dodge vehicle
- First-in-segment coil-spring, multilink rear suspension fitted to a solid rear axle provides ride and handling capabilities unexpected in a pickup truck
- First-in-segment live SIRIUS Backseat TV™
- First-in-segment surround-sound audio system
- More than 30 safety features, including standard four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System and Electronic Stability Program with Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control
- All-new 2009 Dodge Ram to arrive this fall
- Light-duty diesel to arrive after 2009; two-mode hybrid powertrain to be offered in 2010 model year
Dodge has been building trucks since1917. Throughout its storied history, Dodge introduced a number of innovative trucks – the original "Suburban," aerodynamic Airflow-model trucks and the ultra-capable Power Wagon. But it was in 1994 that Dodge introduced a revolutionary Ram in the light-duty pickup market, with its "big rig" styling and iconic crosshair grille.
"We put a truck on the market that tripled our market share," said Ralph Gilles, Vice President – Jeep®/Truck Design Studio, Chrysler LLC. "Our design was polarizing – people loved it or hated it. But the people who loved it, bought it. They still do, because Dodge Ram continues to stand out from the herd of 'me-too' trucks."
For the redesign of its all-new, next-generation Ram, Dodge pulled out all the stops.
"Our mandate was to make a quantum leap and add even more voltage to Ram," said Scott Kunselman, Vice President – Body-on-Frame Product Team. "Our all-new 2009 Dodge Ram is a game-changer in terms of capability, convenience, craftsmanship and safety."
In addition to the new-generation 5.7-liter HEMI which produces 380 hp (283 kW) and 404 lb.-ft. (548 N·m) of torque, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram offers a 4.7-liter V-8 providing 310 horsepower (231 kW) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 N·m) of torque, and a 3.7-liter V-6 generating 215 horsepower (160 kW) and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N·m) of torque; a six-speed manual transmission and four- and five-speed automatic transmissions; part-time and on-demand four-wheel-drive transfer cases; and 3.21, 3.55, 3.92 and 4.10 axle ratios.
Equipped with the new HEMI, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram R/T regular-cab 4x2 model with a short bed and 4:10 gears blasts to best-in-class performance of 0-60 mph in under 7 seconds.
The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram is offered in regular cab, Quad Cab® and crew cab, with three box lengths: 8-foot (regular cab), 6-foot-4-inches (regular cab and Quad Cab), and a new-for-2009 box length of 5-foot-7-inches (crew cab). Five trim levels are available, each with a unique appearance: ST, SLT, TRX, Sport, and the top-of-the-line Laramie.
An improved frame design incorporating high-strength steel supports an all-new, first-in-segment, multi-link coil spring rear suspension that improves ride and handling characteristics without sacrificing payload (up to an estimated 1,840 pounds) and towing capability (up to an estimated 9,100 pounds).
The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram Crew 1500 features an available first-in-segment RamBox cargo management system that provides weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage compartments integrated into both fender sides for effortless access and convenience. Each box holds up to 4.3 cubic feet of whatever – such as five cases (120 cans) of 12-ounce beverages.
The RamBox system includes a bed divider/2-foot bed extender for oversize loads and a rail system with sliding, adjustable cleats for infinitely adjustable tie-down capability. The 2009 Dodge Ram's tailgate features a standard assist feature that reduces the effort needed to raise and close the tailgate.
Another new segment-first innovation for the 2009 Dodge Ram Crew 1500 is a pair of "store in the floor" bins with removable liners that offer even more versatile storage – large enough for ten 12-ounce beverages and ice.
There are many other convenient storage locations throughout the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram including a large upper glove box, map pockets in door panels and a configurable center console. All in all, there are nearly twice as many storage locations in the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram than were in the previous model.
Technically sophisticated, yet simple-to-navigate electronic and infotainment choices include MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System with 30-gigabyte hard drive, navigation system, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system available in the Quad Cab and crew cab. Also available is first-in-segment live SIRIUS Backseat TV™ and segment-first surround-sound audio.
Other premium amenities include first-in-segment heated and ventilated front seats, available heated rear seats, first-for-Dodge heated steering wheel, one-touch up/down driver and passenger windows, automatic-on headlamps and dual-zone automatic temperature control – a first for Dodge Ram.
In addition to the exterior, the all-new interior of the 2009 Dodge Ram stands out with a renewed emphasis on craftsmanship expressed in premium interior appointments including six-ring instrumentation, redesigned controls, chrome accents, premium seating with improved bolsters and two-tone upholstery. An automatic-transmission floor shifter, incorporated into a configurable center console, is available for the first time in a Dodge Ram. All 2009 Dodge Ram interiors are significantly upgraded with "soft-touch" materials that feature industry-first two-tone technology and premium fit and finish. Full-width contrasting stitching is offered on soft-touch instrument panels for Sport and Laramie models.
On the exterior, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram features a redesigned aluminum hood with a large power bulge and a forward-canted grille, imparting a "head down, ready to charge" attitude, while front and rear bumpers wrap around each body side. The rear bumper on HEMI-equipped models is radiused over chromed dual exhaust tips – a first in light-duty pickups. Attractive 20-inch wheels are available in three styles. Sills are pulled down to cover frame rails for a premium appearance. Badges are three-dimensional, rather than decals, and are designed to stand out. The sculpted Ram's-head badge on the tailgate is 250 percent larger than the previous badge.
On the safety and security front, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram offers more than 30 active and passive safety features, including standard front and rear side-curtain air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System, knee bolsters, seat-belt pre-tensioners, Anti-lock Brake System, BeltAlert® System, and Electronic Stability Control; and available adjustable pedals, ParkSense® Rear Park Assist and ParkView® Rear Back-up Camera.
The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram will be built in two locations: Quad Cab and Ram Crew 1500 models will be built at the Warren (Mich.) Assembly Plant, and regular cab and Ram Crew 1500 models will be built at the St. Louis North Assembly Plan in Fenton, Mo.
With a U.S. market share of 6.4 percent, Dodge is Chrysler LLC's best-selling brand and the fifth largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2006, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the global market. In the highly competitive truck market, Dodge has a 15 percent market share. Last year, Dodge introduced the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with 35 new or improved features including the newest innovation, the Swivel 'n Go™ seating system. Dodge is entering key European volume segments with Nitro, Caliber and Avenger. The all-new 2009 Dodge Journey will debut this year, and will be available outside North America in both left- and right-hand drive in mid-2008. And later this year, Dodge will introduce its modern muscle car, the all-new Dodge Challenger. For the 2010 model year, Dodge will offer the all-new Dodge Ram with an advanced two-mode hybrid system.
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