Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Dodge Ram

Dodge announced today that its redesigned 2009 Ram 1500 will be 20% more fuel efficient than the 2008 model it replaces. The new Ram's reduced appetite for fossil fuels can largely be attributed to the truck's new, more aerodynamic styling and a diet that results in 80 lbs. less of truck to haul around. More important, however, is the newly revised 5.7L HEMI V8, which gets a big boost in power from 345 hp to 380 hp and 375 ft-lbs. of torque to 404. Despite the strength training, Dodge engineers still expect up to a 20% gain in highway fuel economy. For instance, the 2008 Ram Quad Cab Laramie with the old 5.7L gets 15 city / 19 highway, while the 2009 model will get 23 mpg on the interstate, so says Dodge. We should point out that these gains will only be achieved while highway cruising, so we expect the 2009 model to remain in the mid-teens around the city where aerodynamics are largely irrelevant and stop-and-go driving leads to low miles per gallon. Still, what gains in fuel economy there are to be had are still impressive considering the HEMI's big bump, which was needed in power to keep the Ram competitive with its Detroit rivals and the Toyota Tundra. With sales of profitable full-size trucks falling fast on account of high gas prices, we bet every truck manufacturer will be touting their own fuel economy improvements, however small, in the coming year.

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[Source: The Detroit News]