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

While our guys were out autocrossing the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 and Viper ACR last week, Mike Levine (Yes, the same Mike Levine who tried to stuff himself into a RamBox) was doing his pickup thing over in another area of Chrysler's proving grounds in Chelsea, MI. On hand was the new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 R/T, which we haven't had a chance to see until now. The '09 Ram R/T will pull up to the line with a 5.7L HEMI V8 tuned to 390 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque and a 5-speed AutoStick transmission, as well as a host of exterior upgrades including a new front bumper, blacked out grille, dual exhaust, chrome 5-spoke wheels and body-color everything. The amazing thing is that the engine will scoot this short-box, two-wheel drive truck to 60 mph in less than six seconds, according to Chrysler. If that sounds a little too good to be true for a pickup with less than 400 horsepower, credit should go to the "loose" torque converter that allows less slip compared to a normal automatic. The shifts are more aggressive than in a normal Ram and the unique torque converter does degrade fuel economy a bit, but that should be none of your concern by nature of the fact that you're interested in a sport truck to begin with. Check out source link for a more detailed explanation of the "loose" torque converter from Mike Levine at Pickuptrucks.com, and view all the visual upgrades worn by the 2009 Ram R/T in our gallery below.

[Source: Pickuptrucks.com, photos courtesy of Ian Merritt, Cars.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I give Chryslerbus 18 months before they sell out (to a company from India or China) or declare bankruptcy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        18 months..... you must not live in a market with a Detroit based newspaper. Doom & Gloom in every section.

        The new RAM is a very nice re-design... too bad gas is $4.25 in Auburn Hills. As others have said: Good truck-Wrong time
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice orange peel, HOLY CRAP.

      And why the redundant emblems in the cab?
      Ram insignia on the wheel? Check.
      Ram insignia on the arm rest? Check.
      DODGE emblazoned on top of center stack? Check.
      RAM emblazoned on bottom of center stack? Check.

      Funny looking vertical throttle body like a '95-'99 Neon? Errrr, yup.
      • 6 Years Ago
      nice job Dodge, put some more money behind this while you're announcing truck and van closures the hour before.....they say your bankrupt the next hour..... then go begging the govt for a hand out to be green...
      Die Dodge Die
      minivan story:
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice re-design of the RAM...

      ...too bad we have $4.25 gas here in SE MI. Tradesman & other workers might buy, but the days of Rams selling 400,000 units is gone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Actually, the "loose" torque converter allows more slip compared to a standard torque converter. This additional slip allows the engine to get to and stay at (for a little whlie longer) the sweet spot of the torque curve, almost like a CVT.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It makes no sense. They should put a lower stall speed torque converter, doesn't this one have a shorter axle ratio? Yes.

        Really there shouldn't be any change in mileage.
        See torque converter lockup, and continuous slip function. Full lockup should be available in 3rd, 4th, and 5th, partial lockup should even be available in 2nd & 2nd prime.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Very nice effort. The interior looks top notch by the photos. How did it look in person? Nissan should do well by this truck.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice truck, probably years too late. If anyone actually used these things like trucks the sport truck might still make sense. But I've never seen these type of trucks working, so likely buyers will be few.

      I wonder how much money it takes away from coming up with better designs for higher volume vehicles? It may be minimal, since it looks to be some engine tweaks, a few body mods, and I suppose a suspension tuning.

      The next manufacturer to come out with a 00-06 Tundra sized pickup (not big but big enough for 80% of the jobs out there) built as lightly yet strong as practical, with a strong efficient V6 or possibly turbo 4 powertrain, will seize the sales lead.
      I see real work users who really must have heavy duty capacity sticking to diesel 2500 series trucks and former light duty users and country cadillac buyers going to the more efficient trucks. I bet 20/24mpg is possible if they design to that spec first and max towing/hauling ability second.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Speaking of doom and gloom . . . what you bet within the next five years, Nissan and Chrysler either merge or Nissan buys them out? This truck deal may just be the first step in a 'take-over'.
      • 6 Years Ago
      (that is a bad ass looking truck though)
      • 6 Years Ago
      And rightfully so this thing is DOA.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sure, gas prices are high right now, but remember this is a presidential election year. Prices will back off once a new President is elected, and talk of going to war in Iran comes to an end. NOt a whole lot, but enough to ease the price at the pump.

      As for the new R/T, Dodge obviously knows something big is about to turn around the corner. they wouldn't be rolling out this truck if it didn't.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My stomach is turning just thinking about sales numbers for automakers for the month of june,it aint gonna be pretty, especially for detroit. we will see tomorrow.
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