Not to be overshadowed by big pickup truck news this week from both General Motors and Ford, Ram has debuted the 2019 Ram 1500. The all-new Ram is absolutely worthy of stealing the spotlight from the 2019 Silverado and Ranger, because this one is packing a new look, mild hybrid system and tons of new features.
One could argue Ram was already ahead of its rivals in terms of powertrains because the brand has offered a light duty diesel V-6 engine for several years; meanwhile GM and Ford rush to get a diesel in their respective half-tons. Despite the running start, Ram is not being left behind in 2019. The 2019 model is offering a new mild hybrid system Ram calls eTorque.
The eTorque system comprises of a 48-volt electrical architecture that connects to a lithium-ion battery pack and belt alternator starter. Combined, the system will provide supplemental power to the Ram’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 base engine and 5.7-liter HEMI V-8.
Unlike GM and Ford, Ram is not afraid to talk specifics with the 2019 model. The 3.6-liter will generate 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.7-liter will hammer out 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. The eTorque system is adding 90 and 130 pound-feet of torque, respectively.
Both engines will be bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
From a design perspective, the new Ram is largely evolutionary, similar to its engines. The crosshair grille design is gone in favor of one similar to the Ram Heavy Duty models. The headlights have also been slimmed down, while the front clip is not as tall, likely an effort to boost aerodynamic qualities. Both quad-cab and crew cab variants are about four inches taller than the outgoing model, while on average the new truck is about 250 pounds lighter than the outgoing version. Ram has opted to comprise the Ram’s new frame of 98 percent high-strength steel, more in line with the strategy deployed by GM with their 2019 trucks.
Like the exterior, the 2019 interior is an evolutionary update to today’s truck. This means the same basic shaping exists, down to the rotary gear selector. Where the big changes are occurring is with regards to the addition of FCA’s fourth-generation UConnect infotainment system. The update is offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support on a new optional display that is a staggering 12-inches. The massive screen almost reminds one of the Tesla Model S interior.
The larger screen can allow for up to two applications to run at once, while a 4G LTE WiFi system will keep passengers connected.
Ram is also adding goodies such as a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-keeping system and more to the Ram option list.
For those wondering about the future of the Ram EcoDiesel model, the brand says a new diesel offering is coming, but it won’t be ready until later in 2019. The gas versions of the 2019 Ram 1500 will go on sale later in the first quarter of 2018.