New 2019 Ram 1500 Debuts at Detroit Auto Show
Finally, we get to see the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck in all its glory. There was a lot of spy footage of the new Ram 1500 prior to its debut, and although we got glimpses of its new look and infotainment system, there was so much more to be had. Now that the 2018 Detroit Auto Show has finally kicked off, it’s time to take a good long look at this new light duty pickup truck and review what’s good. Let’s dive in.
The next generation Ram 1500 has been narrowed down to two engine options, and both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard for the base trim and select trims will be the ever popular 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, able to deliver 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. This year, it seems FCA isn’t just putting hybrid components into the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. Like the postponed Hellcat movement, the eTorque system will pop up in other vehicles as well, continuing the trend with the new 2019 Ram 1500. The eTorque system generates 90 lb-ft of torque in addition to the engine’s output.
The second engine option for the 2019 Ram 1500 is another returning champion, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Able to generate 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, the 5.7L engine is also built with the eTorque system. With the V8, that’s 130 lb-ft of torque in addition to the engine’s output. It’s likely later into the 2018 model year or early 2019 model year that we’ll see the EcoDiesel return. The future-proof engine from FCA may also make an appearance.
There’s a whole lot more changing for the Ram 1500 truck lineup than the eTorque system. The new 2019 Ram 1500 is also a new improved ride, available in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, the latter possible with one of two Borg Warner transfer cases. Like Jeep 4×4 systems, depending on the case, the Ram 1500 may lock into a full-time 4×4 drivetrain or only transfer torque when the driving conditions demand it.
There are also three drive ratios with a limited slip differential – 3.21, 3.55, and 3.92. The first two also come with an electronic locking differential, and with the 3.92 axle ratio and a 4×2 drivetrain the Max Tow package is available. This all sounds very technical, so if not well-read on differentials and 4×4 systems, check out our article on “Performance Parts Explained – Jeep 4×4 Systems”.
The suspension and front stabilizer have also returned with improvements for a larger focus on payload and towing. The new changes help to improve rollover stiffness, and the new shocks (standard on all Ram 1500s) come with frequency response dampening for a smoother ride. Again, we have more detailed information on such components in our article on “Performance Parts Explained – Dodge.”
While on the topic of payload and towing capabilities, the new 2019 Ram 1500 uses Ram’s five-link coil suspension, giving the truck a payload capacity of 2,300 pounds and towing capacity up to 12,750 pounds. Most trims also come with an off-road package for further capability on tough terrain. This package adds a one-inch lift, is available with or without air suspension, beefer tires, hill-descent control, a revised rear suspension geometry, and improved skid plates.
The Ram 1500 Rebel trim returns with the next generation design. This new Ram 1500 Rebel has 18-inch wheels with 33-inch tires, coil-spring suspension, Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, and a one-inch lift. There are several key design differences to set the 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel apart from the rest of the lineup too.
Body and Style
There’s been a recent trend in vehicle design and it’s all about making a vehicle lighter, and that’s no different for the new 2019 Ram 1500. The 2019 Ram 1500 is 225 pounds lighter than the previous Ram 1500 model, and 120 pounds of the weight loss is thanks to the high-strength steel-aluminum blend making up 98-percent of the frame, small powertrain components, the hood and tailgate. That isn’t to say the 2019 Ram 1500 is less durable or smaller. The new 1500 has a longer and wider body, the bed height has been increased, and overall, the look of the new Ram 1500 is a complete evolution from the previous generation.
The front fascia has some of the most differences, with the once optional “RAM” grille now the standard for the lineup, and the drop fender has been lifted to give the front of the pickup truck a “stronger jaw” as it were. We saw more slanted headlights to bring the front fascia together in spy shots, and as it turns out, there will be two headlight designs depending on the trim and options selected. Halogen headlights are the standard, with LED lights found in the top-tier units. Tow hooks can still be found in the front, parking sensors have been integrated for parking assist, and the front bumper is available in chrome or paint, able to match or contrast the rest of the body.
Changes were made in the rear of the Ram 1500, too. The taillights have a new look and they are also available with halogen or LED lights. Again, the rear bumper is available in chrome or paint. The Ram 1500 will be available in twelve colors, three of which are two-tone combinations, and there will also be sixteen wheel designs to choose from, ranging from 18-22 inches.
We got a quick look at the truck’s new infotainment screen in spy shots, and it looks fantastic up close. With a vertical stack center console design, this infotainment screen is nearly 100-percent larger than what we’re used to on a pickup truck. Twelve inches in size, the available infotainment display will surely make glasses obsolete. There are also many pockets and cubbies to store devices throughout the front cabin.
As usual, the media hub is present, this time with five USB ports in the center console; four of them are USB A and C. And yes, the next-generation of the Uconnect infotainment system can be found in the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck. No word on if it’s standard or an optional upgrade this year.
Ram also says that the 2019 Ram 1500 truck comes with 100 standard and/or optional safety and security features. These include adaptive cruise control, adaptive front headlights, advance brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. It’s always nice to have a little advanced automatic safety.
To think all of this can be found on the least expensive light duty pickup truck on the market. Consumers can expect a bare-bones 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman in the high $20,000s as an MSRP starting price. Take another look at the 2019 Ram 1500 here. Let’s discuss all the goodies for the new pickup truck on the Aventura CJDR Facebook page