Chrysler Group’s Ram brand dials a class-exclusive 8-speed automatic transmission on the 2013 Ram 1500 truck.
An eight-speed gearbox is standard with Ram’s new 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine rated at 305 horsepower with 269 pound-feet of torque for fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon in town and 25 mpg on the open road.
The 2013 Ram 1500 also is available with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 governed by an eight-speed transmission for 385 horsepower and 407 lb-ft of torque.
Ram’s gear shifter has been changed from a center console lever to a large round knob located on the instrument panel right of the steering column.
The rotary dial has raised textured edges for secure grip with pronounced gear selection detents that assure confident setting placement. The new shifter location provides added store bins for small personal items on the console surface.
Controls for climate control and other comfort features are redundant with dual access through buttons and knobs or the 8.4-inch touchscreen. A full-color 7-inch multiview display is optional. Base models come with a 3.5-inch screen.
Eye on mileage
A number of technologies bring Ram’s best-in-class fuel economy to the road.
Electric power steering turns a 1.8 percent improvement in fuel economy and adds 5 horsepower.
Up front, Ram 1500’s active grille shutters automatically open and close to regulate air flow to the engine for more efficient cooling needs.
Closed shutters create less drag and better aerodynamics for enhanced mileage.
The Hemi engine behind the shutters now has a start/stop feature that shuts the engine off while sitting idle at a stoplight. No fuel is used and no emissions are expelled.
Ram’s Hemi V8 engine also deactivates to four cylinder use when the unladen truck is traveling at constant speed on level surfaces for more than 3 percent gain in fuel economy.
The 2013 Ram 1500 is available with an air suspension system that offers five height settings that lowers the truck by two inches for ease of entry/exit to the cab, or raised two inches for more ground clearance.
An automatic load leveling system adjusts for trailer or payload with an Aero Mode that activates at speed reducing the ride height for enhanced aerodynamics and fuel economy.
Standard low-rolling-resistance tires minimize wasted energy and decrease required rolling effort for improved efficiency.
Ram’s ride quality is superb with use of a revised suspension and coil springs.
“There’s lots of consumer anticipation over the arrival of the 2013 Ram 1500 in November,” says Tom Doppler, sales consultant for Thomas Dodge in Highland. “Crew Cab models are still big sellers and a particular favorite with families looking for the convenience and access of four full-size doors.”
The 2013 Ram 1500 starts at $23,585, which includes freight.