2009 Dodge Ram Preview


by Justin Pritchard,

More powerful HEMI engine will drink less, while unique features help set new Ram apart

The Dodge Ram has long been a popular pickup buy for customers after a street-smart truck that's full of attitude and not afraid to get dirty. Ram has always been a looker and a hard worker--not to mention a truck that packed plenty of options and variants to help fit any need.

Dodge's team has been proudly showing off the latest-generation Ram this auto show season, highlighting its distinctive style, unique features and upgraded power and economy. The new Ram promises to take everything that made the current-generation truck popular, and bring it to a new level.

In the visual department, the 2009 Ram instantly communicates requisite Dodge-truck visuals, while delivering even more attitude and style. The grille leaps forward and is plated with chrome accenting on selected models, screaming 'get out of my way'. It's applied to a more streamlined and aggressive front end.

Panel gaps and the air-intake size have been reduced considerably--helping out with aerodynamic efficiency. The Ram also sits lower to the ground, to the same effect. The entire package can be specified to roll on big chrome wheels for added flare, and there's even an optional dual exhaust molded into the rear bumper.

Ralph Gilles, Vice-President of Jeep and Truck Design at Chrysler talks about the Ram's styling. "We put a truck on the market that tripled our market share. Our design was polarizing--people loved it or hated it. But the people who loved it, bought it. They still do, because Dodge Ram continues to stand out from the herd of 'me-too' trucks."

The folks at Dodge say that today's truck owner wants it all from their pickup--and that it's not uncommon for the once-utilitarian type of vehicle to be used as a family cruiser. Appropriately, Ram has been made friendlier, more comfortable and more usable for its latest revision.

A new multilink rear suspension is fitted to the solid axle for a more comfortable ride. The interior is upgraded with soft-touch materials and revised controls for a more user-friendly environment, and there's even an available heated steering wheel and second-row heated seating.

Storage has been expanded as well, with store-in-floor bins featuring washable liners, and a new Ram-Box system that allows over 8 cubic feet of gear to be stored in the bed rails. The Ram-Box storage system offers drainable, lockable and illuminated bins.

The Ram's HEMI V8 engine has been upgraded, too. It matches the moves of its competition with a significant bump in horsepower, which now peaks at 380. That's backed by 404 lb-ft of torque, which helps enable 0-100 runs of about 6 seconds. Dodge engineers say that the new power is delivered alongside better fuel mileage than the outgoing model as well. Also available are a 3.7-liter V6 and a 310-horsepower, 4.7-liter V8. Later, the Dodge Ram will be available with a light-duty diesel and a hybrid-driven powertrain too.

The truck is offered in regular cab, Quad Cab and crew-size cab, with three box lengths of 8-feet, 6-feet or 5-feet-7-inches. Available trim levels are ST, SLT, TRX, Sport, and the top-of-the-line Laramie--and each has its own unique appearance. Whatever sort of truck you need, there's a Ram just right for you.

"Since the dawn of the 'big rig' look, Dodge Ram has always been a game-changer," said Jim Press, Vice Chairman and President, Chrysler LLC. "And this is our all-new game-changer--the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram, which is packed with full-size pickup firsts and best-in-class features."