Pitched as a cheaper alternative to the 2500 and 3500, pricing for the RAM 1500 had not been released at press time, but a statement saying the new arrival will be in “the heart of the premium ute market in Australia” suggests something in the region of $75,000.
RAM Trucks Australia is now under full ownership of the Ateco Group, following that company’s buyout of partner Walkinshaw Automotive’s stake, but Walkinshaw will continue to produce the RAM range for Australian and New Zealand markets. Ateco Group CEO, Roger Zagorski, drove the first re-manufactured RAM 1500 off the line on 5 June and says the new arrival will set a range of benchmarks in the market.
“The RAM 2500 and 3500 have paved the way for RAM 1500, but the new truck takes RAM into the heart of the premium Ute market in Australia, with major advantages over its rivals, and so the volume expectations are on quite a different scale,” Zagorski said.
“This is why we have a new purpose-built production line in Melbourne that is producing RAM Trucks that are without a doubt full production quality.” The RAM 1500 is the same size as the existing 2500 and 3500, but unlike the current range that use a 6.7-litre turbo-diesel six, the 1500 will be powered by a 5.7-litre HEMI petrol V8, which, following the demise of locally-built Commodore V8 utes last year, makes it the only V8-powered ute currently offered in Australia’s new car market.
Full specs for this powerplant had not been revealed, but if it follows the American example, expect maximum power of around 295kW and maximum torque in the region of 555Nm. A 6-speed automatic transmission used in V8-engined RAM 1500s for the US market is likely to be used on Australian examples, too. While four-wheel drive is optional in the US, the remanufactured versions produced locally for the Australian and New Zealand market are expected to all be fitted with RAM’s on-demand four-wheel drive system.
The RAM 1500 will come with a towing capacity of 4.5 tonnes; a full tonne above any non-RAM rival, and while payload capacity was not listed, somewhere close to 675kg is expected. See your RAM Trucks dealer for full specs, pricing, options and further details.