The RAM 1500 sets new standards for towing capacity, tub size, interior space and comfort and, with the legendary 5.7 litre HEMI V8, it resets the performance yardstick as well as marking the return to the market of the much-loved Australian icon: The V8 Ute.
But, despite all these new benchmarks with an opening driveaway price of $79,990, the RAM 1500 sits comfortably amongst the key top end utes in the Australia market.
“The RAM 1500 is built and equipped to meet the changing demands of the Australian Ute buyer who are demanding more towing capacity, more space inside and out, and better performance,” says Alex Stewart, General Manager of RAM Trucks Australia.
“With a maximum towing capacity of up to 4.5 tonnes, it is a clear full tonne ahead of its rivals and with the legendary Hemi V8 under the bonnet, it has both power and a chassis designed by the world leading experts to safely tow that extra weight.
The RAM 1500 has a choice of two cab sizes, both which offer a level of space, and therefore comfort, of which other lesser utes may only dream.”
“The space story continues with the tub, again two sizes, with the largest six feet four inches long or nearly two metres long and more than 1.2 metres wide between the wheel arches.
Then there are the features that other Utes simply can’t offer such as a choice of axle ratios and the unique and uniquely useful RamBoxes, two 240 litre lockers on either side of the tub that may be used as secure storage or as a pair of ice-filled cool boxes,” says Mr Stewart.
At 5.8 metres long and a little over two metres wide, the RAM 1500 is significantly larger than other Utes in its market sector and this translates into more space inside and outside and a much larger towing capacity.
The RAM 1500 is offered with a choice of two cab sizes, the Express with the Quad Cab and the Laramie with the Crew Cab. Although the Quad is the smaller of the two, an interior volume of 3.3 cubic metres still places it ahead of majority of conventional Utes, while impressive levels shoulder and hip room make it a comfortable place to be, front or back.
The Laramie has a full crew cab with 3.5 cubic metres of interior space with a rear seat leg room length of more than a metre, it is as spacious in the back as the front.
The different cab sizes are not the only things that separate the RAM 1500 Express and the RAM 1500 Laramie. Each is styled, tailored and equipped to meet the very different needs and desires of their prospective owners.
The 1500 Express with its colour matched grille, bumpers and trim is clearly the sporty member of the family, something that can be enhanced further with the Black Pack which, as the name suggests, turns everything to black.
Sporty doesn’t mean basic, or stripped, as the leather lined dashboard attests, along with its comprehensive equipment list.
Meanwhile the RAM Laramie with its traditional RAM chrome grille and tasteful use of chrome highlights clearly indicates its intent to offer a unique blend of total luxury with a hard-working ethos of all-round capability.
From its heated and cool ventilated front seats, its heated steering wheel and rear seats to its use of leather, deep pile carpeting and an equipment list that puts some luxury cars to shame, the RAM 1500 Laramie simply has it all – and knows how to use it.
Other utes claim performance – The Hemi 291 kW V8 RAM 1500 delivers
Under the bonnet of the RAM 1500 is a legend. The Hemi name comes from its hemispherical combustion chambers which gives an efficient combustion chamber with an excellent surface-to-volume ratio, with minimal heat loss to the head, and allows for two large valves.
It was first developed for the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft and M47 Patton battle tank before finding its way under a whole raft American muscle and motorsport cars.
The latest Hemi continues to power racing cars and muscle cars, as well as the RAM 1500 and matches the timeless Hemi design with the latest technology including a coil-on-plug distributorless ignition system, Variable valve timing (VVT) and two spark plugs per cylinder to shorten flame travel leading to more consistent combustion and reduced emissions.
It's also now a smart engine to save fuel with Multi-Displacement System (MDS) is used in some versions which can shut off two cylinders on each bank under light load to improve fuel economy.
The engine bay also features active grille shutters, which only allow the right amount of cool air to enter engine bay.
This means more consistent engine temperatures, faster warm up from cold starts and less aerodynamic drag.
When the active grille shutters are closed, airflow is redirected over and around the front of the truck, enhancing aerodynamic performance rather than creating turbulence in the engine compartment.
Engine coolant temperature and vehicle speed determine shutter position.
The shutters remain closed when less engine cooling is required, and aerodynamic drag is most significant; the system will open the shutters when the truck’s cooling demands require additional airflow, for example traveling up a hill or pulling a trailer in high-temperature environments.
Behind the wheel of the Hemi power RAM 1500 this translates into effortless performance that, thanks to its eight-speed gearbox, is delivered smoothly and efficiently, all the while accompanied by the emotive V8 burble.
Owners will appreciate an innovative rotary e-shift dial for RAM 1500 trucks that controls the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission that replaces both column and floor shifters.
The exclusive rotary e-shift dial enables intuitive operation with a direct and confident feel, even with gloves on.
The convenient, dash-mounted, easy-to-understand and operate system provides total control of the sophisticated eight-speed transmission and is Ram Truck's innovative approach to electronic shifters.
This new design allows quick blind-shift transitions from “Reverse” to “Drive” when towing or navigating out of mud, snow or busy parking lots and crowded worksites.
The new rotary e-shift dial also yields space for more functional and usable storage in the console.
The Ram 1500 features electric power steering (EPS). By using an electric motor to power the truck’s rack and pinion steering system, the engine is relieved from the task of a constantly turning a hydraulic pump, improving fuel efficiency up to 1.8 percent and adding 5 horsepower.
Also, the introduction of EPS reduces complexity by removing the previous hydraulic pump, high-pressure hydraulic hoses and cooling apparatus. This greatly streamlines manufacturing and maintenance.
With EPS, each Ram 1500 model can be specifically calibrated to optimize steering effort and precision regardless of body or powertrain configuration.
Additionally, EPS senses constant input from the driver, for example a crown in the road, and compensates for improved comfort.
The RAM 1500 – Built to tow to the max!
The RAM 1500 is, quite simply, built to tow, with a range of features that combine to make it uniquely capable and safe.
Uniquely in this market sector, the RAM 1500 is available a choice of two axle ratios.
In addition to the 3.92 ratio fitted to the Express as standard, the 1500 Laramie offers the addition choice of 3.21 ratio which makes for a more relaxed driving experience, improved fuel consumption and reduced emissions.
It is the ideal choice for the owner who is not planning to take the RAM 1500’s impressive towing capabilities to the maximum.
But this unique feature is just the start of the RAM 1500’s towing features. In addition to the usual swath of electronic safety features, the RAM 1500 adds Trailer Sway Control, Ready Alert Braking and, on the Laramie, trailer brake control.
Trailer Sway Control does what it says – it works to counter one of the most common problems with towing, a traying weaving behind the tow car.
Using sophisticated electronics combined with the RAM 1500’s brakes, it detects and counters a trailer swaying and pulls it back in line behind the RAM 1500, allowing the driver to maintain full control.
Ready Alert Braking has two functions, first if the driver suddenly takes their foot off the accelerator, the brake system pumps up the brakes ready to provide maximum braking performance in the time it takes the driver to move their foot from accelerator to brake pedal.
Additionally, in the Laramie, when the automatic rain sensing wipers are activated by rain the Ready Alert Braking system moves the brake pads slight closer to brake disks so that they sweep any water off their surface to ensure maximum, instant braking ability.
The Laramie also has slider controls on the dashboard for to control the electric brakes on a trailer or caravan. These also bring up a choice of two readouts on the display screen in the instrument cluster to inform the driver exactly what setting the trailer’s brakes are set.
A not inconsiderable part of the RAM 1500’s excellent towing ability is built on the foundations of its advanced separate chassis and sophisticated suspension which is mounted on it.
The front rails are 20 per cent stronger thanks to the use of high-strength steel while portions of the frame are hydroformed for dimensional accuracy (hydroforming reduces the amount of welding that leads to distortion), and side rails are fully boxed for both strength and durability.
The front frame section incorporates advanced, high-strength steel that maintains overall strength and durability and to further improve NVH, new larger body mounts are located on the front frame rails and at the C-pillar.
All of this ability provides the RAM 1500 with capability to offer a class leading maximum braked towing capacity of 4.5 tonnes with 70 mm tow ball in the RAM 1500 Express and the RAM 1500 Laramie with the 3.92 axle.
The maximum gross combination mass is a mighty 7.2 tonnes with the 3.92 axle and a still hefty 6.2 tonnes with the 3.2 axle. Needless to say, a heavy duty tow bar is standard on all RAM 1500 versions, as is a seven pin towing harness plug.
The Ram 1500 uses an exclusive multi-link, coil-spring rear suspension and this innovative rear suspension provides improved ride and handling characteristics with no loss of capability.
A coil-spring design centralizes and absorbs bumps and impacts, while reducing the amount of friction in the spring system and it is some 20 kilos lighter than a leaf-spring configuration.
The front independent suspension combines upper control arms, aluminum lower control arms and retuned geometry with coil springs for improved responsiveness and handling while robust ball joints on the front suspension yield greater durability and are engineered with improved sealing methods.
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all Ram 1500 Truck models. The front rotors measure 13.2 inches (336 mm) in diameter and are clamped with dual-piston calipers, while rear rotors are 13.8 inches (352 mm) and utilize single-piston calipers.
ABS brakes lead a whole phalanx of electric chassis assistance packages that reduce the chances of a road accidents by a significant margin.
The RAM 1500 is the latest in a long line of Pick-up Trucks that have become legends in North America, but it has taken Australian expertise to make the RAM 1500 fully available in Australia.
The right-hand drive RAM 1500 has been designed and developed in Australia and refined for Australian requirements.
It is built in North America and then remanufactured on a brand-new state of the art production line in Melbourne. This process means production quality and consistency.
An Australian market RAM 1500 is built specifically for this market, imported by the factory appointed distributor, remanufactured to right hand drive in Melbourne and then sold through a nationwide dealer network.
The RAM 1500 is backed by a three year/100,000 km warranty with roadside assistance and requires a service every 12 months or 12,000 km.
The RAM 1500 – ready for Australia
“Our aim has always been that, so far as the customer is concerned, buying and owning a RAM, be it the new 1500 or its heavy-duty brothers, the 2500 and 3500, should be absolutely no different from buying any other mainstream vehicle,” says Alex Stewart, General Manager of RAM Trucks Australia.
“This means everything from production line quality and consistency of product, to a national dealer network, a factory supported warranty, through to back up of a full parts and accessory warehouses in Sydney and Auckland that can deliver parts to anywhere in the country within 24 hours.”
“The RAM 1500 resets the ability, value and style measures for the Australian Ute market,” says Mr Stewart.
“We fully expect it to have as dramatic effect on RAM sales in Australia as it has done in the USA, where the RAM brand has enjoyed eight years of consecutive growth, making RAM a significant player in the top end of the Australian Ute market.”
2018 RAM Price List from 1 July 2018
RAM 1500 EXPRESS:
RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub: $79,950
RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub with RamBoxes: $84,450
RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub Black Pack: $89,450
RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub Black Pack with RamBoxes: $93,950
RAM 1500 Laramie
RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 5’7” Tub: $99,950
RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 5’7” Tub with RamBoxes: $104,450
RAM 2500 Laramie
RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub: $139,950
RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub with five seats: (*) $140,950
RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 8’ Tub (*): $140,950
RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub Sport Appearance Pack: $146,550
RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub with RamBoxes: $144,350
RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub with RamBoxes and five seats (*): $145,350
RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub Sport Appearance Pack with RamBoxes: $150,950
RAM 3500 Laramie
RAM 3500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub, car driving license rating: $144,350
RAM 3500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 8 Tub, car driving license rating (*): $145,350
RAM 3500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 6’4” Tub, light rigid truck driving license rating: $146,950
RAM 3500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 8 Tub, light rigid truck driving license rating (*): $147,950
Options (1500 Express, 1500 Laramie, 2500, 3500)
Metallic paint: $850, $850, $950, N/A
Pearl paint: $850, $850, $950, N/A
Wheel to Wheel side steps: N/A, N/A, $1500, N/A
Trifold Tonneau cover for non-RamBox versions: $1795, $1795, $1795, $1795
Auto level rear air suspension: (*) N/A, N/A, $4000, N/A
* Factory order versions