2009 Dodge Ram 1500
Caught testing in weather hotter than Hades, not even Chrysler engineers with the temperament of Cerberus (sur-ber-uhs) could stop at least a few photos of 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 mules from escaping.
These pictures show current Dodge Ram half-ton pickups running through the desert with the next-gen Ram’s front clip and improved HEMI V8. Also along for the ride, a 2007 Toyota Tundra.
Even under the heavy camouflage it’s clear that Dodge is moving away from the Ram’s trademark big rig looks in favor of better aerodynamics to help boost fuel economy. The prominent crosshair grille remains – with stronger horizontal and vertical bars and slant forward styling shared with the Dodge Charger sedan.
When it goes on sale next summer, expect to see four all-new or revised engine choices. The base 215-hp/235lb-ft 3.7-liter V6 will be replaced with the 260-hp/265lb-ft 4.0-liter V6 used in the Dodge Nitro SUV. The Ram’s current 235-hp/300lb-ft 4.7-liter V8 gets the same makeover the 2008 Dodge Dakota received, boosting power to 300-hp/330lb-ft, and the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 will get a bump in displacement and power from current 345-hp/375lb-ft levels. A new Cummins V8 diesel motor will also be available. Both gas and diesel V8s will use 6-speed automatic transmissions.