Ahead of Detroit: Rumors of Revolutionary 2009 Dodge Ram
By: Mike Levine Posted: 11-28-07 9:43 PT
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A few months back we saw a fleet of 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 prototypes running through Las Vegas on their way to Death Valley for some hot weather testing. Now, with its anticipated world debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show rapidly approaching, it looks like the all new Ram will turn up the heat on its full size half-ton competitors with at least two revolutionary suspension and storage features in the segment.

Allpar.com is quoting a source who claims to have gotten up close with the truck. That person says the 2009 Dodge Ram will do away with leaf springs in the rear and will instead use an entirely new coil sprung rear axle. Also coming, 8 cubic-feet of dry, lockable storage space on either side of the box with hinged access doors.

Using a coil spring setup in the rear should provide better ride comfort and virtually eliminate rear axle hop on rough roads. It sounds almost identical to the Chevrolet Avalanche sport utility truck, which uses a five-link coil sprung setup for its back end. Dodge uses a similar multilink coil sprung solid axle in the front suspensions of its heavy duty pickups. A coil sprung rear suspension is different from a coil over rear suspension, like Honda uses in the Ridgeline crossover utility truck.

Questions are likely to be raised about the potential impact this new suspension could have on payload ratings, but Allpar's source is stating that payload will remain the same as the current model. Payload capacity runs from 1,470-lbs on Regular Cabs to 2,430-lbs on Mega Cabs for 2008 model year light duty Rams.

The side saddle storage compartments described sound much more substantial than either the small cubby found in the back of Nissan's Titan or the two top-box storage compartments on the Avalanche. Two 8 cubic-foot trunks would be the equivalent of the 16 cubic-foot trunk on a small car, like Volkswagen's Jetta sedan.

Other changes cited by Allpar are a bump in HEMI horsepower to 375-hp from 345-hp, while displacement remains unchanged for the 5.7-liter V8. The Mega Cab will disappear from the lineup but there is word of a crew cab configuration, which sounds like a traditional-sized four door cab. And exterior changes won't be radical - unlike the suspension and in-box storage. It will be sleeker with the same style snout as the Dodge Charger sedan.

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