Truck: 2009 Dodge Ram
By: Mike Levine Artwork:
02-03-07 20:31 PT
© 2007 PickupTruck.com
of the 1994 Dodge Ram is the Hail Mary of American pickups.
Chrysler Group isn't facing the same life or death situation that Chrysler
survived in the early nineties, the 2009 Dodge Ram is so important that
TCG has tapped its hottest designer, Ralph Gilles, to head this redo.
(pronounced 'jeels') is the man responsible for penning the retro-gangsta
style Chrysler 300C that's reinvented the American full size sedan.
design directions the next Ram may take - continue to evolve the current
big rig looks or move forward with an all new theme, likely based on last
year's sleek Dodge Rampage concept.
stated that improving aerodynamics is one of his top objectives, lending
weight to a Rampage-based path, but we're placing our bet that the instantly
recognizable snout of the current Ram is going to continue to set this
pickup apart from its five full size competitors.
for our speculation about the '09 Ram's sheetmetal comes from the new
2007 Dodge Nitro SUV (Gilles also worked on this program), and 2002
Dodge M80 and 1999 Dodge Power Wagon
changes can we expect to find?
HEMI V8 with a six-speed transmission is a virtual certainty but it's
the alternative powertrains where the 2009 Dodge Ram will truly innovate
over the current Ram.
Group CEO Tom LaSorda recently
promised that after 2009 1500 series half-ton Rams will be powered
by an optional Cummins diesel engine - the first time a manufacturer has
announced such an offering in the light duty segment. With high fuel prices,
and increased scrutiny around CO2 emissions, we expect compression ignition
engines to be a popular choice with buyers.
concerns are also likely to find the future Ram powered by a dual mode
hybrid V8. DaimlerChrysler has partnered with General Motors and BMW on
the technology, which offers up to 25% improvements in mpg on the highway
over single mode hybrids like the Toyota Prius. Even better, dual mode
hybrid technology will work with the current 5.7-liter HEMI's Multi-Displacement
System (MDS) that can switch off half the cylinders during off-load running.
Ram, Gilles promises a renewed focus on the interior components, so expect
a spiffed up cabin to support the contractor on the go when it comes to
work and luxury touches to take the missus out on the town.
2009 is looking
kind of far out right now after the introduction of the new Chevrolet
Silverado, GMC Sierra,
and Toyota Tundra
pickups, but If Dodge can deliver distinctively stylish looks with innovative
powertrain and interior improvements, it will continue to score touchdowns