The buzz over at FCA is a new 2019 Ram 1500 truck is coming and production is slated to start by the end of January. While nothing official has been released, here is what you can likely expect on the new truck.
Before we get to the changes, let’s first state what we know. This will be a real change for the truck and it will mark another generation of the truck. It is going to be built at the Sterling Heights Assembly plant in suburban Detroit. This plant will undergo a massive retooling effort to build the truck since it is currently building uni-body Chrysler 200 sedans until December.
With those facts out of the way, let’s get down to the juicy details from a recent Autonews.com story and my own thoughts.
2019 Ram 1500 Design Changes
The recent buzz is the exterior design will be evolutionary in Ram will take the existing design and improve on different things.
For example, the hood and grille will be slightly changed and the headlights will shrink in size to blend in better with the front fascia. On the rear, the tail lights will be smaller and the back-up lights will be integrated vertically near the tailgate (up from the bottom of the tail light).
Inside, there will be a host of small changes throughout as well as one large one in the form of a new, flattened center console for additional room.
It will continue to be built with steel body panels and will not go with aluminum like some have suggested.
I would also expect the frame to use more high strength-steel crossmembers to drop weight and the cabin materials will likely be upgraded slightly as most newer vehicles have better materials than older ones.
Relax Ram fans, the 5.7L Hemi isn’t going anywhere. The change instead will be with the 3.6L V6 Pentastar.
The V6 will feature many upgrades like direct injection and an optional turbocharging according to the Autonews.com story. Both engines will likely see small engine improvements through variable valve lift adjustments, efficiency gains through research and a “fuel-saving belt-start generator” which I can’t wait to learn more about.
Also, the news is more air. Designers are adding additional air intakes to improve engine efficiency.
No word on transmission changes for the truck and I don’t expect any. It is currently using an 8-speed transmission and while Ford is moving to a 10-speed transmission, there isn’t a big reason for Ram to do the same since they already get some great fuel economy out of their current lineup of trucks.
Other Small Changes
The big news of a new exterior and V6 engine upgrades will likely drown out a slew of smaller changes for the 2019 Ram 1500. These changes will likely be in trim package offerings, tire selection, storage improvements and pricing. I would expect Ram to bump up the price of their luxury trucks and offer more features while the entry-level trucks will likely see a very modest difference in price.
This price difference will largely be due to additional safety equipment offered in the truck. For example, I would expect Ram to be developing new safety technology to pass all the NHTSA tests like the small overlap test which will likely bump up the price a bit.
At the end of the day, this is going to be a evolutionary upgrade for Ram and this makes the most sense. Their sales have been strong for a while now and they are slowly gaining on their rivals. Making small steps to improve is both cost effective and makes the most sense with their truck. I would expect this truck to make its debut at the 2016 LA Auto Show in November with the January 2017 Detroit Auto Show as a big possibility as well. The Detroit show makes a lot more sense for Ram, yet with production right around the corner, the timing may not be quite right to wait until January.