The 2019 Ram 1500 has been unveiled with a slew of changes that could fundamentally shake up the pickup truck market like the new eTorque hybrid system. Here is what we know.
2019 Ram 1500 Exterior Design Changes
Starting with the most obvious visual changes, the front-end of the new 2019 Ram 1500 is substantially different than the prior model. The crosshair grille is gone, a staple since 1994, and instead the new grille has a different shape and the words RAM spelled out on each model. This continues a trend RAM started with the large lettering in the Rebel and one that other automakers have been copying.
Next, the LED headlight design will be sure to spark some debate with the top-tier models getting a wide and slim design. The lower trims will feature a design more akin to what is on the market now. Designers have been playing around with headlights for a while now with the Jeep Cherokee’s squinty eye look as one of the first.
Also, the tow hooks have been moved to be integrate parking sensors better and are lower and further apart than before.
There is also a hood bump on the design which helps portray a RAM tough image.
On the rear, the taillights are changed as well and are available in LED. Both the rear and front bumpers come in chrome or body color matched paint.
RAM continues its approach to offering a variety of paint colors and two-tone with 12 colors in total. Speaking of offering a variety, the new truck has 16 different six-lug wheel designs to choose from ranging from 18 to 22 inches. Typically, half-ton trucks come in five-lug patterns with only a handful of options.
Inside the Cabin
Inside, the 2019 Ram 1500 once again features a great layout and design albeit still with the polarizing rotary knob. The center console keeps it massive size with an equally larger optional 12-inch infotainment display screen to match.
Throughout the cabin there are cup holders and storage bins for days and plenty of USB ports for everyone with FIVE in the center console.
Engines – Surprise, Surprise
A surprise announcement for the new 2019 Ram 1500 is the introduction of a hybrid system. This hybrid system will come standard on the 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine (a rumor we alluded to on our preview Vodcast video – see below). The “eTorque” 48-volt mild-hybrid system will likely work nearly like the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra’s hybrid system now on sale nationwide. The Pentastar V6 increases its torque by 90 lb-ft with the hybrid system. No word on MPG and this will likely be announced closer to launch this fall.
The 5.7L Hemi V8 is also improved with an additional 130 lb-ft of torque added.
This increase in performance is due to engine improvements and a lighter truck. The 2019 Ram 1500 dropped 225 lbs thanks to chassis and frame usage of high-strength steel with aluminum. Also, the new truck is also longer, wider and has a taller bed height than the prior generation.
Both trucks use an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Four-wheel-drive models are available with two Borg Warner transfer cases providing full-time or on-demand 4WD capabilities. There are three final drive ratios – 3.21, 3.55 and 3.92 – each with limited-slip differential. The lower geared models, the 3.21 and 3.55, can also be had with an available locking differential.
RAM will offer a max tow package on select 2WD models with a 3.92 rear end with a Dana Super 60 center section, 256-mm gearset and a 35-spline axle shaft.
The lighter weight also allows for truck engineers to work on suspension upgrades for a smoother ride. Also, Ram engineers changed up the materials used for additional weight savings.
For example, the independent front suspension gets composite upper and aluminum lower control arms. “The front stabilizer rests behind the tires to improve roll stiffness, according to Autoblog.com. Coilover front shocks are standard across all Ram 1500s. Out back, the truck uses the third iteration of Ram’s five-link coil suspension, giving the truck a payload capacity of 2,300 pounds and towing up to 12,750.
New shocks use frequency response dampening, meaning bypass valves are closed when inputs are slow. This increases the dampening during cornering or braking. When the inputs are more frequent and severe (think wheels bouncing on rough roads) the dampening is softened. Certain models can be equipped with air suspension at all four corners. This has a number of benefits including a smooth ride and self-leveling capabilities.”
Off-Road Package and Rebel Carryover
What about the Rebel? It will still be offered and will get many of the improvements found in the new 2019 Ram 1500. The truck features 18-inch wheels with 33-inch tires, coil-spring suspension, Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs and a one-inch lift. Air suspension is optional. It also has numerous visual updates.
Ram says the new truck is safer as well with 100 standard or optional safety and security features. The long list includes adaptive cruise control, adaptive front headlights, advance brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Expect the safety equipment to vary per trim level.
Pricing and fuel economy haven’t been announced yet. Expect those details to come out when the truck gets closer to production in the next few months.