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There’s a pretty common stereotype that if it’s an American-built pickup, it’s nice and strong. Not only is it built to last, but it’s built to withstand any major accidents and safely protect its occupants.
The Ram Laramie Limited debuted at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show offering some luxurious options from Dodge subsidiary, Ram for the popular pickup.
Saddling up in the high-end pickup comes with a hefty price as we’ve learned today. The Laramie Limited boasts a starting price of $45,700 for the 4×2 model making it the most expensive Ram model yet. To put it all into perspective, a bare-bones 1500 starts at just $21,820.
Some would put up a good argument that you get a good bang for the buck though. The Laramie Limited comes with a color-matched front bumper, fog lights, a chrome grille, and 20-inch wheels. All the badges are also replaced with “Limited” ones while the interior features leather with greystone piping. The center console has been highlighted with piano black high gloss details along with chrome vent rings and liquid graphite side bezels.
Luxury in spades, the Laramie Limited is outfitted with a remote start system, backup camera, a heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals, and front vented seats. Really, the Ram Laramie Limited is a bit of a bargain if you think of it more as a luxury vehicle — as long as you’re ok with the pickup truck packaging.
It’s rather interesting to see American automakers offering such luxurious amenities on pickup trucks. Then again, it’s not like you can toss all your hardware into the truck of your Mercedes E-Class without a care.
GALLERY: Ram Laramie Limited
Dodge has released pricing on their 2012 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Compressed Natural Gas pickup truck, starting at $47,500 including a $995 destination charge.
The Dodge Ram 2500 HD CNG will go head-to-head with the recently announced Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD Pickups with CNG capability. The Ram 2500 HD CNG will be available as a crew cab 4×4 model in either SL or SLT trim level.
Chrysler also announced that the CNG-only range on the Ram 2500 HD will be around 255 miles and the backup supply of gasoline will allow it to travel an additional 367 miles. Under the hood of the Ram HD CNG is a 5.7L Hemi V8 with compressed gas storage tanks and an eight-gallon backup gasoline tank. The truck will automatically switch from CNG to gasoline once the CNG tanks are emptied.
While CNG does offer significant savings, it’s worth mentioning that there are only about 1,500 CNG fueling stations in the US – and only half of those are accessible to the public. If you think remembering which local gas station has diesel is a pain, CNG might not be a great option for you.
Comparatively speaking, the base 2012 Ram 2500 ST crew cab 4×4 with a 5.7L Hemi V8 starts at $36,300. So there is over a $10,000 premium to fetch yourself a CNG variant, while you’ll save about $1.25 per gallon equivalent of gas when using CNG. Worth it? That’s up to you.
GALLERY: 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG
There’s a new teaser video for the RAM Laramie Limited pickup on YouTube, featuring the same scantly clad bikini babe as last week, but with more automotive footage.
Dodge‘s truck division released a teaser video last week, but the footage showed little more than a bodacious bikini model stepping from the ocean.
Captions after the actual video revealed that the new line will be featured in conjunction with this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, but that was all the info we got.
It turns out that the footage is of RAM’s new Laramie Limited pickup, which we reported on during our coverage of this year’s Chicago Auto Show. Coincidentally, our pictures have a pretty girl in them too, but we’re guessing our photos probably can’t compete with a soaking-wet supermodel, so have a look for yourself after the jump.
Dodge is jumping on the bikini band wagon, but can you blame them? There’s no denying that sex sells, especially with most of the pickup truck crowd.
That’s why Ram pairing up with Sports Illustrated and releasing a teaser ad just makes sense. The 37-second spot features a slender woman clad in diving gear and a black bikini walking out of the ocean and pulling a cloth from a Ram pickup. Nearly all the footage focuses directly on the model. The ad actually cuts out before you see more than a silhouette, but it’s got us wondering what’s up the shirt sleeves over at the Ram division.
You can watch the video after the jump.
While the majority of candidates on the campaign trail for the Republican presidential nomination are traveling in giant buses, Rick Santorum has decided to take a down-to-earth American approach, crisscrossing the state of Iowa in his Dodge Ram 1500 pickup.
The “Chuck Truck” as it has become nicknamed, after Santorum’s campaign aide Chuck Laudner, has become the center of attention as Santorum campaigned across Iowa’s 99 counties. The four-door pickup was originally purchased in 2006 and has over 178,000-miles on it. Santorum has also admitted to owning a second Ram, that one with more than 300,000-miles on it.
Whether or not it was intentional, the Dodge Ram has become a symbol for Santorum to prove that he’s hardworking and has spent the time to travel across the state.
This isn’t the first time a truck has garnered attention for a candidate as Fred Thompson, former US Tennessee senator got plenty of attention from his red pickup as did Janet Reno when running for Florida’s governor position.
Santorum came runner up to Rick Perry in last night’s Iowa caucuses vote.
The new truck will be getting the air suspension setup found in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, giving the truck a whole new level of riding comfort. The 2013 Ram 1500 will be getting plenty of new goodies with Dodge looking to enhance the trucks’ luxury department as well as some new tech toys. It’ll be making its debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
[Source: Auto Evolution]
What’s better than a 2011 Dodge Ram R/T? Mopar Underground’s Ram 392 Quick Silver of course. The 392 6.4L HEMI V8-powered Dodge Ram made its presence known in the Mopar booth, tossing out the factory 5.7L V8 for the 470-hp counterpart. Boosting performance is a cold air intake, headers and a cat-back exhaust system courtesy of Mopar.
The bright silver pickup has been contrasted by bright red wheels, mirrors and a matching front grille. Smoked headlights and taillights further enhances the already menacing appearance while a subtle Mopar body kit really sets the Ram off.
Massive 15-inch rotors and six-piston calipers from Brembo gives the Ram plenty of stopping power, which is needed with the 22-inch wheels that are seen on each corner of the pickup. Clearly those looking for the perfect garage-mate for their Dodge Viper should be knocking on Mopar’s door to produce the Ram 392 Quick Silver.
GALLERY: Dodge Ram 392 Quick Silver
For all the Dodge Ram enthusiasts out there, Chrysler has something for you at this year’s SEMA Show. Based on a 2011 Ram R/T, the team at Mopar Underground outfitted the Ram with a collection of modifications, enhancing performance while giving the truck some good looks. Powering the Ram 392 Quick Silver is a 392 HEMI V8 from Dodge’s SRT lineup packing 470-hp. The motor was mated to the R/T’s 4.10 gear set with a high-stall converter. Additional performance comes from Mopar’s cold-air intake kit, headers, and cat-back dual exhaust.
Braking performance has been upgraded thanks to a Brembo big brake kit, featuring 15-inch rotors and six-piston calipers. Everything on the truck besides the gloss black roof has been finished in a three-stage bright silver. Contrasting it all are anodized red wheels, grille inserts, mirrors and select interior trim components. All the exterior lighting has been smoked while a reverse deep-down aluminum hood adorns the front of the truck. Suspension modifications lowers the truck by 2-inches, further accented by a Mopar body kit.
Though the wheels on the render looks to be from HRE, the release only specifies that Mopar Underground added 22-inch pieces wrapped with 275/45/22 and 305/40/22 tires. On the inside, high-bolster SRT seats are covered in Katzkin leather with red stitching and accents to match the steering wheel, instrument panel and Laramie Longhorn inspired leather shift knob, door panels and center console trim. Kicker speakers add additional audio to the cabin while woofers in the doors add plenty of bass.
The compact pickup segment is interesting because major updates are rare compared to other sectors of the auto industry. The RAM Dakota hasn’t received a refreshed look since 2007, and the Nissan Frontier hasn’t changed since 2005. The outgoing Ford Ranger hasn’t really changed since 1998.
This isn’t the same story for the Toyota Tacoma which will receive an updated interior, new entertainment options and revised exterior styling, however the engine and frame will remain the same. “It’s an important segment for us because it provides us with young customers,” said Bob Carter, Group Vice President and brand manager for Toyota. Carter explained that with gas prices continuing to rise, compact pickups could see a sales resurgence. Carter supported this theory by explaining the fact that Toyota sold more Tacomas than full-size Tundras through the first half of the year. The Tacomas should start rolling out in October after Toyota’s part supply situation improves to full capacity by September, following the Japanese disaster in March.
[Source: Left Lane News]
The Japanese earthquake disaster and the resulting supply disruption mixed up the Top 10 best-selling vehicles in June, allowing the Chevrolet Cruze compact to top the chart in the US, a spot usually reserved for the Toyota Camry.
The Camry did make the Top 10 and was the only Japanese vehicle to do so but as number eight, with sales down 27.7 percent from last June. Toyota has regained strength and production is almost back to normal so expect the Camry to move back up. Honda also took a tumble and fell to 15th place with the Civic, down 34 percent compared to this time last year. The Altima was Nissan’s top seller coming in at 11th place with sales up 22.7 percent.
Coming in first place was Ford’s F-series which improved over last year by 6.7 percent. Second place was awarded to the Chevrolet Silverado which improved by 5.1% over last year.
[Source: USA Today]
Chrysler has announced that heavy-duty pickups in the company’s lineup will be available with a new six-speed automatic transmission for the 2012 model year.
The Ram 2500 and 3500 HD models will receive the six-speed coupled with an available 6.7-liter Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine with 800 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm and 350-hp and 3,000 rpm. The 3500 truck can tow up to 22,750 pounds if equipped with an optional Max Tow package. Interestingly, the Cummins oil burner manages to meet EPA emissions standards without the annoyance of having to use Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
Fuel economy ratings have not been posted for the Dodge with the six-speed nor have prices been released. More details will become available closer to 2012.
Chrysler is delivering 10 Ram 1500 Hybrids to the U.S Department of Energy for testing within the next week. The pickups will be delivered to Yuma, Arizona, as part of a $100 million research project. The program with the U.S Department of Energy will run through June 2014.
140 Ram 1500 pickups will be delivered by Oct. 1 across the U.S. These plug-in hybrid trucks we be put through grueling testing including extreme temperature testing with fluctuations from 25 below zero to 125 degrees.
The Ram trucks utilize 5.7-liter V8s making 345-hp. The engine is mated to a two-mode hybrid transmission manufactured by GM and a 12.9-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery. These trucks will be capable of traveling 20 miles on electric-power alone with a total range coming in at 655 miles. The Ram is capable of towing 6,000 pounds and has a 1,000 pound payload capacity.
[Source: egm Car Tech]
Ford is claiming that the new 2011 F-150 will get best in class fuel economy despite no EPA verified mileage figures. Ford states that the 3.7L V6 model will return 16 mpg in town and 23 mpg on the highway. By comparison a 2011 Ram with a 3.7L V6 will get 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
According to Ford, the company is touting the F-Series’ fuel economy because “70 percent of F-150 customers said better fuel economy is what they’d like improved most in their truck.” What Ford did mention is that their numbers aren’t worth much until they’re independently verified.
[Source: Inside Line]
Hyundai and Chrysler could partner together for a full-sized truck based off of the Ram, after Chrysler’s deal with Nissan fell apart. Sources say that Hyundai approached Chrysler as late as February regarding a potential tie-up. Hyundai’s lineup is experiencing a renaissance in North America, but the Korean automaker lacks a full-size pickup truck for the crucial North American market. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly turned down the offer at that time, but is now re-considering due to excess capacity at truck plans. Both Toyota and Nissan have struggled to sell their own full-size pickups in recent years.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Chrysler has announced that it is recalling a total of 186,099 Heavy-Duty Dodge Ram trucks. All of the vehicles in question are 2007-09 models and all are powered by the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel. The recall is actually related to the engine itself – specifically revolving around tuning and emissions. A trouble code in the EMS system can trigger a check engine light, which can cause the fuel mixture to be enriched, resulting in black soot from the exhaust system and potential damage to the turbocharger and Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve.
To fix the problem, Chrysler will re-flash the engine computer, though customers who own one of the trucks in California, will have to submit proof of the repairs to the Department of Motor Vehicles before they can renew their registrations – a result of the Golden State’s strict emissions laws. Owners with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403.
Chrysler has announced that it will begin offering Ram customers a spray-on bedliner option for its 2010 model year 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks. Dealers will be able to order the factory-installed upgrade beginning immediately.
The spray-on bedliner option will be available on all Ram Truck trim levels (ST, SLT, TRX, Power Wagon and Laramie), all cab sizes (Regular, Quad, Crew and Mega) and all bed lengths (5-foot, 7-inch; 6-foot, 4-inch and 8-foot). Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price is $450.
“Creating a stand-alone brand for Ram Trucks has allowed us to concentrate on how customers are using their trucks and what new features they’d like to see,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Spray-on bedliners are very popular with pickup owners, and we felt this factory-installed, factory-warranteed option would be a welcomed response to our customers. We’ve taken our new lineup of award-winning Ram Trucks and made them even better.”
The new Ram Truck factory-installed spray-on bedliners come with a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty. They offer owners a number of benefits including a 10-pound weight savings over drop-in bedliners; a reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH); chemical and abrasion resistance; improved in-bed traction and an improvement in perceived value.
“We expect the spray-on bedliner could quickly become one of our most popular Ram Truck options,” said Joe Veltri, Vice President of Product Planning, Chrysler Group LLC. “More than 90 percent of all truck owners want pickup bed protection, and spray-on bedliners are sometimes preferred over drop-in bedliners. Now Ram Truck offers both.”
Chrysler Group has extensively tested its spray-on bedliners for UV stability and surface adhesion. The protective material is sprayed to a standard thickness of 3mm on horizontal surfaces — including the tailgate — and 2mm on vertical surfaces.
The Ram appears destined to break free of its Dodge moorings to run solo as a stand-alone brand. According to a report on Inside Line, the plan to market Ram as its own brand is part of Fiat’s new corporate strategy, that will see other SUVs and some commercial vehicles branded with the Ram, leaving the Dodge nameplate to focus squarely on more performance-oriented yet affordable vehicles.
It is expected that some future Dodge vehicles will be shared with Alfa Romeo.
Included in the new Chrysler corporate strategy will be the elimination of the Dodge brand from Europe, where in launched back in 2006.
Fiat an Chrysler are expected to make an announcement about the company’s future product strategy in Detroit in November.
Pickup truck plant to stop production in July and may never open again
That didn’t last long. Just a week ago Chrysler, newly emerged from bankruptcy protection, announced that it would be restarting production at 11 of its manufacturing plants. With new ownership from from Fiat and the U.S. and Canadian governments the American automaker was eager to start a new chapter in its long history. There’s just one small problem… we’re still in the middle of a worldwide recession and no one wants to buy cars. Or pickup trucks.
As a result, Chrysler is idling its Fenton, MO plant (where the Dodge Ram pickup truck is assembled) on July 10th. Oddly, the plant will still reopen on June 29th, only to close two weeks later.
According to the Automotive News report the Fenton plant might not reopen at all as it had previously been scheduled to shut down in the third quarter of 2009 – and with the current supply of Dodge Rams sitting on dealer lots enough to last 115 days its unlikely the facility will ever come back on line.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]
Hummer made the list? Really?
Each year Hagerty, a major insurer of classic cars, releases its “Top 10 Cars We Can’t Live Without,” aiming to point out which current vehicles will become the classics of the future. This year’s list has some big surprises.
Despite trouble in the American auto sector, the top 10 are all American machines, with the usual suspects like the Corvette and Mustang rating highly. The new Camaro and Challenger are also on the list, as is the Chrysler 300.
Some surprises include the Cadillac CTS, Saturn Sky and even Hummer vehicles. (Really?) Also included are two iconic pickup trucks, the F-150 and Dodge Ram.
As though the listing of Hummer wasn’t a clue, the list isn’t what you would call a scientific experiment. For starters, Hagerty polls its own customer base and to make the poll completely invalid the list is compiled based on voluntary responses.