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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Mar 25 2013, 8:31 AM

Cowboy Up


Once upon a time trucks were built for work. They had manual door locks, crank windows and AM radios, if they had any sound system at all. Leather seats, air conditioning and voice-activated distractions were out of the question. Like a framing hammer, pickups were simple and effective.

For decades they were purpose-made for hard-working men (and women), the kind of folks that make Paul Bunyan look like a dragqueen. But somewhere along the line these roughneck vehicles became cool with the subdivision set. People living in suburbia started to buy them en masse. With sales increasing so did the clarion call for more comfort.

Today it’s easy to push a simple truck’s window sticker well into luxury-car territory… and beyond. Sure, these vehicles can still handle a 14-hour day on the jobsite and are even more capable than their forebears, but more often than not they’re loaded with costly options that appeal to style-conscious shoppers rather than blue-collar workers. Here’s a list of 10 pricey pickups tailor-made for urban cowboys. The MSRPs are listed without incentives, so actual pricing may vary.

 |  Mar 08 2013, 12:01 PM

Along with V8 engines and the manual transmission, compact pickups are on the endangered automotive species list. To fend-off extinction, Nissan has made a few important changes to the 2013 Frontier to lift its sales.

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 |  Jan 14 2013, 7:34 AM

With nary another a truck in sight, the 2013 Ram 1500 has won the North American Truck/Utility vehicle of the year award. The RAM beats out the Mazda CX-5 and Ford C-Max for the honor – as though there was any doubt.

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 |  Dec 12 2012, 4:45 PM

Finalists for this year’s North American Truck/Utility Vehicle of the Year award were announced today — a combination that leaves little space for chunky workhorses from the Detroit 3.

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 |  Nov 14 2012, 9:50 AM

The Ram 1500 got some styling updates as well as a new transmission option for 2013, and now Mopar is offering over 300 accessories ranging from added chrome goodies to tonneau covers. 

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 |  Oct 12 2012, 11:01 AM

The existing 5.7-liter HEMI in the RAM 1500 puts out 395 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque, but Mopar has decided to kick it up with the Urban RAM concept that will debut at the 2012 SEMA show, sporting a 6.4-liter HEMI sourced from the Challenger SRT8 that makes 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.

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 |  Oct 08 2012, 5:51 PM

To promote its 2013 Ram 1500 pickup, Chrysler is launching two new advertisement campaigns, with one targeting the Hispanic market. 

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 |  Oct 02 2012, 12:28 PM

Chrysler is recalling 15,379 units split between RAM 1500 pickups and Dodge Dakota utility vehicles because of a rear axle pinion nut that might be improperly manufactured.

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 |  Aug 27 2012, 8:01 AM

Noticeably missing from the 2013 RAM 1500 lineup is the Tradesman HD model, and chances are it won’t be returning anytime soon, if ever. 

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 |  Aug 24 2012, 2:45 PM

Newly introduced in the 2013 RAM 1500 pickup and SRT Viper, Chrysler will offer customers an OnStar-like service through its partnership with wireless company Sprint.

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 |  Jul 23 2012, 10:31 AM

A preliminary defect investigation on 2009-2010 Dodge Ram vehicles has been opened because of reports of the rear differential failing.

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 |  Jun 29 2012, 5:45 PM

How does a Maserati relate to a RAM 1500? RAM has released a video offering some background info on how the 1500 was designed with sports car aerodynamics in mind.

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 |  May 30 2012, 5:15 PM

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.

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 |  May 28 2012, 10:01 AM

In today’s pickup truck market, you can only get a diesel engine if you step past the half-tons and get into a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck, but that won’t be the case for long as RAM may be testing out a small diesel option for its 1500 pickup.

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 |  Apr 25 2012, 2:35 PM

Top 10 Best Selling Pickups

The pickup truck is an icon that embodies the working spirit. It’s every blue collar employee’s calling card and farmer’s best friend. Truck buyers grow especially close to their vehicles as trucks are a  key tool in earning a living, depending on them to last through days and years of service.

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 7:01 AM

After multiple teasers, RAM has officially unveiled its 2013 1500 packed with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, with a 5.7L HEMI V8 as an option.

The new 3.6L V6 packs 42 percent more horsepower, 13 percent more torque and at least 20 percent better fuel economy compared to its 3.7L V6 predecessor, according to RAM. The new figures are 305-hp and 269 lb-ft and its fuel economy figures should be around 17-mpg city/24-mpg highway based on a 20 percent increase from the former 14-mpg city/24-mpg highway rating.

GALLERY: 2013 RAM 1500


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 |  Apr 02 2012, 12:01 PM

The RAM 1500 will be debuting this week at the New York Auto show with new engine choices, a new transmission and a new airbag suspension system. In preparation for the event, RAM is releasing five teaser shots, and today’s is the third in the series.

This newest teaser shows us what is probably a piece of the front bumper, but it is quite indistinct and could be just about anything. The RAM logo appears as a 2-D decal, unlike the 3-D RAM logo we have known from the past. Whether the logo is due for replacement on the new truck, we can’t be sure.

The biggest RAM announcements are all mechanical, as the truck will now be offered with Chrysler’s Pentastar V6, along with an eight-speed transmission. The eight-speed is initially only going to be offered with the V6, but it likely won’t be long until you can get it mated to all of RAM’s engine options. The new RAM will also be getting an air bag suspension system sourced from the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Click back to AutoGuide for live coverage from the 2012 New York Auto Show.

 |  Apr 02 2012, 8:01 AM

The second of four teaser images for the upcoming 2013 RAM 1500 has been released, hinting at some sort of rotating knob, perhaps infotainment related.

The first teaser clearly showed off the grille of the new 2013 RAM 1500, but this image is a little bit more obscure. The RAM 1500 will make its debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show sporting the Chrysler Group’s new 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Two more teaser images will be on their way before the truck’s debut on April 4th.

Ram 1500 Teaser:

 |  Mar 08 2012, 12:15 PM

The Ram 1500 is getting some new powertrain options, the Pentastar 3.6L V6 and an eight speed transmission. These new upgrades will bring the Ram into even closer contention with Ford’s Ecoboost engine.

The Pentastar has been a successful engine for Chrysler, and Ram is now the newest of a long list of vehicles to incorporate the motor. The current 3.7L V6 offering in the Ram 1500 puts out 215 hp, while the Pentastar 3.6L V6 will make 285 hp.

The new eight speed transmission ”reduces fuel consumption by up to 12 percent over our current five-speed transmissions,” according to a Chrysler group filing with the Securities and Exchange commission. The Pentastar and the six-speed operate at 14mpg in the city and 22mpg on the highway according to EPA estimates.

The filing also revealed that the newest generation Ram will utilize lightweight axle engineering to help reduce weight and therefore increase fuel efficiency.

The six cylinder Ford Ecoboost engine found in the F-150 gets 16mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The Ecoboost still beats the Ram when it comes to numbers, but surely the engineers at Ford are looking over their shoulders as the usually thirsty Ram gets a little leaner, and a little more appealing to buyers.

 |  Dec 27 2011, 8:00 PM

The upcoming 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 refresh will also be getting some new tweaks to its suspension, employing the services of Jeep‘s Grand Cherokee.

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.

 |  Jun 02 2011, 5:29 PM

It was perhaps inevitable. With the Ram 1500 introducing the lockable Ram Box feature as an option for its 2009 update, it was probably only a matter of time before the feature became available on the division’s larger trucks.

According to sources, Ram is seriously considering the feature, though on the larger trucks the Ram Box would be part of a longer 6 foot 4-inch bed (it’s 5 feet 7 inches on the 1500 trucks). This would mean that storage capacity could reach almost 10 cubic feet each side, making the feature notably more useful, for everything from hunting and fishing gear to heavier tools for the jobsite.

If the HD Ram Box feature does make the cut, expect it to become an option during the 2012 model year. There are also rumors that the 1500 Ram Box might also receive larger capacity storage bins, as well as the possibility of a version for 1-ton dualie trucks.

[Source: Pickup]

 |  Jun 02 2011, 10:13 AM

For 2012 the Ram 1500 pick-up will get an all-new base V6 engine, replacing the current unit with more power and improved fuel economy. According to a tweet by Ward’s Auto, Chrysler powertrain boss Paolo Ferrero has confirmed the Ram will get the new corporate Pentastar V6 next year.

While 100 ccs smaller than the outgoing 3.7-liter unit, the new engine could produce as much as a 75-hp gain over the old block for a total of 290-hp, while torque is expected to rise from the 235 lb-ft level to around 260 lbs ft.

In addition to all that power, look for a fuel economy bump as well. With the current model rated at 14/20-mpg (city/highway), the gain could be as much as 2-mpg in each category, or more.

 |  May 26 2011, 4:05 PM

We’ve already heard about Mopar’s Ram Runner package for 1500 pickups, that essentially turns one into a street-legal Pre-Runner type truck, now we’ve got official pricing on it.

As part of a line of accessories available through the Mopar catalog, enthusiasts have the option of acquiring the complete Ram Runner package in one go or doing it peacemeal.

The  Pre Runner Stage II kit, includes a five-link rear suspension, Fox Shox, chromemoly lower control arms, replacement upper arms, forged-steel tie rods and rebuildable high angle ball-joints.

Purchasing the entire kit will set you back $13,270, plus the cost of the donor truck and labor/installation charges and taxes. In addition; Mopar sells a specific off-road front bumper ($1,250) plus an off-road tire carrier, designed to be mounted in the bed ($1,010).

There’s also a set of fiberglass front and rear fenders ($1.020 per set) plus a stamped aluminum hood ($978) that includes twin scoops, plus a performance dual exhaust system ($1,135) to give your Ram Runner the sound only a Hemi can provide through a set of big pipes.

If you add the cost of all this additional stuff, then by the time you’re done, you’re probably looking at close $50,000, factoring in the cost of the truck, the taxes and labor charges.

Is it worth it? Depends on your viewpoint. But, considering you’ll have a Hemi powered rig with 14 inches of suspension travel and a 41-degree approach angle, it’ll still be fun to go out and beat on some F-150 Raptors.

 |  May 23 2011, 1:56 PM

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]