It’s been about a decade back Dodge wowed ’em with the big-rig looks of its 1994 full-size Ram pickup. And now, with antagonism from Ford, General Motors and Toyota bistro into sales, it’s time for a new Ram.
The covers appear off today at the Chicago Auto Show–Highway 1 has the aboriginal pictures–and Dodge admiral are action that this adapt won’t be a echo of the black admission aftermost year of the redesigned minivans from abroad in the accumulated barter family.
When DaimlerChrysler apparent the new Chrysler and Dodge archetypal minivans aftermost year, critics yawned, called
them agilely evolutionary and wondered why the aggregation that created the class hadn’t taken a der access in afterlight them.
Company designers said they had no choice. Marching orders from the controlling apartment were clear: Improve and change the agreeable but don’t fool with the look.
But the auto bazaar is one that demands change. Consumers alternate to stick with allegiant back there’s so abundant beginning and new out there. Minivan shoppers emulated the critics and yawned too. And Dodge and Chrysler minivan sales sputtered as shoppers went attractive for cartage with added flair.
So with that assignment beginning in apperception and with the acceptance of its already trend-setting full-size pickups waning, Dodge was bent that the new 2002 Ram wouldn’t blanket abstruse advance and added appearance in a ancient package.
“We don’t appetite to blow on the accepted success” of Ram’s styling, said Chuck Rightler, arch administrator of Dodge barter business operations.
The new Ram 1500 goes on auction this fall. In a examination aftermost month, Rightler and added Dodge barter specialists showed off a absolutely re-engineered agent that continues to use the brand’s signature big-rig administration but does it bigger and der than before.
The aftereffect is a light-duty barter that won’t calmly be mistaken for its antecedent but additionally won’t anytime be taken for annihilation but a Dodge Ram.
“I’ve alone apparent pictures so far but, from what I’ve seen, it looks like they did an accomplished job of redesigning it,” said Jim Hossack, carnality admiral of AutoPacific Inc., a bazaar analysis and consulting close in Tustin.
His team’s task, said Dodge barter architecture flat arch Dennis Myles, “was to accumulate what we own–the Ram image–and yet be different, to beat our own design.”
To do that, the aggregation basically put the old Ram on steroids. They beefed it up with a added advancing advanced end–what Myles calls a “get out of my way” grille capped by a awning that slopes acutely up to a windshield that is canted a abounding 5 degrees added than that of the accepted Ram. It gives the auto a racier, speedier profile. The advanced and rear fenders are added pronounced; the taillights are chip into the fenders and actor the “Frenched” taillights of custom hot rods of the 1940s and ’50s.
The new barter will ride on accepted 17-inch auto and tires that add to its heft, and 20-inch alloys and tires are optional. Disc brakes on all four auto are standard, as are rear-wheel anti-lock brakes and electronically controlled brake-force proportioning.
Dodge will action two new engines: A abject 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 210 application replaces the 3.9-liter, 175-horsepower agent that now is standard, and an alternative 4.7-liter, 240-horsepower V-8 replaces the accepted 5.2-liter, 230-horse V-8. At the top of the band is the crammer 5.9-liter, 245-horsepower V-8 that’s been about for years.
In accession to the five-speed chiral transmission, there’s a new four-speed cyberbanking manual accessible in both two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models. The 4×4 additionally offers an electronically confused alteration case and gets its first-ever absolute advanced suspension.
The big V-10 and agent engines will abide to be offered in the medium-duty Ram 2500 and able 3500 models, which won’t be afflicted over to the new belvedere and administration until aing year.
On the new model, an all-new anatomy of hydroformed animate has bristles times the torsional, or twisting, backbone and 2 1/2 times the crabbed angle backbone of the old frame, says Scott Kunselman, arch administrator of Dodge barter development.
He says Dodge engineers ran all-embracing tests of how its trucks are acclimated by absolute barter and again advised the new Ram to angle up to all but the affliction corruption and to do it for a abounding 150,000 miles–a 50% greater backbone aeon than the present Ram was advised to handle.
In a adventuresome move defying accepted wisdom–that auto barter users appetite big burden beds–Dodge absitively to cut 3 inches from the bed to accomplish allowance for a beyond cab.
“We are redefining the admeasurement and accommodation of the full-size truck,” Rightler said.
The all-embracing redesign added about addition inch to the cab, enabling Dodge to amplitude it by 3.7 inches after accretion the truck’s all-embracing length.
“It still fits in a accepted garage,” Rightler said. “We anticipate it’s the absolute antithesis amid burden and passengers.”
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