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Rave Reviews for the Ram

When you read an article about a new car, do you ever wonder who drives those cars before they even reach the dealer’s showroom. How do the writers know so much about the vehicles you have never even seen?  I know the answer, because I am one of the lucky automotive writers who gets a chance to test drive cars before they are even on the market.

Recently, dozens of writers from the Texas Automotive Writers Association went to Kentucky to drive the 2013 Ram in the hills around Nashville. It was a perfect setting in many ways. Beautiful weather, Beautiful scenery and a truck that was truly remarkable. It fit into the area, and seemed right at home on the roads. The country roads allowed the Ram to show off its best features.

Why would the Ram people fly in dozens of auto writers and put us up in the historic Hermitage hotel? They wanted our full attention. They wanted to give us a chance to talk with the top designers and engineers who could explain the newest features and why/how they were developed.

What I found the most interesting was in the intensity with which they  modify and create new features for the Ram.

As a short person, I was delighted to hear that by adding a jump rail (in response to customers comments about how hard it was to get info the cab) the aerodynamics saved about a half a mile per gallon. It may not seem like much, but when you add all up all the small savings, it is a significant fuel savings.

There were many other savings but the jump rail was the most memorable to me because it was a double benefit.

Many of the other modifications and new features added to the sleek and snazzy look of the Ram.  

GOOD BETTER BEST: Best-in-class Fuel Efficiency, New Technology and New Features Without Sacrificing Capability

  • Best-in-class fuel economy:
    • New 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (Ward’s 10 Best Engines) features 42 percent more horsepower, 13 percent more torque and at least 20 percent better fuel economy when compared to the previous 3.7-liter V-6 powertrain
    • 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology and variable-valve timing (VVT) provides 395 horsepower, 407 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class fuel economy for V-8 trucks, beating competitive turbo V-6 engines
  • Class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite 8) standard equipment with 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, doubles the amount of gears compared to previously available four-speed automatic transmission to greatly improve fuel economy and contribute to best-in-class standard V-6 towing
  • New eight-speed also available with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8– the Company’s first application with a V-8 (TorqueFlite 8 late availability)
  • New TorqueFlite 8 operated by an innovative dash-mounted, rotary e-shift design
  • First-in-segment Fuel Saver Technology: eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension
  • Class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel economy, improves ride control and off-road capability along with improved entry/exit and loading, and features automatic load leveling
  • New exterior design cues including all-new grille/fascia, improved quad projection headlamps and LED front turn signals and tail lamps
  • Best-in-class aerodynamics, coefficient of drag (Cd) at 0.360

          LOOK INSIDE

  • New, upgraded interior features include: standard and premium multiview display, passive entry, Keyless Enter ’n Go, steering wheel and controls, wood accents, updated door panels, instrument panel, interior colors and premium materials

          TECHNICALLY PERFECT

  • All-new, next-generation Uconnect Access debuts on the 2013 Ram 1500 with Wi-Fi hotspot capability
  • Uconnect Access combines a new lineup of smart media centers with a powerful new wireless platform
  • With Uconnect Access, Ram 1500 owners will have alternative ways to access new connected services and applications via the vehicle’s 8.4-inch touchscreen display or the web
  • Next generation Uconnect system is designed to be forward-thinking, providing the freedom to upgrade to the latest features and services
  • Voice-recognition technology, steering wheel controls, touchscreen displays and traditional controls provide Ram 1500 customers with a variety of ways to interact with their mobile phones, music, navigation system and applications
  • Ram 1500 now available with a premium, customizable, full-color 7-inch multiview display
  • Addition of Powernet vehicle architecture system allows new content with improved data speeds
  • Chrysler Group offers Ram 1500 customers expanded SiriusXM Radio channel lineup, with exclusive programming including new SiriusXM Latino channels, an automotive industry first.
  • New remote central locking RamBox cargo management system and tailgate combined with door locks
  • New rain sensing wipers, SmartBeam headlamps, power folding mirrors and power sliding rear window with defrost
  • Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles
  • Sprint selected as the strategic partner to bring wireless connectivity and service delivery to the vehicle 

 

Ram 1500 – the most recognizable pickup on the road – delivers best-in-class fuel economy with a truckload of pioneering, fuel-saving systems including a more fuel efficient and more powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine and first-in-segment technologies: eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension.

It is interesting to be part of group of reviewers. The knowledgeable journalists have different opinions on the features. But all agreed that the Ram is a serious contender for “ The Truck of Texas,” the highly coveted award given each year by the Texas Automotive Writers.

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