Ram launched its 2019 1500 pickup earlier this yr, and we have examined the Hemi-powered truck each on and off street. However arguably essentially the most noteworthy piece of the brand new truck’s puzzle is the eTorque gentle hybrid system, and that is what brings me to Lexington, Kentucky this week. From crowded streets by way of small cities to wide-open freeway runs, the Bluegrass State is an ideal place to check out the Ram’s new hybrid hardware.
Behind the scenes
The 48-volt gentle hybrid system does not hinder the Ram 1500’s on-road manners. Some regenerative braking programs are abrupt in engagement, making for jerky stops, and I’ve examined many a stop-start system with noticeable harshness throughout engine restart. However none of those are a difficulty within the Ram. Brake pressure is progressive, the regen useful in recharging the 430 watt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, and the stop-start system works with the 48-volt belt-drive motor generator as a substitute of a standard starter, for fast, seamless power-on transitions.
On the expressways exterior of Lexington, cylinder deactivation can be largely imperceptible when cruising at a gentle 70 mph. There’s nonetheless a slight shudder when the Hemi V8 switches forwards and backwards between eight- and four-cylinder modes, however energetic frame-mounted dampers take up most vibration and noise cancellation snuff out nearly all of the audible racket contained in the cabin. Actually, Ram’s integration of the hybrid system is superb and most of the people probably will not know it is working away behind the scenes.
The brand new Ram 1500 eTorque have arrived providing extra effectivity and efficiency.
Do not want V8 energy? Ram has you coated. The bottom three.6-liter Pentastar V6 comes normal with eTorque, placing out 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, and capable of tow a good 7,750 kilos. A really transient drive within the V6 once more impresses with the hybrid integration mirroring the expertise within the V8 with regular brake pedal habits and brisk engine start-ups. On the street, the V6 eTorque behaves loads just like the V8, in that you do not actually discover all of it that a lot. There’s a clear energy distinction between the 2 fashions, after all, however the V6 is under no circumstances sluggish.
What is the main aim of all of the eTorque gentle hybrid sorcery? Effectivity, after all. In line with EPA estimates, the eTorque system is nice for a 2-mpg enchancment within the metropolis cycle with the V8, for 17 mpg, in comparison with 15 mpg in the usual Hemi mannequin. On the freeway, the Hemi by itself returns 22 mpg with two-wheel drive and 21 mpg with four-wheel drive, however with eTorque will increase these figures to 23 mpg and 22 mpg, respectively. Official gas financial system numbers aren’t accessible simply but for the V6, however Ram engineers say the eTorque setup ought to lead to a small bump over the 2018 Ram 1500 V6’s 17 mpg metropolis and 25 mpg freeway EPA rankings.
The eTorque system provides 130 pound-feet of further launch torque to the Hemi V8.
The opposite good thing about eTorque is, effectively, torque: 130 pound-feet of further electrical launch thrust, although the truck itself has a complete output of 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. Meaning this 5,300-pound pickup isn’t any slouch off the road, and the Ram has no downside getting up to the mark in a rush.
Snug and succesful
Along with the slick drivetrain, my 1500 Restricted check truck options luxury-level journey consolation on its normal air suspension system that is elective on decrease trim ranges. It additionally takes corners with competence — for an enormous truck, anyway — with managed physique roll, good grip on the 275/55R20 Bridgestone Dueler H/L tires and satisfying steering heft and response.
The cabin is extremely spacious, with the cab size rising by 4 inches for this technology Ram 1500, with three of these inches benefiting rear passengers. Talking of back-seat riders, they’ll now get pleasure from a flat ground and seat backs that recline as much as eight levels. Storage actually is not briefly provide, with cubbies and pockets within the doorways, and a middle console that is configurable in 12 other ways, relying on what it’s essential to stash. The inside is sweet and quiet, too, due to the Ram’s improved aerodynamics, acoustic windshield and entrance facet glass and energetic noise cancellation, which is all the higher to get pleasure from within the Restricted’s cozy leather-based seats.
On the basis of all of it is a brand new body constructed from 98 % high-strength metal that is 100-pounds lighter and extra inflexible to assist enhance dealing with and all-out functionality. Max payload for the Hemi eTorque mannequin stands at 2,300 kilos and max towing will increase to 12,700 kilos.
Gold star tech
Whereas the 1500’s hybrid know-how is generally unnoticeable, the inside’s Uconnect 4infotainment tech with an accessible 12-inch configurable touchscreen is unattainable to overlook. The big display screen is intuitive to work by way of with giant icons, crisp graphics and instantly reacts to instructions. In my Restricted tester, the Uconnect system controls a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation with 3D map imagery, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On decrease trim ranges, Uconnect Four works with an eight.Four-inch show, whereas Uconnect three is the bottom stage system with a 5-inch display screen.
Charging choices are plentiful with three USB ports, a 115-volt plug and elective wi-fi charging pad up entrance, whereas there are a further two USB ports and a typical plug on the again of the middle console. 4 of the 5 USB hookups are Kind C/A ports permitting for faster cost instances. No telephone or pill within the Ram 1500 ought to ever go useless.
The Uconnect Four infotainment system could be optioned with a large 12-inch touchscreen.
The protection tech menu can be intensive with adaptive cruise management, lane departure warning with lane maintain help, rear cross site visitors alert, 360-degree digicam and ahead collision warning with automated emergency braking and blind spot monitoring, all of which work as marketed.
V8s now and V6 later
The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 begins at $33,390, together with $1,695 vacation spot, for the V6 mannequin that also does not hit dealerships for an additional couple of months. Should you’re one of many many individuals who don’t desire the V6 and like the large 5.7-liter Hemi V8, that’ll price you a further $1,195 and going all out for the V8 eTorque tacks on one more $1,450. Ram 1500 manufacturing has been off to a rocky begin, however V8 fashions are in showrooms now.
Like each full-size pickup, the value tag can climb at an alarming charge; my very closely optioned, range-topping Restricted check truck is available in at $68,340. That feels like loads, however is correct in step with the full-zoot Ford F-150 Restricted 4×4 that begins at $66,280.
Like most vehicles, the 1500’s price ticket can climb shortly relying on trim stage and choices.
The pickup wars are fierce, with the Ram going through stiff competitors from the aforementioned F-150, to not point out the utterly redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. However no different truck provides electrical help proper now, and that is likely to be sufficient to offer Ram a bit extra aggressive edge on this extremely aggressive section.
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