automotive.com®...where your car search begins

2013 Ram 1500 Debut

Ram gives the 1500 a spit-shine to keep up with stiffer competition from Ford and Chevy.


2013 Ram 1500 Research Click to hide

What's New

The 2013 Ram 1500 is a culmination of a bunch of changes Chrysler has been mulling over for a few years now. The most noticeable change is the welcome addition of Chrysler's patented Pentastar V-6 engine, which will be tuned to pump out 305 horsepower and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new Pentastar engine replaces the meeker 3.7-liter V-6 engine, which coughed up only 210 horsepower, and the eight-speed automatic doubles the forward gears of the current model's four-speed automatic gearbox. The 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine has been retuned to churn out 395 horsepower, and it too will be mated to the all-new eight-speed transmission. Marrying the Hemi V-8 to the eight-speed transmission is a first for Chrysler, as it hasn't paired its V-8 with its eight-speed automatic in any other vehicles yet, and a first in the full-size truck arena. Other new features include redesigned headlights, keyless entry, and a central locking system that will lock the tailgate and Rambox congruently. A start-stop system and lightweight axles, optional air suspension, horizontal slats that open and close to boost fuel economy, and repositioned tow hooks on the front bumper will also make its way onto the 2013 Ram 1500.

Who's It For

People who drive trucks are like chameleons of the automotive world. They'll be hauling rocks and mulch during the day, and taking the same truck to dinner that night. We don't expect the 2013 Ram 1500 to deviate from this norm, in fact, the changes should only enhance its capabilities. Ram continue to style the 1500 aggressively, making it an appealing truck for the masses, not just those who rely on it for their livelihood. With the addition of the new Pentastar engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission that will help boost fuel economy by a reported 11 percent over the current gearbox, it's quite evident trucks still command a solid chunk of the automotive market.

Key Features

As fuel prices continue to flow more and ebb less worldwide, the truck market has to adapt to stay competitive. The 2013 Ram 1500 is prospectively loaded with an abundance of features that could set the pace for the truck market in the coming years. Some of these features include:
  • Lightweight axles to help reduce the truck's overall weight and boost fuel economy figures.
  • A start-stop function that would kill the engine when stopped at a traffic light or during other extended standstill time to, again, boost fuel economy.
  • The Pentastar V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. This reconfigured drivetrain will also help boost overall fuel economy figures while still delivering the power truck owners have come to expect and need.

What We Think

The 2013 Ram 1500 has been a long time coming for Chrysler and having a viable contender in one of the toughest segments in the automotive industry (literally) is always a good way to turn a profit. The other two Detroit truck makers have already begun fiddling with their full-size trucks to accommodate new emissions standards, and get better fuel economy. Ford recently introduced its EcoBoost engines into the F-150, while General Motors is looking into building the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra with lighter materials. Both automakers have implemented these changes in hopes of seeing fuel economy and sales figures rise even higher. We expect the folks over at Ram to see a quick return on their investment, as the 1500 is known to have a plusher interior than any offering from Chevy or Ford. Combine the Ram's interior and exterior styling with new additions like the Pentastar engine and other fuel saving technologies and Chrysler should have a sales-juggernaut on its hands.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: New York 2012

0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest