American pickup truck manufacturers are ramping up for a big year and one of its major players—the Ram 1500—is taking The Car Guide for a first drive down to the desert terrain of Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Ram pickup is coming off a strong 2017 Canadian sales campaign—98,465 units sold, an increase of 9.8 percent in year-over-year sales—and it will only get better with an all-new 1500 model offering up better styling, more powertrain options, additional technologies and fuel economy gains.
It all sounds similar to every new product being released, except the 2019 Ram 1500 gets some special attention from a 48-volt eTorque mild-hybrid system that's standard for its 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, and an option on the 5.7-litre HEMI V8 to be matched to a new eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
A hybrid system in a truck would be unheard of in past decades, but the word “eTorque” appears to be a long-term plan for Ram and one to be stored in our vocabulary. The eTorque system contains a motor generator and battery pack that's used for start/stop technology, for the betterment of performance and fuel economy. In addition, when the truck first starts to roll, the hybrid system is able to boost torque figures by 90 lb.-ft. in the V6 and 130 lb.-ft. in the V8.
The big story will focus on its powertrains, but we're excited to see the many trim level options, as well as test out the new storage compartments, the latest Uconnect infotainment system, and the increased maximum towing capacity of 12,750 pounds despite its weight savings.
The 2019 Ram 1500 is soon to come out this spring, and we're excited to tell you how it rides and functions in a desert environment. Is it better equipped than the Chevy Silverado 1500 or Ford F-150? Stay tuned to find out!