The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers durability, technology, efficiency and convenience with features that the company says have never before been offered in a pickup.
"The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers a no-compromise approach to the full-size truck segment with strength, durability, technology and efficiency," said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand. "The Ram 1500 offers . . . 225 pounds of weight reduction, 12,750 pounds of towing capability, a stunning Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen display and active systems that improve fuel efficiency and assist drivers. The Ram 1500 stands out as the benchmark in a very competitive segment."
According to Ram, the new Ram 1500 uses the longest, lightest and most efficient frame in the half-ton truck segment. The chassis has reduced weight by 120 pounds – 100 pounds from the frame alone delivering a maximum payload of 2,300 pounds and maximum trailer tow capacity of 12,750 pounds. The strongest Ram 1500 frame ever produced includes the same impact countermeasures across all configurations, and is made from 98 percent high-strength steel. Exclusive front splayed frame rail technology (patent pending) creates a highly efficient energy absorbing structure for all impact modes, including front-offset with frame integration forward of front tire. Also, frame-mounted high-strength steel tire blockers are placed behind the front tires to force wheels outward in the event of impact. Additionally, side rails are taller and fully boxed. To further improve NVH, new electronically controlled side-frame-mounted active tuned-mass modules (ATMM) work in harmony with an interior active noise cancellation (ANC) system on 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 equipped models to reduce ambient sounds down to a low 67.1 db – the quietest Ram 1500 ever. Rear cross members are double sheer welded to the inside and outside of the frame for improved durability and roll stiffness.
Helping to create a more spacious cab, three new, longer frame lengths are offered: a 144.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab short beds and a 153.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab long beds – both four inches longer than their predecessors. The Quad Cab long bed has a wheelbase of 140.5 inches. Ram's newest pickup offers a turning radius of just 46.2 feet, curb to curb.
New independent front suspension components combine lightweight composite upper control arms, aluminum lower control arms and retuned geometry for improved responsiveness and handling. The front stabilizer bar is relocated behind the front tires, further improving roll stiffness by 20 percent. A new front coil-over shock design is standard equipment on all Ram 1500s regardless of configuration.
The third generation, exclusive rear five-link coil suspension design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system, and the new progressive coil springs are more than up to the task of handling a payload of 2,300 pounds and towing capability of 12,750 pounds.
Frequency Response Damping (FRD) shocks
Frequency Response Damping (FRD) technology has found its way into the 2019 Ram 1500 shocks on all four corners. When the Ram 1500 experiences a slower input, common during cornering and heavy braking, the bypass valve is closed for more aggressive damping, which provides additional stability and poise. When driving normally or exposed to faster shock inputs – which is common on rough roads or at higher speeds – the valve will open to soften the damping, giving the driver more comfort, confidence and control.
The new aluminum tailgate not only features damping during opening, it also integrates a lift assist measure. Ram uses a nitrogen- and oil-charged strut, which gives consistent assist in even the coldest or warmest climates and consistent assist through the entire tailgate swing. The latch-and-lock mechanism is now electronic, reducing the amount of moving parts and allowing owners to drop the tailgate with the interior switch, remotely with the key fob or unlock/open with passive entry. Customers with arms full will appreciate the ability to easily access the bed on approach.
Reducing the weight of components on the new Ram 1500 improves fuel economy and allows for more content while raising payload and towing capability. By using effective high-strength steels, composites and aluminum, the 2019 Ram 1500 has dropped nearly 120 pounds from the chassis (100 pounds from frame alone) and nearly 225 pounds overall when compared to the previous generation. Additional weight reductions balance out added content to provide new comfort and fuel-saving content.
The cooperative application of active aerodynamics and modern styling led to a nine percent aerodynamic improvement on the new truck. The Quad Cab 4x2 coefficient of drag is .357.
As the 2019 Ram 1500 approaches 35 miles per hour (mph), a standard active front air dam automatically extends downward 2.5 inches (non-air suspension and Rebel trucks). The optional air suspension system lowers the truck 0.6 inches improving overall aerodynamics and efficiency. The new Ram 1500 also employs an active grille shutter system, which automatically closes the airflow through the huge grille when cooling is least needed.
The segment's best ride and handling gets even better with the addition of FRD shocks with air suspension. According to Ram, the 2019 Ram 1500 is the only full-size pickup available with a four-corner air suspension system for optimal ride and aerodynamic performance. Another benefit of the new air suspension is the load-levelling capability, which automatically detects load on the suspension from a trailer or payload. The gas pressure increases until the vehicle reaches normal ride height, levelling the truck and improving the loaded ride. Additionally, a separate button on the key fob gives the operator the ability to manually lower the truck, allowing for ease of passenger entry and bed loading.
Ram now adds a robust 4x4 Off-road Package for the Ram 1500 on nearly every trim. The offering includes a one-inch suspension lift, with or without the available four-corner air suspension. An electronic-locking rear differential and 32-inch on/off-road tires on 18- or available 20-inch wheels provide additional grip. Hill-descent Control, an off-road-biased rear suspension geometry (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package) and unique off-road-calibrated shocks bolster trail capability. The package also includes robust skid plate protection (transfer case, steering, engine and gas tank) and tow hooks.
Also new for 2019, the Ram 1500 Rebel is even more capable, now available in Quad Cab configurations and featuring new 18-inch wheels with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires driven by an electronic-locking rear differential. The Rebel predecessor came standard with Ram's Active-level four-corner air suspension and a one-inch suspension lift. While air suspension is still available, the new Rebel comes standard with coil spring suspension and a one-inch factory lift. Newly designed Bilstein shocks feature remote reservoirs to keep the shocks cool and work with unique rear suspension geometry (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package) to keep the tires in traction. Rebel also includes Hill-descent Control for more off-road prowess. Hefty tow hooks feature wide bumper openings to ease use and the underbody protection features skid plates on the transfer case, steering system, oil pan and gas tank.
With 18 percent more pad area, the 2019 Ram 1500 large front brake rotors at 14.9-inches. A new electric parking brake eliminates 20 pounds from the previous system and works jointly with the truck to identify automatic engagement events.
Electric power steering
The next generation system reduces weight by six pounds and is tuned for lighter and quicker steering. By using an electric motor to power the truck's rack-and-pinion steering system, the engine is relieved from the task of constantly turning a hydraulic pump, improving fuel efficiency up to 1.8 percent and adding 5 horsepower.
The addition of the eTorque mild hybrid system is one of several changes made to the powertrains for the 2019 Ram 1500. The goal: improve performance, fuel economy, payload, towing capabilities and drivability. Other changes include upgraded TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions, strategic weight reductions and innovations, such as quickly heating lubricants to reduce viscosity-related efficiency losses.
3.6-litre Pentastar V-6: 305 horsepower plus outstanding fuel economy
The upgraded eTorque version of the Pentastar V-6 is the standard engine in most trim levels of the 2019 Ram 1500, specifically tuned for truck duty and rated at 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque.
The newest Pentastar V-6's advanced technologies, such as wide-range variable valve timing and two-step variable valve lift, deliver the optimal blend of power and fuel economy, based on the driver's demand.
HEMI power: 5.7-litre V-8 delivers 395 horsepower
The 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 combines the muscle of 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque – in a smooth, broad power band that avoids the hesitation and peakiness of turbocharged engines – with performance-enhancing and fuel-saving technologies that include variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation.
With Fuel Saver Technology (cylinder deactivation), the engine control computer turns off fuel and spark, and closes the intake and exhaust valves on four of the engine's eight cylinders during light load operation, such as highway cruising when full power is not needed.
Variable camshaft timing helps maximize fuel economy by reducing the engine's pumping work via a delayed closing of the intake valve, which increases the expansion process of the combustion event.
The HEMI V-8 in the 2019 Ram 1500 benefits from a new 850-watt electric cooling fan using Pulse Width Modulation to tailor the fan's energy draw to the cooling demand. Eliminating the traditional fan blade mounted to the front of the engine helps improve fuel economy by reducing parasitic losses and fan noise.
TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions
Every 2019 Ram 1500 is equipped with a fully electronic TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission with a wide spread of gear ratios that keeps engine rpm in the right range for the task. Trucks equipped with the 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 use an FCA-produced TorqueFlite 850RE transmission. The 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 uses an upgraded TorqueFlite 8HP75 transmission. Both transmissions use a new generation of computer controllers that process data faster and coordinate transmission operation with the eTorque mild hybrid system. There are more than 40 individual shift maps to optimize shift changes and points for fuel economy, performance and drivability.
Today's Ram 1500 employs a production-first thermal management system that taps into heated engine coolant to speed up the warmup of automatic transmission fluid and engine oil to maximize the fuel saving benefits of those fluids.
The 2019 Ram 1500 takes that strategy a step further with an industry-first application that uses heated engine coolant to warm up the rear axle lubricant of 4x2 trucks.
The engine control unit manages a three-way valve in the engine cooling circuit. Heating the truck cabin always takes priority, based on the HVAC temperature setting. Once heated, the valve routes coolant to the rear axle, where it circulates through a cavity in the double-layer axle cover to warm the gear oil. The warmed gear oil is less viscous and brings the axle to peak operating efficiency faster. Also, the system helps prevent the rear axle from exceeding maximum temperatures during demanding conditions such as hauling and trailer towing.
The 2019 Ram 1500 continues to use the thermal management system to bring the transmission fluid and engine oil to operating temperature quickly. The system also serves a cooling function under high load/high ambient temperature conditions to ensure the transmission fluid temperature is controlled.
Transfer cases get upgrades
The BorgWarner 48-12 for part-time 4WD operation with Hi and Low ranges; and the BorgWarner 48-11 for on-demand 4WD are available. The transfer cases are upgraded internally for more robust performance in conjunction with the increased payload and towing capabilities of the new truck.
Powertrain engineers reworked the rear axle for the 2019 Ram 1500 with the aim of increasing performance, durability and efficiency.
Front and rear wheels and hubs adopt a 6-lug bolt pattern. The new Ram 1500 is also fitted with a new electronic parking brake.
Three final drive ratios are available on 2WD and 4WD models – 3.21, 3.55 and 3.92. Each combination is available with a traditional open or limited-slip differential, which automatically divides torque among the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each wheel.
New for 2019 is an electronic locking differential, available on 4WD trucks with the 3.21 and 3.55 final drive ratio and lifted suspension, and 2WD and 4WD trucks with the 3.92 ratio with the base or lifted suspension (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package). The electronic system gives the driver the ability to lock or unlock the differential on demand, providing maximum traction to the vehicle when needed.
Also new for 2019 is a Max Tow Package, an option with the 3.92 final drive ratio offering up to 12,750 pounds of towing capability. The Max Tow Package is based around a Dana Super 60 centre section and open differential with a 256-millimetre gear set, and uses 35-spline axle shafts. It is available on 2WD trucks powered by the 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 with eTorque.
Small changes help save fuel
The V-6 and V-8 powertrains in the 2019 Ram 1500 also reduce fuel consumption with an Interactive Deceleration Fuel Shut Off (iDFSO) feature that pauses fuel flow to the engine cylinders when the vehicle is decelerating. For the 2019 model year, the iDFSO feature is improved to be active in third gear and higher.
The exhaust system has been re-engineered to reduce weight. Changes such as optimizing the thickness of the exhaust pipes and using aluminum for the hanger brackets cut more than nine pounds from the system.
A new, forward-facing air intake mounted behind the grille feeds cooler air to the intake of the system of the Pentastar V-6 and HEMI V-8 engines for improved performance. The intake system for both powertrains includes a hydrocarbon adsorption filter to reduce evaporative emissions. The filter is good for the life of the vehicle and does not need regular maintenance.
The all-new Ram 1500 is loaded with technology features including the fourth-generation Uconnect system that offers new features and connected services including a 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen display, SiriusXM with 360L, a 900-watt Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers, personal device integration and in-vehicle connectivity.