- May 7, 2007
- 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 Mega-Cab
These are not the mules previously caught with the new front clip attached to the current truck - these are actual pre production prototypes!
At a recent industry conference in Traverse City, Michigan, Frank Klegon, Chrysler's executive vice president of product development, reiterated earlier statements that Chrysler is focused on producing advanced engines for all its vehicles, including the Ram. Mr. Klegon highlighted, "A significantly upgraded version of the renowned 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with gains in fuel efficiency, refinement, horsepower and torque, will debut in the 2009 model year."
Chrysler will also offer a new, more fuel-efficient version of the E85 flex-fuel 4.7-liter base V8 engine, shared with the Dodge Dakota midsize pickup and featuring a 30 percent increase in horsepower and a 10 percent increase in torque over the old 4.7-liter V8. Other gas engine possibilities include an all-new 'Phoenix' V6, with MDS cylinder shut-off to save fuel, by 2010. We're still expecting a new Cummins V8 light duty diesel soon after launch, but there are also whispers of a V6 oil burner too, since Cummins will be building one. (The next photo is the mule.)
What we know (we think for certain): the Ram 1500 will finally get a new, smaller Cummins turbodiesel, built to the same high standards as past engines; and the 2500 and 3500 will have a cleaner engine using technology Mercedes bought a while back. A hybrid powertrain, using the GM-BMW-DCX system, is certain as well; it will provide a small additional gas mileage boost. Chrysler has told us that the Hemi engine will be revised so it gets better gas mileage and more power, with better driveability; it?s quite possible that they?ve finally added variable valve timing (through variable cam timing, which oh20 says is now the case), and are going to try to make it more powerful than the same-size Toyota engine, which makes 381 horsepower. What?s more, what might be the world?s best mass-produced transmission may well show up in the Ram around 2009 - a manual transmission with automatic shifting and dual clutches. We don?t know if that?s going to appear first in the Ram, but the timing is about right. (It should also go into minivans - there are two versions being engineered.)
According to Automotive News, the Ram 1500?s V8 Cummins turbodiesel (that's not a misprint, it?s a new engine) will have about 260-300 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, with gas mileage is likely to be about 20 mpg city, 25 highway (compared with the Hemi's 13/17). Acceleration is about 1 second longer 0-60 (9.6 seconds rather than 8.6 seconds) and is good even by car standards. (Remember, that's mileage similar to the Sebring). The engine itself will use the Bluetec technology acquired by Daimler-Benz to pass 50-state emissions rules.
Brenda Priddy wrote:
These pictures show current Dodge Ram half-ton pickups running through the desert with the next-gen Ram's front clip and improved HEMI V8. Even under the heavy camouflage, it's clear that Dodge is moving away from the Ram's trademark big rig looks in favor of better aerodynamics to help boost fuel economy. The prominent crosshair grille remains - with stronger horizontal and vertical bars and slant forward styling shared with the Dodge Charger sedan.
When it goes on sale late next summer, there should be four revised engine choices. The base 215-hp / 235 lb-ft 3.7-liter V6 will be replaced with the 260 hp / 265 lb-ft 4.0-liter V6 used in the Dodge Nitro. The Ram's 4.7-liter V8 will get the same makeover as in the Dodge Dakota, boosting power to 300 hp/ 330 lb-ft, and the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 will get a bump in power [Brenda wrote ?and displacement? but we believe variable valve timing will be used instead. There have been rumors about an optional 6.1 but that seems to be speculation). A new Cummins V8 diesel motor will also be available [we think this is the lower-power model for 1500, and that the bigger straight-six Cummins will remain on the 2500/3500]. Both gas and diesel V8s will use 6-speed automatic transmissions.
J. White wrote: ?They are only using the 2009 front for cooling testing right now. The rest of this mule is for the moment the 2003+ Ram.?
?redriderbob? wrote in March 2007:
The next generation of Dodge Ram 1500 pickups, are set to debut in the 2009 model year. I have been hearing some interesting things from different sources about the new Ram 1500 lineup. One of my sources said that Ralph Gilles and his team are getting away from the ?big-rig? styling that we all love, and going towards a new design similar to the pattern of the newer Dodge truck lineup are fallowing. Styling that will be similar to the design theme used on the new Dodge Nitro, Dodge Hornet Concept, and Dodge Rampage Concept.
Mr. Gilles told the press that the next generation of Ram will be more aerodynamic and have a more luxurious car-like interior. Using the aerodynamic theme, the Gilles? gang is looking at making the pickup have more of a cab forward design. A design statement Chrysler Group created in the mid-1990s and is now trying to get away from. The bold fender flares of the Nitro, Hornet Concept, and Rampage Concept, allow for a wider track and make it possible to push the vehicle?s wheels out to the corners, making it possible to provide better handling.
New engines will debut in the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500. The word is that the 3.7L V6 will be dropped and be replaced with the 4.0L V6 from the Nitro. The engine will produce 270 horsepower, putting it in from of the standard engine from the rest of the manufacturers. The 4.7L V8 will get huge updates for the 2008 model year. Power should be pushed up to 300 horsepower [current spec is 290 for 2008 Dakota, and that's what we now expect] for the new Ram 1500. [Another rumor has the 3.7 V6 being replaced by a four liter Phoenix engine, but we don?t know if they can finish the factory and put it into production in time.]
A new version of the HEMI V8 in the Ram 1500 will debut in 2009. It will grow slightly in displacement, probably to a 5.9L or 6.1L configuration. The new engine will feature next generation MDS, a 3-valve per cylinder configuration [which some argue would make it not a true Hemi], and variable valve timing. The new HEMI should put out best in class power (somewhere around the 400 horsepower mark). Towing capacity should be over 10,500 lb. Engines should be equipped with 6-speed automatics, as well as the two lesser engines with 6-speed manual transmissions.
Dodge wants their pickups back on top of the market and since it?s Chrysler Group?s best selling vehicle, they will do whatever they can to put the Ram 1500 in front of the rest of the half-ton pickup lineup. Dodge will have a bunch of configurations and trims available on the pickups during its release. Expect three cab configurations, two bed lengths, and four trim packages.
Dodge will also release a two-mode hybrid version of the Ram 1500 for the 2010 model year. The hybrid will only feature the new HEMI engine.
Hemidakota added: ?The Hemi engine has four sizes what I was told. The one to watch is the high output version of the Challenger - not the SRT.?
The name Dodge Ram Toolmaster has a trademark, along with the name "Sidegate: Name of door in pickup bed giving bed access." (thanks, Dan Minick) The sidegate is a minivan-style sliding door on the side of the cab, but we haven't seen it in production.