You had to know something was up after the unveiling of the 2011 Ram 1500 Tradesman at the Chicago Auto Show. In an effort to appeal to first-time truck buyers who are cost-conscious but don’t want to give up performance, Ram will offer the value-priced HEMI-powered Ram 1500 regular-cab truck and a new model, also HEMI-powered and sporting (for now) the code-name “Adventurer.”
Based on overwhelming reaction of families and Chicago Auto Show attendees to the Ram Tradesman, which goes on sale in the second quarter (with starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $22,780, including destination charges), Ram Truck execs pulled ahead plans for the intro of the new Ram 1500 Adventurer.
Ram says the new Ram 1500 Adventurer borrows from the Tradesman formula: big HEMI power at prices competitors charge for V-6 engines, Ram 1500 pickups that are ripe for customization, and a whole lot of style.
Fred Diaz, Ram Truck president and CEO puts it this way: “This new Ram model will be an attractive alternative for a younger or first-time buyer looking for performance at an affordable price.”
What’s so attractive about the Ram 1500 Adventurer? The biggest draw has to be the 390-horsepower 4.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine and its 407 pound-feet of torque. Another plus is the expected 20 mpg highway fuel economy.
There’s also its racy, monochromatic paint scheme. Just one look at the body-colored grille with honeycomb inserts, body-colored front and rear fascia, and chrome-tipped dual exhausts bring one thought to mind: performance. But there’s more to this new Ram 1500’s unique look that adds to the appeal: fog lamps, 20-inch aluminum wheels (with locking lug nuts), locking tailgate, cargo lamp, rear wheel-well liners, rear bumper step pad, and 6-inch by 9-inch side-view mirrors.
Inside, Ram 1500 Adventurer features heavy-duty vinyl 40/20/40 split-bench seat. Buyers have the choice of carpeted or vinyl flooring. But this is no bare-bones truck. Other standard features in include four-spoke tilt steering wheel, air conditioning, instrument cluster with tachometer and 120-mph speedometer, 12-volt auxiliary power outlet, six-speaker media center with CD and MP3 player, automatic headlamps, tinted glass, power accessory delay, rear dome lamp, variable intermittent windshield wipers, and more.
Safety means a lot in a pickup truck, especially for first-time buyers in the family. The new Ram 1500 Adventurer will come standard with advanced multistage front airbags, supplemental front curtain and side airbags, height-adjust shoulder belts, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control, sentry key theft deterrent system, and tire pressure monitoring warning lamp.
Buyers of the new Adventurer Ram 1500 pickup can choose a number of options. Factory-installed exterior options include Mopar chrome steel bed rails, Mopar chrome tubular sidesteps, spray-in bedliner and under-rail bedliner, Class-IV receiver hitch, and heated and folding trailer-tow power mirrors with supplemental signals and courtesy lamps.
There’s also a choice of two optional rear axle ratios (3.21, 3.92), engine block heater, trailer brake controller, and anti-spin differential.
Interior options include cloth 40/20/40 split-bench seat, uConnect voice command with Bluetooth, cruise control, instrument cluster with vehicle information center display screen, remote keyless entry, power one-touch windows, tire pressure monitoring display, rear-view auto-dimming mirror, sliding rear window, remote USB port, carpet or rubber floor mats, and Sirius Satellite radio.