The 2013 Dodge Ram has a new, stronger and lighter frame underneath, plus a new version of Chrysler's Pentastar V-6, here making 305 hp (95 more than the engine it replaces); Hemi models now make 395 hp and 407 lb-ft. And both engines (in most trims) are now mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission that improves performance and fuel economy. Plus, there's a long list of efficiency-minded improvements like grille shutters, a thermal management system, and engine start-stop, which automatically turns the engine off at stoplights.
Inside, too, the Ram has some very significant change. At first glance, you might zero in on the fact that there's no column shifter or floor shifter; in models with the new eight-speed, Ram is replacing them with a fashionable new rotary selector—one that looks surprisingly similar, at first glance, to what Jaguar has used in its cars for a few years. Rest assured, it's designed to be used with work gloves, with reassuring detents between gears. Otherwise, the Ram's dash has been redesigned to accommodate new much-improved climate controls plus Chrysler's Uconnect Touch and its 8.4-inch touch screen. Expect voice controls, as well as other advanced features like 3D map displays and WiFi hotspot capability.
What carries through unchanged (since its last redesign, for 2009) is the Ram's clean exterior sheetmetal; it keeps the scaled-down big-rig look that's played quite a role in this truck's popularity, although for 2013 the Ram gets some contemporary touches, with upgraded projector-beam headlamps, LED running lamps all around, and a new flush (and larger) grille, front bumper, and fascia.
Want to know more about all the upgrades and new tech? See our review pages on the 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 for more of a run-through of all the details. And see our New York Auto Show pages over at MotorAuthority for more information.