Full-size pickups have becoming living rooms and aircraft carriers, simultaneously hauling people and a flotilla of toys, campers, gear, and cargo.
The 2019 Ram 1500, unveiled Monday at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, aims to do it all. The new Ram is lower, longer, wider, and more luxurious, equipped with an available 12-inch touchscreen, a V-6 or V-8 under the hood supplemented by a mild-hybrid propulsion system, and a raft of safety gear that other truckmakers haven't yet offered.
It will go on sale early this year, but Ram hasn't yet announced prices. The 2019 Ram 1500 will be available in Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Rebel, Limited, and Longhorn trim levels.
2019 Ram 1500
Although Ram will sell the new Ram 1500 alongside the old Ram 1500 for a short time, the new pickup strikes out on its own with a new look and new powertrain. The 2019 Ram 1500 will feature a mild-hybrid, 48-volt system dubbed eTorque that delivers an early burst of power from electric motors to supplement a standard V-6 or optional V-8. The 3.6-liter V-6 is familiar to the Ram 1500; it makes 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, similar to last year's numbers. The eTorque mild-hybrid system provides up to 90 lb-ft of torque at takeoff, and should help overall fuel economy, but Ram hasn't yet said how efficient that model will be. The eTorque system is standard on all V-6-equipped models.
A 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is the optional engine—for now. Buyers can opt out of the eTorque hybrid system in V-8 versions, likely an option for fleet buyers. The V-8 models will make 395 hp and 410 lb-ft, with the mild-hybrid system offering up to 130 lb-ft of initial twist. Cylinder deactivation technology can help save fuel during cruising, and all trucks are equipped with a stop-start system that can jump the engine to life in less than a half-second.
2019 Ram 1500
Inside, the Ram has added 4 inches for passengers, with more space in the rear than before. Rear seat passengers get more than 45 inches of leg room—more than competitors—and can sit on heated and cooled seats that recline. Ram has outfitted the interior with nearly 38 gallons of interior storage space, including clever space under the rear bench.
Up front a 12-inch touchscreen is the headliner, equipped on top models for an extra cost. The 12-inch unit is the biggest in its class, made by Ram by stacking two 8.4-inch touchscreens on top of each other. The 8.4-inch touchscreen is included in most models, with a 5.0-inch display on lower-cost trims.
The Ram sports updated looks, including a new grille that sheds the characteristic crosshairs from older versions. The sleeker Ram is mostly steel, with aluminum reserved for the hood and tailgate in an effort to shed 225 pounds from the overall mass. Its new bed is 1.5 inches taller, with more space in the back and a bevy of tie-downs to secure cargo. The Ram 1500 will be offered in regular, extended cab, and four-door crew cab variants with long- and short-bed options.
In addition to the gas-powered models, the Ram 1500 will bring back its 3.0-liter turbodiesel sometime next year. Officials didn't specify what the output would be, but the Ram joins a now-crowded class of full-size trucks with a turbodiesel engine including Ford and Chevy. Regardless of what's under the hood, the 2019 Ram will shift power through an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear- or four-wheel drive.
Ram also will offer a bevy of advanced safety systems including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system. Every Ram is equipped with a rearview camera.
For more from the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, head over to our dedicated hub.