Pentastar V6 brings large car like fuel economy to the large PU truck segment.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Aug 24, 2012
2013 Ram 1500 in the tunnel – $23,585 to start including
the $995 destination and handling charge. It is easily the Best-in-Class Fuel Efficiency champion with an unheard of 18/25 mpgUS city/highway rating besting Ford’s best by 2 and GM’s by 4 mpg.
Remember our 2013 RAM with Its Pentastar Set to Challenge the F-150 and EcoBoost
story from last April? While the Pentastar is not as powerful as EcoBoost, it blasts every large PU truck ever produced no matter the engine or technology applied (this includes the 23 mpgUS highway rated Silverado Hybrid) out of the water and off the field of battle when it comes to fuel economy and features.
Here is a full sized PU truck with a car like interior, powerful enough to do real work and fuel efficient enough that even I can embrace it for a contractor or company that needs to employ a work truck while saving at the pump compared to what they are fielding now.
The Ram 1500 not only delivers the best-in-class fuel economy but provides its owners with a (RAM appropriately phrased this one
) truckload of pioneering, fuel-saving systems including a more fuel efficient and more powerful 3.6L V-6 and first-in-segment eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension.
Here is the RAM PR stripped of as much as I could and it is still loaded!
POWERTRAIN – It’s called Pentastar
The new 305 HP/269 lb-ft. of torque 3.6L Pentastar V6 has already won Ward’s 10 Best Engines Award two years in a row as it powers some of Chryslers current large cars. It includes the standard fare of fuel saving technology including variable-valve timing (VVT). And right off the factory floor is rated to tow 6,500 pounds.
The class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite 8) improves drivability and enhances fuel efficiency.
The new TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission does not use either a column or floor shifter. Instead it uses a rotary e-shift dial enabling intuitive operation with a direct and confident feel, even with gloves on. The convenient, dash-mounted, easy-to-understand and operate system provides total control of the sophisticated eight-speed transmission. According to the company, this new design allows quick blind-shift transitions from “Reverse” to “Drive” when towing or navigating out of mud, snow or busy parking lots and crowded worksites. The new rotary e-shift dial also yields space for more functional and usable storage in the console.
Another segment exclusive with the eight-speed transmission is a new thermal management system that is designed to quickly raise engine and transmission fluid temperatures. By raising fluid temperatures, parasitic losses resulting from high-viscosity engine oil and transmission fluid can be reduced, improving fuel efficiency by 1.7 percent. As the engine temperature increases to pre-determined levels, warm engine coolant is circulated through a thermal exchange unit, which also contains dedicated pathways for transmission fluid. As the thermal exchange unit heats up, it also heats up the transmission fluid. This action dramatically reduces warm up time for the transmission, improving fuel economy, drivability and shift quality.
Another fuel saving feature available on some 2013 Ram 1500 models is Stop/Start which can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent or approximately 1 mpgUS to the truck’s city drive cycle.
The new 2013 Ram 1500 continues to maintain its rugged appearance with new exterior design elements and an absolutely best-in-class aerodynamics sporting a Cd of just .36 for the regular cab and probably another 100 points knocked off of that figure for the Quad or Crew cab configurations.
Suspended on Air
The 2013 Ram 1500 is now available with an all-new air suspension system featuring five height settings for optimum ride and aerodynamic performance. The feature operates automatically, or may be controlled manually via console or key fob controls:
- Normal Ride Height (NRH): 8.7 inches of clearance (measured from the base of the door sill) is the default
- Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle .6 inches from NRH. Aero Mode improves fuel efficiency by up to one percent and is activated by vehicle speed
- Off-road 1: Lifts the truck 1.2 inches from NRH
- Off-road 2: Delivers more off-road capability, increasing ground clearance by 2 inches over NRH
- Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle two inches from NRH for easy entry/exit and cargo loading
Too bad we cannot make Park Mode work for on-road duties all the time?
Electric power steering
The 2013 Ram 1500 features electric power steering (EPS). 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 five horsepower.
A newly redesigned frame weighs 30 pounds less than its predecessor by using advanced high-strength steels. New box floor cross-members in the bed eliminated seven pounds and a new front bumper design removes four pounds. Additionally, aluminum lower control arms in the front suspension contribute to additional weight reduction and handling. The Ram 1500 also features an aluminum hood saving another 26 pounds.
The combination of the new Pentastar V-6 and new TorqueFlite 8 speed AT reduce weight by approximately 76 pounds vs. its predecessor.
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is a new fuel-saving technology for the Ram 1500, which reduces parasitic electrical load. The technology not only eliminates unnecessary load on the alternator but also improves the durability of benefitting systems. Fuel delivery and the forward cooling fan are two systems that take advantage of PWM, adding a 0.4 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.
The 2013 Ram 1500 features standard low-rolling-resistance tires to minimize wasted energy and decrease required rolling effort.
The 2013 Ram 1500 uses a newly designed frame with improved, low torsion (stiffness) attributes that increase stability and handling precision while decreasing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) up to 30 percent, depending on drive cycle. Front rails feature 20 percent increased yield strength from the use of high-strength steel. Among other features, the new frame design incorporates a new powertrain, new air suspension and new body-mounting technology.
Portions of the frame are hydroformed for dimensional accuracy and side rails are fully boxed. The front frame section incorporates advanced, high-strength steel that maintains overall strength and durability while saving approximately 30 pounds. To further improve NVH, new larger body mounts are located on the front frame rails and at the C-pillar.
New standard front independent suspension combines redesigned upper control arms, aluminum lower control arms and retuned geometry with coil springs for improved responsiveness and handling. New, more robust ball joints on the front suspension yield greater durability and are engineered with improved sealing methods.
Its Ram crosshair horizontal and vertical grille bars now stand taller than ever.
The 2013 Ram 1500 quad headlamp design has improved light spread, pattern consistency, distance and 30 percent more lumens.
An all-new premium headlamp lighting system is a bi-functional halogen projector design with 15 amber LEDs for park/turn/position lamp and three amber LEDs for the side marker.
A new 6-foot-4-inch bed option is now available on Crew Cab models giving customers the ability to combine Ram 1500’s largest available cab with the largest four-door/bed combination. All-new premium tail lamps are standard and consist of 15 red LEDs with three red LEDs for the side marker.
For 2013, there is supposed to be improved fit and finish.
Rear occupants can enjoy the same quality, fit and finish as the driver. With points of contact a priority, new premium materials, colors and designs are now on all four doors. Soft-touch materials enhance armrests and upper bolsters with expanded use of premium surfaces.
The highlight might be the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with background screens tailor-made to specific Ram models. To make room for the new big screen, the center stack is upgraded with matching materials found throughout the interior.
The all-new HVAC controls take lessons learned from other Chrysler Group Uconnect applications and feature simple, improved function, meeting the highest human machine interface (HMI) standards. The HVAC system includes a redundant architecture allowing the operator to use either the 8.4-inch touchscreen or manual controls to alter the truck’s environment. Below the upgraded HVAC arrangement is a new switch bank with relocated, easy-to-use controls for a number of features depending on vehicle models and options. All buttons in the comfort bank also are redundant on the Uconnect system. Contiguous to the switch bank is a prominently placed, adjustable integrated trailer brake control allowing the driver to add or reduce trailer brake function on the fly.
Displays including new 7-inch Multiview
Previously only available on premium models, the 3.5-inch vehicle information screen is now standard on ST and SLT and displays vehicle operating functions. The new thin film transistor (TFT), 7-inch multiview display is now available on SLT, standard on Sport, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn models. The 7-inch multiview display features fully customizable function and configurability. Similar to the 8.4-inch Uconnect screen, select 7-inch cluster background screens are tailor-made to specific Ram models, with designs that match the truck’s theme.
Filling the gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, color, premium multiview display, featuring a new customizable function that enables Ram 1500 customers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. Similar to the premium Uconnect Systems, select 7-inch instrument cluster background screens are branded with a Ram theme. Ram’s new information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily.
The multiview display offers drivers a wide range of customization options, from a basic digital speed read out to specific vehicle status information. Operation of the display is clearly communicated to users with easy-to-understand icons and instructions.
The Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN provide the Ram 1500 with a built-in wireless connection, allowing vehicle occupants to be automatically connected to a variety of new services. Users can remotely lock or unlock doors or start their vehicles from any distance via the web or a smartphone application. The new Uconnect system includes a 911 button on the rear view mirror for a direct connection to emergency services. An “ASSIST” button also is integrated into the rear view mirror to summon help directly from a roadside assistance provider or connect with Chrysler Group’s Vehicle Customer Care Center.
The Ram 1500’s new Uconnect Access system features HD and SiriusXM Radio, handsfree mobile phone operation, handsfree navigation, handsfree texting with compatible phones and handsfree control of music.
Also enhancing driver convenience, Uconnect features one-step voice command of navigation, the ability to check real-time fuel prices and listen and respond to text messages, combined with familiar knobs for climate and comfort controls.
The Ram 1500 offers more than 45 active and passive safety and security features, including standard front airbags, front and rear side-curtain air bags and seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System, knee bolsters, seat-belt pretensioners, BeltAlert system; and available adjustable pedals, ParkSense rear park assist and ParkView rear back-up camera. The 2013 Ram 1500 also includes standard electronic stability control (ESC), hosting a number of technologies including all-speed traction control, trailer-sway control, Hill-start Assist and anti-lock brake system (ABS).
For 2013, Ram 1500 customers can enjoy the convenience of power folding mirrors and a combination power and rear-sliding window with defrost. Also available is a new six-foot-four-inch bed option on the Crew Cab model, allowing for maximum passenger and bed hauling capability.
The 2013 Ram 1500 is backed with a best-in-class, 5-year /100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The Powertrain Limited Warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period, to pass the coverage onto the new owner.
The standard 3-year / 36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram 1500, from the body to the electrical system.
Poor Nick Cappa, RAM’s Truck Communication lead has been and will be buried for the next few weeks with this monster release.
Yeah, hopefully we’ll have an event drive in this big beauty and who knows, it might be the first full sized pickup truck to break 40 mpgUS? And good for RAM for coming back from the abyss and producing class leading trucks like this one.
The 2013 RAM 1500 "Comin At Ya" at warp speed