Chrysler's new Ram gets more power, new transmission
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The 2013 Ram 1500 pickup will boast a more powerful engine, a new transmission and various features to boost fuel economy.
Introduced today at the New York auto show, the re-engineered Ram will feature the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Together, the combination for the base vehicle will deliver 305 hp and 269 pounds-feet of torque, an improvement of 42 percent in horsepower and 13 percent in torque from the current 3.7-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission.
Later in the model year, Ram will combine a version of its eight-speed automatic transmission with its 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi engine, the first such pairing.
Chrysler has also added a number of fuel-saving technologies to the pickup:
A stop-start system that shuts down the motor at idle.
An air suspension system that lowers the vehicle at cruising speed, in part to lower wind resistance.
Active grill shutters that close to improve aerodynamics when air is not demanded to cool the engine.
A thermal management system to quickly raise oil and transmission fluid temperatures after the vehicle starts.
Chrysler officials declined to reveal the mileage rating for the 2013 Ram, other than to say it would have "best-in-class" fuel economy.
The two-wheel drive 2012 Ford F-150 with a 3.7-liter V-6 has the highest fuel economy among full-sized pickups at 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
Inside the 2013 Ram, drivers will operate the transmission with a new rotary dial. The cabin gets Chrysler's 8.4-inch center stack infotainment system. A 7-inch color vehicle information screen will also be available in the Ram's instrument cluster.
Chrysler added automatic locks to its Rambox storage system and rear tailgate, allowing consumers to lock and unlock them for the first time with their key fob.
The 2013 Ram 1500 will be assembled at the Warren Truck Assembly plant in suburban Detroit. Regular cab models of the 2013 Ram 1500 will be built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly plant in Mexico.
Bob Hegbloom, head of product planning for trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles for Chrysler, said the Ram will launch in the third quarter of 2012, with pricing available closer to launch
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