Tweaks push Ram mpg to 18/25
Photo credit: LARRY VELLEQUETTE
NASHVILLE -- When it goes on sale this fall, the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup will get better fuel economy than Ford's and General Motors' most efficient full-sized pickups.
The re-engineered Ram pickup achieves 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
A new eight-speed automatic transmission is teamed with three engine choices: carryover 4.7-liter and 5.7-liter V-8s and the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. The Pentastar V-6, a $1,000 option, achieves the best mileage.
Engineers made more than a dozen changes to reduce drag, cut weight or improve engine efficiency, including:
The segment's first stop-start system, which stops the motor when the vehicle stops, say, at a red light.
Grille shutters that close when demand for cooling air is low. This reduces air drag.
An air suspension system borrowed from Jeep that lowers the pickup at highway speeds to reduce drag. The system also can be used to lower the vehicle for easier loading.
A lower front air dam to reduce drag.
Electric power steering, which cuts weight and parasitic power losses on the engine.
The efficiency boosts give the full-sized Ram pickup the same fuel economy rating as the 2012 BMW 135i or the all-wheel-drive version of the 2010 Ford Fusion.
The 2013 Ram bests the 2013 Ford F-150 base 3.7-liter V-6's 17 city/23 highway and the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado's and GMC Sierra's 15 city/20 highway.
Inside the cab, a reworked Uconnect infotainment system enables consumers to make and receive phone calls either through their own cell phones or with an account established with Sprint. The key fob locks or unlocks the doors, the tailgate and the RamBox siderail storage boxes.
Fred Diaz, head of the Ram brand, said at a press event here that the marketing push for the re-engineered Ram will start in earnest in November. The 2013 Ram is scheduled to arrive in showrooms in the fourth quarter.
Stickers will start at $23,585 including shipping.
You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at email@example.com.