Ram launched its 2019 1500 pickup earlier this year, and we have tested Hemi-powered truck both on and off the road. But without a doubt, the most remarkable part of the new truck's jigsaw puzzle is the eTorque mild hybrid system and that's what brings me to Lexington, Kentucky this week. Bluegrass State is a perfect place to test out Ram's new hybrid hardware from crowded streets through small towns to large open highways.
Behind the Scenes
The 48-volt mild hybrid system does not prevent Ram 1500's on-road behavior. Some regenerative braking systems are suddenly in action, making jerky stops, and I've tested many a startup system with noticeable hardness during engine start. But none of these is a problem in the frame. Braking power is progressive, the rain is useful when uploading a 430 watt-hour lithium-ion battery, and the stop-start system works with the 48-volt brake motor generator instead of a traditional startup for fast, seamless power supply. on transitions.
On the freeways outside of Lexington, cylinder deactivation is also mostly unnoticed when driving at a steady 70 mph. There is still a slight shadow when the Hemi V8 switches back and forth between eight and four-cylinder mode, but active frame-mounted dampers absorb most of the vibration and noise rejection noses out of the majority of the sound bracket inside the cabin. Really, Ram's integration of the hybrid system is excellent, and most people probably will not know that it works away behind the scenes.
Does not V8 need power? Ram have you covered. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 base comes standard with eTorque, which sets 305 horsepower and 269 pound-torque torque, and can drag a respectable 7 750 pounds. A very short drive in the V6 impresses again with hybrid integration that reflects the V8 experience with normal brake pedal behavior and power-up. On the road, the V6 eTorque behaves a lot like V8 because you do not notice it so much. There is a clear difference in power between the two models, of course, but the V6 is by no means slow.
What is the primary goal of all eTorque mild hybrid rolling? Efficiency, of course. According to EPA estimates, the eTorque system is good for a 2-mpg improvement in the city cycle with V8, for 17 mpg, compared to 15 mpg in the standard Hemi model. On the highway, Hemi returns 22 mpg two-wheel drive and 21 mpg four-wheel drive, but with eTorque these figures increase to 23 mpg and 22 mpg respectively. Official fuel economy figures are not available only for V6, but Ram engineers say that the eTorque setup should lead to a slight bump over 2018 Ram 1500 V6's 17 mpg city and 25 mpg EPA ratings.  The eTorque system adds 130 pound-meter extra launch to the Hemi V8.
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The other advantage of eTorque is torque: 130 pound-meter extra electric launch, although the truck itself has a total power of 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. This means that this 5,300 pound pickup is not slim of the line, and Ram has no problem gaining momentum.
Comfortable and able
In addition to the slim drive, my 1500 Limited test car offers comfortable comfort on its standard air suspension system, optionally at lower trim levels. It also takes corners of expertise – for a big truck, anyway – with controlled body roll, good grip on Bridgestone Dueler H / L tires and satisfactory steering and response.
The cabin is incredibly spacious, with the cabinet length growing by four inches for this generation of Ram 1500, with three of the inches giving favorable back passengers. When it comes to rear seat printers, they can now enjoy a flat floor and seat back that seats up to eight degrees. Storage is certainly not inadequate, with cubbies and pockets in the doors, and a center console that can be configured in 12 different ways, depending on what you need to stash. The interior is nice and quiet, thanks to Ram's improved aerodynamics, acoustic windshield and front seat glass and active noise cancellation, which is even better to enjoy in Limited's comfortable leather seats.
On the basis of all, a new frame is constructed of 98 percent high strength steel that is 100 pounds lighter and more rigid to improve handling and all-out function. Maximum payload for the Hemi eTorque model stands at 2300 pounds and the maximum rope increases to 12 700 pounds.
Gold Star Technology
Although the 1500 technology hybrid technology is mostly unnoticeable, the Uconnect 4infotainment tech interior with an available 12-inch configurable touchscreen is impossible to miss. The giant screen is intuitive for working with large icons, crisp graphics and reacting immediately to commands. In my limited tests, the Uconnect system controls a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, 3D map navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. At lower trim levels, Uconnect 4 works with an 8.4-inch display while Uconnect 3 is the base station with a 5-inch display.
Charging options are abundant with three USB ports, a 115-volt plug and optional wireless charging tray up front, while there are two additional USB ports and a standard plug on the back of the center console. Four of the five USB connections are type C / A ports that provide faster charging times. No phone or tablet in Ram 1500 should never die.
The safety technology menu is also extensive with adaptive cruise control, Lane Aviation warning with lane keep assist, rear cross traffic warning, 360 degree camera and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring, all of which work as advertised.
V8s now and V6 later
The brand new 2019 Frame 1500 begins at $ 33,390, including $ 1695 destination, for the V6 model that still does not hit dealers for another pair months. If you are one of the many who do not want V6 and prefer the great 5.7-liter Hemi V8, it will cost you another $ 1,195 and go out to the V8 eTorque clips on another $ 1,450. Ram 1500 production has gone to a rocky start, but V8 models are in showrooms now.
Like all full sizes, the price tag can climb at an alarming rate; My very powerful, selected topping Limited test truck comes in at $ 68,340. It sounds like a part, but is completely in line with the full-featured Ford F-150 Limited 4×4 starting at $ 66,280.
The pickup warriors are strong, with Ram facing stiff competition from the aforementioned F-150, not to mention the newly developed Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. But no other truck offers electric help right now, and that might be enough to give Ram a little more competitive edge in this competitive segment.
Editor's Note: Roadshow accepts multiple-day loans from manufacturers to provide editorial reviews. All evaluated vehicle reviews are carried out on our turf and on our terms. But for this feature, the manufacturer covered travel expenses. This is common in the automotive industry, as it is far more economical to send journalists to cars than to send cars to journalists.
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