Besides the 2013 SRT Viper, Chrysler also brought at the 2012 New York Auto Show the 2013 Ram 1500. As expected, the 2013 Ram 1500 comes with plenty of upgrades, such as eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension.
Moreover, the new truck features a new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with variable-valve timing (VVT) delivering 305 and hp269 lb.-ft. of torque. The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine is also available and delivers 395 hp, 407 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class fuel economy for V-8 trucks.
The 2013 Ram features a dashmounted rotary e-shift dial, which enables quick blind-shift transitions from "Reverse" to "Drive" when towing or navigating out of mud, snow or busy parking lots.
The engines are mated to the new TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission that replaces both column and floor shifters. A segment exclusive is the new thermal management system that is designed to quickly raise engine and transmission fluid temperatures.
The 2013 Ram 1500 Regular Cab 4x2 has a .363 coefficient of drag (Cd), an improvement if we take a look at the 2012 Ram 1500 Regular Cab 4x2, which has a Cd of .386.
The all-new air suspension also offers best-in-class ride and handling. Furthermore, the 2013 Ram 1500 features electric power steering (EPS, which uses an electric motor to power the truck's rack and pinion steering system.
Weight reduction was also important and the 2013 Ram 1500 features an aluminum hood saving 26 pounds, but also a newly redesigned frame which sheds 30 pounds, as well as lighter engines: the new Pentastar V-6 and new TorqueFlite 8 transmission reduces the weight by approximately 76 pounds, while he V8 and TorqueFlite 8 together reduce weight by more than 30 pounds.
Regarding the desigm, the 2013 Ram received a new front grille, a new front bumper, larger openings around the front tow hooks (four-wheel drive models) and quad headlamp design. The 2013 Ram also received four new colors: Black Gold, Copperhead, Maximum Steel Metallic, Prairie and Western Brown.
There are many features in the 2013 Ram 1500 that can be considered as firsts in the segment. It has the Start-Stop function which is the first pickup truck to have such functionality and it enhances fuel economy by as much as 3.3%. Because of this fuel-saving feature, city drive cycle is better by 1 mpg. The reason why this feature is able to improve fuel efficiency is that the Start-Stop system turns the engine off if the vehicle completely stops. Even then, the other features, like air conditioning, heating, gauges, or radio, remain to be operational. Once the brake is released, acceleration is guaranteed as the engine is immediately restarted.
Another first is the new thermal management system, which is fitted on trucks that have the TorqueFlite 8, as standard. This management system allows the temperature of the engine, and the transmission fluid, to be increased immediately. Many transmission fluids and low-viscosity engine oil generally experience parasitic losses. But by increasing their transmission, this is minimized and thus enhances fuel efficiency by 1.7%.
In addition, it prevents the model’s transmissions from going beyond the expected operating temperatures, something that happens during hauling or towing. It therefore results in better performance and enhanced durability. In many previous models, the thermostat is mechanical but the 2013 Ram 1500 is now electronically controlled.
Aside from being electronic, the improved system controls the temperature of the engine to make warm-up time shorter and make sure that the engine continues to operate efficiently. The first step is to set a certain level. If the temperature of the engine reaches this pre-set level, the thermal exchange unit makes sure to circulate the warm engine coolant.
The thermal exchange unit is also where the dedicated conduit for the engine oil and transmission fluid are found. Once this component hears up, then the fluids heat up as well. One result of this is that the warm-up time is lowered. Not only is fuel economy improved but also the shift quality and drivability are better. For a number of powertrain set-ups, the temperature of the transmission increases independently from that of the engine; thus warm-up is longer and efficiency is lowered.