Most recently, the Ram truck folks rolled out a mild hybrid offering – the 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque: Any all-new 2019 Ram 1500 may be equipped with a motor/generator connected to the engine’s crankshaft via a belt that can add torque, cranking the engine in a stop/start scenario, or generating electricity through regenerative braking. There are two engines: a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that comes standard with eTorque; while a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 adds eTorque as a $1,450 stand alone option.
Back in April of this year, The FCA RAM team introduced their entire lineup of 2019 Ram 1500 lineup of new pickup trucks.Tthere are six different grilles covering the line of various trim levels for the New 2019 Ram 1500 truck, each with their own distinctive grille design. There are more than two dozen variations of this latest Ram 1500 to choose from.
Trim levels include: Tradesman, Bighorn, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn and Limited. Drive configurations include both 4×2 rear-wheel drive and 4×4 four-wheel drive. There are Long Wheelbase versions available in all but the Rebel trim. Cab configurations consist of both a Quad Cab and a Crew Cab, with Quad Cabs only available on Tradesman, Bighorn, Rebel and Laramie models, which are available in both 4×2 and 4×4 drive configurations. The current non-eTorque model Rams will be sold as Ram Classics.
Mild Hybrid eTorque System
The two eTorque systems are similar for both engines, yet different. The V-6’s eTorque motor is liquid-cooled, and is supplied by Continental. It is reverse-mounted on the front of the DOHC engine, adding to its overall length. The 5.7-liter Hemi’s air-cooled electric assist motor mounts atop the pushrod V-8, boosting the height. it is supplied by Magneti Marelli. The V-6’s output for the eTorque unit is 12 horsepower and 39 lb-ft, although the torque is multiplied by the belt drive creating a 90-lb-ft assist. The Hemi’s eTorque motor adds 16 horsepower and 49 lb-ft and, multiplied through a different ratio for an assist of 130 lb-ft. Both systems utilize a 48-volt, 0.4-kWh lithium-ion battery and DC-DC converter, that’s used to charge and run the 12-volt electrical system of the truck. The battery is air-cooled and doesn’t impact on interior space since it ‘s mounted behind the rear seat.
The hybrid system adds only 90 pounds of mass in V-8 applications, but 105 pounds for the V-6. so we’re expecting similar acceleration with and without eTorque.
The Ram’s hybrid system is generally undetectable in several ways. In addition to not pirating cabin space, there’s no “eTorque” badging to be found on the truck anywhere..
The eTorque system operates silently and primarily in the background thanks to the small size of the motor. The system continually evaluates the engine’s current demands, deciding whether to add torque or to charge the battery.
eTorque equipped vehicles have air conditioning capable of operating even when the engine isn’t running, (unlike most conventional stop/start systems) despite the fact that it has a regular belt-driven A/C compressor. During a stop/start situation, restarting is seamless and virtually unnoticeable. The truck restarts, rolling off the line under electric power rather than waiting for the gas engine to start. A 90-second stop/start in the Hemi saves 1.7 ounces of fuel.. Ten stop/starts stoplights daily over a year day for a year equates to almost 50 gallons hat’s nearly 50 gallons of fuel saved.
Other fuel-saving technology features include variable intake-valve lift and cam phasers capable of running the more efficient Atkinson combustion cycle 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. Engine power and torque remain unchanged at 305 horses and 269 lb-ft.. On V-8 models, cylinder deactivation saves fuel between 1000 and 3000 rpm. It is paired with two electronic vibration dampers on the frame rails to cancel out extra vibration from the engine, and active noise canceling in the cabin makes sure you won’t hear when the V-8 is running on four cylinders.
The new generation 8-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission yields enhanced efficiency with enhanced computer control. Other powertrain features include: a new electronic locking rear differential as standard equipment on the 4×4 Off-Road Package and Rebel models, with optional all model availability; and a heat exchanger system now incorporates an industry-first thermal axle allowing the rear axle gear oil to warm up quickly, maximizing efficiency during the warm-up process.
Ram Tough Truck Style
In terms of its exterior styling, the 2019 Ram 1500 idsplays a chiseled Ram’s head logo and model specific “R-A-M” grilles.. A new full LED Adaptive Front-Lighting System includes twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps and tail lamps.
Ram haulers for 2019 are lighter – overall weight has been reduced by nearly 22 pounds compared to the previous model).They’re also longer and wider with an overall cab lengthening of four inches providing additional space for extra features and passenger comfort. There’s nearly 100 percent more storage capacity at 151 liters compared to the closest competitor.
Leaner and Meaner
It’s also the strongest RAM to date, with the most advanced frame in the segment, featuring an exclusive front splayed rail design. In addition, it’s the most aerodynamic pickup in the segment with a drag coefficient of .357 and featuring exclusive active grille shutters, an air dam and next generation air suspension. That enhances fuel efficiency, improves ride quality and provides greater off-road capability, load leveling and ease of ingress/egress.
All-new Frequency Response Damping shocks serve up an optimum blend of ride, handling and comfort level for a pickup truck.
Entering the cab, one is greeted by the first FCA application of a 12-inch, fully configurable touchscreen that includes tailor-made graphics for specific RAM models. The center console has been redesigned to provided 12 different storage configurations, delivering unique customization possibilities for greater versatility and functionality.
Second row seating offers slide reclining seats up to 8 degrees, and a true flat load floor with integrated RAM bins and tie-down rings as well as expandable under seat storage capability. There’s also an all-new switch bank that features dedicated toggle switches, a wireless charging dock and up to five USB ports, as well as four type C/A ports.
The 2019 Ram 1500 is the strongest RAM to date, with the most advanced frame in the segment, featuring an exclusive front splayed rail design. It is also the most aerodynamic pickup in the segment with a drag coefficient of .357 and featuring exclusive active grille shutters, an air dam and next generation air suspension.
All-new Frequency Response Damping shocks serve up an optimum blend of ride, handling and comfort level for a pickup truck. The RAM 1500 comes with the segment’s largest front brakes and a new electric parking brake. The new Off-Road Package includes a one-inch suspension lift, electronic locking rear axle, specially tuned shock absorbers and Hill Descent Control.
The RAM 1500 offers more than100 safety and security features including: Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop Go and Hold, Blind-Spot Monitoring with easy-to-use trailer coverage, Forward Collision Warning, Ready Alert Braking and Trailer-sway damping control, Lane Sense Departure Warning Plus, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park and Hill Start Assist.
The RAM 1500’s Connectivity and Infotainment content features innovative state-of-the-art technology and fourth generation Uconnect system with split screen capability, enabling dual application operation. The Uconnect system and SiriusXM Guardian Connected Services include Wi-Fi hotspot capability. An available Harman-Kardon audio system with 19 premium speakers, a 900 watt surround sound amplifier, 10-inch subwoofer and active noise cancellation. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay enable a link with both Uconnect’s 8.4-inch and12-inch touchscreens. The available navigation system allows for one step, voice-controlled destination entry and enhanced 3-D navigation map graphics. There’s also a 360-degree Surround View Camera with bird’s-eye view of the vehicle.
I most recently tested the Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4×4. With the 5.7-liter V-8. The exterior was finished in Granite Crystal metallic and the ointeriro was done in Frost toned leather. The base sticker read $56,195., which rose to a final tally of $68,340. After adding an extensive list of options and the Destination Charge. Earlier, during the National Press launch program, I was also able to spend time in a Big Horn Sport Quad Cab 4×2 priced at $43,960, and in a V-8 powered Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 with a $66,850 price tag.
The RAM 1500 Crew Cab’s interior is arguably the most spacious in its segment and ranks as one of the most comfortable as well. Think of it as a living room on wheels, with basically all of the same amenities – Okay, there was no bathroom, but one could always carry a portable potty.
Acceleration from the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 was stellar and the eTorque feature delivered more boost off the line, while also delivering enhanced fuel efficiency. Handling characteristics bordered on the feel of sumptuous sedan, with a nimble response.
The ride comfort and interior ambience carries over into even off road exercises despite being unladen. The estimated fuel economy of the 5.7-liter HEMI was 15-mpg city and 22-mpg highway. Impressive for a heavy hauler – curb weight was no t yet officially rated. Towing capacity for the HEMI powered Crew Cab trucks is rated at 12,500 pounds.
No matter what your past loyalties or brand alliances happen to be, the RAM 1500 warrants a look and test drive before making a final purchase decision for a new pickup truck.
Bottom line, you would never know that you were driving a hybrid truck as it does everything its non-hybrid stablemates does, but in a more efficient manner.
The 2019 Ram 1500 is backed by a five-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty that covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck 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 three-ˇyear/36,000-ˇmile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-ˇto-ˇbumper coverage for the Ram 1500, from the body to the electrical system.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque Limited Crew Cab 4×4
Base Price: $56,195.
Price as Tested: $68,340.
Engine Type and Size: 5.7-liter HEMI with MDS, VVT, eTorque V-8 and auto stop/start. Plus a permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor, 49 lb.-ft: 0.4 kWh ithium-ion battery.
Combined horsepower and Torque
Horsepower (bhp): 395 @ rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 410 @ rpm
Transmission: TorqueFlite 8HP75 Eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine, transfer case / 4×4
Suspension: Front-Upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers, and stabilizer bar. Optional air suspension replaces twin-°©tube shock absorbers and progressive rate coil springs
Rear – Five-link with track bar, progressive rate coil springs, stabilizer bar, twin-°©tube shock absorbers, solid axle. Optional air suspension replaces progressive rate coil springs.
Brakes: Power-assisted dual rate, tandem diaphragm vacuum four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS.
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude H/T 275/65 R18 116T mounted on 5-spoke alloy wheels
Wheelbase: 144.6 inches -nominal
Length Overall: 232.9 inches
Width: 82.1 inches
Height: 77.6 inches
Curb Weight: N/A lbs.
Turning Circle: 46.2 ft.
Approach Angle: 18.9 degrees
Departure Angle: 24.9 degrees
Breakover Angle: 16.7 degrees – with skid plate
Ground Clearance: 8.1 inches
Fuel Capacity: 26 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 15 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: .357
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.