Ram’s popular workhorse, the 1500, is coming in for a redesign for the 2019 model year.
The next generation of the full-size pickup truck, code-named the DT, will debut in late 2017 or early the following year and bring with it a much more modern face, albeit with the cross hair grille intact. In addition, the headlights are expected to be slimmed down and feature LED technology.
In the cabin, Ram is going with a familiar layout though there’s going to be a large display screen at the top of the center stack and large rotary dials sitting below this. The vehicle will also retain a rotary dial controller for the transmission, likely an 8-speed automatic. Judging by the size of the prototype’s cab, it also looks like Ram will be offering its Mega Cab option on the redesigned 1500.
In the powertrain department, expect to see the familiar 3.6-liter V-6 and 5.7-liter V-8 options, possibly with available turbocharging. And despite Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ current diesel woes, we’re still expecting a torquey oil-burner in the next-gen 1500 at some point. More powerful V-8 options are also likely, including in a possible Ford F-150 Raptor rival, and we hear that mild-hybrid technology is also being looked at.
2019 Ram 1500 spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Underpinning the vehicle will be a new body-on-frame platform. And the body will be mostly steel but incorporate some lighter materials, namely aluminum, at some sections to save weight.
Pickup truck sales have been one of the bright spots for FCA in 2017, so the redesigned 1500 is a vehicle whose launch must go smoothly. Sales of Ram pickups in the United States topped 119,000 for the first five months of the year. That’s up about 5.0 percent on the same period a year ago, and the figure is made all the more impressive when you consider that the overall market for new vehicles in the U.S. has shrunk about 1.5 percent over the same period.
The competition isn’t resting, though. By the time the 2019 1500 arrives, it will be facing updated versions of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ford F-150.
Note, the body-on-frame platform being developed for the redesigned 1500 will also be used for Jeep’s new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The SUVs were originally due in 2018 but now won’t arrive until 2019 or 2020.