The 2013 Ram 1500

Refreshed 2013 Ram 1500 gets 8-speed trans, more Hemi HP in New York

The Chrysler Group announced the details for their 2013 Ram 1500 today with a slight facelift, more power from the Hemi, the new Pentastar V6, an air suspension system, start/stop technology and an 8-speed automatic transmission for both engines that is expected to help increase fuel economy by roughly 20%.

To many drivers around the US, it will be tough to distinguish the 2013 Ram 1500 from the 2012 models but when it comes to consumers visiting dealerships – the 2013 Ram 1500 offers a great deal more. More power from both the 5.7L Hemi V8 and the new Pentastar V6, more miles per gallon from both engines thanks to new technology and an 8-speed automatic transmission, more luxury inside with improved fit and finish along with an enhanced UConnect system and more versatility with an air suspension setup with modes for all sorts of situations.

The biggest news with the 2013 Ram 1500 is the addition of the new 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, which is available with both the 3.6L Pentastar V6 and the mighty 5.7L Hemi. The new 8-speed automatic transmission in the 2013 Ram 1500 is controlled by a new knob setup rather than the traditional handle shifter on the console or on the steering column. Mounted next to the infotainment screen in the center stack, the new Ram has a large, silver knob with PRND above it and that is how you will select your gears in the 2013 Ram. For those trucks equipped with four wheel drive, the area below the shift knob features the push button controls for the 4WD system including 2WD, 4WD lock, low and auto buttons. It will be interesting to see how the new knob shifter works out; and how well consumers respond to this new design.

The most important part of the new 8-speed gearbox is that Chrysler expects this new transmission to help the Pentastar V6 offer 20% better fuel economy than the outgoing 3.7L V6 while the 5.7L Hemi should also should also offer 20% better fuel economy than the “2012 V8 powertrain”. We are surmising that Chrysler means that the 2013 Ram 1500 Hemi will offer 20% better fuel economy than the 2012 models equipped with either the 5.7L Hemi or the balmy 4.7L V8. There is no mention of the 4.7L V8 in the announcement of the 2013 Ram 1500 so Chrysler has either (wisely) killed off the entry level V8 or they haven’t made any changes for the new model year. Hopefully, the cause is the former.

In any case, a 20% improvement in fuel economy would make the 2013 Ram 1500 the most efficient truck in the class with the V6 and the most efficient V8 truck in the class according to Chrysler’s early estimates on fuel economy. We will have to wait for official MPG figures but from the sounds of things – the Ram Truck brand is making wise choices with the rising price of gasoline. In addition to the 8-speed automatic transmission, the new Ram will be equipped with an auto start/stop system that will help prevent fuel waste during idle time in traffic and when cruising on the highway; the 2013 Ram will include an automatic shutter system behind the grille to improve aerodynamics.


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