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Ram Introducing New Version of Popular Ram 1500

On the tails of its announcement of the Ram 1500 Tradesmen at the Chicago Auto Show, Ram has announced it is introducing a new version of its popular 1500.

This new Ram 1500 appears to almost be a stripper model because it is aimed at first-time buyers and "owners who are looking for a vehicle with performance and style that they can customize and make their own," according to Ram.

The new Ram, which carries the sobriquet of "Adventurer," is being patterned after the Ram 1500 Tradesman that was introduced during the media days for the Chicago Auto Show. That trim level is being brought out as an affordable entry-point in to the Ram truck line with a low price below $23,000 and relatively good fuel economy of 20 mpg highway. The unnamed new Ram 1500, like the Ram Tradesman, offers buyers a standard HEMI V8 engine with its 20 mpg rating for the same price competitors are charging for their V6 engines.

Ram executives are playing this launch a little cute. They claim in a press release that they don't know the name yet, which is hard to believe because of the trademark research involved in securing a new name. Odds are good that Adventurer could be its final name and executives are floating it out there to gauge consumer response. Here's hoping it's somewhat negative.

Ram executives also say they were going to introduce the Adventurer later in the year but response has been so strong to the Tradesmen since its introduction just six days ago, that they decided to rush ahead and bring out this supposedly unnamed new pickup truck. That seems odd because no car company moves that quickly and it seems odd to be stealing the limelight away from the Tradesmen so quickly.

In addition to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with 390 horsepower and 407 lb.-ft. of torque, this new Ram 1500 comes with a racy, monochromatic paint scheme; body-colored grille with black honeycomb inserts, body-colored front fascia and body-colored rear fascia with chrome-tipped dual exhausts.

The new Ram model will also get fog lamps and 20-inch aluminum wheels with locking lug nuts. There's also a locking tailgate, cargo lamp, rear-bumper step pad, 6" x 9" side-view mirrors and rear wheel-well liners.

Standard features also include a 160-amp alternator, 26-gallon fuel tank, 3.55 rear axle ratio, 700-amp maintenance-free battery, four and seven-pin trailer wiring harness, heavy-duty front and rear shock absorbers, front and rear stabilizer bars, power rack-and-pinion steering, halogen headlamps, heavy-duty engine and transmission cooling and a full-size spare tire.

Inside, the new truck will get a heavy-duty vinyl 40/20/40 split-bench seat, and buyers will have a choice of vinyl or carpeted floor covering. Other features include air conditioning, an instrument cluster with tachometer and 120-mph speedometer, 12-volt auxiliary power outlet, four-spoke tilt steering wheel, six-speaker media center with CD and MP3 player, as well as audio jack input for mobile devices, automatic headlamps, behind-the-seat storage bins, driver and passenger assist handles, power accessory delay, rear dome lamp, rear-view day/night mirror, tinted glass windows, tip start and variable intermittent windshield wipers.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the new truck – Code Name: Adventurer – will start at $23,830, including $975 destination charge. It will arrive in Ram Truck dealerships in second quarter 2011.