Going Head to Head with Ram Trucks through the Years
When you say Ram trucks, it resonates more than nine decades of integrating the Chrysler brand into the American life. These staple workhorses answer to the demands of the culture built on tough work. But the Pentastar trucks also have to keep up with the developments of its competitors. The Blue Oval and the Bow Tie are not so keen on backing down in manufacturing the best trucks for the market. This trend continues up to this day. We are lucky to witness developments that keep the Big Three at the top of their game.The predecessors
Ram trucks can be traced all the way back to 1929 when America was going through a dark phase in its history. The Depression Era brought out bootleggers, tough labor, insufficient wages, and trusty pick-up trucks. Tough times called for reliable workhorses. The first incarnation of Ram trucks were still under the Dodge brand, which was a newly acquired company by Chrysler. The grandfather Dodge truck was offered with three engine options. These were the two six-cylinder Dodge engines capable of 63 horses and 78 horses, and a four-cylinder Maxwell engine that produced 45 horses. By today’s standards, it’s not that much. However, during that era, it allowed Dodge to perform along with the Model A, Model B, Cast Iron Wonder, and Stovebolt.The boogie-woogie trucks
The 1950s was a revolutionary decade in America. The war was over, a new kind of music came to be, and new designs for trucks were drafted. The trend paved the way for bigger V8 engines that replaced the old stubborn straight fours and sixes. We present the Hemi. The Hemispherical engines provided much more power to the Dodge trucks. More than that, the restyled Dodge trucks followed suit with bulky fenders, new bed designs like the sweptline and stepside, and spacious engine bay. Likewise, the windshield became wraparound, similar to airplanes. Trucks of this era were the epitome of the art deco phase of automobiles. By the 1960s, Dodge incorporated the alternator for better electric circuitry as well as new transmissions.Facing the 1970s Oil Crisis
The Big Three took a hard hit when the 1970s Oil Crisis befell auto manufacturers. This was the first time Dodge had to resort to squeezing out the most out of its trucks because of the need to downsize. Dodge even had to partner with Mitsubishi to produce smaller but efficient engines.The Arrival of the Ram
The resurgence of the big burly American pick-up trucks gave rise to the Dodge Ram. These boxy pick-up trucks by Dodge raised the standards again in terms of performance and design. 318 Dodge V8s were supported by 4-barrel carburetors to optimize fuel combustion. The trucks later on became more diversified with the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500. They vary in engines and dimensions in order to cater to the demands of an ever-growing market. To this day, Chrysler continues to develop the latest technologies like the Ram EcoDiesel engine to offer the market renewed benefits.
Ram Trucks: Stepping Into the Eco Game
Prior to the recent spin-off, the Ram line of trucks had constantly battled it out with Ford and General Motors as Dodge Rams. The Pentastar team has been known to provide pick-up trucks as early as the 1920s when it had just acquired the brand from the original Dodge Brothers company. By 1933, Chrysler dropped in the newer flat head six engine to the heavy duty Dodge workhorses. The engine was shared with other vehicles from Plymouth, DeSoto and Chrysler but was modified to be able to perform under heavy demands. Over the years, the Ram trucks evolved under the watchful eyes of the designers in Chrysler Corporation. It also benefitted from ever-changing engine designs that peaked with the torque-y V8s that really pulled and rumbled. But just like the challenge the brand faced in the 1970s, engine sizes, emissions, and fuel efficiency have been crucial factors to prompt new technology. The road to maximizing the most horsepower per cubic inch ended up with a specific design: the Ram EcoDiesel V6 engine. It is practical, capable, and more eco-friendly, so to speak.Blown versus naturally-aspirated
When you talk about traditional American vehicles, the first things that come to mind are big displacements and big daily drivers. This is supported by the saying “there is no replacement for displacement.” That is why most American trucks are preferably powered by the V8s, V6s, and inline-6 engines. Sometimes, even the inline-6 trucks get frowned upon. But why? The general notion of having everything big in your vehicle still prevails in the 50 states. However, newer automotive designers have begun developing ways to harness more power from smaller displacements.
Auto manufacturers have focused their effort on forced induction technologies such as turbochargers and superchargers. Forced induction amplifies the capabilities of the combustion system by feeding more air into the engine through the additional mechanisms. The technology has been around for quite some time but it is only in the recent decades that they have been gaining a wider acclaim over naturally-aspirated engines. Modern turbocharged engines, like the Ram EcoDiesel V6, have proven to be as capable as the other big block counterparts. What’s also good about it is these engines allow you to maximize space to accommodate other features and components that can improve the driver experience and passenger comfort. Hitting the 29 miles per gallon mark
By far, the Ram 1500 HFE equipped with the 3-liter EcoDiesel V6 is the most efficient among full-size 4x2 American pick-up trucks. On highway drives, the EcoDiesel is capable of reaching 29 miles per gallon. That is 4 miles per gallon up a notch the consumption of the Ford F150 equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.Turbocharged torque monster
Gone are the days when you expect diesel trucks to pull but not run. Today’s coal rollers are a different breed. The Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel V6 engine can churn out 240 horses and 420 lb-ft of pulling power. It also comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode. Now that’s the kind of proposition we are waiting for from trucks.