When talking about Dodge we automatically think about the Viper or the Challenger but we of course must not forget their off-road truck, the RAM 1500. More American a car can’t get and that makes it a perfect competitor for its rivals from Ford, GMC and Chevrolet.
The very first RAM truck dates back from 1981 and came with a 3.7 litre engine having an output of 152 hp. That is a huge difference to the 5.7 litre V8 breathing in the most recent version. When looking through the history of this car we can easily call the RAM an ‘icon’ of American car industry.
The 2014 Dodge RAM 1500 comes with a choice of three engines. The entry version is 3.0 litre Ecodiesel V6 having 240 hp in the nose. As a second choice there’s the petrol-powered 3.6 litre V6 with 305 hp, and of course there’s the top-of-the-range 5.7 litre Hemi V8 engine. This last one has an output of 395 hp together with 410 Nm of torque. This was also the engine fitted to the car we drove. New to this engine is the fuel saver technology that deactivates half of the cylinders during cruising and under light loads to increase fuel economy.
Thanks to a good friend of GTspirit, we had the chance to take this brand new Dodge Ram out for a day. The car had only done 1,200 km when we got it in our hands but that didn’t mean we would not try to find its limits. We began driving over country roads and the motorway in the direction of Bruges, Belgium.
One thing is clear from the very first kilometres when staying on the road, that this is a car made for cruising. The Dodge Ram isn’t in for fast corners or top speed – driving on cruise control while relaxing in the seats is perfect for car and driver. The typical V8 sound is very nice on the background and with the new fuel saver techology we found it also more comfortable to drive than any American V8 before.
When going off road we found a complete other story. The Dodge automatically drives on 2 x 4, with the power on the rear wheels. When the ground isn’t too soft or wet the two-wheel drive system has no problem with pushing the heavy car forward. One moment we stopped and got stuck in the sand and that moment the two-wheel drive system couldn’t get us out.
But no problem, we activated the four-wheel drive system by switching the button on the dashboard and the Dodge came out of its stuck position like it was driving on aspalth. Too bad we didn’t have had the time to take the car to an true off-road track to see what it’s capable off, but we believe the Dodge can drive any terrain!