Dodge Debuts the 2009 Model

Chrysler unveiled the next-generation 2009 Dodge Ram pickup at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. The new vehicle showcases many unique features and options.

Available in regular cab, Quad Cab and, for the first time, crew cab configurations, the Dodge Ram allows for three box length variations: 8 ft. (regular cab), 6 ft. 4 in. (regular cab and Quad Cab) and - new for 2009 - 5 ft. 7 in. (crew cab). There are also five unique trim levels: ST, SLT, TRX, Sport and top-of-the-line Laramie.

One of the more noteworthy design elements is the rear suspension. A high-strength steel frame supports an innovative multi-link coil rear suspension that is claimed to improve ride and handling without sacrificing payload (up to an estimated 1,850 lbs.) and towing capability (up to an estimated 9,100 lbs.)

The driving force

A choice of three engines, two transmissions and four rear-axle ratios provide a range of powertrain options.

The engines include a new-generation 5.7-liter HEMI that produces 380 hp and 404 lb.-ft. of torque; a 4.7-liter V-8 that pumps out 310 hp and 330 lb.-ft. of torque; and a 3.7-liter V-6 that generates 215 hp and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. These can be mated to four- and five-speed automatic transmissions with part-time or four-wheel-drive transfer cases. Rear axle ratios include 3.21, 3.55, 3.92 and 4.10.

A re-styled exterior yields an estimated .419 coefficient of drag. This includes an aluminum hood with a large power bulge and a forward-canted grille.

Innovative cargo solutions

An available RamBox cargo management system provides weather-proof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage compartments integrated into both fender sides. Each box has a 4.3-cu.-ft. capacity. The system also includes a bed divider, 2-ft. bed extender and a rail system with sliding, adjustable cleats for infinitely adjustable tiedown capability. A standard assist feature on the tailgate reduces effort for raising and closing.

There are numerous other storage locations on the vehicle, including a large upper glove box, map pockets in door panels and a configurable center console. ?Store in the floor? storage bins with removable liners are big enough to hold ten 12-oz. beverages and ice.

Comfortable environment

To keep the operator comfortable, there are premium amenities such as heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, one-touch up/down driver and passenger windows, automatic-on headlamps and dual-zone automatic temperature control.

An all-new interior features six-ring instrumentation, redesigned controls, chrome accents and premium seating with two-tone upholstery. An automatic transmission floor shifter, incorporated into a configurable center console, is also available for the first time.

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