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Old 04-06-2012, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default 2013 Ram extensive mid-cycle refresh

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/05/2...new-york-2012/

Dodge was the first to start upsizing the mid-size (with the 90's Dakota), and now they look to start the trend of down-sizing the full-size, which is long overdue. They have hit on almost every truck deficiency I've mentioned on this forum in the past year or two. While Ford, GM, and Toyota have been too complacent to put any new technology into their trucks Ram is moving towards 8-speeds, active grill shutters, electric power steering, and lower ground clearances. They are also offering a quad cab option with a 6'4" bed, which was my last remaining complaint about the Ram platform (no long wheelbase option to support anything more than a quad cab with a 5' bed). Their new V6 with 8-speed should have best in class fuel economy by a wide margin. I wouldn't expect more than 7500 towing, but that's more than most need.

Honda's lucky I was in the market for a truck two years ago, because if I were in the market tomorrow I think I'd buy the 2013 Ram. They are moving towards a more practical, utilitarian, vehicle. Coil springs in rear and a lower ride for a more secure and mannered on-road experience, as well as new tech for improved mileage. I'm thrilled to see one full-size returning to reality in specification, the arms race of the past two decades has been ridiculous. I don't need to tow 10,000 pounds up a steel ramp sorrounded by flamethrowers, nor do I need more ground clearance than is necessary for a rough fire road.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:23 AM   #2
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Too bad the Ram sucks almost as bad as your current *snicker* "truck".
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
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Too bad the Ram sucks almost as bad as your current *snicker* "truck".
I can put five 200 pound people in my truck and still have 500 pounds letfover for cargo. If you put five 200 pound people in your truck you could be ticketed for exceeding the payload rating

How many baja races have you participated in with your 40k+ toy truck?
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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So many dodge haters out there. That arent willing to admit dodge is returning to being a major player in the market. Fiat is the best thing to happen to dodge.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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Love what dodge/chrysler/jeep are doing. And the V6-8-speed combo is a good one. But Ford not doing anything? Ecoboost?
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:53 PM   #6
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So many dodge haters out there. That arent willing to admit dodge is returning to being a major player in the market...
It's just the same ones over and over with no basis in reality other than exaggerated straw man arguments.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #7
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Love what dodge/chrysler/jeep are doing. And the V6-8-speed combo is a good one. But Ford not doing anything? Ecoboost?
Ecoboost is nice, but real world tests don't suggest that it's significantly more fuel efficient than the alternative V8 offerings. For instance in Consumer Reports' tests it has the same fuel consumption as the V8 Tundra.

More efficient engines are required, but there's lower hanging fruit out there, which Ram is grabbing (8-speeds, electric power steering, active grille shutters, etc...)
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:32 AM   #8
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Diesel.

in something that weighs less than 3 full tons, and has less frontal area than a barn door.

Shiftable RWD for dry-cruising to 3-diff AWD that isn't prohibitive like transfer-case 4WD to use on the road, when needed.

Maybe if they didn't force people who need a good town-truck, to get a 1500 or larger full size truck.

Lack of good small trucks put people into full size trucks who don't fully utilize them, but still carry around all the weight, and aerodynamic bulk.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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Pretty impressive!
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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More efficient engines are required, but there's lower hanging fruit out there, which Ram is grabbing (8-speeds, electric power steering, active grille shutters, etc...)
Imho the whole segment needs a rethink. What they're selling as full-size trucks these days are really just toy monster trucks for people who want to be seen driving something big to work, and trying to make one vehicle accomodate both office workers and building contractors has led to some pretty strange creations.

As commercial vehicles these things are grossly inefficient.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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Too bad the Ram sucks almost as bad as your current *snicker* "truck".
I'm going to take a stab and guess that he drives a.. Ridgeline?
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:00 AM   #12
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Imho the whole segment needs a rethink. What they're selling as full-size trucks these days are really just toy monster trucks for people who want to be seen driving something big to work, and trying to make one vehicle accomodate both office workers and building contractors has led to some pretty strange creations.

As commercial vehicles these things are grossly inefficient.
I agree to some extent, however, you can still buy a stripped F-150 with an eight foot bed for a reasonable price if you need a work mule.

That being said the manufacturers will make whatever makes them the most money, and right now that's toy trucks with lots of options. Where I work there's a dual wheel Ram 3500 diesel with a virgin bed and virgin receiver, as well as a Tundra TRD Rock Warrior that's never seen a dirt road or load of dirt in the bed. Check out the F-150 thread in OT, no one in there is buying plain trucks, they are all optioned out to the gills. People are free to buy whatever they want, but it sucks that people's tastes have produced a market where it's difficult to get a quad cab with a few options for 25k.

And then there are the offroad package trucks. If there were a town called "things I don't get" then these would be the mayor. Trucks should be designed primarily to haul and tow, and both of those activities benefit from a long wheelbase, which is not optimal for off road travels. If you want to off road buy a Wrangler or FJ Cruiser and stick some 33" tires on there, that'll get you a lot further than a long wheelbase truck ever will (this does not apply to short wheelbase trucks like the Taco).

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I'm going to take a stab and guess that he drives a.. Ridgeline?
My profile does say "The most hated vehicle on the internets," so you would be correct. The one thing I can say (that most can't) is that I test drove all the competing vehicles before making my choice. There's just nothing else that has a large four door quad cab, AWD (or 4WD), an open bed, and is nicely equipped for $25,000 (what I paid in 2010). The Ridgeline is getting a little long in the tooth, the mileage is worse than it should be and Honda is behind the times with some features (e.g. bluetooth integration), but there was nothing else that provided everything I needed for that price. I don't need a truck to pull stumps or plow snow with my truck (I use a Kubota for those tasks), I need one to haul **** in the bed and tow up to 5,000 pounds.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:21 AM   #13
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I agree to some extent, however, you can still buy a stripped F-150 with an eight foot bed for a reasonable price if you need a work mule.

That being said the manufacturers will make whatever makes them the most money, and right now that's toy trucks with lots of options. Where I work there's a dual wheel Ram 3500 diesel with a virgin bed and virgin receiver, as well as a Tundra TRD Rock Warrior that's never seen a dirt road or load of dirt in the bed. Check out the F-150 thread in OT, no one in there is buying plain trucks, they are all optioned out to the gills. People are free to buy whatever they want, but it sucks that people's tastes have produced a market where it's difficult to get a quad cab with a few options for 25k.

And then there are the offroad package trucks. If there were a town called "things I don't get" then these would be the mayor. Trucks should be designed primarily to haul and tow, and both of those activities benefit from a long wheelbase, which is not optimal for off road travels. If you want to off road buy a Wrangler or FJ Cruiser and stick some 33" tires on there, that'll get you a lot further than a long wheelbase truck ever will (this does not apply to short wheelbase trucks like the Taco).
That's very true, but it's not just the options, it's the whole concept.

I mean the first step to making a full-size truck is to nail a semi-truck-sized chrome grill to a comically oversized front end. A Silverado has the same basic engine as a C6 Corvette, yet the front end is 5 times the size for no apparent reason. Complete waste of space in an effort to look more macho.

Then there's the bed. A sculpted, sheet-metal bed with high-gloss paint has no business on a vehicle that's designed for utility, it just looks nicer. The same goes for aluminum wheels.

The payload and the engine choices are another issue. A Porsche 911 has a payload of ~900 lb. Base Silverados and F-150s are at 1500-1600 lb. Semi trucks move 80,000 lb with 400 horsepower diesels. Full-size trucks get 400 horsepower V8 gas engines to move 1/6th of that.

If you design a truck for utility, you get something like this:





$20k-25k, 3000-3500 lb payload, 4-cyl diesel, 25 mpg and a bed that's actually designed to be used, not just look pretty.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:59 AM   #14
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$20k-25k, 3000-3500 lb payload, 4-cyl diesel, 25 mpg and a bed that's actually designed to be used, not just look pretty.
Ok, now I see what you're saying and I agree 100% -- there should be more divergence between commuter trucks and contractor trucks. I would like to see some more crumple zone before I drive that truck though

The specs of 1/2 tons have been increasing dramatically over the past twenty years. I drove a 1996 F-150 (ninth gen before the new 1996 model), and it had less HP, the same payload, and similar towing as my Ridgeline (and that's they way it had been for the previous fifty years). It's twenty years later and the F-150 payload is as high as 2500 lbs with 10,000 lbs+ towing -- it's way more than what's necessary for most but that's where the arm's race has brought us.

Ram is definitely moving more towards the commuter truck with sensible capabilities, which is what interests me. They have the Ram box, the coil spring rear, and many other features that are great for the daily driver -- while still maintaining enough truck capability for me. Basically I need a truck with an open bed for dead deer, building materials, rototillers/lawnmowers, mulch, cans of gasoline, and other **** I don't want in the cabin. As long as I have enough towing to pull around a little tandem axle utility trailer with a pallet of tile or compact tractor I'm happy. The new Ram looks like it will fulfill that role well, but I only buy new vehicles every twelve years so I got ten more years with my current truck (which has done everything I've asked of it).
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:33 PM   #15
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I mean the first step to making a full-size truck is to nail a semi-truck-sized chrome grill to a comically oversized front end. A Silverado has the same basic engine as a C6 Corvette, yet the front end is 5 times the size for no apparent reason. Complete waste of space in an effort to look more macho.

Then there's the bed. A sculpted, sheet-metal bed with high-gloss paint has no business on a vehicle that's designed for utility, it just looks nicer. The same goes for aluminum wheels.

The payload and the engine choices are another issue. A Porsche 911 has a payload of ~900 lb. Base Silverados and F-150s are at 1500-1600 lb. Semi trucks move 80,000 lb with 400 horsepower diesels. Full-size trucks get 400 horsepower V8 gas engines to move 1/6th of that.
Good lord do you even understand anything about vehicle design?

For your first example- the cooling system in a Silverado or any other pickup is considerably more robust than anything you'll find in a passenger car, even a high performance one. Bigger radiator, transmission cooler, etc. Larger grill for more airflow and then the obvious- that everything is sitting considerably higher up in the chassis than in a car. Oh and then there is the fact that the space underhood on a GM truck is still accessible. Can't really say the same for Ford and I haven't peeked under the hoods of the other ones in some time but safe to say the "wasted" space means ease of access. Then there's the fact that on the HD models the trucks can be had with dual batteries and alternators, so the space needs to be there for that as well as the common upfitter options vehicle designers know a truck may see.

My bed has Line-X in it. The painted bed is useless, I'll admit that.

I got 6-700 lbs payload for a 911 and 1700-1800 lbs payload for a Silverado, both based on numbers from the manufacturer site. And realistically what are you going to put in a 911 other than a driver and passenger and their belongings? Take the same two passengers in a pickup and you actually have a cargo area that is usable.


Finally the comparison to a commercial truck is beyond stupid. Torque is what matters and you can have well over 1000 lb-ft in a commercial truck, some over 2000.

Get a clue.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #16
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I'll admit I know very little about pickup trucks, but let me just mention one thing that strikes me as odd.

Full size pickup market is the one in which American manufacturers are the most dominant over the foreign ones. I take it that this means American trucks are the best at providing what the American truck buyers are looking for.

Now if what Americans want from their pickups is primarily the utility as a truck, which I think is very universal, then why doesn't the competitive advantage of American full size pickups hold overseas? Do we export very many of these F-series and Rams overseas at all? Because in my not infrequent visits to Europe and Asia, I've never, ever seen one of these.

Again, I don't know much about pickups, but this makes me think that there must be something uniquely American about these trucks, which is not about maximizing utility for the price you pay.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:57 PM   #17
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Again, I don't know much about pickups, but this makes me think that there must be something uniquely American about these trucks, which is not about maximizing utility for the price you pay.
There's nothing unique about the trucks. There is much unique about our automotive market, though, with cheap gas combined with easy credit and relatively high incomes (still true, even though dwindling for the blue collar pickup drivers).
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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. Torque is what matters and you can have well over 1000 lb-ft in a commercial truck, some over 2000.

Get a clue.
I agree with some of what you say, but this is dead wrong. HP is the only thing that matters -- if you don't believe me I'll wait for you to tell me how fast 1000 ft-lbs can move a 5,000 pound object up a five degree incline?

You can't tell me, because you need to know at what RPM that torque can be applied, which in this case is the definition of power.

People see the big torque numbers of diesel and know that diesels are good for towing, and they therefore wrongly assume that high torque engines are good for towing. That's not really true, what's good about diesel engines is that they are constant power engines, whereas gasoline engines are constant torque engines. I'm not going to go into all the details again (you can search my previous posts), but what this means is that when your normal operating point is near the maximum capacity of the engine you want a diesel, because when you slightly overload a diesel the RPM will drop (now you need less power) and the engine finds a happy medium with the load. When you slightly overload a gasoline engine the RPM will drop, and your power output drops proportionally. Because you are still overloaded the power (and RPM) continue to drop, and this cycle continues until you stall. In summary, the fact that diesel engines have relatively constant power output throughout their operating range is what allows them to find a happy medium with the load and what makes them so good for heavy duty applications, it's not the huge torque number.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:00 PM   #19
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Good lord do you even understand anything about vehicle design?

For your first example- the cooling system in a Silverado or any other pickup is considerably more robust than anything you'll find in a passenger car, even a high performance one. Bigger radiator, transmission cooler, etc. Larger grill for more airflow and then the obvious- that everything is sitting considerably higher up in the chassis than in a car. Oh and then there is the fact that the space underhood on a GM truck is still accessible. Can't really say the same for Ford and I haven't peeked under the hoods of the other ones in some time but safe to say the "wasted" space means ease of access. Then there's the fact that on the HD models the trucks can be had with dual batteries and alternators, so the space needs to be there for that as well as the common upfitter options vehicle designers know a truck may see.
And I'm sure that's how the brochure explains it, but there's no getting away from the fact that it's a styling element.

Until 2007, this was enough grill for a Silverado 3500HD:



A few years later it looks like this:



Previous gen F-150s could be cooled no problem with this grill:



Today:




And for comparison, a real truck with a GVWR of 33,000 pounds needs this grill:




The point is, a lot of the design choices on the current crop of 'full-size trucks' are driven by two primary goals:
-it has to look like a monster truck
-it has to drive like a car

...and they give up a lot of utility/efficiency as a result.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:06 AM   #20
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ive been working in texas since last september....in town ya see lots of furrin pick ups and suv's...all shiny and spiffy and never been in a gravel parking lot

out where the work gets done...on the ranches and in the oil fields....ya see...
in this order

the vast majority....
fords.....f250's and f350's mostly....mostly diesels ....mostly super dutys

distant second....
chebbies/gmc's....mostly 'company vehicles' with some sort of logo on the doors

and much more distantly...

dodges...and most of them are diesels with logos painted on the doors

wonder why??(this is a rhetorical, here)
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:04 AM   #21
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There's nothing unique about the trucks. There is much unique about our automotive market, though, with cheap gas combined with easy credit and relatively high incomes (still true, even though dwindling for the blue collar pickup drivers).
I think you misunderstood me. I said something unique about "these" trucks, not "the" trucks. The rest of what you said is pretty much in line with what I was thinking. The American style pickup trucks cater to the American market, but really nowhere else.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:35 AM   #22
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Some days, I wish I could buy something like this, cheaply on the used market.

Or something with a full van body, instead of a bed.

A robust turbo diesel, and over-built to not need a lot of maintenance or worry about things breaking under long-term normal use. Something that isn't designed to line the pockets of the dealer's service department, and the factory spare parts warehouses.

Something not for daily driving (hence why I would buy used), but to keep on the side, and use it for what needs to be hauled or moved, or to help other people who can't afford a truck.

I am not even sure if I could rent one of those kind of trucks, seems like all the rentals are the traditional pickup, rather than this.

Having something like this, would allow me to have a much less jack-of-all-trades daily driver.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #23
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I agree with some of what you say, but this is dead wrong. HP is the only thing that matters -- if you don't believe me I'll wait for you to tell me how fast 1000 ft-lbs can move a 5,000 pound object up a five degree incline?

You can't tell me, because you need to know at what RPM that torque can be applied, which in this case is the definition of power.

People see the big torque numbers of diesel and know that diesels are good for towing, and they therefore wrongly assume that high torque engines are good for towing. That's not really true, what's good about diesel engines is that they are constant power engines, whereas gasoline engines are constant torque engines. I'm not going to go into all the details again (you can search my previous posts), but what this means is that when your normal operating point is near the maximum capacity of the engine you want a diesel, because when you slightly overload a diesel the RPM will drop (now you need less power) and the engine finds a happy medium with the load. When you slightly overload a gasoline engine the RPM will drop, and your power output drops proportionally. Because you are still overloaded the power (and RPM) continue to drop, and this cycle continues until you stall. In summary, the fact that diesel engines have relatively constant power output throughout their operating range is what allows them to find a happy medium with the load and what makes them so good for heavy duty applications, it's not the huge torque number.
Let me simplify this...

shape of the torque curve and the gearbox attached to it, are all that matter. combined with the weight of the vehicle, you can tell just about everything you ever wanted to know about the performance envelope. I never even need to know what the calculated HP number is. It is meaningless.

You can figure out speed and acceleration, you can determine if you are looking at a sports car or truck.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:10 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Len View Post
I'll admit I know very little about pickup trucks, but let me just mention one thing that strikes me as odd.

Full size pickup market is the one in which American manufacturers are the most dominant over the foreign ones. I take it that this means American trucks are the best at providing what the American truck buyers are looking for.

Now if what Americans want from their pickups is primarily the utility as a truck, which I think is very universal, then why doesn't the competitive advantage of American full size pickups hold overseas? Do we export very many of these F-series and Rams overseas at all? Because in my not infrequent visits to Europe and Asia, I've never, ever seen one of these.

Again, I don't know much about pickups, but this makes me think that there must be something uniquely American about these trucks, which is not about maximizing utility for the price you pay.
A couple reasons in my opinion.

1) American trucks are big, literally. Most countries have small tight roads where a big truck is impractical.

2) Toyota trucks are already everywhere. When you are looking for spare parts it's going to be a lot easier to find them for a Hi-Lux than an F-150. Not to mention Toyotas trucks are legendarily reliable. Convincing someone to switch is a tall order.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:20 PM   #25
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Some days, I wish I could buy something like this, cheaply on the used market.

Or something with a full van body, instead of a bed.
You can -- between army surplus (e.g. deuce and a half) and old box trucks you should be able to find something to fit your needs.
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Refresh... enh.... Refresh.... enh.... Refresh... enh.... Refresh... enh... eurojax Off-Topic 7 11-10-2004 07:07 AM


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