The Aussie ute market just got turned on its head with the impending release of the RAM 1500
Forget your tarted up Japanese utes that used to cost $18,000 and now cost upwards of three to four times that pricing structure. There’s a new player in the game and it comes down to the three letters of RAM and it will enable the average Aussie to live the American dream.
Having tested the market with the RAM 2500 and 3500 models, RAM Trucks Australia is blasting into the hugely popular ute segment by launching the RAM 1500 in three different trim levels and with two different choices of engine, one a petrol V8 HEMI Head of 5.7 litres, the other, due for release later this year, being a 3.0 litre VM Motori Diesel.
Those wanting more can have more in the form of the already established 2500 and 3500, both powered by the immensely strong Cummins 6.7 litre, straight six that produces 276 kW of power and 1084 Nm of torque, coupled to a six-speed, Aisin automatic transmission with double overdrive ratios on 5th and 6th to give effortless cruising and surprisingly good fuel economy.
Aussies have proven they love the idea of a ute, for both professional and recreational purposes. But up until now they’ve had to contend with a continual compromise of lower than acceptable towing limits and similar standards of comfort and equipment.
Despite claims by manufacturers of the existing ute brigade that hails from Thailand, Europe, India. China or South Korea, the weight limits of payload and towing ability have fallen far short of reality. It’s fine for a tradie carrying tools to their next workplace, but at weekends that same ute can be loaded with camping and fishing gear, there can be a boat on the roof, family or friends packed inside the cab and a far from legal trailer, either hauling a larger boat or forming the basis of a caravan, that can knock the suggested safe working load ratings for six.
The RAM 1500 doesn’t compromise. It quite simply redraws key benchmarks for the fastest growing market sector in the Australia vehicle market, setting new standards for towing capacity, tub size, interior space and comfort. With the legendary 5.7 litre HEMI V8, it resets the performance yardstick as well as marking the return to the market of the much loved V8 Ute that is an Australian icon.
But, despite all these new benchmarks, with an opening driveaway price of $79,990, the RAM 1500 sits comfortably amongst the key top end utes in the Australia market.
“The RAM 1500 is built and equipped to meet the changing demands of the Australian Ute buyer who are demanding more towing capacity, more space inside and out, and better performance,” says Alex Stewart, General Manager of RAM Trucks Australia. “With a maximum towing capacity of up to 4.5 tonnes, it is a clear full tonne ahead of its rivals and with the legendary Hemi V8 under the bonnet, it has both power and a chassis designed by the world leading experts to safely tow that extra weight. The RAM 1500 has a choice of two cab sizes, both which offer a level of space, and therefore comfort, of which other lesser utes may only dream.”
“The space story continues with the tub, again two sizes, with the largest six feet four inches long or nearly two metres long and more than 1.2 metres wide between the wheel arches. Then there are the features that other Utes simply can’t offer such as a choice of axle ratios and the unique and uniquely useful RamBoxes, two 240 litre lockers on either side of the tub that may be used as secure storage or as a pair of ice-filled cool boxes,” says Mr Stewart.
At 5.8 metres long and a little over two metres wide, the RAM 1500 is significantly larger than other utes in its market sector and this translates into more space inside and outside and a much larger towing capacity. The RAM 1500 is offered with a choice of two cab sizes, the Express with the Quad Cab and the Laramie with the Crew Cab.
Although the Quad is the smaller of the two, an interior volume of 3.3 cubic metres still places it ahead of majority of conventional Utes, while impressive levels shoulder and hip room make it a comfortable place to be, front or back. The Laramie has a full crew cab with 3.5 cubic metres of interior space with a rear seat leg room length of more than a metre, it is as spacious in the back as the front.
Read the full analysis of the RAM Trucks range in the August issue of Delivery Magazine. The ute world just got a whole lot more competitive and justifiably much more interesting. The RAM 1500 Laramie heads the assault and goes on sale in Australia from July onwards. All other models to follow by the end of this year.