<p>&ldquo;Our new Ram was engineered for maximum uptime, low cost of ownership, optimum <br />performance, and enhanced commercial <br />capability."</p>
<p>-Jim Sassorossi, Chrysler Group director of fleet sales</p>

The all-new, highly anticipated 2013 Ram 1500 was recently named the 2013 Fleet Truck of the Year. 

“We are honored that Automotive Fleet’s readers chose the new 2013 Ram 1500 as its Fleet Truck of the Year,” said Jim Sassorossi, Chrysler Group’s director of fleet sales. “Our new Ram was engineered for maximum uptime, low cost of ownership, optimum performance, and enhanced commercial capability. With its best-in-class fuel economy, towing and payload, and ride and handling, our new Ram 1500 provides all the qualities that our commercial customers value.”

Sponsored by Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet magazines, the purpose of the award is to promote excellence in the fleet industry, particularly the tools and vehicles that allow fleet managers to fulfill their missions. Vehicles were voted on by qualified fleet professionals via an online ballot. 

The Ram 1500 garnered the most votes among a group of 28 trucks selected for this year’s competition. Fleet Truck of the Year nominees included vehicles from the major domestic and import brands.

“The new Ram 1500 is the truck folks are talking about,” said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram Truck Brand. “Customers are returning to the pickup-truck market. With best-in-class 25 mpg fuel efficiency and class-exclusive features, buyers have been anxious to get behind the wheel and check the Ram 1500 out for themselves.”

Looking Under the Hood

Featuring a 3.6L Pentastar V-6 engine with variable-valve timing (VVT), the truck achieves 305 hp with 296 lb.-ft. of torque. The new V-6 engine features 42-percent more horsepower, 13-percent more torque, and at least 20-percent better fuel economy when compared to the previous 3.7L V-6 powertrain, according to Ram. Also available is a 5.7L HEMI V-8 with fuel-saving cylinder shut-off and VVT, which provides 395 hp at 407 lb.-ft. of torque. 

A class-exclusive TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission is standard with the 3.6L V-6, doubling the amount of gears compared to the previously available 4-speed. The new 8-speed is also available with the 5.7L HEMI V-8, Ram’s first application with a V-8.


New Features Abound

Built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Mich., the 2013 Ram 1500 includes a number of new and enhanced features: 

● Electric power steering (EPS). By using an electric motor to power the truck’s rack and pinion steering system, the engine is relieved from the task of constantly turning a hydraulic pump, improving fuel efficiency up to 1.8 percent and adding five horsepower. 

● Pulse-width modulation (PWM). This new, fuel-saving technology reduces parasitic electrical loads. PWM eliminates unnecessary load on the alternator and improves the durability of benefitting systems, such as fuel delivery and the forward cooling fan.

● Rotary e-shift dial is included on vehicles equipped with the new TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission and replaces both column and floor shifters. The dash-mounted system provides total control of the 8-speed transmission.

● Thermal management system. Designed to quickly raise engine and transmission fluid temperatures, the system can help improve fuel efficiency by 1.7 percent. 

● Stop-Start. Available on select models, the new system can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent, or about 1 mpg in the truck’s city drive cycle. The system shuts the engine off when the truck comes to a complete stop. 

● Active grille shutters. Reduces or closes air flow through the grille, when cooling is not required. 

● Uconnect versions 8.4A and 8.4AN provide the Ram 1500 with a built-in wireless Internet connection. Users can remotely lock or unlock doors or start their vehicles from any distance via the Web or a smartphone app. Includes a 911 button on the rear-view mirror for direct emergency assistance.

Engineered to Last

Numerous changes were made to the vehicle’s engineering. A newly designed frame benefits from a weight reduction of up to 30 lbs., by using advanced high-strength steels. Additionally, the Ram features aluminum lower control arms in the front suspension and an aluminum hood, further reducing weight. 

The 2013 Ram 1500 is now available with an all-new air suspension system, featuring five height settings for optimum ride and aerodynamic performance. The system operates automatically, or can be controlled manually via console or key fob controls. Ride heights are:

● Normal Ride Height (NRH): 8.7 inches of clearance (measured from the base of the door sill) is the default, load-leveled ride height.

● Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle 0.6 inches from NRH. Improves fuel efficiency by up to 1 percent and is activated by vehicle speed, adjusting for optimal performance and fuel economy.

● Off-road 1: Lifts the vehicle 1.2 inches from NRH for added height in clearing obstacles.

● Off-road 2: Delivers more off-road capability, increasing ground clearance by 2 inches over NRH.

● Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle 2 inches from NRH for easy ingress/egress and cargo loading.

MSRP for the 2013 Ram 1500 will start at $23,585, including the $995 destination charge.

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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