2013 Ram 1500 Tacoma

2013 Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 will receive a significant refresh for the 2013 model year, and the majority of the changes are indeed more than skin-deep. That's because the 2013 Ram will hit the showroom floor with a host of powertrain upgrades, including features that have never been offered on American pickup trucks until now.

Many of the Ram's new technologies speak to its fuel-saving nature, including an eight-speed automatic transmission for both six- and eight-cylinder models, stop-start, improved aerodynamics, electric power steering, grille shutters and an auto-adjusting air suspension. The air suspension is essentially a version of the setup used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and features an Aero Mode, lowering the ride height by 1.2 inches to help cut through the wind more efficiently. Ram will also offer the Chrysler Group's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 as the base powerplant, delivering 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. For reference, Ford rates the 2012 F-150 pickup's naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 at 302 hp and 278 lb-ft.

Chrysler promises that the new 3.6 will improve fuel efficiency by "at least 20 percent" compared to the old 3.7-liter unit. Another 20 percent added to 20 miles per gallon on the highway and 14 mpg in the city equates to a class-leading 24 mpg highway and 17 mpg city.

Of course, V8 power is available, courtesy of Chrysler's tried-and-true 5.7-liter Hemi, which now delivers 395 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque. That's five more horsepower compared to the 2012 model, and that improvement comes courtesy of the new electronic power steering system. The most impressive part is that the Hemi-equipped model will also boast 20 percent better fuel economy, thanks largely to the fact that the eight-speed automatic is also fitted to this eight-pot mill. Chrysler will announce official fuel economy numbers closer to the Ram's on-sale date.

The Ram 1500 can achieve these substantial efficiency gains because of the aforementioned fuel-sipping technologies, but engineers have also cut considerable weight. The V6 powertrain is an amazing 76 pounds lighter than the outgoing 3.7-liter, and the TorqueFlite eight-speed and Hemi combine for a 30-pound reduction in the 5.7-liter model. Other weight savings come from an aluminum hood (26 pounds), chassis with more high-strength steel (up to 30 pounds), new floor cross-members in the bed (seven pounds), new front bumper (four pounds) and the electronic steering system (four pounds).

Additional improvements include upgraded exterior styling, a richer-looking cabin and a stiffer chassis that promises decreased noise, vibration and harshness. The Ram will also feature improved available infotainment tech, including an 8.4-inch navigation screen and a configurable seven-inch thin-film transistor screen that is standard on Sport, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn models.

Take a look at our Ram 1500 inventory then come in for a test drive!