Australian fans of American pick-ups have more choice than ever before.
Ram Trucks Australia has introduced the new Ram 1500 ‘DT’, which will sit alongside the existing ‘DS’ model in an expanded range of US utes. The DT is the fifth generation of the 1500, revealed at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show, but it has taken time for Ram Australia to get the new model developed for local sale.
That’s because the company and its conversion partner (Walkinshaw Automotive Group) spend more than 50,000 hours developing the plan to switch the US-built utes to right-hand drive. After that the Ram Australia team undertook an arduous 30,000km durability drive around the country – from Melbourne to Broome and then across to Townsville before heading back to Melbourne via Alice Springs. This was in addition to other real-world and closed road testing to ensure the locally-converted models were ready for the unique Australian conditions.
“The all-new 1500 DT marks the culmination of a detailed planning, development, remanufacturing and testing programme with our local and global partners, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (US),” explained RAM Trucks Australia national manager, Jeff Barber.
The new DT range will be available in two trim lines – Laramie and Limited – both in Crew Cab body styles but with the company’s patented ‘RamBox’ integrated storage system also available as an option.
Both are powered by a 5.7-litre V8 Hemi engine making 291kW of power and 556Nm of torque. In order to keep fuel consumption down, the DT models come with a new eTorque mild-hybrid system that features a 48-volt battery and belt-drive motor generator that enables stop-start and regenerative braking storage.
The existing DS range of 1500s remains on sale alongside the new model, allowing for the local operation to keep the entry-price of the Ram range more competitive. The DS 1500 Express Quad Cab kicks off the line-up at $79,950, while the DT 1500 Laramie Crew Cab is priced from $114,950 and the DT 1500 Limited Crew Cab starts at $139,950 (all prices exclude on-road costs).
The introduction of the DT model also opens the door for the high-performance 1500 TRX to join the Ram Australia range. The TRX is due later this year and will be packing a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 making 523kW and 881Nm.