All-new 2019 Ram 1500 sheds weight, adds capability and mild hybrid powertrains

It also claims the title of the segment's most aerodynamic pickup

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 isn't the only all-new full-size truck on display at the Detroit Auto Show — FCA is also using the venue to unveil the 2019 Ram 1500. Since the new model is all about superlatives, there's quite a lot to talk about.

Starting off with the design, the new full-size truck is longer and wider, featuring up to 4 inches longer wheelbase and cab. This results into improved proportions and better aerodynamics. There are six different grille designs on the menu, and three headlamp types: halogen, full LED, and full LED with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS).

The aluminum engine hood is raised for styling and aerodynamic purposes, and the 2019 Ram 1500 is the first full-size truck without a mast antenna — it gets a shark fin antenna instead. At the rear, the all-new taillamps are offered in three different configurations: Halogen, LED, and LED with Blind-spot Monitoring.

There are 16 new wheel designs available, with sizes varying from 18-inches to 22-inches in diameter. By now you may have noticed the full-width chrome stamped-steel rear bumper as well, which Ram says is a segment-exclusive feature.

The automaker also claims the 2019 model is the most aerodynamic full-size truck on the market, and 9-percent more aerodynamic than the previous model. For example, the 2019 Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x2 has a coefficient of drag of 0.357. That's in part due to a standard active front air dam, active grille shutter, and optional air suspension.

Inside, the Ram 1500 is said to have the largest cab in the segment, as cab length has increased by 4 inches. The dashboard's massive appearance remains, but the center stack has been raised and brought closer to the driver.

Each trim level comes with unique colors and premium materials, but the highlight of the interior is the new UConnect 4C NAV infotainment system that features a 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen.

All models get push-button start, an electronic parking brake, and a redesigned rotary e-shifter dial. The 2019 Ram 1500 offers 151 liters of interior storage volume, more than any other competitor.

Despite being longer and wider, the new Ram 1500 is up to 225 lb (102 kg) lighter, thanks to the use of high-strength steels and advanced engineering for the new frame. Stiffness and durability have increased, however, with the truck now boasting 12,700 pounds of towing capability and 2,300 pounds of payload.

The big news when it comes to powertrains is the addition of the eTorque mild hybrid system, which replaces the traditional alternator with a belt-driven motor generator unit. Working with a 48-volt battery pack, the motor generator unit allows for quick and seamless start/stop function, short-duration torque addition to the engine crankshaft in certain driving situations, and brake energy regeneration. All these improve responsiveness and efficiency.

eTorque is standard on the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which makes 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. The mild hybrid system is optional on the other engine, a 5.7-liter V8 that delivers 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. The V8 features cylinder deactivation and can turn off four of the engine's eight cylinders when not needed. Both engines are mated as standard to upgraded TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Other significant updates include the addition of optional FRD shocks with air suspension and the availability of a 4x4 Off-Road Package for nearly every trim. The pack comprises a one-inch suspension lift, electronic-locking rear differential, and 32-inch on/off-road tires on 18- or available 20-inch wheels for additional grip. Also included in the package are skid plates, tow hooks, Hill-Descent Control, off-road-calibrated shocks, and off-road-biased rear suspension geometry.

Check out our complete coverage of the 2018 Detroit Auto Show right here.

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