The newly redesigned '09 Dodge Ram is exciting for a lot of reasons. The Hemi received a bump in power and efficiency, which will hopefully translate into better fuel economy. The truck is also offered in a real crew-cab configuration too. But what made us sit up and really take notice was the amount of storage space in this thing. The bedrails are extra wide and offer 8.6 feet of lockable, drainable storage. Dodge accomplished this by getting rid of the traditional wide inner cargo box and exposed wheelwell arrangement of the bed and instead turned that room into storage. You can still haul a 4-foot-wide sheet of plywood in the bed, but now you can also stash your gear, audio equipment, air-suspension accessories, or whatever else you can dream up inside the walls of the bed. The compartments break up the body lines of the Ram in true "love it or hate it" fashion, but we think Dodge still did a good job of making the access doors as unobtrusive as possible.
If that wasn't enough stash room for you, the space traditionally wasted below the floor of the cab has been turned into another stash compartment. The "store in the floor" bins are large enough to hold 10 12-ounce sodas with ice and feature removable liners. Other niceties include heated and ventilated front seats and Sirius-satellite-connected rear-seat TV and a surround sound audio system. A MyGiG 30-gigabyte hard drive is also available for storing favorite music and movies, and of course a navigation system is on tap if you want it.
When equipped with the new 380-horse 5.7L Hemi, a shortbed, and 4.10 gears, the Ram will go 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds. A 310hp 4.7L V-8 and 215hp V-6 are also available with five-speed automatic transmissions.
Another interesting aspect of the new Ram is that Dodge has done away with the standard multileaf-spring rear suspension arrangement in favor of a multilink/coil-spring suspension. It's reported to not have affected the payload capacity of the Ram, yet it offers a better ride and better handling. We also find it interesting that not only is the system a four-link with triangulated upper bars, but it also includes a Panhard bar to locate the rear axle laterally.
This truck is truly innovative, and we can't wait to get behind the wheel of one and report back to you guys.
10 Mostly Worthless Facts1. Sport Truck's art director, Andy, started demo'ing his house last year in preparation for a remodel.
2. Art directors make serious coin.
3. Andy has spent the last two months living in a cabover camper in his driveway while the construction is underway. He's a trooper, and by trooper we mean he's too cheap to spring for a motel.
4. However, Andy's wife, Elaine, has moved into a friend's house instead of sticking it out in the camper with her man. Please don't judge her for it.
5. The cabover camper isn't attached to a pickup like it should be. Andy needs his truck to commute to work in, and it's likely he's too lazy to move his new home every day. We understand. The camper is sitting on stilts in the driveway with Andy's '54 Pontiac parked beneath it. It looks ghetto fabulous.
6. Andy's neighbors hate him. Right now, the driveway is full of construction materials, the camper, the old Pontiac, and a Port-O-Crapper for the construction workers to meditate in. The smell is fabulous.
7. We've determined that since Elaine doesn't technically live with Andy anymore, when she comes home after work it could be construed as a conjugal visit.
8. Last night, Andy was awakened by the sound of the Port-O-Crapper being knocked over in his yard by either the neighborhood hoodlum kids or their angry parents. We can't be sure of which because Andy wasn't about to dash outside the camper in his tighty-whities to gather evidence. He's a little shy.
9. Andy's house is looking really good.
10. He might get his wife back in about a week after the new toilets are installed. Then again, Andy is doing much of the flooring and plumbing work himself, so this might take a little while... at least that's what he's telling Elaine. In Vegas, we're getting 4 to 1 odds that the plumbing mysteriously takes an extra week to install, but somehow the big-screen TV, recliner, and refrigerator make it into the house on schedule.
The staff speaks and you listen. It's that simple. This month's question is:
You get the opportunity to ask a single question of any automotive personality on the planet, dead or alive. What do you ask the person and who is it?
Mike: I'd ask Boyd Coddington if the tools in heaven are better and what he's going to build next.
Calin: I don't know who the person is, but it would be whoever designed the Pontiac Aztek. The question would be: "What the hell were you thinking?"
Galen: I have never thought about that type of scenario before where I could ask only one question. There is no one perfect question that would give me all of the answers. One question always turns into a bazillion more that are left unanswered. It would be very unsatisfying to only have one question answered, and I don't know if I could live with myself if I didn't have the perfect question.
Kevin: This question is hard because I have already met a lot of people I look up to in the auto industry. On the other hand, there is someone I would like to meet. It would be whoever designed the '60-'66 GM trucks. I am completely captivated by the unique design of this body-style pickup, and I think it would be interesting to ask how he came up with it.
Andy: This a pretty tough question. I mean, there is a ton of people out there who I'd love to have a beer and a chat with, but I'd say one dude in particular comes to the forefront: Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. It's hard to say what in particular I'd ask him-I would rather just maybe hang out and talk about art and cars. Maybe a few questions about his early days, check out some early sketchbooks and see what ideas he had that morphed into the final art you see out there. Like, I wonder what Rat Fink looked like as an early rendering. Maybe a really rotten-looking Mickey Mouse?
Sport Truck Slang Term O' The Month#2,400: phat (fa?t) adj. If you happen to be a hot chick, then actor/comedian Chris Tucker would have you believe that this word means "pretty hot and tempting." For the rest of us dudes, phat is an adjective used to describe things that are cool. For example, try telling your friend Jimmy that his rims are phat. Do not tell him that his wife is phat unless you want a warm beer dumped on your head.