2009 Chicago Auto Show: Dodge Introduces "New Crew" of Ram Heavy-Duty Pickups - COMPLETE VIDEO


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New 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500: Ultimate Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks

CHICAGO - February 11, 2009: Bold, powerful and capable. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Dodge introduced the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty lineup, offering first-time innovations and features along with new standards of strength, utility and driveability.

"Our new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups continue to build on Dodge Ram's leadership in the Heavy-Duty pickup segment," said Scott Kunselman, Vice President - Jeep(R)/Truck Product Team, Chrysler LLC. "Our Ram Heavy-Duty pickups reinforce Dodge Ram's bold and powerful reputation, and provide improved capability in critical areas of the segment."


Click PLAY to watch the complete Dodge Press Conference

First and foremost, the new 2010 Dodge Ram is about capability. In fact, its many features -- including powertrain, towing and payload capacities, driving dynamics, amenities and styling -- truly make it the ultimate heavy-duty pickup truck.

"This is the continuation of the reinvention of our Dodge Ram lineup," said Mike Accavitti, Director - Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep Brands. "Over the past five years, Dodge has gained market share in the heavy-duty pickup segment, and to stay on that track, Dodge keeps innovating. Our new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups will continue to build on our momentum."

Dodge's Heavy-Duty Resume
Dodge continues its strong heritage in the Heavy-Duty truck market by building on its past. Since 2003, Dodge has launched new models or made improvements to its Heavy-Duty lineup:

  --  2003 - Launched all-new version of Ram Heavy Duty
  --  2004 - Introduced diesel engine improvements
  --  2005 - Introduced Dodge Ram Power Wagon
  --  2006 - Introduced Dodge Ram Mega Cab
  --  2008 - Introduced (2007.5) New 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine
  --  2009 - Introduced new 5.7L HEMI engine and new brake system for added
      brake life and improved fuel economy and new 3.42 axle ratio on diesel
      automatic transmission

And new for 2010, the Crew Cab with 6-foot 4-inch box replaces the Quad Cab to meet Heavy-Duty customer needs and focus on overall vehicle refinement and ride comfort.

Ultimate Hauling and Towing Capability
The backbone of 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty pickups is a hydro-formed, fully boxed frame with advanced torsional rigidity and stiffness. A coil-spring suspension setup is used up front, while the multi-leaf spring design is maintained in the rear for heavy-duty capability. Front and rear shocks and springs are tuned for optimum ride quality and capability.

Customers in the heavy-duty segment have a range of needs, and most of them involve high levels of capability. The new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 are designed to deliver a total package:

  --  Increased Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) on 2500 4x4 crew cab
      diesel models to 9,600 lbs. from 9,000 lbs.
  --  Increased Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) on 3500 dually models
      with diesel, auto transmission and 4.10 rear axle to 25,400 lbs. from
      24,000 lbs.
  --  Increased Gross Combined Weight Ratings (GCWR) on 3500 4x2 models to
      24,000 lbs. from 23,000 lbs.
  --  Increased front Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR) on several models:
      --  To 5,500 lbs. from 5,200 lbs. on diesel 4x4 pickups
      --  To 5,000 lbs. from 4,700 lbs. on diesel 4x2 pickups

Suspension upgrades and larger front axle U-joints, combined with increased front GAWR, result in increased front-weight carrying capability - a must for larger snowplows.

Towing capability is a strong suit with the new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, with the only standard exhaust brake in the segment (diesel-equipped models). This feature reduces brake fade, prolongs brake life and provides confidence and safety when hauling heavy loads on downhill grades. Large front (360 mm) and rear (358 mm) brakes with integrated Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) increase brake life and braking stability.

An available integrated trailer brake control provides better driver control in towing situations. Trailer brake control information is conveniently displayed in the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) which is standard on diesel models and available on gas SLT, TRX and Laramie models.

In addition, new 2010 Dodge Ram transmissions include Electronic Range Select, which enables the driver to manually limit the highest available transmission gear, allowing manual upshifts and downshifts based on road speed and engine speed. A tow/haul mode switch enhances tow capability while towing. Tow/haul mode is available on both five-speed and six-speed automatic transmissions.

Other tow-friendly features include improved trailer-tow mirrors with integrated turn signals, memory function, and puddle lamps. The larger 7-in. x 11-in. trailer-tow mirrors offer improved visibility with larger convex glass surfaces. Mirrors flip up and out in a vertical configuration for improved visibility around wide trailers. Trailer-tow mirrors are now standard on 3500.

Ultimate Powertrains
In terms of power, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty tops the charts with the available, legendary 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, which produces 350 horsepower (261 kW) at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque (881 N*m) at only 1,500 rpm.

The most durable and reliable engine in its class, the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel features standard oil-change intervals of 7,500 miles. It also has life-to-major overhaul intervals of 350,000 miles, providing more than a 100,000-mile advantage over the competition.

And it's as clean as it is durable. The Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel engine uses a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to virtually eliminate particulate matter emissions and an absorber catalyst to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by as much as 90 percent, in order to meet stringent 2010.5 diesel emissions requirements.

Backing up the 6.7-liter diesel is a choice of either a G56 six-speed manual transmission or a 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed manual has an ultra-low first-gear ratio, which makes it ideal for heavy hauling requirements, while the six-speed automatic offers ease of driveability and towing.

The other choice for 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty customers is the standard 5.7-liter HEMI(R) V-8 gasoline engine, delivering 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N*m) at 4,000 rpm. The 5.7-liter HEMI was redesigned for 2009, with several new and improved technologies:

  --  Variable Valve Timing (VVT)
  --  Increased compression ratio
  --  Active intake manifold with long runners for low-end torque and short
      runners for high-rpm power
  --  Improved cylinder head port flow efficiency
  --  Reduced-restriction exhaust and induction systems

The 5.7-liter HEMI comes standard with the heavy-duty 545RFE five-speed automatic. It offers Electronic Range Select and tow-haul capability that provide a unique shift schedule that minimizes gear hunting while towing heavy loads. It also provides automatic downshift capability while decelerating.

Two 4x4 transfer cases are available - the NV 271, a manual unit standard on ST and Power Wagon models; and the NV273, an electric shift-on-the-fly transfer case, standard on SLT and Laramie models.

A choice of four axle ratios are available on new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups, depending on equipment level: 3.42, 3.73, 4.10 or 4.56.

Ultimate Off-Road Capability
The Dodge Ram Power Wagon returns for the 2010 model year. Equipped with electric-locking front and rear differentials, electronic disconnecting sway bar, Bilstein shocks, 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires, underbody skid plate protection, 4.56 axle ratio for hill climbing and a custom-built Warn(R) 12,000-lb. winch is accessible through the front bumper.

Improved Ride Comfort
Improved suspension tuning and new C-pillar hydro mounts were added to improve damping through the frame-bending mode frequency in order to better manage shake and after-shake response. The result is reduced shake and improved ride.

Bold Exterior Design

The new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups carve out a unique design with styling differentiated from the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram light-duty lineup.

"We brought some of the best design cues from our Dodge Ram 1500 to the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, yet we set the 2500 and 3500 pickups apart from our light-duty trucks," said Ralph Gilles, Vice President - Design. "The 'big-rig' styling is even more pronounced, with the classic Dodge look that conveys bold, powerful and capable."

Styling the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty encompassed practical as well as aesthetic considerations.

For example, to accommodate cooling requirements of the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine (perennially the most popular powerplant in the Ram Heavy Duty lineup with a take-rate of 90 percent), the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty grille opening is larger than the light-duty grille. The larger grille, in turn, requires a taller hood that incorporates "louvers" on each side. And, access to the front winch (on Power Wagon models) and tow hooks led to the unique front-bumper design.

The new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty grille includes a chromed surround with either black center bullets (ST, SLT and Power Wagon models) or chromed center billets (Laramie, Big Horn and Lone Star models). Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 TRX models feature a body-color surround with black center billets. The grille is body-mounted, while the bumper is frame-mounted.

Front fenders and headlamps of the new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 are shared with light-duty pickup models. External mirrors are sculpted to produce a more useable area, with aerodynamic benefit and less noise. Mirrors are equipped with turn-signal indicators, memory function, puddle lamps and adjustable convex mirrors. Depending on trim level, mirrors are finished in black, or black and chrome. The larger 7-in. x 11-in. mirror for trailer towing is standard on 3500 models and available on 2500 pickups. These mirrors flip up and out into a vertical configuration for trailer-tow use.

Front and rear doors follow the style pioneered by the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 - a design that places the door cut to the side of the truck, rather than into the roof in order to reduce wind noise and weight.

Dual-rear-wheel fenders (3500 Dually only) are new for 2010 and offer an appearance that communicates quality and achieves improved aerodynamics.

The tailgate is sculpted for better air flow, incorporating a spoiler in the upper part of the sheet metal. This tailgate also accommodates an available back-up camera for convenient trailer hook-ups and includes a lift-assist feature that makes raising and lowering a one-hand operation. Standard bedrail protection is included with both the 6-foot-4-inch. and 8-foot cargo boxes. The boxes now feature bedrail caps that protect sheet metal from dents and scratching.

Upgraded Interiors: Ultimate Comfort, Convenience and Appearance
Inside, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty offers abundant amenities, comfort and convenience. Many of the comfort and convenience features were pioneered with the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500.

Interior appointments include soft-feel door bolsters and armrests and one-piece molded door panels. Seats are redesigned with improved power lumbar and lateral support. Six-ring instrumentation keeps track of vehicle functions, while many controls are arrayed in the center stack for easy reach to buttons and knobs.

Other available features include two-tone upholstery with full-width contrasting stitching on the instrument panel; premium seating with heat and ventilation; heated rear seats, heated steering wheel; automatic temperature control; two-tone upholstery; memory seats, radio and mirrors; navigation; adjustable pedals and numerous infotainment options including SIRIUS Backseat TV(TM) with three channels of programming, uconnect tunes with a 30-gigabyte hard drive and an available first-in-segment 10-speaker surround-sound system.

Storage is top-of-mind with many work- and leisure-oriented customers, and Dodge provides many more storage locations in its new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty pickups.

A new-for-2010 available center console features an upper bin that is large enough to hold a laptop computer (with an accessible power outlet), and a lower bin that accommodates hanging files. In addition, the console offers several other storage compartments.

Additional storage locations are built into the instrument panel, front and rear door panels, seat backs, and even the floor - in the crew-size cab, two in-floor bins located in the rear footwells of the crew cab offer storage enough for ten 12-ounce cans. Bins have removable liners for easy cleanout. Upper and lower glove boxes provide a total of more than 800 cubic inches of storage.

The Ultimate Cab - Mega Cab
The new 2010 Dodge 2500 and 3500 Mega Cab models retain their title of best-in-class interior room in the segment - including the largest, longest cab (143.2 cubic feet, 111.1 inches long); largest interior cargo volume (72.2 cubic feet); largest cargo volume behind rear seat (7.7 cubic feet); largest flat-floor load area (16.8 square feet); largest second-row leg room (44.2 inches); largest rear-door opening (34.5 inches wide, 35.5 inches high); largest rear-door open angle 85 degrees); and first-ever reclining rear seats (22- to 37-degree seat-back angle).

Ultimate Lineup

All in all, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups are the result of exhaustive research and study.

"We went all over the country to learn how people really use their heavy-duty trucks at work and play," said Accavitti. "We did our research with a cross-functional team, because we create new vehicles with cross-functional teams. And what we learned, we brought to the process of creating the all-new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy-Duty pickups."

What research confirmed was that heavy-duty customers wanted a cab with four full-size doors. So the big news for the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups is the addition of a crew-size cab, which accounts for approximately 50 percent of the segment. Also available are regular cab and Mega Cab models.

Customers also wanted choice in packaging and equipment. Five distinct trim levels are offered - ST, SLT, TRX, Laramie and Power Wagon. Each has a unique appearance and offers various equipment options.

"The Heavy-Duty segment comprises about a third of the full-size truck market, and its customers are the most brand-loyal in the industry," said Accavitti. "With five models, we want to provide them with the ultimate lineup of heavy-duty pickups."

More than 25 safety and security features
Chrysler employs a two-fold approach to safety: passive safety features including pre-tensioning and load-limiting seat-belt retractors and supplemental side air bags; and active safety features including responsive steering, handling and braking.

Following are more than 25 safety and security features available on new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy-Duty pickups:

  --  Anti-lock Brake System (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup,
      offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or
      slippery conditions
  --  Advanced multi-stage air bags: Uses either an Occupant Classification
      System or a Low-risk Deployment Air Bag for the front passenger
  --  BeltAlert: Periodically activates a chime and illuminates an icon in
      the instrument cluster to remind the driver and front passenger to
      buckle up if a vehicle is driven without the driver being properly
      belted
  --  Brake/Park interlock: Prevents an automatic transmission or transaxle
      from being shifted out of Park unless the brake pedal is applied
  --  Child-protection rear door locks: Disables the rear doors'
      inside-release handle via a small lever on the door-shut face
  --  Constant-Force Retractors (CFR): Distribute force or load exerted on a
      seat belt, and then gradually releases the seat-belt webbing in a
      controlled manner
  --  Crumple zones: Designed to compress during an accident in order to
      absorb energy from an impact, decreasing transfer of that energy to
      occupants
  --  Electronic brake force distribution: Adjusts braking pressure front to
      rear, based on weight distribution of passengers and cargo, to
      minimize brake dive during hard braking
  --  Energy-absorbing steering column: The manual-adjust steering column
      utilizes two hydro-formed coaxial tubes that move relative to each
      other in order to allow the column to move forward for enhanced energy
      absorption during a crash. The power-adjust steering column employs a
      calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for
      optimal energy management
  --  Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): Makes it easier for
      emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an
      accident by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking doors after
      air bag deployment. Also shuts off the flow of fuel to the engine
  --  Height-adjustable seat belts: Allows occupants to raise and lower the
      shoulder belt. Encourages seat-belt usage by offering a more
      comfortable fit
  --  HomeLink universal home security system transceiver: Stores three
      separate transmitter radio-frequency codes to operate garage-door
      openers, security gates, security lighting or other radio-controlled
      devices
  --  Interior head-impact protection: Interior pillars above the beltline
      and instrument panel, including areas around windshield and rear
      window headers, roof and side-rail structures, and shoulder-belt
      turning loops specifically designed to limit head-impact force
  --  Knee bolsters: The lower instrument panel and the glove box door are
      designed to properly position the occupant, enabling air bags to work
      effectively
  --  Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) Child Seat Anchor
      System: Designed to ease installation of compatible aftermarket child
      seats
  --  Low-risk deployment air bag: Front-passenger air bag that uses unique
      shape, venting, folding patterns, advanced inflators or a combination
      of these four technologies to position and inflate the restraint
      properly for a belted passenger, while also meeting federal safety
      requirements for out-of-position, small occupants and rear-facing
      infant seats. Occupants are advised to always sit properly in their
      seats with the seat belt fastened. Children 12 years old and younger
      should always be seated in the back seat correctly using an infant or
      child restraint system, or have the seat belt positioned correctly for
      their age and weight
  --  Parksense(R) Rear Park Assist System: Assists at low speeds in Reverse
      to detect stationary objects. Consists of visible (interior lights
      seen with rearview mirror) and audible warnings for the driver
  --  Power-adjustable pedals: Allows brake, accelerator and clutch (if
      equipped) pedals to move toward or away from the driver in order to
      achieve a safe and comfortable seating position for improved vehicle
      control
  --  Remote Keyless Entry: Locks and unlocks doors, and turns on interior
      lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a vehicle-theft security alarm,
      the remote also arms and disarms that system
  --  Seat-belt pretensioners: During a collision, the impact sensors
      initiate front seat-belt pretensioners to immediately remove slack,
      thereby reducing the forward movement of the occupants' heads and
      torsos
  --  Sentry Key(R) engine immobilizer: Utilizes an engine key that has an
      embedded transponder with a pre-programmed security code to discourage
      vehicle theft. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the
      controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is
      allowed to start. If an incorrect key is used, the engine will shut
      off after a few seconds
  --  Standard side-curtain air bags: Extends protection to all outboard
      front- and rear-seat passengers. Each side air bag has its own impact
      sensor in order to autonomously trigger the air bag on the side where
      an impact occurs
  --  Supplemental side air bags: Provide enhanced protection to the driver
      and front outboard passenger in certain impacts. Each side air bag has
      its own impact sensor which autonomously triggers the air bag on the
      side where the impact occurs. Supplemental side air bags are housed
      within the outboard side of each front seat
  --  Three-point seat belts: Front outboard seating positions and all rear
      seating positions in the Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy-Duty pickups
      have lap and shoulder belts
  --  Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM): Informs driver when tire pressure is
      too low. SLT and Laramie systems display actual tire pressure at each
      wheel. Pressure-sensor modules within the valve stems of all four road
      wheels send continuous radio-frequency signals to a receiver and the
      system (2500 only)
  --  uconnect phone: Uses Bluetooth technology to provide voice-controlled
      wireless communication between the occupants' compatible mobile phone
      and the vehicle's onboard receiver. The hands-free option promotes
      safety, freedom, value and flexibility 

Saltillo Assembly Plant
The new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy-Duty pickups will be built at Chrysler's Saltillo Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico. One of the company's most flexible plants, the Saltillo plant also produces the Dodge Ram Mega Cab, Ram Power Wagon, and Ram 3500 and 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs.

A key enabler in bringing new Dodge Ram trucks to market is Chrysler's Flexible Manufacturing Strategy (FMS). Based on extensive use of robotics in the body shop, FMS provides the ability to balance production with demand. FMS also affords the company the ability to efficiently build low-volume vehicles that take advantage of market niches and, as needed, to quickly shift production volumes between different models within a single plant or among multiple plants. It not only allows the company to produce a high-quality product, but to do so faster and at lower cost.

Production of the new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups will also be enabled by the plant's recent expansion, which allows the facility to manage the added complexity of the Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups' chassis and suspensions, including two chassis lengths, regular, crew-size cab and Mega Cab versions, 4x2 and 4x4 variants, and single- and dual-rear-wheel models.

The Saltillo Assembly Plant has 1,700 employees working on two shifts and is one of five Chrysler LLC manufacturing facilities in Mexico.

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