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Dodge Reveals New 2006 Ram 1500: First Pickup Truck to Offer Cylinder Deactivation

Technology to Save Customers 60 Million Gallons of Fuel Annually

* All-new Frame and Suspension improves ride and handling, quietness and driving dynamics * All-new Interior features redesigned instrument panel, center console, seats and entertainment features * Bold, New Exterior includes redesigned fascia, grille, headlamps, fenders and wheels * Best-in-class Power achieved with 5.7-liter HEMI(R) V-8 engine that generates 345 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque

CHELSEA, Mich., June 16 -- Consumers have a lot of reasons to get "pumped" about the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500.

In addition to being the first pickup truck to offer Chrysler Group's MDS technology, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 -- the most powerful light-duty pickup truck on the market -- boasts an all-new frame and suspension, an all-new interior, and an even bolder new Dodge Ram exterior. The new truck arrives in Dodge dealerships this fall.

"The boldest and most powerful light-duty pickup on the market just got better," said Darryl Jackson, Vice President - Dodge Marketing, Chrysler Group. "Packed with refinement, technology, best-in-class HEMI power and a new bold appearance, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 continues to lead the competition. And in true Dodge fashion, we will offer our new Ram at an incredible value."

The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 is the first pickup truck and latest Chrysler Group vehicle to feature standard MDS with the 5.7-liter HEMI. Without compromising its best-in-class 345 horsepower, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's HEMI V-8 engine seamlessly alternates between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand.

"Chrysler Group was the first to offer a modern cylinder-deactivation system, the first to offer MDS in an SUV and now the first to offer MDS in a pickup truck," said Mike Donoughe, Vice President - Body-on-frame Product Team. "By offering MDS as a standard feature on the HEMI-powered Dodge Ram 1500, customers will experience the most powerful and capable V-8 engine in the pickup truck market, with an improvement in fuel economy of up to 20 percent."

With the introduction of the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500, 60 million gallons of fuel will be saved annually by 2007 thanks to the HEMI V-8 engine's MDS technology -- to be offered on seven large-volume Chrysler Group vehicles by year's end.

Chrysler Group's MDS-equipped lineup also includes the HEMI-powered Chrysler 300C, Jeep(R) Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum and Dodge Durango, with the all-new 2007 Jeep Commander arriving in showrooms this fall. By 2007, Chrysler Group will have nearly 1 million vehicles on the road with MDS.


Building on the previous Dodge Ram 1500's superior ride quality, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 again raises the bar with an all-new hydroformed, fully- boxed frame and suspension that deliver a smooth, confident and highly capable driving experience.

The Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 model utilizes a new coil-over shock absorber and double wishbone front suspension. Mounting the shock absorber inside the coil spring enables four-wheel-drive models to benefit from the coil spring's added tuning characteristics.

All 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 models feature monotube shock absorbers that deliver a controlled, steady and predictable ride with superb handling. In addition, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 features retuned springs, jounce bumpers and suspension bushings.

The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's Hotchkiss-design rear suspension utilizes leaf springs that are designed to reduce wheel hop and improve durability. Spring rates have been selected to provide a poised ride when unloaded, and stable, confident handling when fully loaded to its 6,800-lb. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).

A rack-and-pinion steering system with new steering gears on both the two- and four-wheel-drive Dodge Ram 1500 models provides a precise and firm steering feel.


The interior of the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 complements the bold exterior by taking luxury and refinement to new levels in the pickup truck market. Enhanced driver and passenger comfort and more feature content is abundant inside the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500.

Driver and passengers will experience an interior environment that is 20 percent quieter than the previous Dodge Ram 1500, achieved by employing laminated front-door glass and improved door seals. In addition, extensive use of Polymer Constraint Layer (PCL) and new body mounts reduces road noise and resonance between the engine and cabin.

All-new seats, including optional bucket seats with available leather trim, provide substantial bolstering and generous support while adding a rich appearance to the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's interior.

A new instrument panel cluster -- placed underneath a redesigned cluster brow -- is designed to reduce glare, and a new, wide center stack contains a new audio system and new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning controls.

Premium amenities -- including a new GPS Navigation radio, new rear-seat DVD (Quad Cab(TM) only), Infinity(R) sound system, UConnect(TM) hands-free communication system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, sun roof, adjustable pedals, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and a new power-sliding rear window -- are available on the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500.


Dodge Ram's distinguished and bold "big rig" design is expressed in greater magnitude in the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500. A chrome crosshair grille with surround collar and new distinctive headlamps retain Dodge Ram's robust and chiseled front-end appearance.

The 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's new fully chrome, ingot-like grille highlights a massive front bumper, creating a bold, protective appearance. The substantial grille remains a mainstay of the Dodge Ram design signature, with the large crosshair as the focal point. Moved to the center of the crosshair from the top of the grille is the signature Ram's head.

Large angular headlamp modules on the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 provide 22 percent more light intensity and 40 percent improved beam spectrum than the previous Dodge Ram 1500.


The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 offers three powerful engines, including the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with MDS, providing a best-in-class 345 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft of torque.

"With a 58 percent take rate, the HEMI continues to resonate with consumers and is extremely popular among Dodge Ram Light Duty customers," said Jackson.

With 300 lb.-ft. of torque, the Magnum(R) 4.7-liter V-8 provides smooth and responsive performance, and is available with a five-speed automatic transmission.

The 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 engine is standard on the two-wheel-drive Dodge Ram 1500 regular cab and the two-wheel-drive Quad Cab with the standard bed configuration. The 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 delivers 215 horsepower and 235 lb.- ft. of torque.

The 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 and the 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 engines feature a standard Getrag six-speed manual transmission.


The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 leaps to new heights in performance and efficiency in the full-size pickup segment, providing the most state-of-the- art technology available to meet the needs of today's pickup truck buyers. Dodge engineers perfected several areas of the Dodge Ram 1500 -- from powertrain to aerodynamics -- to create a more fuel-efficient light-duty, full-size pickup truck.

With the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, the Dodge Ram 1500 is the most powerful light-duty pickup truck in the market. Without compromising its venerable power, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's HEMI V-8 engine features the first-ever fully functioning cylinder deactivation system -- MDS -- on a pickup truck. Customers receive the powerful benefit of the HEMI V-8 engine with the fuel economy that they -- until now -- could only expect from a smaller, less powerful engine.

The HEMI V-8 engine can transition from eight cylinders to four in 40 milliseconds (0.040 seconds) -- quicker than the blink of an eye. Improved fuel economy is realized without any change in customer experience as drivers receive the benefit of MDS without changing their driving habits. Customers will experience fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent under certain driving conditions.

A new Variable Line Pressure (VLP) transmission for the 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 3.7-liter V-6 engine improves fuel economy and provides smoother shifts between gears.

Adding to the fuel-efficiency formula, the 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 model is equipped with a front-axle-disconnect system, designed to disengage the front-axle driveshaft when operating in two-wheel drive. This minimizes the front-drive system's energy consumption and improves fuel economy.

The 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 also features new reduce-drag brake calipers, low- rolling resistance tires and a rear spoiler to improve vehicle aerodynamics. The spoiler is positioned on the rear liftgate.


The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 is available in regular cab and Quad Cab body styles, in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, and with six-foot or eight-foot beds. Available trim levels are ST, Sport, SLT and Laramie. A Mega Cab body style will also be available this fall.

The Dodge Ram Quad Cab features four standard doors, available 60/40 folding rear seats and a folding load floor that ensures both passengers and gear fit in the back simultaneously and comfortably. By allowing seats to fold up, tools and other items may be securely locked away. The Dodge Ram regular cab offers just as much flexibility, with storage behind rear seats and enough seat travel for ease in reclining of driver and passenger seats.

Both the Dodge Ram Quad Cab and regular cab feature numerous front-seat storage areas and convenience features. The 40/20/40 front seat provides comfortable seating for three or ample center storage for one or two occupants. The center console offers room for a laptop computer and features fold-down storage dividers. The center "20" portion of the seat offers additional "hidden" storage under the cushion.


The 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 model offers a new standard electronic-shift transfer case, with the more fuel-efficient, disconnecting front axle. The new on-demand four-wheel-drive system includes two-wheel-drive and four-wheel- drive "high" and "low" modes, plus a new four-wheel-drive "auto" mode that provides torque to the front axle only when required.


The 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 also offers a "Tow/Haul" feature that provides crisp shifts and reduces gear searching, and an "Overdrive Off" mode that delivers maximum trailer towing performance. These systems will also select a lower gear in downhill conditions in order to utilize the engine's braking capability.


Dodge Ram continues to strengthen its leadership position as the dominant truck brand with a lineup long on superlatives:

* Most POWERFUL pickup: Dodge Ram 1500 with legendary HEMI power is the most powerful mass production light-duty pickup on the market

* FASTEST pickup: Dodge Ram SRT10 is the Guinness Book of World Records' fastest production pickup

* STRONGEST pickup: Dodge Ram Heavy Duty Cummins Turbo Diesel is the strongest pickup on the market, with 610 lb.-ft. of class-dominating torque

* Most CAPABLE pickup: Dodge Ram Power Wagon is the most capable off- road factory pickup ever created

* LARGEST pickup cab: Dodge Ram Mega Cab will be the most spacious and versatile pickup on the market


With a U.S. market share of seven percent, Dodge is the fifth-largest nameplate in the United States and the eighth-largest nameplate in the automotive industry. In 2004, Dodge sold more than 1.4 million vehicles in the global market.

Dodge continues to lead the minivan market segment with a 20 percent market share in the United States. In the truck market, Dodge has an 18 percent market share. In the car market, Dodge has a 4.5 percent market share.

The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 will be built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Mich., and at the St. Louis (Mo.) North Assembly Plant.

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