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SEMA craziness begins with Dodge Ram R/T

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By Rex Roy
The Auto Channel
Detroit Bureau

Hot on the heals of the retail introduction of the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, the Dodge boys are showing off a SEMA-ized version of an Ram R/T. The finished truck will break cover at the SEMA convention that runs November 4-7 in Las Vegas.

For those not familiar with the largest aftermarket tradeshow in the world, SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) is a customizer's dream world. Manufacturers, vehicle modifiers, and parts makers ply their products at the Fall gathering that consumes the entire Las Vegas Convention Center (nearly 2 million square feet).

While General Motors purchased the rights to make their 2010 Camaro "The Official Car of SEMA 2008," this hasn't blunted Dodge from gearing up for a full-on assault at the show with the new Ram and Challenger leading their charge.

According to Chrysler sources, their development team wanted this Ram to be something a customer could actually recreate with nothing more than a new Ram, a Mopar Accessories catalog, and a credit card. The starting point is a stock 2009 Dodge Ram Sport with two-wheel drive. This truck already has a slick aerodynamic drag coefficient (under 0.40 Cd). Under the hood is the improved-for-2009 stock 5.7-liter HEMI engine pushing a 390 horsepower. The drivetrain utilizes the stock 5-speed automatic fitted with a high-stall torque converter that feeds the power to a set of 4.10 rear gears. Dodge estimates the run from 0 to 60 mph to take about 5.6 seconds.

Alterations to the classic code "B5" blue Ram R/T include a Mopar dual snorkel aluminum hood, cold air intake, dual exhaust, and carbon fiber accent stripes. The suspension is dropped and the stance looks even more hunkered down thanks to the chin spoiler, and body kit that includes sill and box pieces. Rolling stock (285/45R22 front and 305/40R22 rear) spin on a set of concept 22-inch machine-face wheels with dark accent pockets produced by the aluminum experts from Alcoa. Fuel goes in through a Challenger-inspired fuel filler. A hard tonneau with an integrated spoiler finishes off the bed that features an under-rail LED lighting system. Inside, the R/T theme continues with the brushed sill trim and Katzkin leather seats.

This announcement from Dodge will be the first from many manufacturers leading up to the SEMA show's opening. The show attracted 100,000 attendees in 2007. Stay tuned for more SEMA-related news…

Rex Roy, Regis Communications, all rights reserved.
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