Ram has taken aim at the new Ford Ranger Raptor during the launch of its new V8 ute.
Presenting the 5.7-litre Hemi V8-powered Ram 1500 to the media, Ram Trucks Australia spokesman Edward Rowe said the brand hopes to woo buyers away from high-end versions of popular dual-cab utes.
“We are the only people in this market sector offering a V8, in a market sector which used to be heavily populated with V8s, in a market segment now populated by small diesels,” he says.
“The way it goes, the way it sounds and just the whole driving experience … a V8 Hemi engine offers a somewhat more better driving experience than a 2.0-litre diesel.”
Spruiking a sub-8-second 0-100km/h acceleration time from the 291kW, 556Nm Ram, Rowe suggested the Ranger’s engine might not meet the needs of some customers.
“It’s a bit of a stretch for a vehicle that does 10.5 seconds to 100 Kays to be calling itself a performance vehicle,” he says.
Like its Ram 2500 sibling, the new machine is built in left-hand-drive the US before undergoing a thorough transformation to meet local specifications in Australia.
Priced from $79,950 drive-away, the Ram 1500 is a size smaller than the gargantuan Ram 2500 core to the model’s launch in Australia.
Available only with a petrol engine at present, the 5.7-litre machine will soon be joined by a 3.0-litre turbo diesel variant capable of towing up to 4.5 tonnes, which may be welcomed by people with towing needs.
A cosmetic “black pack” version is also around the corner, while the off-road-ready Ram Rebel remains on the brand’s wish list for now.
Similarly, customers will have to wait to see whether Ram introduces the 6.4-litre Hemi-Powered Ram Power Wagon machine available with 306kW of power in the US. The brand’s Australian arm says the Rebel and Power Wagon are not currently available for export markets such as Australia.