What It Is: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ money-making Ram 1500 truck is getting a major overhaul, and it’s about time—this generation was introduced for the 2009 model year. We expect styling will be evolutionary, and that Ram won’t follow Ford down the aluminum road, using a steel bed and primarily steel body panels. The truck in these spy photos is almost entirely covered in camo, but peering through it as best we can, it appears as if the grille will partially bleed into the headlights, an industry-wide design trend. These photos also show a massive cab, possibly indicating the introduction of the Mega Cab to the 1500 series (it previously has only been available on the heavy-duty models), or simply that the truck is getting bigger. There also have been rumors, stoked due to a patent filing in 2014, that this next-gen Ram would have a split-door tailgate, but no center seam is evident on this test truck.
These shots also provide a pretty clear look at the interior, highlighted by a massive squared-off UConnect infotainment screen. The redesigned climate controls feature a three-dial row beneath two radio knobs, and aeronautical-style switches can be seen at the bottom of the center stack. We also can see that Ram’s rotary gear selector survives the makeover.
Why It Matters: Just as the Golden State Warriors are clear leaders in the NBA, the Ford F-150 is the reigning champ in the pickup truck space. But just as the Cavaliers, Spurs, Rockets, and Celtics aren’t simply rolling over, FCA’s truck division is launching its new offensive for the 2019 model year. The Ram will not only combat the F-150, it’ll spar with the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra, which also are undergoing redesigns. Meanwhile, the chassis of this truck will also underpin the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer, set to be one of Jeep’s biggest new-vehicle launches in years.
Platform: The 2019 Ram’s body-on-frame truck platform likely will carry over much from the current-generation pickups. These images also confirm the new model will continue to use a coil-spring suspension. There’s a lot of flexibility in this construction method, and it’s possible that in addition to a Mega Cab at one end of the scale, it could be adapted to create a mid-size entry to contend with the Chevrolet Colorado and the upcoming Ford Ranger.
Powertrain: Ram representatives tell us that 75 percent of their truck sales have included a HEMI powertrain, so it’s safe to assume that the…