Our legion of spies caught engineers testing the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 pickup on public roads, giving us our best look yet at the company’s volume-selling 1/2-ton pickup.
The example seen here eschews the corporate crosshairs nose, opting instead for a hexagonal grille with a center bar and a blanked out plate in the middle that we assume is a placeholder for bold “RAM” script. (Fear not, we've seen versions with the crosshairs intact.) Aggressive headlights up front incorporate LED accent lighting, and hopefully the lighting elements themselves are brighter than the woefully dim units on the current Ram 1500. LEDs also show up in the bumper-mounted foglights, which are slimmer here than ever before.
The taillights are likewise modernized with LED lighting, and blind-spot monitors are plainly visible in the taillight housings. Those blind-spot monitors join an array of front-facing sensors, updating the Ram’s feature set with radar and proximity sensors; the current model doesn’t offer adaptive cruise control, lane-assist, or active safety features, and we expect the 2019 Ram to rectify that shortcoming. There will also be a long list of new interior features and the latest iteration of Ram's Uconnect infotainment.
This example is still wearing thick plastic cladding on the bodysides and hood to hide the truck’s final styling, but Ram isn’t abandoning its signature big-rig styling, with a bulging hood mounted higher than the fenders. Expect clean styling on the bodysides, as Ram isn’t known for big flares or heavy sculpting.
The mechanical bits under the skin are still shrouded in mystery. There’s almost assuredly going to be a Hemi V-8 under the hood, possibly a carryover 5.7L unit from the current Ram. There are also rumors that Ram will offer a twin-turbocharged gasoline I-6 as a top-spec engine option (rivaling Ford’s EcoBoost V-6s), but we don’t expect confirmation from the company any time soon. Another interesting proposition is a possible turbocharged I-4 as a base engine option, giving fleet operators who don’t regularly tow or haul heavy loads an inexpensive and economical choice.
We expect to see the new Ram 1500 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where it will debut as a 2019 model. As such, expect to see this shapely new pickup at your local Ram dealer by November or December of next year.