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2019 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi eTorque quick drive thoughts

Our forum member SpeedyV gives us his thoughts...

With 2019 Ram 1500s now arriving at dealerships with the 5.7 Hemi with eTorque our forum member SpeedyV headed down to his local dealer to compare an eTorque equipped Hemi to the standard 5.7 Hemi. We appreciate hearing his views on the truck as we haven’t had a chance to get behind the wheel yet and haven’t seen any reviews from any other media outlets. Without further ado, here are his thoughts posted in this thread. 

2019 Ram eTorque
2019 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi eTorque (SpeedyV photo)

Well, you asked for it…an unofficial side-by-side comparison of the 5.7L Hemi and 5.7L Hemi with eTorque by @SpeedyV!

Up for Comparison:

2019 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Big Horn / Lone Star edition, 5.7L Hemi, 2WD, 3.21
2019 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Big Horn / Lone Star edition, 5.7L Hemi eTorque, 2WD, 3.21*
*This truck had not even been PDI’d, as it arrived last night, so I had to wait a bit for them to remove some—but not all—of the plastic wrap. Even the dealer reps haven’t test-driven it yet!

Questions and Answers:

1. How does the off-the-line feel compare between standard and eTorque-equipped trucks?
To be honest, this was a mild disappointment. The 3.21 is a bit ‘lazy’ in both cases, but I think it revved more freely on the eTorque truck. It didn’t provide much of a seat-of-the-pants difference. On the plus side, there was certainly no lag, funny noises, or anything else detrimental to the eTorque driving experience. There was no downside to its operation.

2. What does the auto stop-start functionality feel like?

This was very encouraging. Like many of you, I generally find stop-start systems annoying and very noticeable. The Ram easily has the best stop-start implementation I’ve ever experienced. If the A/C is blasting, you would have no idea that the truck shut off. There’s little to no vibration at any point. And the system restarts fast. Sitting at the stop sign with the truck engine off, I gave the sales rep a warning and then punched it. The truck spun the rear tires while starting the engine. So that little motor certainly adds some torque! This alleviates any concerns about possibly needing to start the truck quickly to avoid an accident. With 3.92 gears, you may have to be careful not to spin the rear tires off the line, especially on a 2WD truck.

3. Is cylinder deactivation noticeable on the highway (due to extended 4-cylinder operation mode with eTorque)?
We were cruising at 60-70 mph on the highway for several miles, and there was no point at which we could perceive cylinder deactivation. The frame shakers are clearly doing their job.

4. Is there any perceivable difference in braking (due to regenerative braking capability on the eTorque-equipped truck)?

I did not notice this until the end of our test drive, when I was braking a little harder while turning into the dealer lot. At that point, it felt like I was braking a sports car. It inspired confidence. But again, I did not notice this while warming up the truck or while braking at speed, e.g. on the highway. So it was a positive experience.

Visual Evidence:

I believe these photos give us the best look yet at the serpentine belt and tensioner geometry. We also reached under the rear seatbacks to determine where the battery compartment is, but it is a tight fit and I didn’t go as far as to remove the rear seats to reach it (although we thought about it).

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