As Stellantis moves away from the traditional HEMI V8 and more towards electrification, there have been a number of questions surrounding the future of the RAM brand. Motor Authority had a chance to ask RAM CEO, Mike Koval, Jr. some important questions about the future of the RAM brand at the 2022 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). The RAM boss didn’t shy away from the questions either, giving us a better look at what is expected to come from the pickup truck manufacturer.
TRX AIN’T GOING ANYWHERE –
One of the biggest questions we have been asked is with the passing of the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI HELLCAT V8 in 2024, what will happen to the Ram 1500 TRX performance off-roader? Motor Authority pressed the question if the TRX would die after the 2023 model year. Koval simply replied “No”.
According to the RAM CEO, TRX will live beyond the 2023 model year but exist in its current form. Now our sources have told us that the HEMI HELLCAT V8 will in fact live to at least see the 2024 model year in the Ram 1500. That is when the mid-cycle-action (MCA) is scheduled to happen for the current fifth-generation (DT) half-ton. However, it would mean that the HEMI HELLCAT V8 would be exclusive to Ram 1500 at that point.
There have been rumors dating back several years, relating to another HEMI V8 engine (a 7.0-liter) which was rumored to be discontinued, as well as, the possibility of the TRX adopting the all-new twin-turbocharged “Hurricane” inline-six-cylinder engines. Koval, didn’t say anything regarding future powertrain possibility for the TRX.
NO TURBO FOUR-CYLINDER, BUT RANGE-EXTENDER & ELECTRIC MODELS COMING –
When asked about the future of electrification for the Ram 1500, Koval did confirm that RAM will offer both an electric and range-extended gas version of its Ram 1500 to the public. However, he did keep quiet about the details of the “Range Electric Paradigm Breaker (REPB)” as RAM calls it.
He did state that the new REPB will “have everything a BEV does, but more,” referencing its capability and range. Range continues to be a strong concern for customers and the REPB version will address that head-on. Koval did not tell Motor Authority if the REPB version will be set on the STLA Frame architecture or will share the current DT architecture.
The STLA Frame architecture, ultimately, is what currently sits beneath the all-new Wagoneer with a few subtle changes, and is based on the DT architecture.
The Ram 1500 BEV Concept slated for later this year, will simply be a “vision” of what the 1500 BEV can be. Koval told Motor Authority that the Ram 1500 BEV’s design has not been locked in or finalized yet.
When pressed about the possibility of the “GME-T4” turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine making its way under the hood of a future Ram 1500, Koval stated “No” in response. However, we expect the “Hurricane” GME-T6 engine to make an appearance under the hood of the MCA 2024 Ram 1500 gasoline model.
HEAVY-DUTY GOING ELECTRIC? –
During its EV Day 2021 presentation, Stellantis said that the future of the Ram Heavy Duty lineup will be electrified. Koval seems to have confirmed that, in his interview with Motor Authority. However, don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. The current fourth-generation Ram Heavy Duty will receive several new updates for 2023, allowing the truck to at least continue production in its current state till 2028.
Koval explained that the possibility of an electrified Heavy Duty pickup could take place in the 2030s, however, he expects that timeline to be pulled forward dramatically.
Another interesting point, dropped by Stellantis during the EV Day 2021 presentation was the possible use of hydrogen fuel cells for the Heavy Duty pickup segment. Koval seemed to confirm that as he told Motor Authority he believes hydrogen fuel cells could be an interesting solution for both Heavy Duty pickup and Chassis Cab customers. He stated that RAM is looking at the possibilities, however, nothing has been decided on as of yet.
WHEN WILL INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES STOP PRODUCTION? –
In a surprising last question, Motor Authority questioned Koval about if there is a specific end date for internal combustion engines (ICE) for the RAM lineup. He simply responded “No”, ultimately telling us that RAM will continue to build pickups and chassis cabs free from range anxiety for a while at least.
Source: Motor Authority