Breaking News

Ram 1500 Revolution brings muscle car energy — and tons of gimmicks — to EV truck races

Ram 1500 Revolution brings muscle car energy — and tons of gimmicks — to EV truck races

Tesla has high hopes for the Cybertruck — if it can ever get it out the door. You've probably seen a Rivian or a Ford F-150 Lightning on the road by now. The Chevy Silverado EV will go on sale later this year. But if the creed you live by is "Mopar or no car," you may have been wondering, what does Ram have ready to deploy in this upcoming electric truck arms race?

At CES 2023, we finally find out. Stellantis' truck brand unveiled the fully electric Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept, which aims to bring all the muscle-car energy that Mopar fans expect when a version of it goes into production in 2024. That production version will get an official reveal in the next few months.

More than that, the design of the "Ram Rev," as it's being called, previews an entire generation of electric and electrified Ram trucks coming out in the next few years.

While Ram has ceded plenty of headlines to competitors who have made waves with EV pickup debuts, Ralph Gilles, chief design officer for several of Stellantis' brands, pushed back on the idea that Ram is late to anything.

Gilles said the goal was to build a concept packed with "almost every idea we've had" from a team that used Post-it notes stuck on a wall during brain-storming sessions. And it was also to preview a truck that Ram is dubbing "the leader in all the areas customers care about the most," including electric range, towing, payload, and charge time. Ram isn't giving out hard numbers around most of those specs, but with pickup trucks set to be the next great frontier for EVs, it will need impressive figures to be a top competitor. Gilles says it will deliver.

"It's the difference between bringing a really good bottle of wine to a party or just crashing it late," Gilles said in an interview with The Verge. “We're looking at outperforming competitors in every aspect.”

It's not just Ram that's following competitors into the EV race. The same could be said of its parent company Stellantis, née Fiat Chrysler, which for years ran on a smattering of electrified products like the Jeep Wrangler 4xe and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

That's beginning to change — and quickly. Stellantis showed off an aggressive EV plan in 2021. Last year, it unveiled the Charger Daytona and two electric Jeeps — to be joined by two more by 2025. Additionally, at CES this year, Stellantis showed off Chrysler's Synthesis cockpit concept, which is said to preview our automated, screen-filled future as that American brand goes all-EV by 2028. It seems that finally, the deeply international company is getting serious about electrification across its 14 brands.

A muscle truck from the near future

Until the production truck drops, Ram fans who are considering parting ways with gasoline have a concept that's striking to look at.

With a low roofline relative to the truck bed and aggressive LED lighting up front and out back (complete with very lit-up "RAM" tuning-fork logos), the concept is a little bolder and more experimental in design than direct competitors from Ford. and GM; it's more Rivian than the F-150 Lightning. It also has a full-glass roof with electro-chromatic panels that darken on command.

The Ram Revolution looks and feels like a truck companion to the Dodge Charger Daytona EV concept that debuted a few months ago. And like that electric muscle car's artificial wail to simulate engine noise — Dodge apparently decided it's just not the same if the car doesn't wake up the entire neighborhood upon even a modest application of throttle — the Ram concept goes heavy on gadgets and special features .

Here, though, many of them aid in towing, hauling, parking, or simply impressing passengers. The concept features a pass-through midgate—remember the old Chevy Avalanche? It's a feature beloved by many truck owners but still not a common one, although more EVs like the electric Silverado and GMC Sierra are going that route. That helps with accommodating larger items for storage and hauling, as does the Ram Rev's frunk, which includes hooks for groceries, power outlets and storage accessories.

The midgate also has third-row jump seats that can exist slightly outside the vehicle, though they're not quite as in-the-bed as a Subaru BRAT. Safety rules have changed a lot since 1978.

Then there's Shadow Mode, which lets the truck follow the driver in front of it. "This voice-activated feature can be useful in situations where the driver needs to cover a short distance and does not want to return to the truck, such as to pick up tools or equipment from a job site," Ram said in a statement. for." , To give." While picking up." "The truck will follow the driver at a safe distance, using sensor and camera technology to navigate around obstacles."

Inside, there are almost no buttons, as most functions run on the touch screen. But that screen can be removed and used as a standalone tablet, and the EV's packaging advantage allows the entire cabin to be four inches longer than a conventional Ram 1500.

And in yet another sign that automakers are getting serious about virtual assistants and Metaverse-style features — see also BMW's entire CES keynote presentation and concept car — with a ram-shaped 3D avatar in Revolution There is also an AI-powered voice assistant that acts as the "face" of the truck.

There's more, including a retracting steering wheel when Level 3-Plus autonomous driving is engaged; an outdoor projector that plays movies on the outside of the truck; smart home adjustments from the infotainment system; and an "intelligent storage app" that uses augmented reality to let drivers measure items to make sure they'll fit in the truck.

specs unknown - for now

What we do know is that the Revolution is a proper body-on-frame truck that directly integrates the battery pack and sends electric power to all four wheels. It also features four-wheel steering to ease low-speed maneuvers such as parking and towing.

When it does go into production, the truck will need to bring in a lot of leeway — with some American drivers especially in non-urban areas dominated by trucks — including doing some heavy towing.

The competition is heating up. Rivian's larger battery pack has a range of about 300 miles, and the even larger max battery is about 400 miles. The F-150 Lightning currently offers 320 miles of range, and GM's Silverado EV is claiming up to 400. fence. Here, the automaker says the Rev Concept can add 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes on an 800-volt DC fast charger.

Gilles said the demand for EV trucks remains nascent. The 2024 release gives Ram a chance to inspect competitors and talk to its customers about what they want from a fully electric truck from the makers of the 702-horsepower TRX. And Giles said this truck will be even better than that in many ways.

"Being electric, it will put the TRX to shame in acceleration," he said.

Gilles acknowledges that Ram's engineers and designers threw the kitchen sink at this concept, and many of these features may have been impossible for production duty. But many others may eventually see the light of day, and the Rams may eventually make the cut but will be scrambling for responses.

"This is an open letter to our fans," he said. "The feedback we're going to get is going to inform a lot of the things we choose to keep."

1 comment: