Chrysler LLC was thinking out of the box during development of its flagship Dodge Ram pickup for '09.
The vehicle not only features an upgraded 380-hp 5.7L Hemi V-8 — with a Cummins turbodiesel promised after 2009 and a 2-mode hybrid system scheduled for model-year '10 — it also boasts a segment-first coil-spring multi-link rear suspension, “get-out-of-the-way” styling and innovative storage options.
How innovative? The Rambox, a lockable cargo-management system built into the truck's bed rails, was deemed too expensive as an outsourced component, Vice Chairman and President Tom LaSorda tells Ward's.
“We couldn't get the margins,” he says. “So we build it in the plant.”
“The all-new '09 Dodge Ram doesn't just push the envelope in truck design — it shoves it aside and reinvents it,” says Ralph Gilles, vice president-Jeep/truck design studio. “We wanted to design a game-changer.”