As Stellantis moves away from the traditional HEMI V8 and moves more towards electrification, there are some questions about the RAM brand’s future. Motor Authority had the chance to appoint RAM CEO Mike Koval Jr. ask some key 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 idea of what is expected from the pickup manufacturer.
TRX DOES NOT GO EVERYWHERE –
One of the biggest questions we’ve 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 whether the TRX would die after the 2023 model year. Koval simply answered “No.”
According to the RAM CEO, TRX will live after 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 see the 2024 model year in the Ram 1500. That’s when the mid-cycle-action (MCA) is slated for the current fifth-generation (DT) half-ton. However, it would mean that the HEMI HELLCAT V8 would be a Ram 1500 exclusive at the time.
There have been rumors going back for years, regarding another HEMI V8 engine (a 7.0-litre) that was rumored to be discontinued, as well as the possibility that the TRX could run the all-new twin-turbo “Hurricane” would adopt inline. six-cylinder engines. Koval, said nothing about future powertrain options for the TRX.
NO TURBO FOUR CYLINDER BUT COMES RANGE-EXTENDER & ELECTRIC MODELS –
When asked about the future of electrification for the Ram 1500, Koval confirmed that RAM will offer both an electric and a larger gas version of its Ram 1500 to the public. However, he was silent on 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,” referring to its capacity and range. Reach remains a major concern for customers and the REPB version will address that immediately. Koval has not told Motor Authority whether the REPB version will be set to the STLA Frame architecture or share the current DT architecture.
The STLA Frame architecture is ultimately what is currently under the all-new Wagoneer, with a few subtle changes, and is based on the DT architecture.
The Ram 1500 BEV concept, scheduled for release later this year, will simply be a “vision” of what the 1500 BEV can be. Koval told Motor Authority that the design of the Ram 1500 BEV has not yet been committed or finalized.
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 replied “No.” However, we expect the “Hurricane” GME-T6 engine to make an appearance under the hood of the MCA 2024 Ram 1500 petrol model.
HEAVY WORK ELECTRIC? –
during his Presentation EV Day 2021, Stellantis said the future of the Ram Heavy Duty range will be electrified. Koval seems to have confirmed that in his interview with Motor Authority. However, don’t expect this to happen anytime soon. The current fourth-generation Ram Heavy Duty will receive several new updates for 2023, allowing the truck to continue to produce in its current state at least until 2028.
Koval explained that the possibility of an electrified Heavy Duty pickup could happen in the 2030s, but he expects that timeline to be brought forward drastically.
Another interesting point, made by Stellantis during the Presentation EV Day 2021 was the possible use of hydrogen fuel cells for the Heavy Duty pickup segment. Koval appeared to confirm that, when he told the Motor Authority, he believes hydrogen fuel cells could be an interesting solution for both Heavy Duty pickup and Chassis Cab customers. He states that RAM is looking at the possibilities, but that nothing has been decided yet.
WHEN WILL INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES STOP PRODUCTION? –
In a surprising final question, Motor Authority asked Koval if there is a specific end date for internal combustion engines (ICE) for the RAM range. He simply answered “No”, eventually telling us that RAM will at least continue building pickups and chassis cabs for a while without fear of range.
Source: Motor Authority