Ram launches 1500 Laramie V8
RAM Trucks officially launched its range of 1500 Laramie premium dual cabs at a media event this week.
The 1500 is the shorter, lower and lighter version of its well-known heavy duty Laramie 2500. While the big 2500 is rated to tow 6.9T and features an enormous tub and cabin, the new 1500 features a maximum 4.5T tow capacity and slightly shorter tub (5'7"). It still features the same spacious cabin and most of the features which made the 2500 such an iconic and luxurious tow vehicle.
Ram Trucks is making no secret of its intention to target the lucrative dual cab market. Its tag line "Eats utes for breakfast" is pretty accurate when you consider the long list of features, impressive performance and its class leading tow capacity.
At this stage Ram is releasing the 1500 with a 5.7L V8 Hemi, with a diesel version expected later in the year. The powerful V8 features 291kW, 556nM of Torque and a 8-speed automatic Torqueflite transmission.
The 1500 features an eco mode for surprisingly good fuel consumption. Ram claims the 1500 delivers 9.9L/100km of consumption; not a bad result for such a heavy rig. Of course, the temptation to put your foot down and take advantage of the 1500's impressive power was far too great. Needless to say, the eco function didn't get much of a work out during my test drive!
I recently spent a week test driving the larger 2500 and was keen to see the difference between the two vehicles. The reduced tow capacity in the 1500 is still incredibly generous and would cover a large percentage of legally towable boats in Australia. Ram is also offering a 3.5T tow capacity version with a 3.21 axle ratio, compared to the 3.92 axle ratio on the 4.5T version. The option is there for those who don't require the extra large tow capacity.
The vehicle itself feels lower and more like a typical dual cab. That said, the cabin is still very spacious compared to any duel cab on the market, with generous front and rear seats and plenty of space all round. You still feel like you're driving a big American truck!
The 1500 also features a number of dedicated tow functions, which include Trailer Brake Control, Trailer Sway Control, and Ready Alert Braking.
Leaving performance and towing aside, another great feature is the optional Ram Box. This impressive option includes a lockable built-in box on either side of the tub with further options for rod or gun racks. You can also fill it with ice and beer for the weekend away camping. Or for the less adventurous, the boxes would make an ideal spot to carry shopping home.
Ram handed over the keys and allowed media to test drive the new range on and off the road between Bathurst and Oberon in the NSW Central West. The performance and handling of the 1500 was outstanding. While I'm no motoring expert, I have driven a good cross section of modern dual cabs and there's no doubt Ram's 1500 is a stand out on the road.
The 1500 also handled the off road with ease, however it's fairly obvious this isn't a vehicle designed for serious offroad use. The tyres fitted during the test drive also weren't ideally suited to serious offroading. That said, the Laramie 1500 is a great compromise between superior towing capacity, performance, luxury and off road driving credentials.
I can imagine a boat owner looking for a high end tow vehicle able to handle slippery boats ramps and dirt roads would find the 1500 very useful. Likewise, it's suited to anyone who lives in a rural area, works on a farm, or perhaps a tradie looking for the ultimate work vehicle and something special for the weekend.
The 1500 Laramie sits at the top of the dual cab market with a price tag to match. The Laramie starts at $99,950 plus on road costs. The optional Ram Box is an additional $5k, and well worth the cost.
For more info, check out ramtrucks.com.au and check out the video above to see the trucks in action during this week's test drive.