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Ram 1500 ready to butt heads Down Under


Already the importers for the Ram 2500 and 3500 in Australia, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) approved Melbourne based Ateco Automotive has announced price and spec details for the smaller, Ford F150 rivalling 1500 pick-up.

Based on the previous generation model and not the all-new variant shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year due to excessive demand in its home market, the 1500 will be offered Down Under in Quad and Crew Cab specifications, and in two trim levels; Express and Laramie.

Unlike its bigger siblings and indeed intended rivals, the Ford Ranger Wildtrak, Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI and Mercedes-Benz X350d, the Ram 1500 will, for now, be offered with a petrol engine only, in this case, the 5.7-litre Hemi V8 developing 291kW/566Nm. The recently emissions cheating cleared 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6, known as the EcoDiesel in the United States and also powering the Jeep Grand Cherokee, will be added at a later stage.

Combined fuel consumption for the Hemi is a claimed 12.2-litres/100km with the Expressing getting a 98-litre fuel tank and the Laramie a bigger 121-litre unit.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox is entrusted with the sending the power to the rear or all four wheels, although the Laramie boasts a full-time four-wheel drive setup versus the Express’ part-time system. Regardless of which system though, both models come with a low range gearbox as standard.

Equipment-wise, the Express comes fitted with a five-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system incorporating Bluetooth and USB, a six-speaker sound system, 20-inch alloy wheels, cloth seats, rear parking sensors with a reverse camera, spray-on bin-liner, black side steps and a heavy duty tow bar. A Black Pack, which comes with black trim pieces and the so-called RamBox, consisting of two 240-litre storage areas integrated into the rear panels, are both optional.

The Laramie meanwhile sports chrome finishes on the side steps, bumpers and wheels, and also adds front parking sensors, climate control, leather seats with the fronts being heated and ventilated, heated steering wheel, keyless entry, rear vents, auto on/off wipers, heated rear seats and a bigger 8.4-inch UConnect system with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, USB, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Despite a recent report that FCA could be producing the Ram in-house with right-hand drive, no further mention has yet been made in spite of South Africa being mentioned as a possible market.

“We are the only factory-authorised right-hand drive manufacturer of RAM utes in the world and we are the only factory-authorised importer and distributor for Australia. With our class-leading capabilities, we’re going to shake up this segment,” Ram Trucks Australia General Manager, Alex Stewart, was quoted by as saying.

At present, versions of the Ram are imported to South Africa by Richards Bay based US Trucks Sales, although unlike Ateco, without the backing from FCA South Africa.



Ram 1500 5.7 Quad Cab Express $79 950 (R804 439)
Ram 1500 5.7 Quad Cab Express w/RamBox $84 450 (R849 717)
Ram 1500 5.7 Quad Cab Express Black $89 450 (R900 025)
Ram 1500 5.7 Quad Cab Express w/RamBox Black $93 950 (R945 303)
Ram 1500 5.7 Crew Cab Laramie $99 950 (R1 005 674)
Ram 1500 5.7 Crew Cab Laramie w/RamBox $104 450 (R1 050 952)

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