Ram 1500 Revolution brings muscle automotive vitality — and tons of gimmicks — to EV truck race

Tesla has excessive hopes for the Cybertruck — if it will possibly ever get it out the door. You’ve in all probability seen a Rivian or a Ford F-150 Lightning on the highway by now. The Chevy Silverado EV will go on sale later this 12 months. But if the creed you reside by is “Mopar or no car,” you’ll have been questioning, what does Ram have able to deploy on this upcoming electrical truck arms race? 

At CES 2023, we lastly discover out. Stellantis’ truck model unveiled the totally electrical Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept, which goals to deliver all of the muscle-car vitality that Mopar followers anticipate when a model of it goes into manufacturing in 2024. That manufacturing model will get an official reveal within the subsequent few months. 

More than that, the design of the “Ram Rev,” because it’s being referred to as, previews a complete technology of electrical and electrified Ram vans popping out within the subsequent few years. 

Image: Stellantis

While Ram has ceded loads of headlines to rivals who’ve made waves with EV pickup debuts, Ralph Gilles, chief design officer for a number of of Stellantis’ manufacturers, pushed again on the concept that Ram is late to something. 

Gilles mentioned the aim was to construct an idea filled with “almost every idea we’ve had” from a group that used Post-it notes caught on a wall throughout brain-storming periods. And it was additionally to preview a truck that Ram is dubbing “the leader in all the areas customers care about the most,” together with electrical vary, towing, payload, and cost time. Ram isn’t giving out arduous numbers round most of these specs, however with pickup vans set to be the following nice frontier for EVs, it’ll want spectacular figures to be a high competitor. Gilles says it’ll ship.

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

It’s not simply Ram that’s following rivals into the EV race. The identical might be mentioned of its guardian firm Stellantis, née Fiat Chrysler, which for years ran on a smattering of electrified merchandise just like the Jeep Wrangler 4xe and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. 

Image: Stellantis

That’s starting to alter — and shortly. Stellantis confirmed off an aggressive EV plan in 2021. Last 12 months, it unveiled the Charger Daytona and two electrical Jeeps — to be joined by two extra by 2025. Additionally, at CES this 12 months, Stellantis confirmed off Chrysler’s Synthesis cockpit idea, which is claimed to preview our automated, screen-filled future as that American model goes all-EV by 2028. It appears that lastly, the deeply worldwide firm is getting severe about electrification throughout its 14 manufacturers. 

A muscle truck from the close to future

Until the manufacturing truck drops, Ram followers who’re contemplating parting methods with gasoline have an idea that’s putting to take a look at. 

With a low roofline relative to the truck mattress and aggressive LED lighting up entrance and out again (full with very lit-up “RAM” tuning-fork logos), the idea is a bit bolder and extra experimental in design than direct rivals from Ford and GM; it’s extra Rivian than F-150 Lightning. It additionally has a full-glass roof with electro-chromatic panels that darken on command. 

The Ram Revolution appears to be like and appears like a truck companion to the Dodge Charger Daytona EV idea that debuted just a few months in the past. And like that electrical muscle automotive’s synthetic wail to simulate engine noise — Dodge apparently determined it’s simply not the identical if the automotive doesn’t get up your complete neighborhood upon even a modest software of throttle — the Ram idea goes heavy on devices and particular options.

Here, although, a lot of them assist in towing, hauling, parking, or simply impressing passengers. The idea encompasses a pass-through midgate — bear in mind the outdated Chevy Avalanche? It’s a characteristic beloved by many truck house owners however nonetheless not a standard one, though extra EVs like the electrical Silverado and GMC Sierra are going that route. That helps with accommodating large objects for storage and hauling, as does the Ram Rev’s frunk, which incorporates hooks for groceries, energy shops and storage equipment. 

The midgate additionally has third-row leap seats that may exist barely outdoors the car, although they’re not fairly as in-the-bed as a Subaru BRAT. Safety guidelines have modified loads since 1978. 

Image: Stellantis

Then there’s Shadow Mode, which lets the truck observe the driving force strolling forward of it. “This voice-activated feature can be useful in situations where the driver needs to move a short distance and doesn’t want to get back in the truck, such as when picking up tools or equipment from a job site,” Ram mentioned in an announcement. “The truck will follow the driver at a safe distance, using sensors and camera technology to navigate around obstacles.” 

Inside, there are virtually no buttons, as most features are relegated to a contact display. But that display will be eliminated and used as a standalone pill, and the EV’s packaging benefit permits the entire cabin to be 4 inches longer than a standard Ram 1500.

And in yet one more signal that automakers are getting severe about digital assistants and metaverse-style options — see additionally BMW’s entire CES keynote presentation and idea automotive — the Revolution additionally options an AI-powered voice assistant with a Ram-shaped 3D avatar that features because the truck’s “face.”

There’s extra, together with a retracting steering wheel when Level 3-plus autonomous driving is engaged; an exterior projector that performs films outdoors the truck; good residence changes from the infotainment system; and an “intelligent storage app” that makes use of augmented actuality to let drivers measure objects to ensure they’ll match within the truck. 

Specs unknown — for now

What we do know is that the Revolution is a correct body-on-frame truck that instantly integrates the battery pack and sends electrical energy to all 4 wheels. It additionally options four-wheel steering to ease lower-speed maneuvers like parking and towing. 

When it goes into manufacturing, the truck might want to deliver wide array numbers — something American drivers are obsessed with, particularly in non-urban areas the place vans dominate — together with when it has to tow one thing heavy. 

The competitors is heating up. Rivian’s Large battery pack will get round 300 miles, and the even bigger Max battery goals to place down round 400 miles. The F-150 Lightning at present affords as much as 320 miles of vary, and GM’s Silverado EV is claiming up to 400. With increasingly more EVs concentrating on 500 miles of vary or extra within the coming years, Ram’s ultimate manufacturing truck may swing for the fences. The automaker does say the Rev idea right here can add as much as 100 miles of vary in simply 10 minutes on an 800-volt DC quick charger.

Gilles mentioned the demand for EV vans stays nascent. A 2024 launch gave Ram the prospect to watch rivals and speak to its prospects about what they needed out of an all-electric truck from the makers of the 702-horsepower TRX. And Gilles mentioned this truck might be superior to even that in lots of respects.

“Being electric, it’ll put a TRX to shame in acceleration,” he mentioned. 

Gilles admits that Ram’s engineers and designers threw the kitchen sink at this idea, and plenty of of those options might be implausible for manufacturing obligation. But many others may see the sunshine of day ultimately, and Ram might be scouring for suggestions on what may ultimately make the lower.

“This is an open letter to our fanbase,” he mentioned. “The feedback we’re going to get is going to inform a lot of things we choose to keep.”

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