RAM’s 2018 F-150 competitor, the 1500, has arrived for Australian consumption, courtesy of America Special Vehicles, who handled the mid-size one-tonne pick-up’s re-engineering and right hand drive conversion with the blessings of Fiat Chrysler.
Priced from $79,950 driveaway, the range kicks off with the RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab 4x4, seen here in white, while those more saturated with coin can spend up to $104,450 for the more luxurious and better equipped RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4.
The slightly sportier Express - with its colour matched grille, bumpers, and trim - can be had in various configurations, both making use of its 1.94m rear tub and optionally fitted with the convenient RamBox integrated side storage. There is also a Black Pack that can be had for an extra $9,500 that adds plenty of dark cosmetic upgrades for a more menacing road presence and interior ambiance.
Meanwhile, the Laramie offers upgraded appointments as standard while also having to make due with a shorter 1.7m rear tub with or without the aforesaid RamBoxes on either side. This is due to the fact that the Laramie is defined as a Crew Cab, and as such cabin area is rated at 3.5 cubic metres versus the 3.3 on the Express, space that would otherwise translate to a larger tub.
The Express, again showing its colours as the better workhorse, has a payload capacity of 912kg over the Laramie’s 885kg. However, each comes with electric power steering and independent suspension all round.
Inside, the 1500 Express comes as standard with 20-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, six speakers, and a 5.0-inch uConnect 3 touchscreen infotainment system that, frankly, looks absolutely dwarfed within RAM’s XL sized dash. Step up to the Laramie, and a larger 8.4-inch touch panel is fitted and now supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Aside from this, the Laramie also receives a 10-speaker stereo, in-built sat-nav, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and climate control.
Powering each AU-spec RAM 1500 is a 5.7-litre naturally aspirated HEMI V8 petrol that develops 291kW at 5,600rpm and maximum torque of 556Nm at 3,950rpm. All-wheel drive means grips is distributed evenly between all four corners, reaching the driveline via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Thanks to an axle ratio of 3.92, both the 1500 Express and Laramie have a rated towing capacity of 4,500kg. However, customers can specify a smaller 3.21 ratio to improve fuel economy at the expense of a reduced towing capacity of 3,500kg. Either way, though, only expect that big V8 to return its quoted 9.9-litres/100km combined consumption figure if you’re exceptionally lucky.
- RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab - $79,950
- RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab with RamBox - $84,450
- RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab with Black Pack - $89,450
- RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab with Black Pack and RamBox - $93,950
- RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab - $99,950
- RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab with RamBox - $104,450