The next-generation Ram 1500 will not follow in the footsteps of the current Ford F-150 and will have steel body panels rather than aluminum, Automotive News reports.
Ford sought to make its hot-selling F-150 lighter and more fuel efficient with aluminum, however Ram is sticking to the usual steel script for its new model, which is scheduled to begin production on January 28th, 2018.
The styling of those steel body panels is said to be most evolutionary. The new Ram will retain its raised hood and chrome grille, AN says, but will also have smaller, more neatly integrated headlights, smaller taillamps and tailgate-mounted reverse lights.
While Fiat Chrysler won’t chase fuel economy with a lighter body, the next-gen Ram will have more efficient engine options. The automaker’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will return but with direct injection and a turbocharged version of the six-cylinder will also be available. It’s safe to assume the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine will make a return as well, albeit in an updated form.
Suppliers told AN FCA is focused on keeping the launch of the new Ram on schedule. Pre-production prototypes for the new truck were going to be built at FCA’s Sterling Heights plant in October 2017, but those plans have now been pushed back until January 2018. Despite this setback, a supplier source said FCA “seems to be working to keep (the new Ram) on time.”