The all-new, 2019 RAM 1500 pickup that bowed at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week promises to be the toughest, most smartly engineered light-duty pickup ever to wear the badge, and one area in particular in which it excels is its structure. RAM says the all-new truck rides on the strongest frame ever made for the 1500, even while the total weight of the vehicle has dropped by around 225 pounds.
Of that 225-pound reduction, about 100 pounds were dropped just from the frame. The new RAM 1500 frame is made up of 98% high-strength steel, which helped lop off the weight even while rigidity was improved substantially. The new truck ought to prove effective in a crash, too, as engineers deployed exclusive “splayed and tapered frame rail” technology to improve energy absorption in “all impact modes,” according to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Safety in a front-offset crash – one of the more notoriously difficult crash modes to protect against – is aided by high-strength steel tire blockers mounted to the frame that push the front wheels outward in such an impact.
Another 100 pounds were shed in the body structure, the core of which is composed of 54% high-strength steel. That’s despite the all-new, 2019 RAM 1500 now offering “the most spacious cab in the segment,” according to FCA, with four inches of extra length overall and twice the cabin storage space of the competition.
Ford’s switch to an aluminum alloy body for the 2015 F-150 was a game changer, allowing the full-size truck to shed approximately 700 pounds of weight between model years. But not all truck customers want an aluminum-bodied truck, and with its clever use of advanced, high-strength steel, RAM is proving that it’s possible to reduce weight without making the switch.