Chrysler’s Ram brand made several product announcements at the State Fair of Texas today, including the expansion of availability of the RamBox, the Express trim level, and the addition of a new 1500 Heavy Duty trim.
The first announcement involves RamBox, the brand’s clever dual storage bins that run the length of the truck bed. The RamBox is lockable, waterproof, and can even be ordered with mounting racks to hold fishing gear or hunting rifles. While previously only offered on Ram trucks with five-foot, seven-inch-long beds, the RamBox will now be made available on trucks with six-foot, four-inch-long beds. That means the features becomes available on Ram 1500 regular and Quad cab models, as well as Ram 2500 and 3500 regular, Crew, and Quad cab trims -- or approximately 80 percent of all Ram trucks.
The company says that the new, longer RamBoxes are large enough to hold, “long-handled shovels, one-piece fishing rods and up to 140 beverage cans.”
Ram also has expanded the availability of its Express truck, a special model with a 5.7-liter, 390-horsepower Hemi V-8. The Express wears monochromatic paint, 20-inch wheels, and has options like fog lights, air conditioning, cruise control, and an upgraded sound system. Previously available only in regular cab configuration, the Ram 1500 Express will henceforth also be offered in Crew and Quad Cab configurations.
Pricing for the 2012 Ram 1500 Express starts at $23,080 (including destination) for a regular cab, $28,050 for a Quad Cab, and $30,210 for a Crew Cab model.
Finally, Ram is catering to buyers who need to tow or haul with the new Ram 1500 Tradesman Heavy Duty -- an uprated version of the existing Ram 1500 Tradesman. It is rated for a payload of up to 3100 pounds, a tow rating of 11,500 pounds, and a gross vehicle weight rating of 17,500 pounds -- all figures which top other half-ton pickups.
The Tradesman comes only with rear-wheel drive and an eight-foot bed. Power comes from a Heavy Duty version of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Upgrades to help the truck cope with the higher weight ratings include a strengthened frame, tougher wheel hubs, larger brakes, and a standard Class IV hitch with trailer wiring connectors. The Tradesmen HD goes on sale in spring 2012.