LOS ANGELES, California — We’re at the Smog Shoppe on La Cienega Boulevard to check out a 2019 Ram 1500 Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 and Ram 1500 Rebel facing-off in the courtyard of the former shop turned event space.
Ryan Nagode, Ram chief designer, took us around the pickups and showed us some of the truck’s best new features over lunch.
“We changed 99 percent of the interior,” said Nagode as he points out the new interlocking shapes of the cabin.
Sitting inside the Longhorn, its new seats feel cushy, there’s a flat load floor, dual-pane sunroof, a 12-inch touchscreen, and plenty of storage space—even hidden space under the seats.
The black 4×4 has alligator skin embossed that covers the center console and seats with a wood-burned “Longhorn” branding mark on the glove box.
It’s all pretty posh for a pickup and Nagode tells us about the storage, functions, and technology that went into the redesign. There’s five USB and an AUX port in the center console, which can even hold a 15-inch laptop.
Under the hood, the 1500 crew-cab packs a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. It’s also available with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Both will feature an eTorque mild hybrid system and are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. A motor generator unit adds 16 hp on the V-8 and 12 hp on the V-6 we are told.
The fifth-generation Ram is available in six trim levels—Limited, Longhorn, Laramie, Rebel, Big Horn, and Tradesman.
Nagode said that each trim’s interior was based on hammers and showed us some revealing PowerPoint slides of Ram’s ideal customers.
For instance, Tradesman gets a big one that looks like a workingman’s Thor hammer. It’s made for construction workers who use a pickup for work. He has tools, ladders, carries lots of stuff, and wears a helmet.
Judging from the images shown to us, the Laramie gets a hammer with a pick and its made for young families with two kids and a puppy. Mom likes to ride horses and dad could be a tech bro.
Bighorn interiors are based on a more basic and traditional hammer made for a home improvement couple. They are young and like to flip houses we guess.
Now the Longhorn is my favorite—it’s an old bronze pick hammer with a wood handle—the kind a miner like Stinky Pete would own. The photo that accompanies it shows an old timer teaching his grandkid how to use a lasso.
For the Rebel, that interior trim features a rounded mechanic’s hammer and its owners are the kind that ride dirt bikes, use flashlights, and like to take stuff apart.
Ram Limited gets a hardcore hammer with a stylish black handle. Its owner wears three-piece suits even though he probably has a cowboy’s heart. Sleek, black leather belts with fine stitching and a silver buckle inspire its interior.
“The 2019 Ram interiors blow away most luxury car’s interiors,” FCA’s Scott Brown tells us.
They sure do. And we’re looking forward to spending more time hammering them out on the trail.