Schmoozing with the Mopar crew
by Gary Grant
This year’s CIAS began in style with the annual Chrysler media dinner, during which the 2009 Dodge Ram made it’s Canadian debut. It was pretty cool watching Chrysler’s VP of Ralph Gilles (who also happens to be Canadian) describe the process that went into developing the new Ram. Hearing that they worked with existing truck owners to learn what they want was encouraging, as is the fact that Gilles seems truly excited about the finished product. A quick glance around the interior showed lots of neat, functional features that will be appreciated here in The Garage. The truck on display was a base model, but you would never know it from the quality of materials used on the inside.
Power comes from the 5.7 liter HEMI V-8 that has been bumped to 380 horsepower & 404 lb-ft of torque, while somehow managing a 4 percent improvement in fuel economy. Other available power plants include a 310 hp 4.7 liter V-8 and a 215 hp 3.7 liter V-6. Later on in 2009, the Ram will be available with a light duty diesel and dual mode hybrid models.
Chrysler has been getting really good at creating storage space and to this end they’ve outdone themselves with the 2009 Ram. There are a pair of “store in the floor” bins, with removable liners that are large enough to hold ten beverages and enough ice to keep them cold. 10 isn’t enough? No worries, as bed has the cool new RamBox cargo management system. These dual fender side storage bins are weather proof, lockable, illuminated and drainable. Oh yes, and each one is big enough to hold 5 cases of beer. In cans of course!
The 2009 Dodge Ram could be just the vehicle for hosting the ultimate tailgate party!