Specialty Dodge Ram pickup trucks, 2003-2005
Dodge Ram Daytona
Dodge brought the historic Daytona nameplate to the Dodge Ram with a limited-edition 2005 Dodge Ram Daytona. The primary changes from the standard Hemi Ram were 20-inch chrome wheels, a unique paint job, an 11 inch rear spoiler, hood scoop, rear side-exiting twin chrome tips from the Borla® exhaust, and body-colored grille and tail lamp guards. The truck was sold in Go ManGo! and Silver Metallic; the exterior color was used on the dash center bezel, and each truck had a Shelbyesque numbered plaque on the dash. It was available in rear and four wheel drive, with regular and Quad Cab, always with the six foot bed. The Hemi had 345 horsepower, 375 lb-ft of torque, a five speed automatic, and 3.92:1 rear axle ratio. The price started at $32,000.
Contractor Special hybrid pickup
The Contractor Special was a Dodge Ram truck hybrid, but unlike the Durango hybrid, it had a small engine driving one set of wheels, and electrical generator powering the other set. Contractors would be able to use the generator as a standard A/C generator, saving some equipment and balancing the loss of space caused by the hybrid powertrain. It was projected to be available in calendar year 2004 with several engines, including at least one V-8.
The truck was switched from retail sale to fleet sale only, and we do not believe any were sold at all, due to problems with the hybrid system (which transmitted power-sharing information using the “through the road” method). Independent engineers were dubious about this method; Chrysler switched to a joint system with GM and BMW, which put electric motors into the automatic transmission, slashing minimal engineering and tooling expenses.
Military Ram HEV
Chrysler designed, built and tested a military version of the Ram HEV (hybrid-electric vehicle) for U.S. Army Tank Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM), based in Warren, Michigan, for the Commercially Based Tactical Truck (COMBATT) program.
The truck was a 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain that could be operated in electric-only mode. When parked, it could provide up to 20 kW of continuous electrical power to operate electrical equipment at remote sites. The generator on the Ram HEV was cleaner than conventional portable generators.