Dodge / Ram
by David Zatz (based on Ram materials)
With luxury trucks increasing in sales (and profits), an upgraded top-of-the-line Ram pickup is not surprising — unlike its new, crosshair-free grille, which seems to borrow from the 1968 Plymouth Barracuda but is actually based on a piece of furniture.
Dodge recently used A-body PlymouthBarracudas for gauge cluster inspiration.
The Ram Laramie Limited will appear as a 2015 model for Ram 1500, and as a 2016 for Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. It will replace the current Laramie Limited series, which starts at $49,320 for the rear wheel drive crew-cab and $52,575 for the 4x4 crew cab (Ram 1500), plus destination and minus rebates/offers. The current Ram 2500 Laramie Limited costs $53,195 for the crew cab and eight-foot box.
Engine information is still confidential, but all Ram 1500 Laramie Limiteds will have eight speed automatics, while the 2500 and 3500 will have six speed automatics. The 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited had a standard Hemi and $2,500 diesel, both with eight-speeds; the 2015 Ram 2500/3500 Laramie Limited gave a choice of two Hemi V8s and the Cummins diesel, with the 2500 having two Chrysler automatics and the 3500 (starting at $54,440) having an optional Aisin six-speed.
Bob Hegbloom, head of the Ram brand, said, “The new Laramie Limited trim is a perfect example of how Ram directly responds to customer input with the highest level of luxury available in pickups.”
The company referred to it as “a ‘black-tie’ luxury alternative to the popular southwestern-themed Laramie Longhorn edition pickup.”
Despite some rumors, there are no major new features other than comfort-and-appearance factors: the tailgate is the same, there are no flip-and-fold seats, and so on. Surrounding the grille is essentially unchanged sheet metal, with changes to various sub-assemblies. (Notable within the front bumper are sensors for front parking alerts, and perhaps, but not likely, a first — front cross path detection).
The new billet port grille is the most prominent exterior change; as with Rebel it drops the crosshair styling and adds bold RAM letters. The pickup also has a body-color front fascia with fog lamps and a matching, painted rear bumper. On 2500 and 3500, some paint colors come with chrome front and rear bumpers (these are also available as an optional package). The side profile also includes numerous chrome touches, standard wheel-to-wheel side steps, and the word “Limited” etched into the mrirors.
Quad headlamps have a bi-functional halogen projector system in a dark background. Fifteen amber LEDs illuminate park/turn/position lamps, with side markers made of three amber LEDs softened by a vertically ribbed inner lens.
Ram 1500 wheels are unique 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum designs, with polished surfaces accented by painted silver. Heavy Duty (Ram 2500/3500) models have simialr wheel but with six spokes. Both have wheel centers embossed with “RAM.”
The tailgate has a 20-inch-wide, bright chrome “RAM” badge with a new chrome accent strip on the base; the tail lamps have 15 red LEDs (as well as three for the side markers). Frosted inner lenses soften the glow.
Colors are black, silver metallic, pearl white, pearl red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic, and True Blue Pearl.
The Ram 1500 is due for a refresh in model-year 2016, so it’s possible that Rebel and Laramie Limited are partly design experiments. Ram 2500 and 3500 are due for a refresh one year afterward.
The mandatory all-black interior (including headliner and pillars) includes black Natura Plus premium leather seats with unique pinstripe stitching; Graystone leather piping rides the stitching peaks to relieve the blackness. As with the Longhorn, Laramie Limited has rear flap-closure seatback map pockets, with modern chrome Ram-lettered buckles.
The 2014 Ram 1500 and 2015 Ram 2500/3500 Laramie Limited also only had black interiors.
The Ram Laramie Limited’s new, deep, and double-decker center console is topped with a forgiving, French-stitched full-leather lid and Limited badge, covering USB, auxiliary, and 12-volt outlets; a new bin houses a cell phone/tablet holder, which can be concealed with a real tambour wood sliding door made of Black Argento. The silver pinstripe theme runs through the wood, which has a satin chrome handle.
The steering wheel is mainly leather-wrapped, with high gloss wood (with silver accents) on top; front and rear pillar handles are also wrapped in leather, with rollover Graystone stitching.
The Ram 1500 version has a knob shifter for the eight-speed automatic, made of machine-spun aluminum with knurled edges; the Ram 2500 and 3500 have traditional column shifters, with accented leather.
Ram Laramie Limited’s gauges are surrounded with knurled chrome rings, bearing a watch influence. The cluster has a unique modern font, with white accent lighting, and and the dashboard is topped by Graystone accent stitching with a dull-dark-silver glove box spear and pinstripe design.
As one would expect, the 8.4-inch Uconnect system is included, with standard navigation. Digital background screens were created for the high-class trim. The center stack is finished off with black metallic paint, Argento wood inlays, and large dull-dark-silver bezels.
The front and rear door trim is layered in high grade leather and high-gloss wood, while arm-rest uppers are accented with matched French stitching and pinstripe stitching. Remote LED lighting is provided at the inside door handles, while a full-length light illuminates the truck’s lower map pockets, front and rear. Soft footwell lighting is also included.
Floor mats are solid black Berger carpet, held in place by snaps; when the carpet is removed, a rubber slush/mud mat remains in place. The carpet continues the silver-lined theme. Brushed silver door-sill plates resist scuffs.
Ram Laramie Limited also is equipped with air suspension (1500 only), wheel-to-wheel side steps, navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, power adjustable pedals with memory, heated steering wheel, front ventilated and heated seats, heated rear seats and RamBox (Heavy Duty, 6-foot, 4-inch bed only).
The Laramie Limited trim will be available in Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 single- and dual-rear-wheel; Crew Cab and Mega Cab (Heavy Duty); four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; and short- and long-wheelbase models.
The Ram 1500 Laramie Limited luxury trim will be available in the second quarter of 2015 as a 2015 model. The Ram Laramie Limited 2500 and 3500 will be available in the third quarter as a 2016 model.
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