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2011 Ram hybrid spotted on I-75

by David Zatz on

Ram dealer sign

A 2011 Ram 1500 pickup with a huge green “hybrid” logo was just spotted on I-75, with manufacturers’ plates. The reader who phoned it in reported that it had piping under the body for emissions testing, along with the flared exhaust used to collect engine exhaust for emissions testing; he believed it was not a mule but a production model (possibly a prototype).

The Ram 1500 pickup was black, with an 8 foot box and standard cab, moving towards the CTC at the Rochester Road exit towards CTC. The reader was in the exit lane (which is almost a half mile long before it seperates from I75, due to the volume of traffic in Troy) as the truck went by in the inboard left lane, he had a clear view of the right side and rear as it passed.

The “Hybrid” logo was around 8-9 inches long by 1.5-2 inches tall, larger than any of the GM hybrid logos; it was a chrome rectangle with polished green “Hybrid” lettering. This logo was placed under the RAM lettering on the right hand door. The rear had no markings other than the standard RAM badging for a 1/2 ton low line truck.

There was no mule type masking of the bodywork at all. It appeared production ready, except for the emission test plumbing that was under the car and the flared, Marmon clamp tip on the exhaust pipe for exhaust collection.

The reader provided his opinions:

IF this was indeed a test and certification vehicle, this sighting would indicate a 2011 or 2012 model introduction, due to the time it takes to emissions certify a vehicle. I doubt it would be a late 2010 introduction.

If the badge was correct, and not intended to throw off know-it-alls like me, I would expect Chrysler to use the existing two mode hybrid transmission, perhaps with additional tuning and setup for the v6 engine.

If a second tailpipe was not missing, the single exhaust I saw would indicate the use of the Pentastar v6, as opposed to the HEMI V8.

IF this was indeed a production intent vehicle…..I say BRAVO to Chrysler!! I would bet that the V6, combined with the hybrid 2 mode transmission, would deliver between 23-24mpg on the highway, unloaded, and not in the mountains of the east or west.

Just my opinions guys….don’t shoot the messenger!

While the Hemi V8 hybrid would be faster than a stock Hemi, and the computer would be able to keep the Hemi in four-cylinder mode far more often with the electric motors providing an assist, the Pentastar V6 has far better gas mileage alone, and is rumored to have been created with MDS (cylinder shutoff) in mind. A Pentastar-based hybrid might start out without MDS and add it later for higher efficiency.

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