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Ram: transmission, towing changes

by David Zatz on

Last night, Ram engineers chatted with owners at the Dodge-owned site Ramzone.com. They were not able to discuss much in the way of upcoming technologies or features, deflecting questions about eight-speed automatics, direct injection, 392 Hemis, etc.

Two key notes for the 2012 model year were released:

  • SAE standards for trailer towing requirements will be adopted by all automakers; an engineer wrote, “Most of our products would rate significantly higher if sold by other manufacturers.” Testing under the new standards has just begun, so ratings are likely to change.
  • The current five-speed automatic has six forward speeds; for 2012 Rams, it will be renamed as a six speed. Currently, “All gears are used in ERS [Ram’s version of AutoStick] and under normal driving conditions under certain driver inputs.”

Engineer Mike wrote that the traction control system should be left in place whenever possible, as wheel spin can damage components by overspeeding the driveline.

MDS works when the engine is hot and running between 1000 and 3000 rpm, whenever the torque required can be met with 4 cylinders.

They confirmed that the 2011 Ram HEV was dropped, though 140 Ram plugin hybrids are still going to be created for a three-year demonstration project.

They would not discuss diesel plans, but asked on more than one occasion how much people would pay for one.

(Thanks, Ram and Mike LAlouette)

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