Despite its absence from Ram’s web site (in the Build & Price and economy sections), and misleading information temporarily posted to independent shopping sites, buyers can still order Ram 1500s with the Hemi and “TorqueFlite 8” automatic, according to a Ram spokesman.
One reader, searching for this combination at local dealers was told that it was no longer made by one salesman, and confirmed the statement by looking at a competitive-comparison site, which declared the combination dead as of mid-April 2013. However, a Ram spokesman disagreed, and said it was indeed available. We have also confirmed this with a local dealer, who said that ordering was open, but that customers needed to order relatively soon or miss the window to get a 2013, as the allocation window will be closing. Missing the current window could mean ordering a 2014 model-year Ram instead.
The eight-speed automatic is a feature unique to Ram trucks; competitive pickups top out at six speeds. The eight speed transmission is not superior so much due to the number of speeds, but because it has a much greater range from top to bottom gear, providing more “grunt” for towing and hauling in first gear, yet spinning the engine more slowly at highway speeds, for better fuel economy, engine life, and noise reduction. It also has an efficient torque converter and shifts extremely quickly compared with traditional automatics.
Ram 1500 V8 buyers can choose between the state of the art eight-speed or a more traditional 65RFE six-speed. One factory worker told us that around a third of Rams 1500s running in Warren have the Hemi/eight-speed setup.