NEW FOR 2008:

– Revised 4.7-litre flexible-fuel V8 with electronic throttle control
– Available 6.7-litre Cummins turbo diesel replaces 5.9-litre Cummins turbo diesel
– SXT model includes cloth-faced seats, keyless entry, power windows and locks
– 1500 SLT with enhanced content, including 20-inch aluminum wheels on select models
– Sport Appearance Group and TRX4 Off-Road Group are now stand-alone options
– Electronic transfer case now standard on SLT and Mega Cab SXT 4×4 models
– Trailer sway control added to available electronic stability program on 1500 Regular Cab and Quad Cab
– Standard tire pressure monitoring system on 1500 and 2500
– Standard 9,600-km maintenance schedule alert for gasoline engines
– New exterior colours: Detonator Yellow and Sunburst Orange Pearl for select 1500 Quad Cab short-box models
– SIRIUS satellite radio standard on SLT and Laramie
– Dark Maple Burl woodgrain trim replaces Maple on all Laramie models
– Passenger side airbag switch removed on 1500 Regular Cab models
– 1500 ST models get Dark Grey front and rear bumper and grille, and black wheel centre caps

For 2008, the full-size Dodge Ram pickup adds several enhancements, including a revised 4.7-litre V8 that increases horsepower to 310, from 235 hp in 2007, and torque to 330 lb-ft, up from 300. The new available 6.7-litre Cummins diesel produces 350 hp to the 325 hp of the 5.9-litre available in 2007, while torque jumps to 650 lb-ft at 1500 rpm from 610 lb-ft at 1600 rpm.

The Ram is available as the 1500 half-ton, 2500 three-quarter-ton and 3500 one-ton; also available is a 3500 chassis cab, and new for 2008, 4500 and 5500 heavy-duty chassis cabs for the Class 4 and 5 commercial market.

The 1500, 2500 and 3500 are available in three cab styles: Regular Cab, with short or long box; Quad Cab, with short or long box, and the Mega Cab, which the company says is the largest cab ever on a pickup, with short box. Both the Quad and Mega Cab models have four independently-opening doors. All cab styles are available in two- or four-wheel drive.

Depending on the model, engine choices are a 3.7-litre V6 with six-speed manual or four-speed automatic; 4.7-litre V8 with six-speed manual or five-speed automatic; 5.7-litre Hemi V8 with six-speed manual or five-speed automatic, also available with multi-cylinder displacement for improved fuel economy; and 6.7-litre Cummins turbo diesel inline six-cylinder with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

Trim lines are the ST (Regular and Quad), SXT (Regular, Quad and Mega), SLT (Regular, Quad and Mega), Power Wagon (Regular and Quad), and Laramie (Quad and Mega). Box lengths are 1.9 metres (6-foot-4) or 2.4 metres (8.0 feet).

Standard features on the ST include 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes with rear ABS, dark grey bumpers, manual locks, vinyl floor covering, manual mirrors, CD stereo with auxiliary jack, 40/20/40 split bench vinyl front seat, tilt column, removable tailgate, three-flash lane change signal, manual mirrors, fixed rear window and variable intermittent wipers.

The SXT adds 17-inch chrome-clad steel wheels, bright bumpers, power locks with keyless remote, carpet flooring with mats, power heated mirrors, 40/20/40 split bench front seat with YES Essentials stain-resistant fabric, and power windows. The SXT Mega Cab also adds SIRIUS satellite radio and cloth 60/40 split rear bench seat.

The SLT adds 17-inch polished aluminum wheels, fog lamps and sliding rear window.

The Power Wagon adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, anti-spin rear differential, 160-amp alternator, 750-amp battery, fog lamps, electronically-disconnecting front stabilizer bar, tow hooks, fixed rear window and front electric winch.

The Laramie builds on the SLT with 17-inch chrome-clad wheels, garage door opener, electronic stability program, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, power-adjustable pedals, remote starter, heated leather seats with six-way power adjustment, security alarm, and leather-wrapped wheel.

Part of the traditional trifecta, along with the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra and Ford F-Series, the Ram also faces the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan. Well-styled and powerful, the Ram holds its own, although its interior can border on gaudy in the highest trim lines; should you need to haul a crowd, the Mega Cab offers up almost living-room comfort with legroom for even the tallest rear-seat passengers.

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