With a nearly, all-new, full-size Ram pickup waiting in the wings for the next model year, Dodge puts emphasis on customizing its flagship Ram pickup for '05. Standard versions remain the bulk of the Ram lineup in light, medium and heavy-duty iterations (code-named 1500, 2500 and 3500), with V6, V8, diesel and legendary HEMI power.
But where there's room for a blowout, one is sure to follow. This year, the top dog is the Ram SRT-10 Quad Cab, a vehicle Dodge describes as being "like a Viper with a pickup bed." One wouldn't make the cuts and turns of the Viper sports car when driving a pickup truck, even a tricked-out one. But fast is another story, with Dodge picking up a world speed record of more than 154 miles per hour as the world's fastest pickup truck for its '05 baby powered by an 8.3-liter, 500-horsepower V10. It's a badge of honor that backs up the feeling of an 18-wheeler bearing down on the vehicle ahead that's the face every Dodge Ram wears.
Once classified primarily as boy toys or workhorses, Dodge has noticed a distinct trend emerging as discerning women buyers opt for pickups as girl toys, or just practical transportation instead of a car. Currently, about 17 percent of Dodge pickup buyers are women, a percentage expected to continue increasing. (Certainly the VRT-10 Quad Cab has caught some of their attention.)
On the practical side, HEMI power is the choice of increasing numbers of buyers who find it a perfect balance between gutsy performance, with solid off-road or mud-running capability, and a talent for seamlessly shutting down unneeded cylinders at cruising speed for improved fuel economy. That's an additional factor Dodge thinks appeals to budget-conscious women.
Oversized wheels, a solid work-to-play ethic, and four-wheel availability balance a nice, truly comfy interior with a new Quad Cab sun roof, available SIRIUS Satellite radio and UConnect, hands-free Bluetooth cellular operation. Prices run the gamut from mid-20s entry to more than double for top powerhouse performance. But have no fear; Dodge isn't ignoring some cost-cutting competitors when making its deals in the waning days of the 2005 model year.