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2002 Ram Information from DC's Press Release
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Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 18:49:30 -0800
From: colby@nni.com

Just like its predecessor, the all-new 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 bursts onto the truck scene with a bold new look and a stunning package of attributes that sets it apart from the rest of the pack. In addition to a design that amplifies the now famous Ram look, the 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 also offers two new Magnum engines, a new automatic transmission, and a host of customer convenience features. An all-new Quad Cab model boasts four standard doors, while regular- and extended-cab models are considerably larger than their predecessors, putting the Dodge Ram family once again at the head of its class.

It also signals the start of a Dodge Ram renaissance, as all new versions of the heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 models will follow for the 2003 model year.

"We created a phenomenon eight years ago with the 1994 Ram when we introduced the now-famous 'big rig' styling along with the best total package of features in the full-size market," said Jim Julow, Vice President, Dodge Global Brand Center. "With the all-new 2002 Ram 1500, we amplified the 'Ram Package' in every conceivable way, making it more comfortable, roomier, quieter and more user-friendly. We did all this while improving power and capability, two hallmarks of Ram since its distinctive redesign eight years ago."

When the current-generation Ram was being designed in the early 1990s, it was facing a marketplace of well-established full-size pickups. Selling only about 70,000 units a year, Ram was a small, if not insignificant player. In order to make any noise in the market, Dodge needed to offer something different. From that need, the original 'Ram Package' was born. Combining bold styling, a wide range of powerful engines, best-in-class ride and handling, and unmatched interior roominess and convenience, this new package made Ram an instant hit. First year sales were over 200,000 units. By the time the Club Cab model was in full production a couple years later, Ram sales reached 350,000 units a year. A true phenomenon was born and Ram arguably became the most successful vehicle introduction of the 1990s -- and the best-selling product in the Chrysler Group lineup.

"We knew we had something special with the 1994 Ram, but even we didn't expect the overwhelming customer acceptance to come so quickly," said Rich Schaum, Executive Vice President, Product Development. "True to our design tradition, we broke new ground by designing a truck that was vastly different from our competitors from an exterior design perspective. But the '94 Ram wasn't just about bold, over-the-road exterior styling. It offered the most powerful lineup of engines, ride and handling to rival some sedans and interior features that had - up to that point - been reserved strictly for cars. It was no ordinary pickup."

All-New Design Takes "The Ram Package" One Step Further

In designing the 2002 Dodge Ram, no part of the truck was left untouched, from its signature exterior design to its best-in-class interior packaging or powertrain. The result is a new truck from top to bottom that is more fuel efficient, quieter, handles better and delivers even more comfort and convenience. The new Ram's features are plentiful:

Bold Design is 100 Percent Ram

Perhaps no other truck in the past 25 years became so easily and immediately recognizable as the 1994-2001 Dodge Ram. It became a design that was often followed but never matched. The essence of the truck was its massive horsecollar grille, reminiscent of over-the-road haulers.

In keeping with the amplification of every feature on the new truck, the grille is bolder and - believe it or not - even bigger. Each of the models in the Ram lineup - ST, SLT, Sport and SLT+ - gets a unique interpretation of this design element which has become the 'signature' for the Dodge brand. From the chrome grille with gray honeycomb center on the Ram SLT to the body-colored grille with the new chrome billet-bar center on the Sport, there is a different statement to match the nature of each model, while keeping true to the overall Dodge theme of bold, powerful and capable.

From the grille rearward, the robust nature of the truck continues with the broad, sloping hood and fender combination that is so recognizably Ram. A more pronounced crown to the hood drops dramatically to the sculpted front fenders. The windshield slopes much more than the previous model, enhancing the truck's strong stance, while aiding in aerodynamics and wind and water management. The compound curvature of the windshield flows easily into the door surface. The doors overlap the pillar, completely eliminating the cut line and smoothly transitioning from the front of the cab to the side.

While further establishing Ram as the boldest looking truck in the segment, virtually every change made to the exterior design for 2002 helped improve aerodynamics, functionality and/or cooling. An integrated air dam aids in engine cooling and air conditioning condenser airflow. Extended edges on the door frames are tapered to aid in air flow and reduce wind noise while channeling water over the roof rather than around to the side windows. The dual-lamp headlights offer a more striking design while performing noticeably better than the previous lights.

New Magnum Engine and Transmission Choices Add Power and Capability

Well-known for its wide range of powerful Magnum engines, the 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 gets two new, more powerful and efficient engines and an all-new transmission. The all-new 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 engine replaces the 3.9-liter V-6. While smaller in displacement, the new V-6 is more powerful and delivers better gas mileage. It produces 210 horsepower, compared to 175 horsepower with the 3.9-liter engine. The 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 replaces the 5.2-liter V-8. Like the new Magnum V-6, it delivers more peak power and fuel economy. Horsepower is increased to 235 on the 4.7-liter engine from 230 on the 5.2-liter engine.

When mated to the 45RFE automatic transmission (new for Ram), these new engine choices offer a whole new level of quietness and responsiveness. The 45RFE is the only transmission in its class with the reverse gear ratio equal to the low gear ratio. It also features a unique alternate second gear ratio for use in difficult towing and grade climbing situations.

A third engine choice, the 245-horsepower, 5.9-liter Magnum V-8 returns on the 2002 Ram to give buyers a wide range of powerful engine options.

Along with the increased power and fuel efficiency comes better towing and payload. Maximum towing on the Quad Cab improves to 8,350 pounds from 7,650. Maximum towing on the Regular Cab is now 8,660 pounds, up from 7,950 pounds on its predecessor. Payload on the Quad Cab improves from 1,567 pounds to 1,750 pounds. Both the Gross Combined Weight (GCW) and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) increase on Regular Cab and Quad Cab.

Cab Design Maximizes Capability and Customer Comfort

Two Dodge Ram cab choices will be available for 2002: Regular Cab and Quad Cab. Both models feature larger cabs and offer improved head, shoulder, leg and hip room.

Like the current Ram Quad Cab, the all-new model strikes the balance between interior functionality and exterior capability. Only with the 2002 Ram Quad Cab, this balance is taken to a new and exciting extreme. The all-new Quad Cab features four conventional doors and a larger, more comfortable cab. However, it remains essentially the same length as the previous model, which keeps it easy to maneuver and put in the garage. This was done by taking three inches out of the bed length (from 6'6" to 6'3") and adding it to the rear of the cab. This creates a larger rear seating area with improved leg and hip room but doesn't reduce payload capacity.

The 2002 Ram Quad Cab's doors are front-hinged, all with inside and outside handles to improve entry and exit. The rear doors open 85 degrees and the windows go down all the way.

In addition to the increased seating room and comfort, the rear of Ram Quad Cab features a host of storage compartments and conveniences. The rear seats feature an optional 60/40 split to accommodate passengers and cargo together. The seat cushions fold up to create a tall storage area from floor to ceiling. An optional steel section under the rear seats can fold open to form a flat load floor, with ample additional storage in the footwells.

"The increased cab size is as much about seating comfort as it is storage," Julow said. "With the 60/40 folding seat, you have the option of carrying passengers and gear in the back at the same time. By allowing the seats to fold up, tools and other items can be securely locked away on a job site."

The Ram Regular Cab is the largest in the segment, with the cab size having been increased more than three inches for 2002. This not only aids in rear storage behind the seats but also allows for improved seat travel and ease in reclining for driver and passengers.

Both the Quad Cab and Regular Cab feature improved front seat storage and convenience features. The 40/20/40 front seat provides for comfortable seating for three people or ample center storage for one or two occupants. The popular center "business console" still can hold a laptop, and now features fold-down dividers. The center "20" portion of the seat offers under-cushion storage. Optional power adjustable brake and accelerator pedals help shorter drivers feel more comfortable.

The all-new instrument panel features bright white gauges and a modern, ergonomic design built with convenience and style in mind. There are two power points - in the instrument panel and the storage console (on SLT and SLT+ models) - and an optional dual-zone climate control system. On four-wheel drive models, an available electronic shift transfer case dial is mounted on the instrument panel. Heated leather seats are available the SLT+ model.

Suspension and Steering System Maximizes Comfort and Control

With the current Ram regarded as best in the full-size class for ride and handling, Dodge Truck engineers set and achieved functional targets beyond current pickups on the 2002 Ram 1500. Using some of the top luxury sedans as the standard-bearers, they developed an even better balance of ride, handling, brake performance and quietness than the current Ram.

"While we were very happy with the overall suspension and steering setup on the 2001 Ram, we knew there was an opportunity to distance ourselves even further from our competition by honing steering feel, ride comfort and driver control," said Frank Klegon, Vice President, Dodge Truck Engineering. "We have delivered an integrated handling package that is even more durable, more responsive and more comfortable. And for four-wheel drive models, our system handles rough roads efficiently and comfortably whether the bed is empty or full."

Rack and pinion steering on both the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive Ram models provides a precise and firm steering feel. The system is not only lighter in weight but is more durable than a conventional recirculating ball steering system. Steering ratios have been recalibrated on all models, helping maneuverability and turning ease.

A new torsion bar independent front suspension on four-wheel drive models improves ride quality and quietness. For extreme conditions, ground clearance is a comfortable 9.5 inches, while suspension travel improves to 8.5 inches from 8 inches on the 2001 Ram. The rear suspension continues to use leaf springs, but the springs are lengthened by three inches to reduce wheel hop and improve durability.

An all-new braking system, featuring the largest four-wheel disc brakes in the segment, is designed to be best-in-class. The new system improves stopping ability and reacts to driver input quicker and more precisely. Rear-wheel anti-lock brakes remain standard on all models. Four-wheel ABS is an option.

The standard P245/70R17 tires with steel 17-inch wheels is the largest standard tire and wheel combination in the segment. In addition to the numerous other wheel and tire options are the massive P275/55R20 tires with 20-inch polished cast aluminum wheels.

New Ram 1500 is Just Part of Ram Truck Renaissance

The 2002 Ram 1500 will be available in two cab choices - Regular and Quad Cab - and both 2WD and 4WD. The base model is the ST, with Sport, SLT and SLT+ packages available. Production will begin on the 2002 Ram 1500 in the summer of 2001 at Chrysler Group's Dodge City - Warren Truck (Warren, Mich.); St. Louis North (Missouri) and Saltillo (Mexico) Assembly Plants. Production of the current 2500 and 3500 models will continue for one more model year. All-new versions of the 2500 and 3500 will be introduced for the 2003 model year.