An “eTorque” mild hybrid system using a 48-volt electric motor with a Pentastar V-6 engine will be standard on Ram’s improved 1500 pickup truck series for 2019. The new system will also be available with V-8-powered 1500-series pickups.
David Sowers, head of the Ram Brand at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said eTorque will include a battery pack behind the rear seats of Crew and Quad Cab versions of the 1500 series. The system will capture energy during braking and store it in the batteries, then add torque to the drivetrain when a truck launches – 90 lb-ft. with the V-6 and 130 lb-ft. with a V-8.
“The extra torque really helps when starting out with heavy trailers,” Sowers said. “With the volume of trucks we sell, this will be largest application of mild hybrid technology in the industry.”
The 48-volt motor replaces an alternator and enables a quiet and fast stop-start capability for the engine, he said. The system helps improve fuel economy, as does a 2019 truck’s 220-pound weight reduction achieved partly by using aluminum hoods and tailgates instead of steel.
Meanwhile, high-strength steel is being extensively used in a new frame and some cab and bed parts, which also cuts weight. Payload and towing capability are both increased for ‘19 Ram 1500s, Sowers said.
A non-eTorque version of the Hemi V-8 will also be offered in the 1500-series pickups. Regular cab 1500s will not be offered with eTorque, and will continue for some time in the current 2018 configuration.
The redesigned and restyled ‘19 Ram 1500 series will be unveiled at the Work Truck Show, sponsored by the National Truck Equipment Association, next week in Indianapolis.