Chrysler Product Day 2012: An Inside View

Chrysler_CPG II

We recently had a chance to spend the day at the Chrysler Proving Grounds near Chelsea, Mich., to drive a good selection of 2012 and 2013 models and to talk to a few executives and engineers.

We have to say there is something different about driving a specific manufacturer’s truck on the same track or course that it most likely did some of its durability testing or suspension fine-tuning, as opposed to driving it on regular roads. Seeing a new vehicle on the home field and getting a chance to speak to those responsible for its creation is special.

We signed all sorts of legal documents requiring us not to take any pictures when the vehicles were moved from the parking lot to the middle of the proving grounds or take any pictures of the camouflaged vehicles running around the test tracks. It wouldn’t surprise us at all if the Chrysler folks kept a very close eye on each one of the attendees, and I imagine they could track any inappropriate photo to a specific shooter.

For at least two decades, Chrysler has offered journalists access to the proving grounds for the company’s annual “Product Day” event. But over the past few years, they haven’t been able to hold the event for various reasons. It felt good to be back.

Hundreds of journalists gad access to vehicles and engineers, and they saw the one-off concepts that recently debuted in Moab, Utah, for Easter Jeep Safari. In all, there must have been 50 or so vehicles available on several different road and off-road courses. The only thing we couldn’t drive at the event was the coming SRT Viper and 2013 Ram 1500 — several were on display, but none to drive. Still, we caught up with colleagues from other magazines and websites, and we spoke with vehicle reps and engineers, both on and off the record.

We’ve all been hearing about a small turbo-diesel scheduled to debut in the Jeep Grand Cherokee for next year and then work its way over to the new Ram 1500 shortly thereafter (likely to be a 3.0-liter VM Mortori V-6), but Truck Trend is reporting that Chrysler applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the name “EcoDiesel.” Could there be a name-change in the works? We did hear from one source that the name is designed to help bridge the gap in the general consumer’s mind that diesel engines are dirty and otherwise environmentally unfriendly. The strategy sounds like it could work; Ford is still riding a wave of success with the EcoBoost name, so we’re sure the same naming strategy (assuming the performance is there) for a smaller and more efficient diesel engine could work just as well.

As to the continuing issue of an eventual Jeep pickup truck, there was a lockdown on any discussion of anything coming. That would make sense, since a few high-level future product executives were caught talking about the possibility of another shot at a small, affordable pickup truck somewhere in Chrysler. The logical spot is with Ram Truck, but if they try something and the sales prove moderately successful, we have to believe that the Jeep leaders would be first in line to create a strong, global Toyota Hilux fighter that could do substantial U.S. sales and still sell well in South America, Asia and especially in Thailand, which is the world’s biggest midsize-truck marketplace. Even a moderate sales success for the first vehicle into the U.S. market could mean good things for those looking for a midsize Jeep pickup.

Fuel economy ratings are not out yet, nor were they even discussed. The vehicle reps would only reiterate that the new 2013 Ram 1500 will have class-leading fuel economy. The current full-size V-6 half-ton truck segment is right around 18/23 mpg city/highway. We’d assume the new Ram — with the Pentastar V-6, new eight-speed transmission and 3.15:1 gear ratio — would do quite well in EPA testing.

Here are some of the trucks we saw, drove and asked about. You can find more detailed photos of the trucks here by going to our Facebook page.

1 Ram 1500 Special Service
2012 Ram 1500 Police Special Service

This package, specifically designed for law enforcement, offers all sorts of features such as red and white interior lighting for better night visibility (both inside and out), red backlighting for gauges and a customizable Havis center console. This one has 12 different siren sounds. The package comes with a bigger battery and alternator, long-life spark plugs and heavy-duty cooling. One option we wish Ram would offer to the general public is the cloth front seats and vinyl rear seats with rubber floormats everywhere.

2 Ram Laramie Limited
2012 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited

We haven’t seen too many of these. In fact, this one was parked in the executive parking lot for Chrysler employees. The only odd thing about it is that it has Laramie Longhorn rims all around.

2013 Ram 1500 R/T

This one stopped us in our tracks. We certainly hope no one got in trouble for bringing this out during the event — it was there for only a few hours before being hustled off the press site. If you missed the quick story we posted with a few more photos, click here

4 Ram 1500 2013
2013 Ram 1500 Laramie

Not any of the 2013 models were available for the media to drive, though this videographer seemed to have gotten permission to move the truck in front of a nicer background. This is the first live 2013 model we’ve seen, and although you can tell the interior materials are pre-production, the layout and perceived quality still impress us each time we see it.

5 Ram 2500 CNG Hemi
2013 Ram 2500 HD CNG

This was our first time behind the wheel of the new 2500 Quad Cab long bed with the compressed-natural-gas engine. If you look closely, you can see the extra set of fuel rails, but other than that, the Hemi looks normal. Inside, changes are made only to the valves and valve seats. The bi-fuel system uses a capless gas-tank filler to make room for the CNG filler nipple, which sits under the same fuel door. The dual tank setup, located in the bed, holds about 18 (gas-equivalent) gallons. To prevent the gasoline stored in the eight-gallon gas tank from going stale, there is software that makes the truck consume a full tank of gas over a set period of time.

6 Ram 1500 Reg Cab WT
2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman Regular Cab

Although designed to be a no-nonsense work truck, the Tradesman Regular Cab was in high demand on the short-track drive loop. This setup was the low-buck hot rod of the event.

7 Ram 3500 HD Long Horn
2012 Ram 3500 HD Laramie Longhorn

The last time we drove something this big and brawny, it was called the Laramie Long Hauler. No official word at the event about the Long Hauler, but if consumer and general public interest are any indication, it should be a no-brainer. We love the Longhorn interior and will have to do a Super Duty Platinum Shootout real soon.

8 Ram 1500 Long Horn
2012 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn

The Western theme will likely continue to be Ram’s go-to option package, especially with recent sales numbers doing so well in Texas. This is the 2012 model, but we have no doubt the 2013 will be showing off the saddle leather and elaborate stitching accents.

9 Ram 1500 Support
2010 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Support Truck

This may have been our favorite truck at the event. Clearly used as a tool around the proving grounds, this Dodge Ram (complete with the Dodge name over the Ram’s head on the tailgate) is set up for pushing stalled concept prototypes, as well as yanking stuck trucks or Jeeps out of the deep woods.


I really hope there highway mpg is at 26. 24 would be a waste of money and 25 would be reachable by GM. At least 26 would be unsurpassed in my eyes. They say they got 20% better mpg. Which would be 24. Be with all the extras, it should get 25 at least.


The R/T and Limited look great. I hate the Longhorn though. Eww seems like a cheap knock off of the King Ranch. Love to see a Plantum vs Limited vs Denali vs the Toyota/Nissan equivalent shoot out or a King Ranch vs Longhorn comparo.

I'm sick and tired of all of the overdone cowboy interiors. Ford is just as guilty as Ram.
I like the fact that both Ford and Ram have other premium interiors. The Ford Platinum and upcoming Limited interiors will be a great choice just like Ram's Limited interior.

Is it just me, but WTF did any of the journalists learn that was new from hanging out at the Chrysler Proving Grounds near Chelsea, Michigan ???

I would like to buy the R/T and put a supercharger on it. Go hunting for mustangs, camaro's and challenger's.

I would like to know if they had a 3.0 VM diesel there. If Dodge brings one out it will be a game changer.

GM and Ford will be left high and dry, unless Ford releases the T6 Ranger and GM fast tracks the new Colorado both utes in diesel form.

Then Nissan can drop the 3.0 Renault V6 into the Titan or Frontier.

Like I've been saying interesting times are ahead for the NA pickup truck market.

I really doubt diesels are going to make it into the mainstreem 1/2 ton trucks. I guess you could argue several reason's but they're two BIG ones: price and hurt 3/4-ton diesel sales.

I think all the federal mandated emission controls will price them out of business. Look at the HD trucks. It's atleast $8k more to get a diesel. Even just getting a middle of the road LT/XLT/SLT truck puts you into the low to mid $50ks in that market. Load one out and it's middle $60ks.

So unless they can put one in the 1/2-tons for less than probably $2000, they will be DOA, in my opinion. The price of the loaded 1/2-tons are already at low $50ks now. There has to be a cap somewhere. And besides, who would pay middle $50ks for a 1/2-ton when you could get a 3/4-ton with twice the capability?

I'm sick and tired of all of the overdone cowboy interiors. Ford is just as guilty as Ram.
I like the fact that both Ford and Ram have other premium interiors. The Ford Platinum and upcoming Limited interiors will be a great choice just like Ram's Limited interior.

@Lou, I agree. It's great they have them for people who want them but it's not my thing either. I wish Chevrolet offered a Limited-Platinum in the Silverado. I don't want to have to buy a Sierra to get a Denali. I've always bought Chevrolet's. It's such a major letdown being a Chevy guy anymore when it comes to trucks. We don't have anything classy and luxurious like this.

The talk at our local dealership is centered on the Pentastar V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic in the RAM half-ton trucks and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Not the small diesels currently sold in Europe. Most people know that the Grand Cherokee failed the Moose test in Sweden. That's bad! What about the fixes and solutions to the failures the Moose test revealed?

And what several diehard V8-enthusiast Jeep Grand Cherokee owners want to know is, will the 2013/2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7-liter 4x4 be changed much?

These guys currently own WJ V8 Grand Cherokees, the model before the current WK series, and before they trade-in their trusty older Jeeps on the new hot-selling WKs they want to know what to expect.

This article did not even address this. Nor does it address the shortened 2013 model year which will only be five months long before the 2014s go on sale in May 2013.

Prudent journalists would have asked questions instead of waiting to be spoonfed the info that Fiat wanted them to know.

There certainly has been plenty of press about the shortened 2013 model year in other venues, but also a surprising lack of detail about specifics.


Have you ever looked at a Sierra Denali? Aside from AWD, an extra speaker, heated steering wheel, and leather on the door panels they offer nothing more than a LTZ Silverado. I guess they do cost 4-5 thousand more so that gives them the perception of being more premium but they are not anymore nicer than a LTZ/SLT truck.

They actually limit you to two interior colors and four exterior colors and force you into AWD. How is that "nicer" than an LTZ?

People that say the Sierra limits or holds back the Silverado have obviously never looked at the two trucks side by side because other than sheetmetal differences they're is no difference. If you cover up the steering wheel badge you wouldn't be able to tell which truck you were setting in.

@Highdesert cat, Here is the test you referred to that the Grand
Cherokee failed. Seems the test was flawed. According to this.

Isn't this a Ford web site? Thats what everybody says. Dodge has no place here. Whats become of LOL


The WK Grand is becoming quite popular here and one of our papers stated that Fiat/Chrysler will be researching what went wrong.

The article claimed that Fiat/Chrysler stated that the vehicle was loaded incorrectly, but the testers are positive that the load didn't exceed the vehicles maximum capacity.

I know you own one and hopefully there is no design fault.

Is it just me, but WTF did any of the journalists learn that was new from hanging out at the Chrysler Proving Grounds near Chelsea, Michigan ???

Nothing. How come Mark Williams is not calling out Ram for this "fluff"?

That's the image that keeps coming back to me as Ford masterfully releases its 2013 F-150 lineup ... one trim package at a time.

So far, we've seen the XLT, Lariat, FX4, and now we're getting into Ford's more highly profitable lineup with the 2013 Limited (all-new) and SVT Raptor. Both trucks are obviously interesting and likely to be hugely successful for Ford in the coming year, but this has to be, without a doubt, the most methodical and overly planned release of a model lineup in the history of new-truck introductions.

Hey Ford, we get it: Your trucks are so special that each trim package is deserving of another press conference, press release and special event.

Of course, we know you guys are pretty smart. The longer you draw out the information, the more likely we are to do another story on your Ford trucks, and that means one less story for the competition. Well done. You got us. But here's some free advice: Sometimes, it's OK to let your products speak for themselves and not tie them to a press event or hyped release.

The truth is, sometimes, when you make so much effort, jumping up and down (and don't get us wrong, sometimes we think that's exactly what could be appropriate), making a big noise about all the shiny bits and pieces and unique features you have over here, it makes us think what is it over there you don't want us to look at.

Clearly, every trim package is unique and has some very special features certain customers are going to enjoy. But are we to expect the King Ranch at the State Fair of Texas, the Platinum on Rodeo Drive, and the next Harley F-150 (if there is one) at Sturgis? At some point, we're going to call uncle, but until we reach that point, we'll continue covering important trucks.

Just insert Ram's name for Ford. Ram is doing the same thing but worse.

@Dave, Oh ya we could have covered that new grill on the 2013
Ford for a good week i am sure. Ford had so much ground braking innovations. The flawed my touch. LOL. So much to cover so little time.

@Dave - I don't know what is worse:
Over-coverage by Ford?
or pretending to over-cover by Dodge?
or no coverage by GMC?

The whole "look but don't touch or report" thing is pretty lame.
Might as well just hire some hookers and get all of the journalists drunk (works for the CIA).

I think they should offer a six speed manual as an option for the 2013 Ram 1500 R/T. This is a sport high performance truck and many that want a high performance vehicle want a manual. I would say that a manual option should be available on any high performance vehicle regardless of manufacturer. That is my take on this truck othewise things keep looking up for Chrysler. Good article.

@LouDave, So what if you couldnt test drive the new trucks. Not everyone has seen the new trucks you dolts! That is the point of the event! If all you can do is complain about Ram's press events and not the trucks, then I say Ram is doing very well! IIRC, the test drives will be in the coming weeks or months.

Is it just me or WTF did the journalist learn out here at the proving grounds::: what they learned is that Chrysler Corp. will disavow and any support or knowlege of hemiv8 and his little buddy the mad one, they have now idea where they get there info or ideas.

It is true that diesels cost more but remember volume lowers price as time goes on.
We pay more and more anyway with gas or diesel due to the Gov't mandates these manufactures have to meet.
TPMS, more & more airbags, emissions etc.
I just want a choice and that includes the willingness to pay more for what I want or need.
I would buy a 1/2 diesel pick-up and some of you won't, so be it, just make it a choice for the consumer to decide.
I hope Ram puts a diesel 1/2 ton on the market and that will get Ford & GM moving off their duffs with the same, choice is GOOD!


The moose test was rigged by a bunch of journalists.;jsessionid=6F1F7A2E46B748AA72CB923CDF22FD4E?id=1833&p=entry

Expect 14' model year news for the Grand Cherokee in a couple months due to a short 13' model year. This media event was to show off the new 13' model year stuff.

@Highdesertcat - If you think the Jeep GC is top heavy now, picture it with a diesel. Even so, the only thing the moose test proved is traction nannies won't save you in all instances. They took that 'turn' more aggressive than the laws of physics and ESP would allow.

Now in the real world, you can still successfully steer clear of a moose in a jack'd up Bronco II, but just not as efficiently as an M3. You probably have more space than you think. The moose test is good for comparing between models, but to call for a product to get pulled off the market because of how tightly a set of cones were set up is a set up.

Actually, they carved around and behind the supposed moose as if they'd crossed over the double yellow and about to get into a head-on. Out in the 'sticks' and after dark, people are likely way more scarce than moose.

@DenverMike - the problem with moose and hitting them is the fact that they have very long legs. Even if you are in a HD 4x4 you stand a good chance of the moose ending up in the passenger cabin.
Funny thing is, there have been many cases of small cars clipping the legs and the moose flipping over the car with minimal damage to the car.
There is a road close to where I live and it is fairly busy. Several moose get hit on that road every year. People get a false sense of security because the road is on the edge of town. One should be more cautious around swampy areas, or if there is a "watering hole" close to the road as animals will go there for their bedtime drink. The same road I mentioned, in the exact same spot, I saw a deer 2 evenings in a row, and an evening later, I saw a moose. Even if the moose if facing the opposite side of the road don't let your guard down. They can panic and turn back the way they came. They will do this if they are more familiar with the forest on the side they came from. They also have been known to panic and charge a vehicle. A few winters ago we had an exceptionally heavy snow load. We had a cow moose with twins roaming our neighbourhood all winter long.

@lou, This was just a preview. Soon they will test
drive one. Then they will test drive one against the

Reed it and weep:

"We'll be offering more information as we connect with our Ram Truck engineers over the next several months as they let us behind the wheel of the new truck at one of the upcoming media press drives."



ALL 2013 RAM

@Lou, Watch this!!!

Imagine you've been working outside in 100-degree temperatures for ten hours. What would you want the inside of your truck to feel like? Designers at RAM have made sure the interior of the new 2013 RAM 1500 is refined, robust, and most important, functional.




"Imagine you've been working outside in 100-degree temperatures for ten hours."
Then I think to myself - Damn, I'm sure am happy that I listened to my dad and went to College ;)

@Luke in CO - true. Someone cries bias, bribed or bought when there is significant news from a single company.
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Ram will take tons of wind out of Chevy sails (sales too) with this mid-cycle upgrade. That is the part that impresses me - the 2013 is not supposed to be a "new" model.

Posted by: Lou | Apr 13, 2012 3:14:19 PM

Thanks, Ed. I forwarded your post about the 2014s to the WJ owners who wanted to know.

What set all this in motion was that a lady friend of the family lost her Murano to premature CVT failure for a second time in five years. After driving my wife's Summit she decided she wanted a GC as well, instead of a Pilot.

She bought a 2012 in the color most appealing to her, Deep Red Metallic with the Black interior, but the only one available in that color scheme had the 5.7 with the fancy 4x4 system. So now all the guys who own a WJ with a V8 would like to trade for a 2013 5.7 4x4 as well. The domino effect.

But if 2013 is only going to be a half-year run, then it may be wiser to defer until 2014. So time will tell how all this unfolds.

If it were me, I'd wait until the 2014MY UNLESS there will be no changes to the 5.7 4x4. Seems to me that the big news will be the diesel and the 8-speed. There really isn't a heck of a lot more that they can do with the 5.7/6-speed auto, except maybe to the sheet metal and grille. Ditto the SRT8.

DenverMike, I owned a MB 220D Eurospec while I was in Europe with the military. I'm not a fan of small diesels. Don't misunderstand, I have a CDL and am qualified to drive rigs up to 40T, so I love slow-turning, hi-torque diesels.

I believe there is merit in putting a small diesel in the GC, for those who want them, and I would be surprised if they sell enough to make it worth their while in North America. This isn't Europe. Most Americans don't care about the price of gasoline.

Big Al, I don't think there is a design fault. One of my sons bought a 2012 SRT8 and took me for a spin on the local demolition-derby race track. Hey, I screamed like a little girl.

That SRT8 had no problems drifting with all four wheels spinning, kicking up dirt. It didn't blow any tires either.

So my guess would be that the suspension and/or software needs to be tweaked on the models Moose-tested. Maybe tires with higher sidewall ratings would be indicated because what we have on our Summit are Goodyears and the sidewalls are very soft and flexible, and then there's the air suspension.

The laws of physics are constant. If the grip of the tires exceeds the sliding coefficient of the rubber, the opposite end is going to overtake the end that stopped moving or rolling. And sometimes the pressure exerted by the shifting weight exceeds the rating and the tires blow.

I continue to believe that you can flip and roll any vehicle if you push it outside of its design envelope. We have seen this time and again with the Crown Vic Police Pursuit cruisers. One of my sons used to teach pursuit driving classes at the Police Academy.

Nah, Fiat needs to address this and beef up the tires and retune the suspensions. Flawed test or not, the perception is what matters here.

Have you ever looked at a Sierra Denali? Aside from AWD, an extra speaker, heated steering wheel, and leather on the door panels they offer nothing more than a LTZ Silverado

@Matt, those things would all mean quite a bit to me. I like AWD, I enjoy a great stereo system, I insist on heated & cooled seats, I'd like a heated steering wheel for the winter months and I'd also like leather on the panels. I prefer a high end interior in my truck. It's the most expensive purchase I will own. I'm not into cars so I probably won't buy a Cadillac or Lincoln anytime soon but I always buy a new truck. It's like my automotive sanctuary. For GM to tell me I can't purchase a high end trim like that in the truck of my choice (the Chevrolet Silverado) is very off putting to me. I've always owned Chevrolet cars (Chevelle's from old and Corvettes) and Chevrolet trucks. I've always bought from the same dealer for over 35 years. I'm not happy with GM over this one bit. We always buy Chevrolet trucks for work by the dozens. They're great for work and they should be great for personal luxury as well. Both Ford and Ram offer both to their loyal customers now and so should Chevrolet.

First thing I did to my 'Twin-Force' was remove the EcoBoost badges.. Eco BS.

@not really a hemi V8 - close but no cigar. I don't have anything against Ram, just your fanboi extremism. Please point out how any of my posts have contradicted my last comment?
I stand by what I have said.

don't sweet it Lou we all get it, the hemi bois don't.

Sierra Denali doesn't have leather on the door panels or real wood. Just plastic wood trim and vinyl on the doors. Denali's padded doors are nicer than the Platinum and King Ranch which is still 100% hard plastic except the arm rest. Ram door panels are padded from Big Horn up to Laramie. Longhorn and Limited trims are actually real leather with stitching. I checked all these trucks out really close in January.

This is my first post. Some of these guys like Lou and sandman
with the personnel attacks on other bloggers. This is america freedom of speech. If guys have nothing to blog but personnel attacks don't bother. It gets old reading your bull. Grow up. If you don't like Chrysler don't read their blog. Save your self the irritation. Just my two cent's. I have always drove Chrysler products since high school. I love them.

either somebody changed there name, or have not been reading long enough to see that what I have been saying is in referance to a rebutle to comment, on a wrong one sided comment to me, and a few other folks here, over the past week or so a couple of guys have taken it upon themselves to make very low claims and name calling of there own, to a level that unfortunetly, can only be finaly answeerd at the sme level to be able for them to understand what we are only trying to share correct knowlege, and that they are closed minded to only one idea or something as simple as a truck, or no, the engine in the truck that has a well cute name, that in truth is a misnomer, unlike the original namesake, ok? read back to a few more days and you will see what I mean..........

@Don Moore
I don't agree with your perspective on Lou and Sandman4x4.

I'm very new to this site (couple of months) and I do find the input of Lou and Sandman4x4 generally to be quite informative.

What I have noticed is certain people who are "one eyed" about products offered by manufacturers and make claims and statements that are truely incorrect. The last week or so it seems to be the Fiat/Chrysler boys. These guys are very young or immature and they do tend to destroy the content of the site and lead others into arguing their ridiculous claims about Fiat/hrysler products.

I don't care what pickup you buy whether a NA or global truck, they aren't what you could consider leading edge in technology.

All pickups compete in the same markets so they are competitive. This means that a Ram is no better than a GM product as is a Toyota. It comes down to personal choice.

As I stated there are many "older" people on the site who provide wisdom and historical knowledge about pickups and Lou and Sandman4x4 are two of the better contributors.

Maybe these kids should listen to the wisdom offered by these older guys.

In Australia it is Kangaroos or in Central Australia ..feral Camels!! Make quite a mess of a vehicle and you.

One estimate is there are 1 million Camels in Australia. Unlike imported pests like Foxes, Rabbits and Cane Toads, they are not that destructive on the environment.
Orginally bought over in the 1880's from India to help build the Trans Australian Railway. Some escaped into the Bush and now we have 1 Million of them.

@Robert Ryan
We also have water buffalo further up north, like hitting a steer. They can make a mess.

Let me throw this out their:
Ford, GM, Ram, Toyota & Nissan monitors this site in some way shape or form. When folks come on here and act like a 17 yr old in a high school locker room and chant this or that they are dismissed from the conversation!
Regardless of the manufacture make a comment that is coherent, relates to the subject and give it a nod on why you like what they have done (and why) and why you don't like the direction of their decision. This is a great forum for the manufactures to look at decide what the consumer wants.
Let's get this site heading in that direction and keep it that a way.
Take it for what it's worth.

@southern IL Man, I agree. Folks like Ryan & Big al, Want to talk about farm animals for Christ sake. This is an awesome forum if the dolts will keep it down. Lets talk trucks and learn from each other.

@sandman4x4, So you want to come on a Chrysler blog and tell me the hemi truck engine has nothing in design to do with the original Hemi engine?????????

Tell me how the design has nothing to do with the original please??????

Just take that 2013 dodge Ram Rt 1500, shrink it by 10% and you have the new Dodge small size Sport Truck. There problem solved, keep the Hemi of course!!




Hemi V8........I think they were talking about you...Dont get me wrong, Im a Mopar guy myself but you can take it a little too far sometimes. I do favor Mopar over them all but we shouldnt over do it with the bashing thing....Dodge Ram had had many firsts, possible the most signifigant firsst than any other truck (i.e first turbo diesel, big rig styling, V10 and so on..) If the others dont know or care who cares. Ill back up most of what you say but can you kool it just a tad?

lou?? have you like most america forgot about all the folks that work outdoors day after day....consrution workers, farmers, ect? College isnt for everyone and somebody has to do the dirty work.

On the other had would love a new Ram but my old ones just wont let me down

@not really a hemi V8 - Quote "@sandman4x4, So you want to come on a Chrysler blog and tell me the hemi truck engine has nothing in design to do with the original Hemi engine?????????

Tell me how the design has nothing to do with the original please??????"


Here is the answer.....................

To find out how Chrysler's new 5.7-liter V-8 could be labeled Hemi in spite of the fact its combustion chambers look nothing like sliced grapefruit, I met with Bob Lee, Chrysler's vice president of powertrain product engineering.

Lee assured me no deception is afoot. The engineers responsible for Chrysler's new engine had better intentions than merely dusting off Hemis in the back of their closet. Early in the research phase, they discovered a combustion chamber that Porsche used for 1965-97 air-cooled 911s offered the ideal starting point for their new design. Porsche's head happened to be a hemi.

Engineers are not about to leave well enough alone so little from the Porsche design made the long trip to what's now called the 5.7-liter Hemi Magnum V-8. Much of the bowl area of the combustion chamber was filled in to encourage the fuel-air mixture to stir itself prior to ignition. The chamber is shallower than past Hemis so the top of the piston can be nearly flat, thereby saving reciprocating weight. The one vestige from Porsche's classic design is large valves rotated 90 degrees from the most common orientation (in a plane parallel to the crankshaft), and splayed at a 34.5-degree angle in the interests of free breathing.

The natural course of engineering evolution has moved Chrysler's hero powerplant far from its Porsche roots and severed all ties to the Hemis of yore. Even though it isn't a genuine hemi, this engine still packs a powerful punch as a marketing ploy.
Modern Hemi

The modern Hemi is not really a hemi at all - it has a polyspherical combustion chamber similar to that in many other modern engines. A true hemi head was considered in the design phase, but it was rejected and only the near-perpendicular valve arrangement remains. The Hemi replaced Chrysler's large LA family of engines, particularly the Magnum 5.9, in the early 2000s.

The term, "Hemi engine", is a trademark of Chrysler Corporation, although the concept is used by many manufacturers
The reason most don't consider the GenIII a true Hemi is the combustion chamber shape. The Hemis from 51 to 71 have a combustion chamber that looks like half a tennis ball, which is where they got "Hemispherical Head" or "Hemi Head" to become Hemi for short. Our cylinder head while retaining some of the shape is not a true Hemispherical combustion chamber.....realistically the GenIII head is much,MUCH more efficient than the original Hemi.

@Judd - my apologies. Hemi V8 brings out the best in people. I wasn't trying to show any disrespect for the hard working man out their everyday. I was just making fun of his lame assed comments. I have tremendous respect for them. My dad grew up on a farm and left home during the Great Depression to make money to send home to support his parents and siblings. That is a much harder sacrifice to make then staying home studying as opposed to going out partying with the guys.

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