And Down the Stretch It Comes: Ram Unveils 2019 HD Kentucky Derby Edition

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By Aaron Bragman

Not all the hard-working luxury vehicles introduced at the 2019 New York International Auto Show are meant for hauling passengers to the airport. One is meant for hauling an entirely different kind of cargo — Ram unveiled the 2019 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty Kentucky Derby Edition at the Manhattan show, coinciding with the 145th running of the iconic horse race. The May 4 race marks the 10th anniversary of Ram being the official sponsor of the Kentucky Derby.

Related: More 2019 New York Auto Show Coverage

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On the outside, the new Kentucky Derby Edition receives exclusive bits like a billet aluminum-appearance grille, body-color bumpers and power-retracting running boards. There are seven colors to choose from: Bright White, Pearl White, Delmonico Red, Diamond Black Crystal, Granite Crystal, Max Steel or Patriot Blue. As these are meant to be super nice trailer-towing rigs, they also receive exclusively packaged trailering content, including a 360-degree surround-view camera with reverse guidance, fifth-wheel/gooseneck trailering prep for the bed, active hitch grid lines and air suspension with a bed lowering feature. Advanced forward collision warning with trailer braking and blind spot warning are included, as are a bed step and a safety kit.

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The cabin is a mix of two other top trim levels for the Ram heavy duty. The designers mixed elements from both the Limited and Longhorn models, giving the Kentucky Derby Edition a unique black and saddle brown interior, full leather front and rear seats, and genuine wood and metal trim throughout. The top 12-inch vertically oriented touchscreen Uconnect multimedia system is included, with standard navigation and satellite radio.

Kentucky Derby Editions can be had as 2500 or 3500 trucks in single or dual rear wheel setup, featuring 6-foot 4-inch or 8-foot bed lengths. Powertrain choices include the turbo-diesel 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six-cylinder or the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine, 4x2 or 4x4, in crew- or Mega-Cab body styles.

The base price for these models is pretty steep — $68,585 for the Ram 2500 and $69,935 for the 3500, including destination charges, which would place this model above the top-spec Limited trim, but these include lots of additional towing equipment as standard. Choose the Cummins engine in the Mega-Cab setup with the dual rear wheel and long bed, and you're looking at a super expensive luxury truck. The new edition is on sale now, limited to just 1,000 examples.

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