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2019 Ram 1500 eTorque First Drive Review

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2019 Ram 1500 eTorque First Drive Review

Misinformation is already being handed round concerning the 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque – reports calling the brand new electrified model of the full-size half-ton pickup truck a hybrid and saying its eTorque system provides torque to the truck’s engine growing payload, towing capability, and efficiency. Do not consider a phrase of it – this is not a hybrid within the typical sense of the phrase. eTorque doesn’t improve the truck’s energy or functionality. As an alternative, the system feeds in some electric torque at low RPM, which helps with fuel effectivity by spinning up the engine throughout begin/cease operation, smoothing gearchanges, and harvesting some power from braking – that is principally it.

Ram is partially in charge for the hybrid confusion. Though the “h”-phrase doesn’t seem anyplace on the truck or the vehicle’s window sticker, the automaker has chosen to name eTorque a “delicate-hybrid system”, a label utilized by GM again in 2009 for an eAssist system provided on V8 Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras. However the two techniques have little or no in widespread and in contrast to GM’s two-motor setup, which might propel the truck on electric energy, the Ram’s small battery pack and single electric motor can’t. Additionally, eTorque by no means provides horsepower or torque to the output of the truck’s inner combustion engine, however as an alternative fills earlier than the fuel engine’s torque comes into its personal.

So it is a labeling fiasco, however Ram’s rationalization of the eTorque system’s operation and its advantages, that are vital, can be perplexing. And the ensuing discombobulation is unlucky, as a result of eTorque is intelligent, and it actually does work.

2019 Ram 1500 – 3.6-liter eTorque Powertrain

Earlier this week we drove two Rams with the system, one a V6 and one a Hemi, by means of Kentucky horse nation, and got here away impressed by its measurable contributions to the truck’s fuel effectivity, drivability and clean operation. We additionally interviewed Mike Raymond, the Chief Engineer on the Ram 1500, and Brian Spohn, Ram’s Car Electrification Supervisor, Powertrain Engineering, to raised perceive what it’s and the way it features.

How eTorque Works

Ram will supply the three.6-liter 24-valve V6 with eTorque because the standard engine in most fashions. The V6 won’t be out there with out eTorque, though we might be stunned if it wasn’t added to the menu at a later date. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which is the truck’s hottest engine, will stay non-compulsory with out the eTorque system for $1,195, and the eTorque model of the Hemi will value $1,450 on prime of that.

eTorque replaces the engine’s alternator with a small, 10-hp electric motor that is belt-pushed off the engine’s crankshaft. On the V6, the motor is water-cooled and a part of the water pump meeting, whereas the unit on the V8 is air-cooled and spun with a singular belt drive separate from the opposite equipment. Mounted upright behind the rear seat contained in the cabin is the Energy Pack Unit, which is concerning the size of a briefcase. It is principally a tiny forty eight-volt lithium-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-Graphite battery pack with a three-kilowatt DC-to-DC converter to take care of the battery’s cost and convert forty eight volts to 12 volts to energy the truck’s equipment for as much as 10 minutes. Like an alternator, it additionally expenses the truck’s typical 12-volt lead-acid battery. With all of the wiring, the system provides ninety lbs to a V8 Ram and a hundred and five lbs to a V6 truck.

2019 Ram 1500 – 5.7-liter HEMI® eTorque

This yr the V6 will get a better eleven.three:1 compression ratio, up from 10.2:1, and cams with extra exhaust valve carry. It is rated 305 hp at 6400 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque at 4800 rpm. The Hemi is rated 395 hp at 5600 rpm and 410 ft-lbs of torque at 3950 rpm.

Ram does not assist the confusion, at one level stating within the supporting supplies that the “eTorque provides as much as ninety lb.-ft. of torque to the three.6-liter Pentastar V6 and as much as one hundred thirty lb.-ft. to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8”. This can be a little deceptive; The engines energy ratings stay the identical with or with out the eTorque system, and the system does not have an effect on the truck’s payload and tow ratings.

How can this be? It is easy: The electric motors output isn’t transferred to the wheels. As an alternative, its torque is used to clean the engine’s begin/cease perform and spin the engine for a really temporary time at very low engine speeds to enhance effectivity and clean operation. In accordance with Spohn, “The eAssist just isn’t further energy, it is substitution, it isn’t on prime of the engine’s output, it is earlier than.” The electric motor is simply taking some work off the fuel engine’s plate when it is simply restarting or simply coming off idle – a complement at low speeds, not an enhancement general.

2019 Ram 1500 – 5.7-liter V-8 with eTorque2019 Ram 1500 – 3.6-liter V-6 with eTorque

For restarting the engine, by 800 rpm, the electric motor’s work is completed. Spohn says it takes simply four hundred milliseconds, or lower than half a second, earlier than the eTorque system has primed the truck’s engine or “staged it for movement” and accomplished what he calls the “electric to combustion handshake”, which is when the motor and engine overlap for the primary half-rotation of the truck’s wheels, about one hundred forty five milliseconds. From that time ahead the interior combustion engine is absolutely useful and powering the vehicle down the street.

As a result of eTorque can manipulate the engine’s velocity of rotation, it is also used to regulate its RPM barely throughout gear modifications to clean these transitions. And there’s regenerative braking, to maintain the small battery pack charged. However there’s so little battery capability, it does not take a lot to maintain them topped off and the system is totally clear to the driving force.

How eTorque Drives

Gasoline financial system is the eTorque system’s largest profit. With eTorque the V8 is rated 17 mpg metropolis and 22 mpg on the freeway. That is a 2 mpg improve within the metropolis over the engine with out the system, and Raymond says the truck has a range over 750 miles. The EPA ratings aren’t finalized but on the V6, however Ram expects a 2-three mpg enchancment in each the town and the freeway ratings over final yr’s V6 mannequin, which was rated 18 mpg metropolis and 25 mpg freeway. If true, it’s going to put the Ram V6 forward of Ford’s 290 hp three.three-liter V6 in each energy and fuel financial system, and make it as environment friendly at Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine. Raymond additionally says it’s going to have over 600 miles of range with the standard fuel tank and over 800 miles with the non-compulsory bigger unit.

eTorque contributes to those effectivity enhancements together with different methods new to the 2019 Ram, together with grille shutters, an lively entrance air dam, improved aerodynamics and weight saving. The brand new physique and body are considerably lighter and for the primary time the Ram has an aluminum tailgate, which shaves 15 lbs from the truck. The parameters of the V8’s cylinder deactivation system have additionally been broadened and its operation has been refined.

2019 Ram 1500 Laramie

From the driving force’s seat the eTorque system is totally invisible to the driving force. There isn’t any further noise. No feeling of drag on the engine. Response feels utterly pure. The Ram’s begin/cease perform is so clean and fast to reply it is easy to overlook its motion. It may be deactivated with a button on the dashboard, however you will not want it.

Though we choose the extra energy and torque of the Hemi, in addition to its rumble, the V6 eTorque is a powerful mixture with good energy. And the gear modifications from its distinctive eight-velocity automated transmission, which was designed by ZF however constructed and tuned by FCA particularly for the Pentastar V6, couldn’t be smoother.

Shifts from the V8’s ZF eight-velocity are additionally silken, and tighten up properly at full throttle. Gear ratios are tuned completely and neither transmission makes you beg for a downshift. Sadly the guide shift buttons on the truck’s steering wheel appear to be an afterthought and shifting with our proper thumb shouldn’t be our first selection. Though the Ram does match revs on the downshifts, response is sluggish and the gear readout on the instrument cluster is miniscule.

2019 Ram 1500 Laramie – Sport Interior

Because of the addition of a brand new telescopic steering wheel, the brand new Ram is extra snug than earlier than, and its stiffer body, retuned suspension and extra quick steering, which has gone from a 17.9:1 to a a lot faster sixteen.four:1 ratio, has actually improved the truck’s athleticism. The rear coil spring suspension stays and the journey continues to be exceptionally compliant, however physique management is best than earlier than and there is much less physique roll in corners. And its quieter too, with only a trace of wind noise round it massive tow package deal mirrors at eighty mph.

A brand new Ecodiesel V6 can also be on the best way, and Ram will present its new Heavy Obligation line on the Detroit Auto Present in January, which we hope features a new Energy Wagon. Within the meantime, it has simply loved its best gross sales month ever since turning into its personal model in 2009. In July Ram bought forty five,065 trucks, a quantity little question fueled by the brand new 2019 mannequin, but in addition the simultaneous unloading of the final 2018s. Extra spectacular, nevertheless, is the Ram’s loyalty numbers, which lead the sunshine-obligation pickup class, in addition to all passenger automobiles.

It will seem Ram is on a roll. However the truck wars are simply heating up and the all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are concerning the hearth again.

– 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque First Drive Review –

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