The Ultimate Dodge Ram Page
Chrysler introduced Dodge Ram pickup trucks to the world in 1981. The Dodge Ram 1500 and 2500 are light-duty pickup trucks. The Dodge Ram 3500 is a mid-range pickup truck. Historically, the Ram 1500 truck has been called a half-ton pickup, the 2500 truck is a three-quarter-ton pickup, and the 3500 truck is a full-ton pickup truck. These designations indicate the towing and payload capacity of the trucks.
First Generation: 1981 to 1993
1981: A ram hood ornament sat prominently on the first Dodge Ram pickup trucks introduced to the world in 1981. These trucks were available in models labeled 150, 250, and 350 with a wheelbase ranging between 115 inches and 165 inches for cabs ranging from Standard Cab to Club Cab to Crew Cab. Bed length options were 6.5 feet and 8 feet, and consumers also had the choice of Utiline and Sweptline boxes. The Utiline style had a narrow bed and separate rear fender pods. The Sweptline style was sleeker and more modern. Two-wheel-drive trucks were denoted with a "D," and four-wheel-drive trucks were denoted with a "W." Essentially an updated generation of the Dodge D-Series pickup trucks, the Rams had a more squared-off body shape, single rectangular headlamps, and wraparound taillights. Bulging fenders and an oversized grille gave the Ram trucks a bold appearance. A bench seat, new dashboard design, and revamped instrument cluster gave the Ram's interior a modern feel. Chrysler offered options for a sliding rear cab window, air conditioning, front bumper guards, power locks and windows, AM/FM stereo with cassette player, cruise control, tilt steering, and a plowing package for four-wheel-drive vehicles. Engine options included a 3.7-liter slant six engine, a 5.2-liter V8, and a 5.9-liter V8. Four trim levels included the base Custom, Custom SE, Royal, and Royal SE. Each level of trim afforded the consumer with more comfort inside, with the Royal SE package including luxuries such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and eye-catching exterior trim.
1982: The Ram group of vehicles did not include the Club Cab in 1982. Chrysler introduced the Ram D150 Miser in 1982, which promised good fuel economy thanks to its slant six engine with four-speed manual transmission. The Miser had gold pinstripes.
1983: In 1983, Chrysler added a four-wheel-drive Miser. The Power Ram 250 and 350 received three-speed TorqueElite automatic transmissions as standard.
1984: Chrysler replaced the Miser with the D100 and W100 trucks in 1984.
1985: Drivers of the 1985 Power Rams could shift into and out of four-wheel drive even while traveling at highway speeds thanks to the new Ram Trac transfer case that was instituted in this year.
1986: Options for cabs and bed styles dwindled in 1986 as Dodge eliminated the Utiline bed style and the Crew Cab body style. The remaining Dodge Rams got a new grille that featured four rectangular openings.
1987: From 1987 forward, the Dodge Ram trucks were covered with a new anti-chip primer and a clear topcoat that kept the paint lustrous for longer. Inside, the door lock and power window switches received textures so occupants could operate them by feel.
1988: In 1988, the 5.2-liter V8 engine was overhauled with electronic fuel injection, which enhanced the trucks' performance. The Royal trim levels were replaced by the LE, which was similarly luxurious.
1989: Much was improved under the hood in 1989. Dodge retired the 3.7-liter slant six engine. In its place, the 3.9-liter V6 with fuel injection offered 125 horsepower. The 5.9-liter V8 continued, but this engine also featured fuel injection now. Dodge also offered a Cummins Turbodiesel engine in this model year. Drivers who chose this option also enjoyed other heavy-duty features such as upgrades to the battery, starter, alternator, and cooling system. All trucks of this model year had standard anti-lock brakes.
1990: The Club Cab returned to the mix in 1990 as the answer to consumers' demand for more passenger space and cargo room.
1991: Exterior redesigns were the hallmark of 1991. Dodge replaced the grille with a larger one that now featured Dodge's cross-hair motif. The tailgate and rear bumper were also redesigned, and new upholstery was offered.
1992: The engines of the Dodge Ram trucks were given a significant increase in power in 1992. Larger exhaust systems and updates to the fuel injection added a power boost. Drivers also had the choice between a four-speed automatic transmission and a five-speed manual transmission.
1993: The addition of sequential multi-point fuel injection to the 5.9-liter V8 engine in 1993 increased this engine's horsepower to 230 and produced 325 foot-pounds of torque, which enhanced both towing capacity and payload. Four trim levels debuted for the Ram 150 in this year, ranging from a base model to a Super LE model with air conditioning and cruise control.
Second Generation: 1994 to 2001
1994: The second-generation Dodge Ram pickup trucks debuted in 1994. With the second generation, Dodge renamed the trucks the 1500, 2500, and the 3500 to designate the half-ton, three-quarter-ton, and one-ton trucks. These trucks were only available with the standard cab, and the revamp of the trucks gave them a look and feel that was more in line with cars with more passenger and in-cab cargo room. The wheelbases available were 118.7 inches with a 6.5-foot bed and 134.7 inches with an 8-foot bed. New trim levels were also unveiled, with the Work Special, LT, ST, and Laramie SLT as package options. The Work Special offered few features, while the LT and ST trim levels featured options such as a chrome grille and exterior clearance lights. The Laramie SLT came fully loaded with interior comfort features. Engine options included a 3.9-liter V6, a 5.2-liter V8, two different 5.9-liter V8s, a 5.9-liter Cummins Turbodiesel, and an 8-liter V10. Dodge integrated important safety features such as standard driver-side airbags and optional four-wheel anti-lock brakes for the 1500 and 2500 trucks.
1995: The Club Cab returned in 1995 with options for either the ST or the Laramie SLT trim packages. This cab also featured swing-out quarter windows in the rear seat. Dodge also released a special Sport package for the 5.2-liter and 5.9-liter V8 engines that featured a color-keyed grille and bumper, fog lights, and chrome wheels. Stereo upgrades were also an option with this package.
1996: With 1996 came multi-point fuel injection for the V10 engine. A new Camper Special package was also released that featured a heavy-duty suspension. Dodge also released a Ram Indy 500 Special Edition truck in 1996 with a 5.9-liter V8, 17-inch wheels, and two-wheel drive.
1997: Dodge was eager to keep impressing consumers, so it added leather seats and wood door trim to the 1997 Laramie SLT as well as keyless entry and a stereo with both a cassette deck and CD player. A sporty paint job was also an option with two large center stripes down the hood and tailgate.
1998: In 1998, the Quad Cab was introduced by Dodge. This innovative design had reverse-hinged rear doors to make it easier to load and unload. New front seats had integral seatbelts, the door lock and power window switches were illuminated, and the instrument panel was updated. The short-wheelbase 2500 series with Club and Quad Cabs now had the option for a V10 or Turbodiesel engine. Dodge also converted a list of options to standard features, including chrome grilles, heated exterior mirrors, and a passenger airbag.
1999: The engines were boosted in 1999, and other upgrades were also performed to the window controls, keyless entry, and wheel-mounted stereo controls. Dodge also dropped the name Laramie from the SLT.
2000: Larger 17-inch wheels made the 2000 1500 models even more rugged. Fog lamps, tow hooks, all-terrain tires, and stronger suspension also made the off-road 4x4 package popular with consumers. The 2500 and 3500 models got new rear suspensions to enhance their handling.
2001: Dodge left the 2001 Rams unchanged in this last year of the second-generation trucks.
Third Generation: 2002 to 2008
2002: The 2002 Ram 1500 third generation offered regular and Quad cabs, 6.3- or 8-foot bed lengths, and three different trim levels. The bed length was cut by 3 inches to make the cabs larger. New engines included a 3.7-liter V6, a 4.7-liter V8, and a 5.9-liter V8. The two smaller engines came with a five-speed manual transmission, while the larger engine came with a four-speed automatic transmission.
2003: The 2500 and 3500 models received new engines this model year, and Dodge also implemented new three-point seatbelts and side curtain airbags as an option. Dodge also introduced Off-Road and Work Special models.
2004: Dodge unveiled Bluetooth connectivity and a brand new navigation system in this model year. The Laramie packages also received new grilles and appealing interior upgrades.
2005: Crew Cab Rams saw options for a power sunroof as well as Sirius satellite radio in 2005.
2006: Expansive overhauls led to the introduction of the Mega Cab in 2006, which was 20 inches longer than its predecessors. The headlights got bigger and the lower grille border became more sharply angled. Inside, the seats, dash, and console were extensively tweaked. Dodge also worked on fuel efficiency in the 5.7 V8 engine. A navigation system and rear-seat DVD system also became options.
2007: Dodge upgraded the upholstery to be stain-resistant.
2008: The 4.7-liter V8 got a boost in 2008 to increase its horsepower to 310.
Fourth Generation: 2009 to Present
2009: The fourth-generation Dodge Rams offer more power and more luxury than ever before. A base V6 remains available, as well as a 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which actually gets the same gas mileage as the V6. In-cab storage is plentiful, including even water-resistant compartments called the Rambox. Consumers have the choice of the regular cab, Quad Cab, and Crew Cab. Additional options include a rear parking camera, Bluetooth and navigation systems, iPod integration, and both heated and cooled front seats.
2010: In 2010, Dodge spun off Ram into the Ram Trucks division. New 2500 and 3500 models were released with new body styling, engine options, and suspensions. Quad cabs were discontinued for 2500 and 3500 models.
2011: Ram Truck has cornered the market on manual transmissions since 2011, offering the only pickups available with manual transmissions.
2012: The Rambox was made a storage option for all models in 2012. Trucks with four-wheel drive also had standard electronic shift-on-the-fly capabilities.
2013: The Ram 1500 received new wheels and a new interior and front fascia in 2013. Ram also renamed the base ST model the Tradesman. New engine and transmission options also became available in 2013. Keyless ignition was also introduced in 2013.
2014: Air suspension became an option in 2014 for the 2500 and 3500 trucks. The 1500 models also had the option for an Eco-Diesel V6 engine. The 4.7-liter V8 engine was retired in this model year. Trucks also received an option for front parking assist systems.
2015: Model year 2015 saw few changes from previous years. Drivers had a variety of options for cab sizes and bed lengths.
2016: This model year saw every truck get a new center console. The Laramie Limited and Ram Rebel were also added to the Ram family. A few aesthetic details were also added to the interior, including embroidery on the seat backs, body-color accent stitching, and colored accent mesh on the seats.
2017: The Ram 1500 Rebel received some standard features in 2017, including remote start, a premium gauge cluster, anti-spin differential, UConnect media hub, two-zone climate control, backup camera, and rear park assist.
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Dodge Ram Images
Visit the following links for pictures of Dodge Ram trucks through the years:
- Ram 1500: 2016
- Dodge Ram 2500: 2006
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- Dodge Ram 1500: 2009
- Dodge Ram 1500: 2005
- Dodge Ram 2500: 2001
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