2020 Ram 1500 Takes on the Autobahn – Hemi V8 on Open Road
The growl of a V8 Hemi is something that causes many to smile. The legacy of these muscle-bound engines that have carried the Hemi name has even permeated the racing world to become legends. In short, Hemis are known for being horsepower and torque monsters. So, a Ram 1500 with a Hemi makes sense. Horsepower and torque are needed to carry or tow loads. But, just how fast can a pickup truck equipped with a Hemi achieve?
The 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport
Ram 1500 pickups are not sportscars. They are not created for top-speed runs. They are geared low to provide the majority of their power in the range that the common consumer uses daily, not the racer who wants all the power all the time. Having said that, however, the Laramie Sport trim is one of the more aggressive-looking trims currently available. This trim package includes hood vents, and color-matched fender flares, door handles, mirror caps, grille, and front bumper.
But, a sporty look and top-speed performance are two different things. Exploring the top end of a Ram 1500 involves finding empty roads, and maybe some safety personnel on a closed track. Or, it could easily be explored overseas on the autobahn. More specifically, top-speed runs are legally permissible on the portion of the autobahn that has no speed restrictions. Yes, unrestricted speed roadways do exist!
The top-speed run
Our friends at Top Speed Germany recently had the opportunity to take a 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport out onto the unrestricted portion of the Autobahn. So, they decided to open the throttle up and see what this big, heavy, Hemi powered pickup can do. Thankfully, video of the experiment exists.
Some context is needed. The 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport that was used for the testing is equipped with a 5.7-liter, 401 hp Hemi engine. The Laramie has other engine options from Ram as well. The other engine options, according to Ram’s website, are the 3.6-liter, V6; 5.7-liter eTorque hybrid Hemi V8, and the 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel. All of them are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Once out on the open road, the driver lays into the gas pedal and takes the truck’s Hemi engine to the top of its abilities. Unfortunately, it is an anticlimactic experience. There seems to be a speed limiter on the Ram 1500 pickup’s engine. It achieved 195 kph (121 mph) easily and stayed there for long durations of the video.
The Ram 1500 Hemi’s abilities
During the test, the Ram 1500 did not hiccup. No warning lights or concerns for stability were apparent. Additionally, the truck was never heard sputtering. It was as if the Hemi could handle the run all day long. In fact, the Hemi seemed to have more available in its powerband had it not been for the limiter.
A quick search online reveals that other people have run into the speed limiter before in their trucks. Although there seems to be some disagreement in forums at what speed it kicks in, Ram 1500 owners seem to agree that it is somewhere north of 100 mph. In fact, another search indicates that there are people programming software changes to retune the engine’s computers specifically to eliminate the restrictions.
Speed limited or not, a Hemi on the open road is an exciting thought. To see and hear one actually opened up, albeit limited, is still video goodness. However, the tuner world being what it is, it won’t be long before a shop modifies a 5.7-Hemi and opens it up on the road without restriction.