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Are you dreaming of a new Ram with big V8 power? All entry-level Ram pickup trucks come with a V6 engine, but you don’t have to limit yourself to that. Ram offers several different truck models with V8 engines. Here are the cheapest ways to get into a brand-new V8-powered Ram truck.

Ram 1500 Classic

This is a promo photo of a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine, which is surprisingly cheap to get in a Ram truck, set against a white background.
6.4 HEMI V8 | Stellantis

When Ram Trucks launched the fifth generation of its half-ton pickup truck for 2019, it did away with the two door, regular cab configuration. But knowing that some Ram buyers would still want a bare-bones work truck, it has continued manufacturing its fourth-generation pickup truck. It badges this truck as the Ram 1500 Classic.

Ram has yet to list an MSRP for its 2023 Classic. At the time of writing, the 2022 model is still available, with an updated MSRP of $30,235. This is for a two-door, 2WD, V6 truck. You can upgrade any of those systems–for a price. You’ll also need to pay a bit more for a receiver hitch, large towing mirrors, floor carpets, or cloth seats.

The entry-level Ram Classic does come with a 6’4″ bed. At this price you can also choose two Ram Classic trims: a Tradesman (black plastic grille and bumper) or an Express (body-colored grille and bumper). The free colors are white and red, anything else costs at least $100 extra.

Adding the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 to your Ram 1500 Classic will cost you and extra $2,200. This engine is not available with the fifth-generation Ram’s eTorque mild hybrid system, but is otherwise a modern HEMI. Note that Ram will also charge a $1,700 destination fee, and your dealership may have to charge you for registration and other services.

V8 Ram 1500

White Ram 1500 Tradesman pickup truck, parked on a grass field and hooked up to a trailer hauling a blue tractor, trees visible in the background.
2022 Ram 1500 Tradesman | Stellantis

Ram is currently advertising a $37,410 MSRP for its 2023 Ram 1500. This is the modern (fifth generation) Ram truck. For this price you get a 4×2 truck with a V6 and the smaller “quad-cab” four-door body.

If you want to add a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 to your 2023 Ram 1500, you’re looking at a $2,995 price bump. Unlike some manufacturers, Ram does not charge more for this engine upgrade on higher-trim trucks, it’s $2,995 for every trim. There is also no hidden extra fee for a required transmission upgrade or any similar nonsense.

In previous model years, you could choose between a HEMI V8 with the mild-hybrid “eTorque” technology or one without. But it looks like every 2023 Ram will have eTorque. Don’t forget to figure that $1,700 destination charge and dealer fees into your research.

Cost of a V8 Ram 2500

A Ram 2500 Tradesman work truck with a bed full of lumber is parked in front of a row of trees.
Ram 2500 Tradesman | Stellantis

If you only need two doors, remember that you can buy a heavy-duty Ram 2500 with a regular cab. Why in the world would you spring for a Ram 2500? Because it is not much more expensive than a Ram 1500 with a V8 upgrade, and every Ram 2500 has a V8.

While the Ram 1500’s base engine is a 3.4-liter Pentastar V6, the V6 would not offer nearly enough grunt for the 3/4-ton 2500. In fact, you can’t even buy a 2500 with the half-ton truck’s 5.7-liter HEMI. That’s right, the Ram 2500’s base engine is the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 (also known as the 392).

What’s even better is that with just two doors, the Ram 2500’s starting price is surprisingly low. While a 2023 Ram 1500 with a V8 upgrade will cost more than $40k, the automaker is currently advertising the 2023 Ram 2500 with an MSRP of $44,205.

For this price, you get a 2WD 2500 with a 410-horsepower/429 lb-ft of torque 6.4-liter V8 engine. It has a standard GVW rating of 10,000 pounds and an eight-foot bed.

Read other benefits of upgrading from a Ram 1500 to a Ram 2500 or see a review of the V8 Ram Classic in the video below: