The Ram 1500 Isn’t a Dodge Pickup Truck Anymore

For decades you could buy a Dodge pickup truck: the Ram. But a 2009 reorganization split Ram and Dodge into parallel brands of the same company. Today, Ram not only offers all the same engines as Dodge but also builds proprietary Ram powertrains. The two brands have different approaches and cater to different drivers.

Why did Ram separate from Dodge?

Dodge and Ram share technology and a parent company. But they make different products and serve different demographics. Because of their separate advertising strategies, they have both been successful as separate but related brands.

Vintage red Dodge pickup parked at a retro gas station predates Ram trucks.
Dodge pickup truck | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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When Ram trucks was a subdivision of Dodge, the company showed a consistent commitment to muscle trucks. Legendary street-racing models included the Dodge Ram Daytona and the Dodge SRT10. Ram trucks does offer the Ram 1500 G/T. But it’s obvious from the flagship Ram 1500 TRX, that the new brand’s focus is off road.

And Ram trucks has had a lot of success as its own brand. According to the Hedges Company, by 2020 Ram trucks was outselling the Silverado by 35%. Ram truck buyers are a bit younger than Ford and Chevy buyers, but their average age is still 50. Half of Ram truck buyers live in rural areas, and one out of every five Ram buyers is a woman.

Dodge buyers are slightly different. They are younger than Ram buyers. In fact, Dodge claims that 60% of its customers are Millenials or Gen Xers, and Challenger buyers are the youngest in the muscle car business–according to Muscle Cars and Trucks.

Do Ram pickup trucks have Dodge HEMI engines?

You can buy a Ram pickup truck with any engine available in a Dodge–including the legendary HEMI V8. Ram has also developed several powertrains, diesels and mild hybrids, that you cannot get in any current Dodge.

Promotional render of a Dodge HEMI engine in a Ram truck drivetrain complete with transmission and axles.
Dodge HEMI engine in a Ram truck drivetrain | Stellantis

If you buy a 2022 Ram 1500 pickup truck you can choose between two engines you’ll also find in Dodge muscle cars and SUVs. The first is the 3.6-liter “Pentastar” V6. The second is the 5.7-liter HEMI V8.

Dodge cars with a “Scat Pack” badge boast the larger 6.4-liter HEMI V8. Ram trucks also offer this engine but reserves it for the Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty trucks. Finally, Dodge’s flagship cars boast the supercharged Hellcat V8. You can find this same engine in Ram’s flagship Ram 1500 TRX.

Ram trucks boasts unique powertrains

Three 2022 Ram 1500 pickup trucks parked on a dirt road in front of a farm.
2022 Ram 1500 trucks | Stellantis

One reason that the Ram 1500 is not just a Dodge pickup truck anymore is that Ram engineers and develops its own powertrains. One of these is the eTorque powertrain. This is a mild-hybrid system that improves the V6 and V8 gas mileage by about 2 mpg. The second is the 3.0L “EcoDiesel” V6 available in the Ram 1500.

Stellantis offers both the above drivetrains in select Jeep models. But the Cummins turbodiesel is a legendary powerplant. It is a straight-six engine that makes up to 1,000 lb-ft of torque, and it is only available in heavy-duty Ram trucks.

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