For the past several years, the New Zealand market just had to make do with a lineup of fourth-generation Ram 1500. That was until last summer when Ram Trucks New Zealand introduced the fifth-generation Ram 1500 Limited to its lineup.
While Holden and Ford have ended production of their popular Utes, the region has turned to pickup trucks to fulfill their needs. This means even more attention to the Ram Truck brand in both Australia and New Zealand. Offered in a Crew Cab configuration with a 5-foot, 7-inch box with four-wheel-drive (4×4), the Ram 1500 Limited is powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque mild-hybrid system and paired to a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission.
Delivering 390 horsepower (291kW) and 410 lb.-ft. (556 Nm) of torque, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 provides 4,500 kg (9,220 lbs) of towing capability.
The eTorque mild hybrid system replaces the traditional alternator on the engine with a belt-driven motor generator unit that performs several functions. The motor-generator unit works with a 48-volt battery pack to enable quick and seamless start/stop function, short-duration torque addition to the engine crankshaft in certain driving situations, and brake energy regeneration, which improves responsiveness and efficiency.
With the engine running, eTorque’s motor generator unit feeds a 48-volt current to a 430 watt-hour lithium-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-Graphite battery. The small-suitcase-sized, air-cooled battery pack mounts to the rear wall inside the Ram 1500’s cabin. In addition to spinning the engine for restarts, the eTorque unit also recaptures energy during deceleration and braking to feed charge to the battery pack.
Equipped with Right-Hand Drive (RHD), the New Zealand market 2022 Ram 1500 Limited includes air suspension, a 12-inch Uconnect infotainment screen, a 900-watt Harman Kardon audio system, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, active noise-canceling, power running boards, and 22-inch aluminum wheels.
Now, the New Zealand-spec Ram 1500 Limited has taken home the “2022 Car of the Year” Award for the “Pickup” category from NZ Autocar magazine. NZ Autocar is New Zealand’s leading automotive magazine. Delivering news reviews from the automotive world, including commentary from leading automotive writers, and covers the scope of motoring including new cars, classic cars, EVs, and motorbikes.
The publication highlighted the iconic HEMI V8 engine, in addition to the spacious and refined interior, with equipment worthy of luxury cars.
It continues the Ram 1500’s trend as the most awarded half-ton pickup in the market, today.