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Dodge Reveals New 2006 Ram 1500: First Pickup Truck to Offer Cylinder Deactivation

Dodge reveals new 2006 Ram 1500. (PRNewsFoto)

CHELSEA, MI USA 06/16/2005

Technology to Save Customers 60 Million Gallons of Fuel Annually
* All-new Frame and Suspension improves ride and handling, quietness and driving dynamics
* All-new Interior features redesigned instrument panel, center console, seats and entertainment features
* Bold, New Exterior includes redesigned fascia, grille, headlamps, fenders and wheels
* Best-in-class Power achieved with 5.7-liter HEMI(R) V-8 engine that generates 345 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque

CHELSEA, Mich., June 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Consumers have a lot ofreasons to get "pumped" about the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500.

(Photo: )

In addition to being the first pickup truck to offer Chrysler Group's MDStechnology, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500
-- the most powerful light-duty pickuptruck on the market
-- boasts an all-new frame and suspension, an all-newinterior, and an even bolder new Dodge Ram exterior.

The new truck arrives inDodge dealerships this fall. "The boldest and most powerful light-duty pickup on the market just gotbetter," said Darryl Jackson, Vice President - Dodge Marketing, ChryslerGroup. "Packed with refinement, technology, best-in-class HEMI power and anew bold appearance, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 continues to lead thecompetition. And in true Dodge fashion, we will offer our new Ram at anincredible value."

The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 is the first pickup truck and latest ChryslerGroup vehicle to feature standard MDS with the 5.7-liter HEMI. Withoutcompromising its best-in-class 345 horsepower, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500'sHEMI V-8 engine seamlessly alternates between four-cylinder mode when lesspower is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand.

"Chrysler Group was the first to offer a modern cylinder-deactivationsystem, the first to offer MDS in an SUV and now the first to offer MDS in apickup truck," said Mike Donoughe, Vice President - Body-on-frame ProductTeam.

"By offering MDS as a standard feature on the HEMI-powered Dodge Ram1500, customers will experience the most powerful and capable V-8 engine inthe pickup truck market, with an improvement in fuel economy of up to 20percent."

With the introduction of the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500, 60 million gallonsof fuel will be saved annually by 2007 thanks to the HEMI V-8 engine's MDStechnology -- to be offered on seven large-volume Chrysler Group vehicles byyear's end. Chrysler Group's MDS-equipped lineup also includes the HEMI-poweredChrysler 300C, Jeep(R) Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum and DodgeDurango, with the all-new 2007 Jeep Commander arriving in showrooms this fall.

By 2007, Chrysler Group will have nearly 1 million vehicles on the road withMDS.

Building on the previous Dodge Ram 1500's superior ride quality, the new2006 Dodge Ram 1500 again raises the bar with an all-new hydroformed, fully-boxed frame and suspension that deliver a smooth, confident and highly capabledriving experience.

The Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 model utilizes a new coil-over shock absorber and double wishbone front suspension. Mounting the shock absorber inside the coilspring enables four-wheel-drive models to benefit from the coil spring's addedtuning characteristics. All 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 models feature monotube shock absorbers thatdeliver a controlled, steady and predictable ride with superb handling. Inaddition, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 features retuned springs, jounce bumpersand suspension bushings.

The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's Hotchkiss-design rear suspension utilizesleaf springs that are designed to reduce wheel hop and improve durability.Spring rates have been selected to provide a poised ride when unloaded, andstable, confident handling when fully loaded to its 6,800-lb. Gross VehicleWeight Rating (GVWR). A rack-and-pinion steering system with new steering gears on both the two-and four-wheel-drive Dodge Ram 1500 models provides a precise and firmsteering feel.

The interior of the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 complements the bold exteriorby taking luxury and refinement to new levels in the pickup truck market.Enhanced driver and passenger comfort and more feature content is abundantinside the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500.

Driver and passengers will experience an interior environment that is 20percent quieter than the previous Dodge Ram 1500, achieved by employinglaminated front-door glass and improved door seals. In addition, extensiveuse of Polymer Constraint Layer (PCL) and new body mounts reduces road noiseand resonance between the engine and cabin.

All-new seats, including optional bucket seats with available leathertrim, provide substantial bolstering and generous support while adding a richappearance to the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's interior. A new instrument panel cluster -- placed underneath a redesigned clusterbrow -- is designed to reduce glare, and a new, wide center stack contains anew audio system and new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning controls.

Premium amenities -- including a new GPS Navigation radio, new rear-seatDVD (Quad Cab(TM) only), Infinity(R) sound system, UConnect(TM) hands-freecommunication system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, sun roof, adjustable pedals,dual-zone climate control, heated seats and a new power-sliding rear window --are available on the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500.

Dodge Ram's distinguished and bold "big rig" design is expressed ingreater magnitude in the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500. A chrome crosshair grillewith surround collar and new distinctive headlamps retain Dodge Ram's robustand chiseled front-end appearance.

The 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's new fully chrome, ingot-like grille highlights amassive front bumper, creating a bold, protective appearance. The substantialgrille remains a mainstay of the Dodge Ram design signature, with the largecrosshair as the focal point. Moved to the center of the crosshair from thetop of the grille is the signature Ram's head. Large angular headlamp modules on the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 provide 22percent more light intensity and 40 percent improved beam spectrum than theprevious Dodge Ram 1500.

The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 offers three powerful engines, including the5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with MDS, providing a best-in-class 345 horsepower and 375lb.-ft of torque. "With a 58 percent take rate, the HEMI continues to resonate withconsumers and is extremely popular among Dodge Ram Light Duty customers," saidJackson.

With 300 lb.-ft. of torque, the Magnum(R) 4.7-liter V-8 provides smoothand responsive performance, and is available with a five-speed automatictransmission.

The 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 engine is standard on the two-wheel-drive DodgeRam 1500 regular cab and the two-wheel-drive Quad Cab with the standard bedconfiguration. The 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 delivers 215 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. The 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 and the 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 engines feature astandard Getrag six-speed manual transmission.

The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 leaps to new heights in performance andefficiency in the full-size pickup segment, providing the most state-of-the-art technology available to meet the needs of today's pickup truck buyers.Dodge engineers perfected several areas of the Dodge Ram 1500 -- frompowertrain to aerodynamics -- to create a more fuel-efficient light-duty,full-size pickup truck. With the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, the Dodge Ram 1500 is the mostpowerful light-duty pickup truck in the market.

Without compromising itsvenerable power, the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500's HEMI V-8 engine features thefirst-ever fully functioning cylinder deactivation system -- MDS -- on apickup truck. Customers receive the powerful benefit of the HEMI V-8 enginewith the fuel economy that they -- until now -- could only expect from asmaller, less powerful engine.

The HEMI V-8 engine can transition from eight cylinders to four in 40 milliseconds (0.040 seconds) -- quicker than the blink of an eye. Improvedfuel economy is realized without any change in customer experience as driversreceive the benefit of MDS without changing their driving habits. Customerswill experience fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent under certain drivingconditions.

A new Variable Line Pressure (VLP) transmission for the 2006 Dodge Ram1500 with the 3.7-liter V-6 engine improves fuel economy and provides smoothershifts between gears. Adding to the fuel-efficiency formula, the 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 modelis equipped with a front-axle-disconnect system, designed to disengage thefront-axle driveshaft when operating in two-wheel drive. This minimizes thefront-drive system's energy consumption and improves fuel economy.

The 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 also features new reduce-drag brake calipers, low-rolling resistance tires and a rear spoiler to improve vehicle aerodynamics.The spoiler is positioned on the rear liftgate. VERSATILE CABS The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 is available in regular cab and Quad Cab bodystyles, in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, and with six-foot oreight-foot beds.

Available trim levels are ST, Sport, SLT and Laramie. AMega Cab body style will also be available this fall. The Dodge Ram Quad Cab features four standard doors, available 60/40folding rear seats and a folding load floor that ensures both passengers andgear fit in the back simultaneously and comfortably. By allowing seats tofold up, tools and other items may be securely locked away. The Dodge Ramregular cab offers just as much flexibility, with storage behind rear seatsand enough seat travel for ease in reclining of driver and passenger seats.

Both the Dodge Ram Quad Cab and regular cab feature numerous front-seatstorage areas and convenience features. The 40/20/40 front seat providescomfortable seating for three or ample center storage for one or twooccupants. The center console offers room for a laptop computer and featuresfold-down storage dividers. The center "20" portion of the seat offersadditional "hidden" storage under the cushion.

The 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 model offers a new standard electronic-shifttransfer case, with the more fuel-efficient, disconnecting front axle. Thenew on-demand four-wheel-drive system includes two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive "high" and "low" modes, plus a new four-wheel-drive "auto" mode thatprovides torque to the front axle only when required.

The 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 also offers a "Tow/Haul" feature that providescrisp shifts and reduces gear searching, and an "Overdrive Off" mode thatdelivers maximum trailer towing performance. These systems will also select alower gear in downhill conditions in order to utilize the engine's brakingcapability.

Dodge Ram continues to strengthen its leadership position as the dominanttruck brand with a lineup long on superlatives: * Most POWERFUL pickup: Dodge Ram 1500 with legendary HEMI power is themost powerful mass production light-duty pickup on the market * FASTEST pickup: Dodge Ram SRT10 is the Guinness Book of World Records'fastest production pickup * STRONGEST pickup: Dodge Ram Heavy Duty Cummins Turbo Diesel is thestrongest pickup on the market, with 610 lb.-ft. of class-dominating torque * Most CAPABLE pickup: Dodge Ram Power Wagon is the most capable off-road factory pickup ever created * LARGEST pickup cab: Dodge Ram Mega Cab will be the most spacious andversatile pickup on the market DODGE BRAND

With a U.S. market share of seven percent, Dodge is the fifth-largestnameplate in the United States and the eighth-largest nameplate in theautomotive industry. In 2004, Dodge sold more than 1.4 million vehicles inthe global market. Dodge continues to lead the minivan market segment with a 20 percentmarket share in the United States. In the truck market, Dodge has an 18percent market share. In the car market, Dodge has a 4.5 percent marketshare.

The new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 will be built at the Warren Truck AssemblyPlant in Warren, Mich., and at the St. Louis (Mo.) North Assembly Plant.SOURCE Chrysler Group

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