No car shows. The first electric Ram pickup prototype was unveiled at CES, the world’s largest technology trade show. The so-called Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept is the first demonstration of the electric pickup which will be launched in 2024 to, according to the manufacturer, once again redefine the segment.
Well, that’s the bare minimum. General Motors already sells both the GMC Hummer EV and the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado EV (in this case, on pre-order) and Ford already has the F-150 Lightning on US streets. With the introduction of the Ram 1500 Revolution, the Toyota Tundra is the only large pickup truck sold in the United States that hasn’t yet moved to an electric version.
The revolution promised in the name of the electric Ram 1500 would be in the four areas that, according to Ram, are the ones that concern its customers most: range, towing capacity, payload and recharge time.
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Of all this they have only anticipated that the pick-up will have two electric motors and that in 10 minutes of recharging it will have 160 km of autonomy more, recharging the batteries from 800V to 350 kW. And if you’re too lazy to plug your car into the charger, there’s the Ram Charger: a robot that detects the presence of the pickup and connects automatically. Full steering of 15° backwards is also guaranteed.
Ram didn’t go into detail on almost anything technical, as there’s still a long way to go before the production version launches. It remains to detail what, presumably, does not worry Ram buyers so much as completely unexpected functions.
With shadow mode, the Ram 1500 Revolution follows the driver as he walks at a safe distance. This would be a function indicated to prevent the driver from returning to the car to go get something and would be activated by voice.
There’s also a virtual assistant with a 3D avatar of the Ram that responds to users’ voice commands, an intelligent journey planning system and preset cabin adjustment modes.
A completely different ram
All Rams for sale look alike, whether they’re 1500, 2500 or 3500, V8 petrol or six-cylinder turbodiesel. The Ram 1500 Revolution, on the other hand, is completely different. In place of the grille, a huge logo illuminated by LEDs and with a new style, flanked by the headlights made up of bars and rectangles of LEDs. Above, orange marker lights on false air intakes.
The side makes it clear that the straight lines are from other times, with well-marked folds and the ceiling with a certain finish. The bulky bucket retains its length, but also extends into the cab. That’s because the partition between the bucket and the passenger compartment is electrically foldable, and can be housed in the bucket or removed, opening a gap of 5.49m by also folding the rear seats. That is, the double cabin can become a single cabin.
And it still has the bucket with electric opening and wider mudguards, to accommodate the 24-inch wheels with 35-inch tires and the Ram Box, side compartments, even more capacious. Under the bonnet is another top box, also with electric opening, as well as the cover for the battery charging port.
If it becomes complicated to use so many compartments, an application promises to measure the objects to be transported through augmented reality, indicating the best way to distribute the load. It is not very different from what happens with luggage on plane trips, but instead of the weight, the concern is in the dimensions.
Access to the passenger compartment is also different as the rear doors open in reverse, eliminating the B-pillar. The cab is 4 inches longer than the combustion Ram 1500, which Ram credits to the new STLA Frame EV platform. The justification lies in the electric motors, which are smaller and more powerful and have allowed the cabin to grow forward.
New is a rail system that allows the seats and also the console to be moved, allowing cargo to be transported into the cabin or simply to remove the console to increase space. The armrest of the center console, on the other hand, can be transformed into a work surface.
The seats, which can also be folded down, are also equipped with seat belts, grab handles and speakers and can rotate. This can be useful for enjoying the various external projectors that together can turn the Electric Ram into a movie projector. It will only be necessary to find a screen or a wall.
It doesn’t look like it, but in the center of the panel are two stacked screens that together add up to 28 inches. The lower screen can be removed and placed elsewhere on the truck, while the upper screen can slide sideways on rails. There are two more screens at the ends to display images from cameras that function as rear view mirrors. The central mirror, in turn, displays images from the all-round vision cameras and an additional rear view camera.
In view of the use of level 3+ autonomous systems, the steering wheel could be moved back to increase interior space. Meanwhile, the windshield helps with the operation of the augmented reality head-up display (HUD), which can show directions and warnings in the driver’s field of vision. The roof is glass and electrochromatic: it becomes opaque at the touch of a button.
Big North American pickup trucks are known for their many curious but not always necessary features. The Ram 1500 Revolution is no exception to this tradition and offers even more innovative solutions. It remains to be seen what will remain in the production version, which launches in the US in 2024 and has a great chance of making it to Brazil to take advantage of Ram’s huge success here.
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