2009 Dodge Ram RT Review
PickupTrucks.com takes a look at the 2009 Dodge Ram RT and interviews Mike ACCavitti and Mike Cairns from Dodge about the RT.
2009 Dodge Ram RT Review
Michael Levine: This is Michael Levine form PickupTrucks.com and we’re here at
the 2009 Chrysler media live preview to take a look at the 2009
Dodge Ram RT.
We’re going to talk to Mike Accavitti who is responsible for
Dodge and SRT marketing and also Mike Cairns who’s the chief
engineer on the Dodge Ram.
So Mike why don’t you go ahead and walk us through the new
Ram RT model?
Mike Accavitti: Well, what we did when we set out the new Dodge Ram lineup is
we wanted to make sure that we had a truck for those buckets of
customers that put a preference on one thing or another. So for the
off road guys, we got out TRX model. For the on road guys, we
have our sport model and for the guys that really want to go fast
and gals, we have the RT model which is the fast pickup truck that
me make. It’s a short box configuration. It’s kind of a one size fits
all, five hemi liter engine. Mike’s going to talk here about some of
the technical innovations that go into the product that allow us to
make the claim it’s the fastest pickup truck that we have and we’re
offering kind of attitude adjustment. It’s got a special look, it’s a
real in-your-face kind of a design package and it’s a kind of truck
that when you and I were in high school, that’s the kind of truck
that we kind of aspire to that we thought “Hey, this is a really cool
truck”. So that’s kind of what we’re going to after with this dual
exhaust standard pick up truck.
Michael Levine: Excellent and I noticed we’ve got this really bright RT badge here.
Any other changes that are going to separate this truck or is this
kind of the stealth truck that you can show up at a stop light?
Mike Accavitti: That’s really. You know we can show up last and take off first or
you know that’s kind of what we’re after with this. What we find is
that the customers that wanted this truck, they do want to keep it a
little bit under the radar screen. They don’t want it in-your-face
super loud truck. They could customize it and personalize it
however they want but what we wanted to offer them from the
factory was that little special model differentiator which is that big
RT badge in that front grill and that’s really going to let the people
know what that means.
Michael Levine: Let’s talk to Mike Cairns. Mike, you’re the chief engineer on this
truck. So tell us what makes an RT an RT.
Mike Cairns: Well of course, any great sport truck starts with a great power
train. So we start with a new next generation hemi 5.7 liter hemi
390 horsepower, 407 foot pounds of torque.
Now, for the RT model specifically, we put a special torque
converter tuned to this model that helps translate that power to the
wheels. We’ve also gone with the dual exhaust setup that
specifically tuned for this RT model. Internally, we call it the
aggressive dual exhaust because you got a treat sound and it allows
a little back pressure which allows us to take the advantage of that
great hemi horsepower. The other great thing is of course the
standard cap short box configuration coupled with out new rear
suspension in the 09 Rams, the new link core rear suspension give
this truck not just great power going forward. It is great stop light
power but also great handling and that’s one of the thing makes
this sport truck so much fun.
Michael Levine: My understanding, the heart of this is the torque converter.
Mike Cairns: Absolutely, when we got a special torque converter that allows less
slip and less loss of energy and the reason we do that, it’s a little
harsher for the transmission shifts which to the general market may
not be acceptable but in a sport truck costumer wants very crisp
shift patterns, so we also specifically tune the shift patterns to
make it a very aggressive acceleration pattern.
Michael Levine: And my understanding is we’re going to see this to zero to sixty in
under six seconds.
Mike Cairns: Exactly.
Michael Levine: What I’m hearing is 5.9 seconds, is that an accurate—
Mike Cairns: Well, my engineers are still—they wont give me the number
because they know once they say they’re done, I’ll take the truck
away, so they’re still doing the whole shacks and trying to get the
best out of it but yeah, we’re definitely under six seconds and
we’re looking to go to 5.9 at this point. So we’re really, really
happy with that.
2009 Dodge Ram RT Review
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