Dodging the Trend: Ram 1500 to Maintain Steel Body

Don't expect to see an aluminum-bodied Ram 1500 until sometime after 2020.

The 2015 Ford F-150 is a major game changer for the full-size pickup truck market. That’s because of its aluminum body which apparently cuts weight by about 700 lbs over its immediate predecessor. Chevrolet/GMC was pretty much caught off-guard by this and is working fast on a refresh for the Silverado/Sierra. Aluminum won’t replace the steel in those trucks entirely, but a major diet plan is still planned.

So where does all this leave the other major Detroit automaker and its full-size truck, the Ram 1500? According to a new report, Ram is planning an extensive 1500 facelift for 2017, but this won't include a change to the truck’s construction materials. If Ram were to make the switch from steel to aluminum (and it will at some point), the earliest that’ll happen will be in 2020 when the 1500 is set to undergo a complete redesign. So what can be done to cut some weight in the meantime? Good question. Some build materials can be replaced for lighter ones, but Ram will need to rely on its new six-cylinder diesel paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission as it goes up against that new and lighter F-150.

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