Wednesday, January 30, 2008, posted by Auto Rider at 6:09 PM

The legendary F-150 has been the best-selling pickup for 31 years now. But F-150 is now facing a serious competition in the 2009 Dodge Ram.

The 2009 Dodge Ram was launched at this year’s North American International Auto Show. With a throng of American cowboys riding on their horses alongside a herd of cattle, the Ram was flaunted outside the front door of the Cobo Center in Detroit.

The 2009 Ram boasts of higher fuel efficiency and more horsepower. Additionally, the new pickup is equipped with loads of features that other rivals failed to offer. The features include storage bins, dubbed the Ram Box, built into the sides of its bed area.

Other auto features include heated and cooled front seats; heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, memory seats with power lumbar, dual-zone climate control, steering wheel, and a 10-speaker surround sound audio system.

The Ram will also be offering three engine choices. Engine options include a 3.7-liter V6, a 4.7-liter V8 and a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 for the high-end model. The HEMI engine generates 35 more horsepower than the previous model with 380. What’s more, fuel efficiency of the new pickup was increased to produce a more captivating version.

"This is an all-new truck. It's all-new design, new features. All kinds of new storage," said Dan Bodene, Chrysler’s body-on-frame specialist. "We significantly upgraded the interior. One of the other new features for the '09 is the coil spring rear suspension, which is a first in the pickup segment."

"Depending on how you option the vehicle, you can get everything from an AM/FM radio with CD player to Sirius backseat satellite TV," Bodene said. "There's DVD available. MyGIG entertainment system is available. You can have almost anything you want in it. We've got our signature Ram design. Compared to previous trucks, we think it's a little more aggressive this time around. A lot of features built into the design have helped the aerodynamics. We've got best in class aerodynamics on this truck. It's a .419 coefficient of drag. Our previous truck was .463 in comparison.”

The 2009 Ram, which will be manufactured in Warren, Mich. and St. Louis North plants, will hit showrooms this fall.

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