Saturday, August 19, 2017
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Legendary American truck arrives

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Normally only seen in American movies, the legendary American truck, the RAM, is set to become a lot more visible in New Zealand.

Local importer Fiat Chrysler New Zealand is ramping up RAM’s presence with a nationwide 13-strong dealer group. Farmer Autovillage being has been carefully selected to house the newly-launched ultimate utes – the RAM 2500 and 3500 Trucks. “We have deliberately had a soft launch for the RAM Trucks, starting with a preview at Fieldays, so that we could put everything in place to ensure that wherever a RAM roams in NZ, it will have the full support it deserves,” Farmer Autovillage’s general manager Warren Carter told Bay Driver. “Now that we have everything in place it is time to put the pedal to the metal.” With their first order already placed it is obvious the RAM is going to be a BIG hit here in the Bay.

7 tonnes of pulling power

The RAM 2500 and 3500 are imported direct from RAM’s North American factory by the NZ-owned Ateco Group, parent company of Fiat Chrysler NZ, and remanufactured in Australia by Walkinshaw Automotive to meet Australian and NZ compliance rules. This is so much more than left-to-right conversion, Walkinshaw Automotive completely remanufacture the RAM vehicles to right hand drive on a purpose built production line in Melbourne. Both versions of the RAM Truck launched in NZ are powered by a mighty 6.7 litre turbo diesel engine which boasts a staggering 1084 Nm of torque. Depending on the type of towing arrangement utilised, RAM Trucks feature an enormous towing capacity of up to 6989kg for the RAM 2500 – and an impressive 6170kg for the RAM 3500. Payload is 913kg for the RAM 2500 and 1713kg for the RAM 3500.

The fancy stuff

Equipped with the luxurious Laramine trim and equipment package, standard equipment highlights include heated and ventilated front seats that are 10-way power operated for the driver and six-way for the front passenger, with all seats leather trimmed. As well as 12-volt power outlets, there is a 240-volt 100 amp mains power socket; the ventilation system is climate control dual zone; the steering wheel is heated; the pedals are power adjustable; a sun roof is standard; the audio system has nine speakers and a sub-woofer and the dashboard includes a vehicle information system. There are two rear cameras, one for the cargo area and another 20cm touch screen display for reversing.

Will it tow a racecar?

Managing director for Pak’nSave Tauranga Dean Waddell is someone who needs a bit of pulling power and has been waiting for the new RAM to arrive at Farmer Autovillage so he could test drive it. Dean is a former NZ Speedway champion retiring just three years ago with two national titles under his belt. With the apple never falling far from the tree, as Dean put it, he has passed the torch to his son Sam, who has started his racing career extremely well in his Shane Macintyre built Hypermac Corvette style saloon car. Dean has been looking for a vehicle capable of towing his 3.5 tonne fully customised Scott Fraser engineered trailer, comfortable enough to transport the family or support crew and enough torque to haul all of this up steep NZ roads with ease. Dean told Bay Driver: “Traditionally American imported vehicles have been converted by small operators to right hand drive which can equate to variations in the quality of workmanship and can mean a loss of factory warranty. However under the Ram/Walkinshaw conversion agreement, the conversion is done to RAM factory specifications and with that RAM offers a comprehensive three year/100,000km warranty with roadside assistance to NZ buyers which is hugely reassuring. Effectively buying a new car with all the normal new car warranty benefits you would expect to get”.

2016 Australian Tow Car of the Year

Australia’s leading caravan and recreation vehicle magazine and website, Caravan World, has named the RAM 2500 as its 2016 Tow Car of the Year, putting the newly launched in NZ American ute ahead of all the traditional tow cars as the best choice to tow a caravan. In selecting the RAM 2500 as pick of the tow cars in the Australian market, Caravan World said: “The RAM is the stand-out of our ‘Top 5’ because it makes every other tow vehicle we’ve tested seem like toys. “The RAM was a rock-solid towing platform. It towed a 2900kg caravan like it wasn’t even there”. With 6.7 litre 276 kW Cummins turbo diesel under the bonnet, Caravan World said: “Hills didn’t slow the RAM – and with its exhaust brakes, going downhill at a set speed without needing the brakes was easy”. Judges concluded: “If you wanted the ultimate tow vehicle, this is it”.

Highlighted features as standard

• 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel engine

• 276kW Power

• 1084Nm of torque

• 6 seat capacity

• Removal in-floor storage bins

RRP: From $164,990 Plus ORC

Dealer: Farmer Autovillage - 116 Hewletts Rd, Mount Maunganui, Phone: 07-578 6017

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