Ram announced the new 2019 Ram 1500 with the eTorque mild hybrid drive system over seven months ago, and now the eTorque trucks are reaching the dealerships. This is our first opportunity to drive the 5.7L HEMI V8 with the electric motor assist. How does it drive and is the hybrid worth the extra $1,995? Let’s find out.
2019 Ram 1500 – HEMI eTorque
The eTorque mild hybrid system system is an electric motor that is mounted under the hood and connect to the engine via the serpentine belt. In the case of the 5.7L HEMI V8, the electric motor is able to provide up to 130 lb-ft of driving torque. The truck is able to recoup some of the energy and store it in a small 0.4 kWh battery that is mounted behind the rear seats.
The overall power rating for the HEMI hybrid is the same as a regular HEMI V8: 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor helps with initial acceleration, engine start/stop duties, and further smoothing out power delivery during the gear changes of the 8-speed automatic transmission.
It’s called a mild gas/electric hybrid because the truck is not enable to move under electric power alone. The electric motor is there only to assist the internal combustion engine.
The eTorque system adds $1,995 to the price of a HEMI-powered Ram 1500, according to the window sticker on this particular truck. Ram Trucks website also list the price of the eTorque system at $1,450. It also adds two MPG to the EPA combined rating. The HEMI eTorque is rated at 19 MPG combined by the EPA, versus 17 MPG combined for the regular HEMI. Most of the fuel efficiency benefit is realized during city driving.
How does it drive? If you didn’t tell me that this Ram 1500 Longhorn had the hybrid system, I would likely not notice many changes. The system is very well integrated together. The engine start/stop is handled to make the engine restart shudder-free and the response immediate. The new 2019 Ram 1500 is fully redesigned from the frame up. We have tested several other new Rams, and highway stability and a quiet cabin are noteworthy. This Longhorn edition truck is no exception. The suspension is setup for a comfortable SUV-like ride.
The Longhorn truck gets a unique interior that is perhaps the best amongst all truck manufacturers. The western theme, the leather, wood, and metal trim all work together for a cohesive look. The 12.1-inch vertical infotainment touch-screen is not just the largest in the segment, it’s also easy to use and offer high resolution.
Check out the first drive review video of the new Ram 1500 Longhorn below