Ram pickup trucks have been on the market for more than 30 years, so the brand has predictably released several creative versions of their beloved Ram 1500. We've seen this trend even more in recent years, as Ram has continually looked for ways to modernize and boost interest in their fourth-generation pickups.
One of the main ways to revamp their standard offering is to release a "Special Edition" of the Ram 1500. These unique versions can offer exterior restylings, innovative technology, or even revised mechanics. These alternative versions of the 1500 are intended to capitalize on a specific customer desire, to accentuate a new feature or capability, or even commemorate an important anniversary or date.
We've pulled out five of our favorite recent 'Special Edition' Ram 1500s, several of which you may be able to purchase from your local Ram dealership. While some of these versions are rarer than others, each of these 1500s still bring their own appreciated talents to the table...
In 2013, the brand released one of the most intimidating versions of the pickup yet: the 2013 Black Ram 1500 Express. The vehicle's appearance naturally commanded attention, as dark accents were used throughout the exterior. The black grille (with a black hex-link) caught drivers' eyes up front, while the black full front fascia paired perfectly with the bright fog lamps. The 4x4 badge (accompanied by the black-painted Ram's head) could be found out back alongside the black rear bumper. To put it over the top, engineers equipped this special edition 1500 with semi-gloss black aluminum 20-inch wheels.
Of course, the most notable inclusion is the incredible engine. The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine pumps out an incredible 395 horsepower and 410 pounds-feet of torque. These specs play a significant role in the 10,650-pound towing capacity and the 1,900-pound max payload. Despite all of this power, the engine is more efficient than one would anticipate. The system can deliver a 15 city/22 highway mile per gallon fuel efficiency, numbers that aren't often reserved for such hulking, powerful pickups.
Originally unveiled as a concept vehicle at the 2008 SEMA show, the Dodge Ram R/T officially went into production during the 2009 model year. This particular nameplate has evolved a bit over the years, with the brand releasing one of the most impressive offerings for the 2015 model year.
This specific pickup may have resembled your ordinary Ram 1500 due to the regular cab design, the short bed, and the two-wheel-drive capabilities. However, engineers did plenty of work modernizing this truck, adding on 22-inch wheels, a distinctive R/T badge on the grille, and an available performance hood.
The inside of the pickup offers all of the features and amenities a driver could possibly want, including the 8.4-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a heated steering wheel, and a seven-inch digital cluster display. Considering the savings you'll encounter by pursuing a used truck, these previously unaffordable features may actually be realistic.
Since the R/T presumably stands for "racetrack," it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Ram 1500 R/T is a capable and competent performer. The same 5.7-liter engine that was featured in the 1500 Express is included in the Ram R/T, and the system is paired with the adaptive 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to these impressive mechanics, drivers can expect a 0-to-60 time of 5.4 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 14.1 seconds (at 99 miles per hour). We're sure you're aware, but these numbers are usually featured in much smaller sedans, not pickups.
You'd be hard pressed to find this specific pickup outside of Detroit, as only 1,000 units were sold at 90 Michigan dealerships. Still, you never know when you may come across the pickup that honors one of the most winningest hockey teams in NHL history.
“The Red Wings and Ram share the same values of hard work, toughness, and the determination to win,” said John Plecha, the Director of the Great Lakes Business Center for Chrysler financing (via Michael Wayland of MLive.com). “It is this passion that the brand captures in new creative elements produced specifically for our partnership and built off of Ram’s successful Guts Glory campaign.”
To honor the Ram being named the "official truck of the Red Wings," the brand released this special edition 1500 in 2011. The pickup includes the team's logos along the exterior, as well as optional Red Wings leather seats.
Otherwise, the pickup shared many of the same qualities as the 2012 Ram 1500 Express, including a 5.7-liter V8 engine that could pump out 390 horsepower and 407 pounds-feet of torque. The system could even deliver a 14 city/20 highway mile per gallon efficiency when equipped with the two-wheel-drive capabilities.
You may remember this special edition version of the Ram 1500 from the mid-2000s. There were ultimately 2,000 units built, so the 'Nightrunner' isn't the easiest used Ram to come across. However, as we said before, this doesn't mean that you won't unexpectedly come across the pickup during a simple walk around a dealership.
The Nightrunner included a number of features that helped accentuate the nameplate. The Brilliant Black paint gave the vehicle that 'night crawler' feel, while the 20-inch black chrome rims warned others not to mess with you. The exterior was topped off with a black chrome grill, a 'dark shaded' headlamp, and the NightRunner badge.
Unsurprisingly, this special edition Ram included that previously-mentioned 5.7-liter HEMI engine.
This off-roading version of the beloved pickup is actually one of the more popular and commonly found trucks on this list. Originally introduced back in 2005, this Ram offered all of the capabilities needed for an ideal off-roading experience. These included the 5.7-liter HEMI engine, electronic locking differentials/disconnecting front sway bar, 33-inch off-road tires, and a 12,000-pound winch.
There's no denying the capabilities of each of these Ram 1500s (especially since the majority of them include that hulking 5.7-liter HEMI engine). They're all powerful, luxurious, stylish, and comfortable, and their specific, exclusive features will help your pickup stand out from the crowd.
If you're somehow given the opportunity, it'd be rather difficult to choose between any of these five offerings. Fortunately, you can't go wrong no matter what choice you make.