What Is It?
2015 Ram Laramie Limited
What's New About This Model?
Ram already makes the Laramie Limited as the tacit top trim of the Ram pickup pecking order. But at the moment there seems to be virtually no limit to what pickup-deprived holdouts from the Great Recession want to spend for a luxury hauler, so Ram is ladling even more features, content and upscale materials into the Laramie package for 2015.
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
What clearly will be the most visible differentiator for the Ram Laramie Limited is an all-new grille that, as with the Ram 1500 Rebel introduced at the recent 2015 Detroit Auto Show, makes a rowdy departure from Ram's long-standing crosshair design, with enough sheer acreage of chrome that if you lie down on the sidewalk in front of the Laramie Limited, the grille practically can serve as a full-body mirror. The grille's enormous R-A-M inset actually is surpassed in size by the towering and polished lettering on the Laramie Limited's tailgate so, Ram crows, "onlookers can clearly identify the truck." The big-money pickup trend has become so bullish that we're not even sure that's said tongue-in-cheek.
Not enough chrome? There's an optional package of fully polished front and rear bumpers, while some 2500- and 3500-series models will come standard with the shiny bumpers. Also on hand are 20-inch alloy wheels in Ram's glinting new "multi-surface" design.
If you think that's serious bluster outside, the interior of the Ram Laramie Limited really gets down to business with an all-black interior (including the headliner) swathed in studiously rich leather set off by chrome seatbelt buckles emblazoned with the Ram label. Leather covers the steering wheel and grab handles, and a particularly oozy-soft leather is fitted to the upper door panels.
Tech is handled through the massive 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen interface, which sits above a redesigned center console that houses one of our favorite new Ram features: a holder for electronic devices as large as an iPad that positions those suckers usefully upright and securely. The sliding lids that cover the console's two bins are leather and wood. Beneath your feet are gloriously thick-carpeted mats that snap off to reveal premium rubber foul-weather underlying mats.
When Does It Go on Sale?
The 1500 series Ram Laramie Limited goes on sale in the second half of this year as a 2015 model. The Laramie Limited trim for 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty Rams goes on sale in the third quarter and will be designated 2016 models.
How Much Does It Cost?
Pricing will be detailed closer to the Laramie Limited's showroom appearance, but considering all the new goodies, we'd expect a plump increase over current Laramie stickers that can extend well past the starting price of just under $50,000. And of course the heavy-duty versions of the Ram Laramie will cost proportionally more.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The 2015 Ram Laramie is offered as the top trim level only for Crew Cab models of the light-duty Ram 1500 and the Mega Cab body style for the Ram 2500 and 3500.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
Power choices for the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited start with Chrysler's Hemi 5.7-liter V8 generating 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, backed by the Ram's stunningly smooth eight-speed automatic transmission.
Also available for light-duty Laramie Limiteds is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 with 240 hp and a churning 420 lb-ft of torque, also driving through the eight-speed auto. There's also a choice of four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive and a couple of different rear axle ratios. The EcoDiesel engine's big story is fuel economy, racking up 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway) with rear drive and dropping only marginally to 22 mpg combined (19/27) with four-wheel drive.
The big-heifer Ram 2500 and 3500 Laramie Limited are available with either the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, the brawnier 6.4-liter version of the Hemi or the renowned king of torque twist, the 6.7-liter Cummins-made inline six-cylinder diesel.
What Kind of Standard and Optional Safety Equipment Is Offered?
The Ram Laramie Limited comes standard with traction and stability control. Also standard are front, side and side curtain airbags and a rearview camera.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Ford F-150 Platinum: You already know about the stupendous weight reduction that is the all-new F-Series pickup's calling card, but an enormous number of shoppers are offsetting the weight reduction with the hefty premium content of the F-150 Platinum (and folksier King Ranch) models. The new F-Series also comes gunning with the segment's richest array of new safety and convenience technologies and some pretty sweet engine choices.
GMC Sierra Denali: Don't let it be said that GMC doesn't know how to gussy up the sweet-riding, burly-engined Sierra; the Denali comes to town with some serious interior trimmings of its own, plus the awesome magnetic ride control damping as standard. But if you prefer the overt approach of the Ram, the Denali definitely is more Gregory Peck than John Wayne.
Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition: The name reference is a little obscure and the Tundra itself remains fourth banana in a three-banana pickup market, but the 1794 brings rich, interesting detailing and materials to the Tundra CrewMax's immensely roomy cabin.
Should You Wait for It?
Ram is sticking with its patented in-your-face approach even for its most premium pickup, so if bold, brassy and at the same time immensely luxurious happens to be your chosen blend, the Ram Laramie Limited is a combination even the swankiest of its full-size pickup competitors will find a tough time matching. And the light-duty Ram 1500 Laramie Limited will be in showrooms in a matter of months, so only minimal waiting is required.