A panel of 49 automotive journalists from the US and Canada, representing dozens of media outlets, awarded the new RAM 1500 with ZF 8-speed automatic transmission “North American Truck/Utility of the Year 2013”. The voting jurors were particularly convinced by the pickup truck’s modernized driveline: The fuel consumption of the model which is mainly successful on the US market could be considerably reduced. The ZF 8-speed automatic transmission alone reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to a large extent thanks to a higher transmission spacing, a start/stop system, and improved efficiency.
The RAM 1500 of model year 2013 is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar as standard and, compared to the predecessor, it features 42 percent more performance and 13 percent more torque. The new RAM, however, consumes 20 percent less fuel compared to the previous 3.7-liter V6 driveline and, with a fuel balance sheet of 25 miles per gallon (MPG), it is one of the most efficient vehicles of its class.
This results mainly from the advantages of the modern 8-speed automatic transmission from ZF: It features eight gears, four gearsets, and five shift elements (two brakes and three clutches). Thanks to an increased spacing, an improved gearset concept, and an enhanced gear efficiency, the 8HP reduces the vehicle’s fuel consumption. Furthermore, the drag losses in the transmission were minimized and the power transmission was optimized since there are only two shift elements open per gear.
The hydraulic impulse oil storage (HIS) allows for a start/stop function. It supplies the hydraulic oil that the transmission’s shift elements need for starting. When the engine is switched off, it enables a quick engagement. With the start/stop function of the hydraulic impulse oil storage alone, it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by 3.3 percent.
The ZF 8-speed automatic transmission is also available in the new RAM 1500 in combination with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, which is Chrysler’s first application of the 8HP with a V8 engine. The 8-speed automatic transmission in the RAM 1500 is operated via a rotary switch on the dashboard. For the 2013 model year of the Ram 1500, ZF also supplies lightweight axles, which are produced by ZF in cooperation with Chrysler, as well as a disengageable front axle gear.