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58Bonne's 1958 Bonneville

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Car and Driver: 4×4 Off-Road Packages for All! Ram Announces New Gear for All 2500 Pickups

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While the bulk of the excitement on the Ram stand at the 2016 Chicago auto show may have centered around the new-for-2017 Power Wagon, the truck maker also had a little news for 2500 HD buyers interested in improved off-road chops without going full gonzo for the Power Wagon. Called, somewhat obviously, the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4×4 Off-Road Package, it groups together some of the most popular and useful off-road options to ensure the components have a sympatico relationship with each other and to simplify the ordering process.


Starting with the exterior, Firestone on/off-road tires (275/70 size with 18-inch wheels or 285/60 with 20-inch wheels, selection dependent on trim level and options) roll under larger fender flares in black or body color. Up front is a pair of large tow hooks, while big “4X4 OFF ROAD” decals reside on the rear of the bedsides.




Off-road hardware upgrades include Bilstein monotube dampers and a rear “anti-spin” differential, which turns both rear wheels in tandem when increased torque is applied yet automatically unlocks for normal on-road driving. A skid plate protects the transfer case, which is the lowest-hanging midpoint of the truck.


The package also brings hill-decent control as standard. Essentially a speed governor for steep downhill terrain, it gives the driver’s feet a rest from finessing the brake and accelerator pedals. We tried a similar setup in the Ram Rebel 1500 and came away impressed.


The 4×4 Off-Road Package doesn’t tie buyers down to one or two body styles or trim levels. It’s available on all Ram 2500 models (Tradesman, SLT, Big Horn/Lone Star, Outdoorsman, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited), and buyers can opt for either Crew Cab or Mega Cab models, gasoline or diesel power, and their choice of a short or long wheelbase. Look for the Ram 2500 4×4 Off-Road Package to hit dealers in the third quarter of 2016.


-2016 Chicago Auto Show Full Coverage


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