A FULL-SIZE American pick-up will storm onto the booming Australian ute market midway through 2018, with the Ateco Group announcing the arrival of the 2018 RAM 1500. The 1500 is powered by a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine good for 295kW and 552Nm, and itís mated to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission thatís standard on all RAM 1500 models.

The 1500 will join RAMís 2500 and 3500 which launched here in 2015, and both have enjoyed steady sales growth since Ė in fact, sales increased by 36 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016 according to VFACTS.

ďThe 2500, 3500 and, from the middle of this year, the 2018 RAM 1500, are remanufactured in Australia by Australians to meet Australian market demands,Ē said Alex Stewart, chief operating officer of RAM Trucks Australia.

What this means is the US-built 1500 arrives here as an LHD, but leaves the showroom officially classed as a remanufactured RHD vehicle. At a purpose-built facility in Melbourne the chassis and body are separated, before a re-engineered RHD steering system is fitted. An Australian dashboard is then installed, as well as a RHD heating and ventilation system. The body and chassis is then remarried. The 1500 will be offered with a comprehensive three-year/100,000km warranty.