FCA raises the pickup luxury ante 

The Ram truck division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) gives itself credit for initiating the luxury trend in full-size pickups with the 2004 Ram 1500 Laramie, a vehicle the company sees as opening the door to personal use purposes. That concept—pickups for all-around service, appointed for comfort and entertainment—has obviously taken root with all five full-size truck manufacturers, who lavish upscale elements on their offerings and relish the profits that ensue. In 2009, 10 percent of Ram pickup sales were luxury trims. Last year, that percentage had doubled, according to FCA.

For 2018, the Ram product planners are putting yet another chip on the luxury pickup square with the Limited Tungsten Edition. Available in half-ton and heavy duty models—1500, 2500, 3500—it’s the fanciest Ram yet. Prior to the Tungsten Edition, there were three upscale Ram truck trims—Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited. The Tungsten treatment enhances the already luxurious Limited version. Most noticeable of the upgrades is the premium “Natura Plus” leather applied throughout the cabin—dashboard, door panels, seats and steering wheel.

The primary hue is indigo, with “frost” seat inserts, a color somewhere between off-white and light beige. Indigo carries down to the carpeting, and the floor mats, which feature indigo and frost snap-out inserts. More luxo touches: a suede headliner and real wood accents. Other interior elements are predictable: premium audio, navigation radio, power-adjustable foot pedals, heated steering wheel, heated seats (ventilated up front), FCA’s Uconnect infotainment including Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and Sirius XM Guardian.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2018

Tungsten tint trim

Exterior distinctions include a tungsten-hued grille with a king-size Ram logo; body-color bumpers, door handles, mirrors, and step rails; a sport hood on 1500 models; satin finish wheels; tungsten chrome accents; and another big Ram logo on the tailgate. In addition to spanning the Ram duty range, the Tungsten Edition treatment is available in Quad Cab, Crew Cab and Mega Cab body styles, standard and long-wheelbase, and rear- or 4-wheel drive. Mega Cabs are limited to heavy duty models, as is the option of dual rear wheels.

MSRPs start at $56,515 for the Ram 1500 Tungsten Edition (rear-drive/Quad Cab), and $60,985 for the 2500 (Crew Cab) and $62,085 for the 3500 (Crew Cab). Tungsten Edition Rams will be on sale in July. As for the namesake -- Tungsten, aka Wolfram -- it’s an element (number 74 on the atomic scale) that, with certain alloys, can yield a very hard metal with a high melting point. However, the name is the only tungsten you’ll find in a Ram Limited Tungsten Edition pickup.


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