Overwhelmed by the positive response to the work-oriented Ram 1500 Tradesman introduced at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, Chrysler's truck division is preparing a new consumer-focused variation that will pack Hemi power  and a load of features -- many common with the Tradesman -- into a similarly high-value package. For the moment, this new member of the team is being touted internally as the 2011 Ram Adventurer, although it will wear a different badge when it arrives in showrooms along with the Tradesman sometime in the second quarter.

"We know we have the formula right," said Ram Truck President and CEO Fred Diaz. "Now we just need a great name that promotes pride of ownership. This new Ram model will be an attractive alternative for a younger or first-time buyer looking for performance at an affordable price. Case in point, it will have more horsepower and a lower base price than our competitors' entry-level performance cars with the added benefit of versatility and capability." It also will offer plenty of personalization potential.

Like the Ram 1500 Tradesman, the new Ram 1500 "Adventurer" is spun from a regular-cab/short-bed version of the Ram pickup, has a 370-horsepower/5.7-liter Hemi V8 paired with a five-speed automatic transmission and offers the choice of rear or four-wheel-drive configurations. To set it apart visually, this higher-profile variation boasts a monochrome exterior treatment that includes a body-color grille surround and front/rear fascias, black honeycomb grille inserts, fog lamps, 20-inch aluminum wheels with locking lug nuts, chrome dual exhaust finishers, a cargo lamp, rear-bumper step pad and oversize side mirrors. Less visible but equally welcome touches include a locking tailgate, rear wheel-well liners, plus heavy-duty shock absorbers and engine/transmission coolers.

Inside, this racy Ram pickup-to-be comes with a vinyl-clad 40/20/40 bench seat, tilt steering column, air conditioning, six-speaker media center with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities plus AUX input, automatic headlights and variable intermittent wipers. On the safety front, stability control and four-wheel antilock disc brakes are complemented by front/side/side-curtain airbags. Highlights of the truck's lengthy option roster include cloth upholstery, Uconnect voice command with Bluetooth, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, USB port, a vehicle information center display screen, cruise control, power windows, keyless entry and heated trailer-tow power mirrors with supplemental signals and courtesy lamps plus a spray-in bedliner, Mopar chrome tubular side steps and steel bed rails, folding and heated trailer-tow power mirrors with supplemental signals and courtesy lamps. Buyers can also choose a 3.21 or 3.92 rear-axle ratio, anti-spin differential, trailer brake controller, and a Class IV hitch that will allow the truck to tow up to 9,100 pounds.

Pricing for the 2011 Ram 1500 "Adventurer" will start at $23,830.

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