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Cut-price Ram 1500 confirmed: Cheaper Classic model to live on to undercut Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Cut-price Ram 1500 will live on.

The cut-price Ram 1500 Classic will live on in the American market, with the cheaper, older variant confirmed to continue through 2021 at least. And that's good news for Australian Ram shoppers, with the brand here expected to employ a similar two-tier strategy when the new Ram 1500 launches here.

Let me explain. In the USA, the Ram brand has introduced an all-new 1500 (DT), which it sells alongside the existing vehicle, now branded a 1500 Classic (DS), which will continue to be updated annually, and that will be sold alongside the new DT as a seperate model line.

In Australia, we currently only sell the DS truck, with the new DT expected to launch locally by the end of 2020, or in early 2021. And CarsGuide understands Ram in Australia is looking at employing a similar strategy when the all-new vehicle arrives here next year, allowing the Ateco-imported Ram 1500 family to broaden its range into new pricing territory.

In the USA, the two-tier strategy allows Ram to provide a cheaper entry point to the 1500 family. There, the DS starts at around $6000 cheaper than the DT.

Ram 1500 pricing in Australia currently starts from around $80k for the Express, and stretches to $104,450 for the Warlock. There is then a sizeable jump to the Ram 2500 Laramie, which starts at around $140k. And it's this approximately $35k price difference Ram in Australia hopes to plug in Australia, with the new 1500 to sit above the 1500 Classic in terms of pricing and specification.

The all-new Ram 1500 will remain powered by a 5.7-litre V8 petrol engine in Australia, generating 291kW and 556Nm. But in the States, that same engine is equipped with a mild-hybrid system, with a belt generator adding 12kW of power and up to 176Nm. It is understood that the mild-hybrid system could be offered in Australia, but is yet to be officially confirmed for our market.

There's also a third-generation of Ram’s 3.0-litre diesel V6, which is now pumping out some 194kW and 650Nm, which is fed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The engine we currently get in Australia - the current diesel - is good for 179kW and 569Nm.

Watch this space for updated launch timings on the new Ram 1500.