Detroit, MI – And the headlines continue to roll in from the North American International Auto Show, where last month’s reveals sparked countless live auto news headlines and conversations which are continuing, even a month later.
Building upon much of the momentum from 2018, the most impactful reveals from the 2019 show seemed to be based around advances in sustainable EV technologies, our (ever-closer) journey towards autonomous self-driving technology and the en vogue nature of high-powered variants. In fact, it was the near 1,000 lb-ft torque rating boasted by the RAM Heavy-Duty that contributed to the excitement surrounding the FCA stage. But that far from the only buzz being generated by the RAM team at this year’s NAIAS.
“We’ve got our fair share of irons in the fire,” states RAM representative Gus Santiago, in an exclusive conversation with The Lemon. “The popularity over hi-po’d offerings like the Demon, Hellcat and Trackhawk have done amazing things to validate our strategy in recent years. Understanding that environmental concerns have inspired major changes within the automotive industry, leading to the creation of smaller vehicles offering more modest performance numbers, we feel that it’s important to remember that many people still love size, speed and power. In that regard, we’re confident that people will like what we have in the works for 2021, as it’s faithful to those classic automotive ideals. After all, it’s not the end of the world if we enjoy ourselves a little bit, right?”
But what is this mystery vehicle (or vehicles) that RAM claims to be working on? Understandably, Gus Santiago was keen to remain tight-lipped, crippled by enough confidentiality agreements to permanently reduce his sperm count. But fortunately for you, loyal followers of The Lemon, Santiago’s intern Jeff proved to be more pliable. Well, to be more specific, he was more easily plied…by countless Jameson & Gingers ordered by our staff researcher, Lisa Marie.
According to Jeff, RAM is designing a high-powered variant of their next generation of HD trucks, tentatively called the ‘Mammoth’. Seemingly a continuation of the beastly naming strategy that has proven to be so appealing among enthusiasts, the Mammoth moniker evokes prehistoric echoes of the upcoming TREX version of the RAM 1500.
But while RAM, and the rest of the FCA family, seem to enjoy introducing vehicles that go “RAWR” others might argue that such offerings seem short-sighted in light of environmental concerns.
“We stand on the precipice of an ecological tipping point,” claims Dr. Ryan Woodland, an environmental research scientist at the University of Maryland. “And while there’s no arguing the appeal of vehicles that are bigger, faster and stronger – they simply don’t represent the best interests of mankind. What we need are modestly sized vehicles, powered by more sustainable energy options, which minimize emissions. Failure to do so puts us on the fast-track to some frightening changes in our climate.”
But Jeff disagrees, asking, “What kind of frightening changes? Like an Ice Age, or something? Not to sound like a wiseass or anything, but that’s probably why they named it the Mammoth.”