WHILE you mightn’t be able to drive a full-size American pick-up truck straight from the showroom onto Australian roads, a mob called Ateco Automotive has struck a factory-backed deal to bring RAM trucks here, commissioning the Walkinshaw Group to do the right-hook conversions.
The RAM 1500 you’ll find on local roads doesn’t have the Cummins 6.7-litre inline six diesel engine found in units across the Pacific, instead it gets a 5.7-litre Hemi V8.
The other big difference affects your hip pocket, with the factory-backed RAM selling for less than $100K; they’ve always been on the meaner side of $100K. Yep, you’ll still find other mobs selling converted RAMs, but the Walkinshaw-engineered vehicles are the only ones that meet exact OEM standards.
The burly 1500 Laramie we had our mitts on sits at the premium end of the model line-up, and this one was fitted with a shorter 3.92:1 final drive ratio to improve its towing capacity to a mammoth 4500kg (standard gear-set is 3.21:1 for a 3500kg tow capacity).
We took it to a few tracks just outside Melbourne and were impressed by its practicality, ability and on-road presence. Watch the above video and pick up a copy of the 4X4 Australia Summer magazine for our comprehensive review.