By Jola Chudy
With many executives choosing to remain in the UAE this summer, the options for high-level escapism include road trips and staycations. And when it comes to enjoying the open road. RAM leads the way thanks to its fusion of power, style and handling.
With lockdowns easing, the temptation to plan road trips and staycations beckons this summer, especially as it seems many executives are actively looking to avoid air transport and restrictive self-quarantine periods abroad.
Automotive dealers are offering great deals at the moment and really, with having endured lockdown, there’s a palpable hunger for escapes, even if they are via road. CEO Middle East did exactly that, putting the new Ram 1500 Limited through its paces on a jaunt to Ras Al Khaimah.
A symbol of rugged, practical living, the pick-up is a workhorse no longer, and thanks to the luxury-oriented interpretations of this classic American-style wagon, a pick-up is now a status symbol that segues perfectly in the boys’ toys arsenal along with grail watches, yachts, a wine cellar or whatever mood-elevating pastimes and diversions you choose to distract yourself with during these less-than-wonderful days.
Ram Trucks was established as a separate division in 2010 and its Americana-hued heritage continues to see it as the pick-up of choice for industrial workers, farmers, tradespeople and those with a requirement for their vehicle to have serious amounts of space and muscle.
If you need a vehicle that can tow, haul and carry, the Ram’s 5.7-litre HEMI V8 credentials are without reproach.
Since upscaling its offering, RAM has become desirable for its blend of quiet power and physical presence: the cylinder deactivation coupled with an advanced active noise cancellation system and acoustic glass reduces ambient sounds down to a low 67.1 db, makes it the quietest Ram 1500 ever.
The powerful chrome exterior, 20-inch alloy aluminium wheels amplifies the impressive presence on the road of this plus-sized motor. To control the power, and with 18 percent more pad area, the Ram 1500 features the largest front brake rotors in the segment at 378 mm. A new electric parking brake replaces the previously foot operated parking brake, eliminating 9 kgs and working jointly with the truck to identify when to automatically engage.
And yet, for all the muscle and luxurious touches, the car is surprisingly responsive to drive. It’s kitted out with just the right amount of technical features to make life for the driver nice and easy, without over-engineering it to the point that you don’t even know what half the buttons do. That’s not what this vehicle is about and it’s what makes it such a treat to drive right down from the premium leather ventilated bucket seats (and yes, an abundance of wooden and leather trimming inside) to the easy-to-navigate driver interface that puts the award-winning fourth-gen Uconnect system centre stage, thanks to the 12-inch touchscreen sitting pride of place in the centre of the dash.
Underscoring the protective nature of the RAM, the car boasts more than 100 safety and security features. Perhaps the most frequently used is the Park Assist, which is particularly useful when you’ve got 5”7 worth of boot in the back to manoeuvre into position.
Whilst we pride ourselves on our impeccable spatial awareness, we aren’t too proud to accept a little bit of help, and this function came into its own time and time again when navigating the (admittedly few) smaller streets in the city and easing into tight parking spaces.
The 360-degree surround view camera is another reassuring touch that makes helming the RAM feel much easier. It’s been billed by the manufacturers as an everyday vehicle and it is this and features like its blind spot and rear cross path detection, abundance of handy USB ports, wireless charging pad, slick 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system gear it towards offering the driver an abundance of add-ons. Those all-important thoughtful touches elevate this high-performance workhorse to an object of grace, beauty, elegance and delight.