Truck shoppers now have another reason to check out the 2012 Ram Truck line: more power.  Ram revved up the horsepower in the gasoline and diesel engines found in its half-ton 1500 and Heavy Duty 2500/3500 models. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 gasoline engine now produces 390 horsepower (383 hp in Heavy Duty models). The torquey 6.7-liter Cummins inline six-cylinder diesel engine in Heavy Duty models now has 350 horsepower.

Both gasoline and diesel models also get revised transmissions. Heavy Duty models get a standard six-speed manual transmission for more towing control. Those who prefer to have their truck do the shifting can opt for a new six-speed automatic transmission with an improved torque converter for better fuel economy and improved towing power.

Today's truck buyers want lots of power without sacrificing fuel economy. Given the popularity of Ford's fuel-efficient EcoBoost technology in the latest F-150, other truck manufacturers like Ram also have to maximize fuel economy to win over shoppers. Despite the extra horsepower, the 2012 Ram 1500 still manages an impressive 20 miles per gallon on the highway. 

For 2012, Ram truck models come in 11 different trim options geared to handle every type of job. "The Ram 1500 lineup has a truck for everyone," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico. "From the value-priced Tradesman with a standard V8 to the loaded Laramie Longhorn, Ram Truck brand will continue to answer our customers' needs with products that hit high marks for durability, innovation and appearance."

All Ram pickups are available with Ram's patented cargo box, which is not only illuminated and lockable, but also has a drain. Ram claims it can hold 120 beverage cans, making it perfect for icing down drinks for a tailgate or picnic. Some models also feature "store in the floor" functionality, which includes locking containers for in-car storage. 

The 2012 Ram pickup is on sale now at dealerships nationwide. Pricing starts at $21,475 for the base 1500 model.

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Cliff Turner has been an automotive enthusiast ever since high school, where he developed a passion for cars while working for the local Saturn/Hummer dealership. When he isn't writing, he is busy earning his Juris Doctorate at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

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