For Sale By:Dealer
Disability Equipped: No
Sub Model: 4WD Crew Cab 149 Tradesman
Exterior Color: Other
Drivetrain: Four Wheel Drive
Kernersville, North Carolina, United States
Chrysler may have the Super Bowl's most popular commercial for a third year in a row. Eminem and Eastwood helped it earn that distinction the last two years, and while Oprah did the voiceover for this year's Jeep ad, it's Chrysler's other spot that's in the running for Most Valuable Ad after the big game this year.
So where did the Ram brand's commercial about farmers come from? As it turns out, the ad appears to be inspired, shall we say, by a video produced by Farms.com that was uploaded to YouTube in June, 2011. Greg Mitchell of The Nation pointed out the similarities between the two in an article published this morning. The video uses the same speech given by famed radio broadcaster Paul Harvey played over a slideshow of farming images. It's the same concept as Ram's ad, though the truck brand did go out and commission its own images shot by very well-known photographers for its version.
Did Ram steal the idea? That does not appear to be the case. A message left on the Farms.com YouTube video says "Farms.com is pleased to be working with Ram Trucks and support the 'Farmer' Super Bowl commercial." When you play the video, a link even pops up to watch Ram's version.
Get in just about any mid-level Chrysler product these days, and you'll see a touchscreen head unit that would be perfect for a navigation system. The only thing is that some of these cars equipped with the head unit for Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system were not optioned up with navigation at the time of purchase, leaving drivers looking for turn-by-turn directions relying on either an aftermarket nav system or a smartphone. Starting on select new Chrysler products, however, customers with Uconnect will now be able to upgrade to navigation as a dealer-activated option.
Announced at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, this new element of Uconnect will allow owners to have an in-dash navigation system installed quickly and easily; Chrysler said that this will be a major benefit for used-car buyers. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like this system will be retroactive on previous Uconnect head units, but it will launch this year on the 2013 Ram 1500, 2013 SRT Viper and the 2014 Fiat 500L. Chrysler did not announce the expected MSRP to have dealers activate the navigation capabilities.
Another infotainment option for Chrysler buyers is the Uconnect Access system that can allow WiFi, voice text messaging, emergency assistance, remote vehicle operation (such as starting the engine or locking/unlocking the doors) and limited POI searches using Bing. Also introduced at CES, the new Uconnect Access via Mobile system builds on this by allowing users to add in-car apps such as iHeart Radio, Pandora and Slacker by connecting to the system via a smartphone. This system will first be offered on the 2013 Ram and Viper.
Ram may be preparing a new sort of tailgate that could rethink the way we access the bed of the company's pickup trucks. Rather than the typical fold-down tailgate that we know so well, patent drawings show a tailgate that combines the functionality of a traditional fold-down design with a 50/50 split that can, individually, be opened like a barn-door design or dropped flat like a standard tailgate.
Now, Ram is far from the first to toy around with something like this. The most obvious example is the Honda Ridgeline, which features a single-piece tailgate that is double-hinged so that it can open traditionally or be swung out to the side. The big news here is the split and the fact that each half can be used independently of the other. Unlike the Honda, the individual halves would be operated via touchpads.
The implications of this new design aren't entirely clear right now. It seems possible that the rendering could just be for a concept vehicle, but production is certainly possible as well - Ram has shown a real willingness to innovate in the pickup segment as of late, with features like coil-spring rear suspensions, light-duty diesels and the Ram Box bedside storage system.