Much of the idea of pickup trucks being performatively macho and aimed at cowboys and construction workers is thanks to marketing, rather than how a lot of trucks are actually used by everyday people. But the automakers work hard at those ideas, like how Fiat Chrysler apparently used six different types of hammer to inspire the trim options for the 2019 Ram 1500.
(Full Disclosure: Ram wanted to talk to me about the 2019 Ram 1500 so bad they invited me to lunch a few blocks from the Javits Center in New York City, where I sat through a short informative presentation, had lunch and briefly drove the new truck.)
Approximately two-thirds into the presentation on the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 earlier today, Ram Chief Interior Designer Ryan Nagode lassoed my attention when he mentioned the prophetic hammers that gifted the six Ram 1500 trims their individual identities. Those trims are the Tradesman, Big Horn, Rebel, Laramie, Long Horn and Limited.
Here is the presentation slide of the Six Guiding Hammers:
Here’s how Nagode explained where the idea to pull inspiration for each trim level’s aesthetics from the chosen hammers came about:
In terms of our distinct interiors and exteriors, earlier on in the program, we set out to kind of say ‘What is behind each of the interiors?’.
We went off and picked a hammer that went with each of the interiors and exteriors that really help to suggest to anyone working on the program what is the difference between a Tradesman and the Limited Longhorn interiors. And you can kind of see that graphically. We also did a really good job... to actually pull colors and finishes from these hammers.
Judging by the graphics chosen for the slide I photographed from the presentation, the Tradesman is represented as a sledgehammer, backed by images of a contractor and what look to be possibly some raw building materials.
The Big Horn seems to be a standard household hammer, alongside an image of a family painting and something I can’t distinguish. The Rebel is a sexy hammer, with a black and red handle and a larger head.
The Laramie’s hammer has to do with horses and horseshoes, and it seems to be accompanied by images of a rural family. The Long Horn’s hammer looks like maybe a mining tool. There’s cowboy iconography there, too.
Finally, the Limited hammer looks like something you’d wear as an accessory, and it’s backed by an image of what appears to be a suit tailor. This one’s aimed at those working on the finer things.
Anyway, here’s images of five of the six truck trim interiors Ram provided me, and see if you can extrapolate a clear influence from the Six Planning Man Hammers Of Ram.
Ram claimed to only have three of the trims present at the launch event. I drove the Rebel along the predetermined route provided by Ram, which was essentially crawling through stop-and-go traffic in a square of about five blocks. I have to admit I did not extrapolate very much.
I did get to play with the adjustable air suspension that was optioned on the Rebel while waiting at a light, though. There are three positions. The lowest is for loading, the middle is potentially for normal driving, and then the highest is, well, the highest, so the best.
Otherwise the truck took the bumpy potted roads well, and the interior was a comfortable place to be—though the red “metallic” trim pieces stretching from the gauges to the door panels and dashboard reminded me of my old red Motorola Razr flip phone, which wasn’t great.
The other trucks I got to see up close included a Big Horn and a Long Horn. The Big Horn had a mostly black and leather interior with pretty standard, unremarkable trimmings. It was a good, neutral alternative to the other options. The Long Horn has a genuinely fire-branded wooden dashboard piece and trimmings, the texture of which felt dry, light and a little rough, but not uncomfortable. Just really, really over-the-top.
Also, you can navigate the touch screens while wearing gloves, which is cool. And physical controls also exist for most functions, all of which are housed in a completely redesigned dashboard that the team referred to as a “chest-up” design.
Chest up, hammers out, it’s Ram time.