The Arabian Desert is probably the harshest place on earth; a landscape of sand full of dunes and emptiness, no living creature can survive its heat and its tough environment. Driving through the Arabian desert is not an easy task and cannot be done without a guide. For off-roaders, it is the ultimate challenge, you will need an outstanding vehicle to cross those sandy dunes and survive the trip.
Arriving one night earlier than the RAM drive event, we were super excited about crossing the desert with the All-New lineup of RAM 1500, and what better vehicle than the RAM 1500 to take on the challenge with!
Earlier that night, we received our orders to take on the desert while test driving the 2017 RAM 1500 and we were ready for the quest. The most important note we got is to stay with the convoy, follow our guide’s instructions and check-in at the check points created specifically for this trip.
We felt safe with the presence of experts along our side, we decided to crash early in order to be ready for our mission the following/next day.
At the break of dawn, I woke up to the smell of fresh desert rain and just by looking outside my mid-desert hotel window, I could clearly see the long stretched beige carpet of desert sand ready to be RAMmed by the RAM made for this type of terrains. The smell of fresh rain on those sandy dunes and the light morning desert breeze had never felt that so refreshing, and giving us the right amount energy to be ready for the tough day ahead.
Reaching our first check point, we were blessed with the 2017 RAM 1500 Laramie edition 4×4. Seated in the driving seat and taking off with the convoy was exhilarating, we hit the tarmac at first to reach our desert take off destination; it was a joyful ride. Arriving at the start line, we took a 5-minute stop to deflate our tires and set the RAM free to invade the desert.
Along the way, we got separated from the convoy and were left alone with the Laramie in the middle of nowhere. Modern communications and tracking technologies were absolutely useless. We were stranded in the desert and had no clue how to reach our destination! So I stepped outside my RAM and started to look around for a glimpse of hope how will we be able to reach our destination? it was the only question on my mind.
The sun started to take settle in the middle of the blue sky shining hot, the ground was still wet from the night before and silence was king as tranquility ruled the earth. The only sound heard in that vast desert was the rumbling of that American powerful exhaust reminding us that the RAM was there for us to cross the toughest terrain created by God.
Challenge mode on, our sole goal was to cross those dunes, keep going straight to reach nearby roads and join the convoy. If the mission were to fail, we would be doomed!
I jumped back into my RAM seat and decided to hit those sandbanks powered by the legendary 5.7L HEMI® VVT V8 engine with FuelSaver MDS. Gears set to 4×4 low, just in case, and the truck was on its way flexing with a front suspension system equipped with upper and lower control arms, coil springs and heavy-duty shock absorbers working alongside the rear suspension with multilink coil spring.
I felt sorry for those grains of sand that didn’t really know what had hit them. Crossing from one dune to another, the RAM performed perfectly uphill and downhill, no matter what obstacles we faced along the long journey, we were sure that the Laramie was capable of overcoming them with confidence.
We were truly RAMming through the desert with 395HP @ 5,600 rpm and torqueing 55 Nm @ 3950 rpm coped with an 8-speed TorqueFlite® automatic transmission, we were unstoppable.
Meanwhile, the heat was rising, the desert was getting harsher by the minute and the ground was not the easiest terrain as it had dried from the rain. Nevertheless, we were enjoying our quest and not just because of the RAM Off-roading capabilities but also because of its nice, cozy, modern, and spacy inside cabin. Leather-faced 40/20/40 high-back front bench seat, heated and ventilated front seats, air conditioning with dual-zone automatic temperature control and humidity sensor, deluxe door trim panel, 10 amplified-speaker system including subwoofer, Uconnect® 8.4 multimedia centre with 8.4-inch touchscreen and so much more made our journey through the desert joyful. I personally liked the front armrest with three cup holders, I mean three cup holders? How much caffeine can anyone consume! However, with the RAM it is either all the way or nothing.
Moreover, we couldn’t help but to notice that the new lineup of RAM is truly a mobile office made for those rural off-site work line. The dashboard is set up to hold clipboards, notes, invoice pads, pens, and tape measures. The console lid is flat, so you can write on it, or do woodwork on it, or rebuild a carburetor, or whatever those offsite guys dream of doing. It made me wish I was an engineer just to put it into real life test.
On the exterior level, it is not just a truck; it is a RAM.I love the exterior; the front is characterized by a large chrome grill centered by the RAM emblem and equipped with fog lamps, premium bi-functional halogen projector headlamps and that aggressive truck look that flashes in the rear view mirror of any car. Moving to the sides, I couldn’t help but notice the chrome, power 6 x 9-inch heated, multifunction mirrors and those 20-inch Chrome-clad aluminum wheels laying under the body-color fender flares, the rear of the RAM is set far away from the front as the truck-bed fills the gap for that extra cargo and decorated with that dual rear exhaust with bright tips. I can certainly confirm that the RAM 1500 is a head-turner, not that there was anyone out there in the desert to turn head.
The journey came to its end as we reached the final check point, re-inflated our tires and hit back the paved roads heading towards our hotel.
After that long day, I can truly state that the 2017 RAM 1500 is an impressive truck, notable in this highly competitive segment for its great ride quality, unique storage solutions, upscale interior, and high overall capability. Thus if you’re the sort of person who loves trucks, and wants a truck, even if there is no valid reason for you to own a truck, or if you are a person that requires a mobile operating office that can go into rural areas and tough terrains and still perform that office work, the All-New RAM 1500 has what it takes.