Can The Hurricane Ram 1500 Rock The Truck World?

By 7 Min Read

The 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 — you know, the bright red hero truck in Twister (1996) — is one of the most influential vehicles in American history. That second-generation truck disposed of conventional flat-front, slab-sided pickup styling conventions, opting instead for a heroic high-attitude look. Every manufacturer followed in its footsteps, which brought us directly to the testosterone arms race of the modern truck market.

It’s surprising, then, that the 2025 Ram 1500 — incidentally also due to appear in Twisters (2024) — feels like a breather from aggression. Its grille gets classier, the burly 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is gone and in its place is the high-tech Hurricane inline-six. The 1500’s top-line Tungsten trim seems aimed more at Cadillac and Lincoln than Chevy and Ford. 

Quick Specs 2025 Ram 1500
Engine Twin-Turbo 3.0-Liter I-6
Output 420 Horsepower / 468 Pound-Feet
Transmission Eight-Speed Automatic
Base Price $42,270
On-Sale Date Early 2024

Rock You Like A Hurricane

I traveled to Austin, TX to see if Ram’s newest tornado-chaser could change the nature of pickups once more. The day began in Hill Country with a Ram 1500 Lone Star, the Texas-specific variant of the volume-seller Big Horn trim. The 305-horsepower Pentastar V-6 is still the 1500’s base engine, but my Lone Star harbored the new standard-output Hurricane straight-six under its hood. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo all-aluminum six-cylinder boasts a 25-horsepower jump — to 420 total — over the outgoing Hemi V-8, despite losing 2.7 liters of displacement and two cylinders. 

The Hurricane’s pair of small turbos (each feeds three cylinders) spool up quickly, and its exhaust system runs nearly uninterrupted down the length of the truck, with one pipe running from each turbo to the exhaust’s polished tips. The setup’s like Vick’s Vaporub for freeing exhaust flow. Thanks in part to the turbos and exhaust design, all 468 lb-ft of torque are available at 3,500 RPM, allowing the flat torque curve to do its best V-8 impression.

If you need a pickup to truly burn rubber, the High-Output Hurricane boosts power to 540 HP and 521 lb-ft of torque; both Hurricane options route power through a decisive-yet-smooth 8-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission. 

Official fuel-mileage numbers are as yet unreleased, but with the standard-output model I averaged a pretty -good 18 MPG despite a lead foot and a lot of stop-and-go traffic.  The Hurricane’s sole weakness is towing capacity, down 1,190 lbs vs. the outgoing Hemi truck, to a maximum 11,560 lbs.

Still, the Hurricane proves itself a worthy replacement for displacement. 

2025 Ram 1500
2025 Ram 1500

Rock & Roll Radio

The optional 12-inch infotainment screen in my Lone Star (an 8.4-inch unit is standard) ran the latest version of UConnect, which I found extremely quick and responsive. Most key climate and stereo features, regardless of screen size, have redundant physical controls (although seat heating/ventilation buttons are on-screen only). Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard in every ‘25 Ram. 

Using the system was easy, although the portrait-style display sometimes required taking my eyes uncomfortably far from the road to scroll through various controls on the bottom of the screen.

2025 Ram 1500

Higher trims offer a full surround-view camera for easier maneuvering and parking, and although the camera and display resolutions are higher for ‘25, it’s still not high enough to use the majority of the portrait-style screen, which was disappointing for the near-$70,000 purchase price. 

2025 Ram 1500
2025 Ram 1500
2025 Ram 1500

Cum On Feel The Noize

I eventually traded out my Lone Star for the sole new trim for 2025: the Tungsten. Tungsten supplants the Limited at the top of the range and elevates the already-luxurious Ram 1500 to new heights. 24-way power adjustable, heated, ventilated, and massaging quilted leather front seats, knurled metal finishes, an all-new 14.2-inch touchscreen, a 10.25-inch passenger touchscreen (embedded in the dashboard), and lush touchpoints liberally scattered throughout the cabin give the already class-leading Ram interior a boost to virtually Teutonic luxury. It comes at a Teutonic price, too — $89,155 — but this truck’s as fully loaded as they come. 

The Tungsten-specific 23-speaker 1,228-watt Klipsch-branded audio system was by far my favorite part of the new pinnacle trim. This pickup truck will outperform your home theatre in clarity. If you’re like me and enjoy worsening your tinnitus, you’ll be pleased to know I found this on-key performance continued no matter how far I cranked the volume. This system — paired with the high-output Hurricane engine, which is standard equipment on the Tungsten — allowed me to get quite rowdy despite the classy accoutrement. 

Unfortunately, the standard 22-inch wheels also made the ride much rowdier than in the lower-trim Lone Star I’d driven earlier; gone was the unibody-esque ride comfort. If only 18s were an option, it would be a luxury SUV that happens to have a bed; with 22s, it’s much more reminiscent of a very nice pickup truck. 

2025 Ram 1500

Hurricane For A Twister

The Ram 1500 has grown up gracefully, and the Hurricane motor is strong enough that few buyers will mourn the loss of the Hemi. Whether buyers want to spend $90,000 on something badged with the same “Ram” as a Tradesman is another matter, but it makes a solid case for itself on its merits. By the third Twister installment twenty years down the line, I suspect we’ll look back on the Hurricane Ram just as fondly as its forebears.

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