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Delayed Ram crash test set to roll

First one: Queenslander Brent McDonald takes delivery of the first American Special Vehicles-converted Ram from Yamanto dealer Glen Stallard.

Right-hand drive Ram gets safety tweaks ahead of Australian crash test

19 Jan 2016

AMERICAN Special Vehicles (ASV) engineers are preparing to slam a converted right-hand-drive Ram pick-up into a crash-test wall this month after a postponement to tweak the safety performance of the locally modified truck.

The test, at an independent crash test centre in Melbourne, was to have been done late last year, but it was delayed when a preliminary sled tests revealed areas of potential improvement. Those modifications have now been incorporated into final production vehicles, and the test rescheduled, perhaps for as early as this week.

Although trucks such as the American-built Ram do not have to be submitted to the same Australian Design Rule (ADR) crash test as passenger cars, ASV wants to validate the vehicle anyway to prove its safety credentials.

The Ram already has full ADR truck certification for mass sale in Australia, thanks to a year-long project to develop the right-hand drive conversion process to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards.

ASV – a partnership between special vehicle producer Walkinshaw Automotive Group and importer Ateco Automotive – already has about 80 Ram orders from its 18 dealerships across the country, and hopes to deliver about half of those by the end of January.

Once dealers get initial cars, ASV is planning to step up its targeted marketing campaign from about February, with a focus on buyers who require a big diesel, all-wheel-drive towing vehicle.

ASV hopes to sell about 50 units a month in the first year.

Meanwhile, production of right-hand-drive Rams is set to ramp up on the new production line at Walkinshaw’s factory at Clayton, Victoria.

The first production vehicle, a Ram 2500 Laramie, has already been delivered, to Queenlander Brent McDonald, of Yamanto, near Ipswich.

Mr McDonald, who wanted the Ram for his rural property, traded a BMW 750 on the Ram at the Blue Ribbon RAM dealership in Yamanto.

Ram 2500 pricing starts at $139,500 (plus on-road costs), while the 3500 goes for $146,500

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