Driving the Hurricane: Test Driving The New 2025 Ram 1500 Lineup

Earlier this month, the Ram Trucks brand invited select media to Austin, Texas to drive the 2025 Ram 1500 lineup. For the 2025 model year, the half-ton Ram benefits from some exterior changes, new tech inside and out and the new, ultra-premium, Tungsten trim level, but the biggest news is the arrival of the Hurricane inline-six engine family to the lineup.

After relying on the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 for nearly 20 years, the Ram 1500 has made the switch to the Straight-Six Turbo (SST), so for the members of the media heading to Texas, this was the first time behind the wheel of the new standard output and high output powerplants.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten

The Hurricane Straight-Six Turbo
The Ram SST engine is offered in two forms – standard output with 420 horsepower and 469 lb-ft of torque and high output with 540 horsepower and 521 lb-ft of torque. The 420 horsepower mill is standard in the Rebel and Laramie models and optional in the Big Horn/Lone Star models while the 540 horsepower option is standard in the Limited Longhorn, Limited and Tungsten models. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models.

For comparison, the 5.7-liter Hemi that was offered up until the 2024 model year offered 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, so both SST engines deliver considerably more power than the V8, leaving the only compromise to be the loss of the V8 exhaust note.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten features a 3.0-liter Straight-six Turbo engine

Driving the SST High Output
On paper, the seems to be little downside to the twin turbocharged 3.0-liter SST High Output, as with 540 horsepower and 521 lb-ft of torque, this is one of the most powerful engines in the half-ton segment. The key difference with this engine, as with all smaller, forced induction engines when compared to a naturally aspirated V8, is the initial hit of torque.

The SST engine uses small turbochargers that quickly reach the boost levels needed to make all of that power, but there is no way around the fact that there is some spool time. Fortunately, that initial torque hit is the only place where the Hemi outshines the SST engines, as everywhere else in the powerband, the big power of the Hurricane is magnificent.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten

When you stomp the throttle of a Hemi-powered Ram 1500 when stopped, all of that V8 torque hits right away, while with the twin turbo I6, there is a quick-but-gradual ramp up to that big power surge. As a result, where the Hemi will spin the tires and push you back in the seat right from the point of launch, the SST-powered Ram takes a brief instant of rollout before the power comes rushing in, but when it does, all of that turbocharged torque hits hard.

In fact, even with the 22-inch tires on the Ram 1500 Tungsten, a hard launch from a stop will get the truck moving just a bit before the tires begin to spin, but when they do, the tires struggle to keep good traction to the pavement. For those wondering, with traction control disabled, the inline-six engine will do absolutely massive burnouts through multiple gears. That being said, with just a bit of feathering of the throttle, the SST HO engine allows the Ram 1500 to accelerate hard through the mid-range, creating a very fast truck.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten

Beyond that initial power application, the SST HO engine in the 2025 Ram 1500 provides the kind of power that truck owners want. When cruising at highway speed, putting the throttle to the floor leads to a quick hit of power that allows the new Ram 1500 to accelerate smoothly up towards triple digit speeds.

The turbochargers spool so quickly that in a highway passing situation – or any case where you want to pick up speed in a hurry – there is no noticeable delay in power application when the 8-speed transmission steps down to a lower gear. Also, unlike other large trucks with small, forced induction engines, the SST doesn’t require the driver to constantly keep his or her foot to the floor, so while you do have to ask a little harder for power on launch, this engine never feels like it is struggling to move the weight.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten

Some of you might be wondering about the sound of the Ram 1500 Straight-Six Turbo engines, as not everyone loves the sound of the Ford F-150 with the EcoBoost V6. The SST engines, both standard and high output, are very quiet, so for the folks who own a more recent Hemi truck, you won’t get to enjoy the throaty roar of a V8. That being said, these I6 engines are so well muffled that there is almost no real exhaust note, which means that there is no “six cylinder sound.”

For many people, that is a good thing and for those who want that sound, aftermarket exhaust will be the answer, but the Ram team did a great job of making sure that their six cylinder truck engines don’t offer the “import tuner” sound that Ford delivers with the V6 Raptor, for example.

2025 Ram 1500 Rebel

Standard Output is Great Too
The Straight-Six Turbo in high output form is great, but with that engine being offered in the higher priced models, that may not be the first choice of many 2025 Ram 1500 buyers. The Ram 1500 Big Horn and Laramie are expected to be the key volume models, and while the Big Horn comes standard with the Pentastar eTorque engine, the SST SO is likely to be a popular upgrade option. Also, the 420 horsepower engine is the only engine option in the off-road-ready Ram 1500 Rebel, which will contribute to the popularity of this engine.

The media first drive event in Texas included a fairly elaborate off-road course with the 2025 Ram 1500 Rebel, with a nice blend of mudding, rock crawling and speeding along rough dirt paths. With the transfer case set to 4-Low, the new Rebel easily climbed over every obstacle along the trail, and when the group came to an area where it took some power to dig through deep mud, the standard output Hurricane engine was quick to respond.

2025 Ram 1500 Rebel

This was actually one area where the gentler torque application at lower engine speeds made climbing over obstacles a bit easier, as there is less wheelspin over wet rocks and logs. However, when the truck reached a steep hill, it didn’t take much pedal to get the SST engine up to the boost levels needed to build speed through the climb.

Next, the folks from the Ram Trucks brand had a new Ram 1500 Laramie hooked up to a 7,300-pound Airstream trailer to show off the towing capabilities of the standard output Straight-Six Turbo. With the extra weight out back, more throttle input is required at points when peak torque is needed, such as pulling out from a stop or when hitting a steep climb.

2025 Ram 1500 Laramie towing

This was the one area where the SST SO was asked to really work hard and when towing, drivers are likely to find that they are deeper into the throttle to reach the torque needed to maintain speed, but once again, this new inline-six engine was up to the task. It does require the engine to stay up in the peak powerband a bit more, so it feels like it is working harder than a Hemi with a similar load under the toughest circumstances, but with a heavier foot, most drivers will enjoy the way that this small engine moves weight.

Finally, driving a 2025 Ram 1500 Big Horn with the SST SO revealed that the characteristics are very similar to the high output engine, just with a bit less oomph. The SST SO is still distinctly stronger than the 5.7-liter Hemi, just with a bit less initial torque while the turbochargers are building boost while the mid-range power exceeds that of the Hemi.

While no one is happy to see the end of the Hemi V8 is the go-to half-ton truck engine for the Ram brand, the Straight-Six Turbo engines offer a clear advantage in power across the board, with just a touch less initial torque. The biggest downside is the lack of that lovely Hemi grumble, but when you are enjoying 420-540 horsepower without the nasal noise offered by competitive V6 truck engines, trading sound for power will be an easy compromise for most new truck buyers.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten 2025 Ram 1500 Rebel 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten features a 3.0-liter Straight-six Turbo e 2025 Ram 1500 Rebel 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten 2025 Ram 1500 Rebel
2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten features a 3.0-liter Straight-six Turbo engine

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Patrick Rall

Industry News Editor Patrick entered the Mopar world when he bought his 1983 Mirada back in 1994, installing a mild 340 a year later that would eventually be built up into the range of 500 horsepower. Today, Patrick daily drives a Hellcat Challenger, but he still has his 340-powered Mirada, as well as a 1972 Demon 340 and a Hemi Ram.

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