Chrysler’s Ram Trucks division unveiled a completely overhauled design for the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup last week at the New York Auto Show – a design aimed at significantly improving the vehicle’s fuel economy profile without compromising on performance.

[To watch a video of the unveiling at the show, click here.]

The biggest factors in the 2103 Ram 1500 fuel efficiency calculations are a pair of retooled engines. The first is a new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, which offers 42% more horsepower, 13% more torque and at least 20% better fuel economy than the 3.7-liter V-6 powertrain it replaces.

The second is a 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI equipped with what Ram calls “Fuel Saver Technology” and variable-valve timing in order to crank out 395 hp., 407 lb.-ft. of torque yet offer 10% better fuel economy than the 2012 Ram V-8 powertrain it replaces. That extra power also gives the 2013 Ram 1500 heavy-duty tradesman model, which comes spec’d with the V-8 package, 11,500 pounds worth of towing capacity and 3,125 pounds of payload, the company said.

Ram is also introducing a new eight-speed automatic transmission – the TorqueFlite 8, which will come standard with 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar – to replace its previous four-speed automatic model to help further improve the 1500’s fuel economy profile.

The new electronic transmission is operated by a new dash-mounted “rotary e-shift dial” that eliminates the need for steering column or floor-mounted shift levers – enabling what the company calls “quick blind-shift” transitions from "Reverse" to "Drive" when towing or navigating out of mud, snow or busy parking lots. The dash-mounted shift system also yields space for more functional and usable storage in the console as well, Ram noted.

A new air suspension option gives the 2013 Ram 1500 five “ride height” settings to choose from, including two higher levels for off-road operation, a low-to-the-ground aerodynamic setting, as well as one to help during parking maneuvers.

On the inside, Ram’s next-generation Uconnect Access debuts on the 2013 Ram 1500 as an optional feature; an 8.4-inch touch-screen display connected to a new onboard wireless platform called “Powernet” that gives operators a variety of in-vehicle computer and Internet connectivity options. The wireless connectivity of “Powernet” is provided done in partnership with Sprint, Ram added.

[For more details on Uconnect Access, you can watch a video by clicking here.]

Rounding out the new features on the 2013 Ram 1500 are power folding mirrors and a combination power and rear-sliding window with defrost. Also available is a new six-foot-four-inch bed option on the Crew Cab model, allowing for maximum passenger and bed hauling capability, the company said.

“We changed every area of the truck – from a newly designed frame with air suspension, to a new eight-speed transmission – to deliver unmatched performance and capability to our customers," noted Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico during the 2013 Ram 1500 rollout at the New York Auto Show. “The reveal and launch of the new 2013 Ram 1500 is by far the most significant and important truck we have ever launched in the history of not only the Ram Truck brand but in the history of the [Chrysler] corporation.”