It’s not every day that a gearshift knob wins a major award, but that’s exactly what happened at the 2012 New York Auto Show. The editors of Wired magazine picked the 2013 RAM 1500’s transmission selector as one of their Top 10 Tech Innovations of the show.
As you can see in the photo above, the new RAM shifter might be more noteworthy for what isn’t there: Instead of an obtrusive lever protruding from the column or console, there’s an elegant dial within easy reach on the dash’s center stack. The fly-by-wire, rotating control operates another RAM innovation: a highly advanced eight-speed automatic transmission, the TorqueFlite 8.
Historically, Chrysler and RAM Trucks are famous for their leadership in automatic transmission technology. In the 1950s, Chrysler pioneered the industry with the original TorqueFlite transmissions featuring advanced planetary gearsets and the first push-button controls – a signature feature on Chrysler-built cars and trucks of the era.