Stampede adds horsepower

Rodeo fans witnessed and were even able to get behind the “horses” of a new ride this year at the Ponoka Stampede.

RAM truck representative Ryan Quick slowly descends the mountain on the off-road course

RAM truck representative Ryan Quick slowly descends the mountain on the off-road course

Rodeo fans witnessed and were even able to get behind the “horses” of a new ride this year at the Ponoka Stampede.

Dodge RAM constructed an off-road course near the entrance to the Ponoka Stampede Grounds allowing the public to test drive and experience the 2013 line of Ram trucks and their capabilities.

“This is the first time we actually made an off-road course. Ram wanted to have a bigger presence at the rodeo this year and this is our target audience. We know rodeo fans are big truck lovers,” said Ram representative Ryan Quick.

Last year during the Stampede Ram held a Ride and Drive through the streets of Ponoka but it couldn’t show off the trucks in the same way.

The public was able to ride through the course or drive the trucks themselves as well as enter a ballot to win a $40,000 voucher toward Chrysler products.

The star of the course, which operated June 26 to July 1, was the Laramie Longhorn, one of the most luxurious trucks on the course.

A log pile demonstrated the truck’s coil-over suspension, “And how smoothly they’re able to traverse those logs,” said Quick.

An articulation section, alternating short dips in the road, highlighted the Longhorn’s ability to keep all four tires on the ground, providing more traction for the driver.

A mountain showed off the truck’s four-wheel drive and the following sharp tilt in the road demonstrated the low centre of gravity,

“So they won’t roll over at an extreme angle,” Quick explained.

Using hay bales, Ram representatives could also demonstrate the Longhorn’s park view reverse cameras with dynamic grid lines, which turned on a screen on the dash to show the truck’s reverse trajectory.

An 8.4-inch UConnect media system allowed drivers to control the internal functions of the truck including a heated steering wheel and heated and air conditioned seats.

Quick says the Ram event exceeded the number of people they were hoping to attract. Part of that is the event was not a sale promotion and didn’t pressure the drivers. “One of the biggest things we want to do is just allow people to get inside,” said Quick.