The automotive media recently got a peek at the re-engineered Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks, scheduled to roll out in September as 2009 model-year vehicles. Two words sum up this top-to-bottom redesign: vehicle envy.

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Dodge has taken styling cues from its hot-selling Charger and new Challenger muscle cars, and put them into a truck that's every bit as stylish and speedy-looking as it just stands still. But the new Ram is more than a pretty face. It's got the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 with 380 hp and 404 foot-pounds of torque. It also has a unique, multilink rear suspension with coil-springs that support a solid rear axle, a combo that provides smooth riding and handling without sacrificing towing and hauling capability (estimated at 9,100 and 1,850 pounds, respectively).

The new 1500 has more improvements than we can list here, but perhaps the coolest is its RamBox storage compartments built into the pickup bed walls--two lockable, weatherproof, drainable compartments big enough for tools, bass, beer on ice, or all of the above.