Guts, glory, the tang of diesel fumes, enough torque to tow medium-sized mountains, a step-in height that just about requires you to go on oxygen, a driver's seat vista that makes you feel like you're at the wheel of an open-pit mining truck, mass pushing four American-style tons and enough premium-grade leather to re-upholster a herd of Texas cattle - welcome to the Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4.
Oh, and a price tag on the unit driven of $74,310, the ante for a North American pickup truck, a vehicle most associate with scuffed work boots rather than glove-soft Gucci loafers and the high-falutin' foreign luxury sedans that more often come to mind when you're talking that kind of coin.
But this is no ordinary member of the triumvirate of ruling North American pickup truck families - Ford, General Motors and Chrysler - which between them accounted for 244,822 of the 263,269 large pickups sold in Canada last year. The 2500 Laramie Longhorn is Ram royalty, only out-ranked by the even more massively steroidal 3500 in the heavy-hauling hierarchy.
And serious haulage is what it's all about with 79 per cent of buyers citing towing as a major consideration in their purchase, and the test truck was equipped to drag around no less than 10,320 kilograms. Those buyers, incidentally, are 90 per cent male and 50 per cent of heavy-duty models are purchased for work, although the Ram folk claim 100 per cent of them do double duty as fun and family vehicles.
This - or one of its Ford or GM heavy-duty rivals - is the kind of truck you want to be at the wheel of when you're towing an enclosed trailer full of race-car, tires, tools and gas to some distant track. Not, on the other hand, when you're trying to squeeze into a mall-sized parking spot.
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