Originally Posted by skytop
I notice that when I remove my foot from the accelerator pedal and 'coast' as I approach a turn, the 8 speed transmission (smoothly) goes into a lower gear which noticeably drags speed down. There is no usual coasting as with all other modern automatics I have driven.
Anyone else recognize this 8 speed characteristic as well?
Yes, all of the 8 speeds do this and it is absolutely normal. This is a characteristic of a high quality performance oriented trans. You will feel the same thing happen in a modern sports car (think BMW and Porsche, which use this same transmission in some models).
The transmission will not up shift while coasting, which would allow spped to increase without your input, as readily as less sophisticated units. This helps control your speed and allows the transmission to downshift early while you coast to a slower speed (engine compression braking).
If you do not want the feel of the engine compression (or as you described "drag") while coasting, just give an ever so slight pressure on the accelerator. The "drag' of the engine compression will go away, and the trans may even switch to the next sequential gear if you are coasting downhill.
This transmission is one of the greatest features of our RAM. It allows it to work like a truck, but perform like a sports car (in terms of shifting personality).