Ram’s big news at last year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit was the Ram 1500, which means that the natural order of things was for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup to follow suit for the show’s 2019 edition and they did not disappoint.
As the Ram 3500 Dually, Ram 2500 Laramie Limited Black, and an all-new Power Wagon rolled across the stage, the big news was announced: a torque milestone of 1,000 lb-ft, fully available at 1,800 rpm, has been reached by the 3500’s new 400 hp 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. This also includes a five-year, 100,000 km powertrain warranty in Canada. A new BorgWarner transfer case and new, larger 12-inch AAM rear axle has extended the 3500’s towing capability to a peak of 35,100 lb (15,921 kg) with a total potential payload of 7,680 lb (3,484 kg).
The base engine is already a honking one – a 6.4L Hemi V8, capable of producing 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. This engine comes with a heavy-duty-first TorqueFlight eight-speed automatic transmission. The diesel comes with an Aisin six-speed auto featuring a column shifter, while all Hemi models come with the Ram rotary shift dial.
Like the 1500, the HD lineup makes use of noise cancellation, anti-vibration, and acoustic glass to make the interior what the brand says is the quietest yet. The frequency response damping shocks introduced in the half-ton truck have made their way into these more capable models, as well as progressive springs and re-engineered bushing. An available rear air suspension includes bed-lowering mode, towing mode and payload mode.
The frame of each truck is now composed of 98.5 percent high-strength steel, which has lowered the weight by up to 143 lb (65 kg) on some models. A new advanced tire pressure monitoring system can report on up to six tires on the pickup and another 12 trailer tires, with profiles available for up to four trailers. Design updates on the exterior result in a segment best drag coefficient of 0.409 on the most aerodynamic models.
New to Ram Heavy Duty trucks is a 360-degree camera which includes a trailer reversing guidance feature. A new set of exterior cameras allow for custom positioning on the back or inside trailers for constant monitoring. Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are all available and can be used while towing. Back-up sensors are configured to work around the enlarged fenders of a Dually.
Many of the improvements that made their way into the Ram 1500’s interior last year have been added to the Heavy Duty lineup, particularly in the Limited models. Refinements include leather, wood, and chrome accents, an updated centre console with 12 different storage configurations and the available 12-inch Uconnect infotainment system.
New Power Wagon
A new Ram Power Wagon was also unveiled that features a unique suspension with factory lift, locking front and rear differentials, disconnecting sway bar and a 12,000 lb (5,443 kg) winch. It also receives the 360-degree camera, this time with a forward-view camera with gridlines designed for off-roading. A front-mounted Warn Zeon-12 winch features a synthetic line that the brand says doesn’t kink or fray and also reduces weight by 28 lb (13 kg). A Power Wagon feature package will remain available on Tradesman models.