One year ago the all-new Ram 1500 made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This year Ram is going even bigger with a Motown introduction for the all-new Heavy Duty pickup. The heavy-duty truck segment is an extremely competitive one — since there are only four major players — but the new Ram Heavy Duty is out of the gate with some pretty big numbers. Most impressive is 1,000 lb-ft of torque produced by a new Cummins diesel engine, which translates into a maximum tow rating of more than 35,000 pounds.
“Ram Heavy Duty owners constantly demand the highest levels of capability to tackle the biggest jobs and with 35,100 lbs. of towing capacity, pulled by 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque from our Cummins engine, we now hold the most important titles within the segment,” said Reid Bigland, head of the Ram brand at FCA. “We’ve also surrounded owners in luxury and technology that, until now, was unavailable in a heavy-duty pickup. The highest quality interiors, active safety systems and of course our award-winning Uconnect technology contribute to the best Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks we have ever built,” Bigland noted.
Stronger and Lighter
This big truck is built on an all-new frame made up of 70 percent high-strength steel with six separate crossmembers. While this makes the new Ram stronger, use of lightweight materials in the frame, powertrain and hood (which is aluminum) reduce overall weight by as much as 143 pounds. Ram also uses Active-Tuned Mass Modules mounted on the frame rails — unique devices that counter any vibration, which contribute to a smoother, quieter ride.
To further aid a smoother ride, the new heavy-duty Ram features Frequency Response Damping shocks at each wheel. The shocks automatically adjust to provide a firmer suspension on-road with more wheel travel in rougher terrain. The FRD shocks also help smooth the ride when the truck is unladen. Both Ram 2500 and 3500 can be equipped with active air suspension, which includes a bed-lowering mode that helps with heavy trailer hookups.
Back in the day — read a scant few years ago — a truck simply drove like a truck and no one complained because it was a truck. But consumer demand has changed, so Ram engineers went to great lengths to make this heavy-duty one of the quietest trucks on the market. With new C-pillar hydromounts, anti-vibration devices, new engine mounts, active noise canceling and new exhaust-system attachments, this is the quietest heavy duty truck Ram has ever built.
Big Power and Torque
As important as a smooth and quiet ride has become for a truck such as this, capability remains the ultimate reason for buying a heavy-duty rig. The Ram Heavy Duty is available with the brand’s strongest diesel powertrain: a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel. Standard output in the Ram 2500 is 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque. In the Ram 3500 output gets an increase to 400 horsepower and a massive 1000 lb-ft of torque, which kicks in at a mere 1800 rpm. The standard engine for the new Ram Heavy Duty is a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 producing 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. The V8 gets teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel employs a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Towing capacity can vary based on bodystyle, powertrain and other criteria, but a Ram 3500 2WD Regular Cab equipped with the Cummins diesel can tow up to 35,100 pounds or carry 7,680 pounds of cargo. For those who need to know that they have the most capability possible, these figures are currently best in class for heavy-duty pickups.
Last year Ram introduced the all-new 1500 with updated styling and an all-new interior. Now these improvements trickle down to the 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty trucks. The new Ram Heavy Duty continues the big-rig look with a larger and more aggressive grille available in six styles depending on trim level. Fog lights have been moved to the corners and larger two-hook openings make for easier access when needed. In addition to the multiple grille designs, three headlight styles are offered including full LED projector headlights with adaptive lighting that can angle up to 15 degrees in the direction of travel.
Bringing up the rear of the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty is a lighter aluminum tailgate that can be released via the key remote; it also has damping for easy opening and closing. A spoiler on the tailgate improves aerodynamics. The rear bumper features a larger step pad for easier access to the bed. A lower valence on the bumper hides the parking sensors for a cleaner look.
The new Ram Heavy Duty is also available with RamBox, which has storage spaces integrated into the side rails that are weatherproof, illuminated, lockable and drainable.
Inside, the Ram Heavy Duty echoes improvements already made to the Ram 1500. “The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty benefits from the incredible strides made with its half-ton brother, the Ram 1500, which gave us the opportunity to surround customers with a leading interior, modern technologies and comfort features that pay special attention to detail,” said Ryan Nagode, the chief interior designer for Ram Trucks. “We’ve added deeper color contrasts, exceptional materials and textures that give customers an upscale, high-quality experience in all trim levels while integrating specific features heavy-duty pickup owners will appreciate,” Nagode observed.
At the center of the dashboard sits either a standard 5-inch display or an 8.4-inch display depending on trim level. The latest Uconnect 4C system operates through a 12-inch configurable touchscreen display. Ram Heavy Duty can be equipped with as many as five USB ports — three in front and two in back. Four of these are paired with new Type-C plugs. There can also be up to three 115-volt three-prong plugs, including one in the RamBox. All outlets handle up to 400 watts.
The new Ram Heavy Duty is also available as a Mega Cab with rear seating space on par with a full-size luxury sedan. These rear seats can recline up to 15 degrees, or can be folded out of the way for a large storage space. There are also two covered in-floor storage bins — clever places for messy items or for hiding precious cargo.
One of the most off-road-capable pickup trucks receives some major upgrades as well. The Ram 2500 Power Wagon takes advantage of the HEMI V8 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission to improve performance on a variety of terrains. Standard equipment includes electronic locking front and rear differentials, a manual part-time transfer case and skidplates, as well as Bilstein shocks, a disconnecting front stabilizer bar, and Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires. The integrated Warn winch now uses a synthetic cable that saves weight but doesn’t lose any capability, retaining its 12,000-pound capacity.
Freedom of Choice
The 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 will be available in six trim levels: Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Limited. Buyers can choose from Regular Cab, Crew Cab or Mega Cab with 2WD or 4WD and single or dual rear wheels.
Look for the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 to arrive in showrooms later this year.
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Folding Rear Seat
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon
2019 Ram Heavy Duty 2500
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Ram Bin
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Rear Seat Outlets
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Mega Cab
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Rotary Shifter
2019 Ram Heavy Duty 3500
2019 Ram Heavy Duty 2500
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Tradesman 2500 and 3500