Unveiled simultaneously at the Chicago Auto Show and Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Dodge made a big (and we mean big) splash with its new lineup of Heavy-Duty pickups.
Both the new Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 will be available with either the new 5.7-liter HEMI V8 or a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel. The HEMI makes 383hp at 5600 rpm and 400 ft-lbs of torque at 4000 rpm, although for serious work it’s best to opt for the diesel with 350hp at 3000 rpm and a massive 650 ft-lbs of torque at just 1500 rpm. That Cummins diesel meets all 50-state emissions requirements and is the only engine it this segment to feature a standard exhaust brake to reduce brake fade and increase brake life. The brakes are, however, still impressive with front 14.2-inch and rear 14.1-inch units with ABS.
The 6.7-liter Cummins is available with either a 68RFE six-speed automatic or a G56 six-speed manual transmission with an ultra-low first gear for towing.
The 3500 is offered in three cab styles (regular cab, crew-cab and Mega Cab) and two cargo-box sizes (6-foot-4-inches and 8 feet), in single and dual-rear-wheel configurations with an integrated trailer brake controller. Five trim levels are available: ST, SLT, TRX, Laramie and Power Wagon.
The Ram 3500 with the Cummins diesel offers a towing capacity of 18,500 lbs with a max payload of 5,110 lbs. Auto-box dually models with the 4.10 rear end get an increased Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 24,5000 lbs – up 500 lbs. The 4×2 3500 models increase from 23,000 lbs tt 24,000 lbs.
Both 4x4s and 4x2s get increased Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR) due in part to larger front axle U-joints. Diesel 4x4s now have a rating of 5,500 lbs (up from 5,200 lbs) and diesel 4x2s get a 5,000 lb rating (up from 4,700 lbs.)
The 2500 4×4 crew cab diesel trucks get an increase GCWR of 9,600 lbs – up from 9,000 lbs.
To help with towing, Dodge has equipped its new Heavy-Duty trucks with a towing mode as well as an Electronic Range Select, which lets drivers manually limit the highest available gear, and perform manual upshifts and downshifts based on road speed and engine rpm.
3500 models now come standard with 7×11-inch tow mirrors with larger convex glass surfaces. Instead of using separate mirrors for seeing around a large trailer, these mirrors fold out and up to do double-duty.
Outside, the new Heavy-Duty Ram models come with unique styling cues for 2010 and yet maintain the new Ram look. “We brought some of the best design cues from our Dodge Ram 1500 to the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, yet we set the 2500 and 3500 pickups apart from our light-duty trucks,” said Ralph Gilles, Vice President – Design. “The ‘big-rig’ styling is even more pronounced, with the classic Dodge look that conveys bold, powerful and capable.”
One particular change is in the size of the grille, with a larger front opening and taller hood to accommodate (and feed air to) the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel. Heavy-Duty models also get a unique bumper design to allow better access to the tow hooks and winch on Power Wagon Models.
Inside, the Heavy-Duty models get heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel, memory seats, navigation, adjustable pedals and numerous audio/video options including a 10-speaker sound system and SIRIUS Backseat TV with three channels.
Heavy-Duty Mega Cab models also boast best in class interior room with the largest and longest cab (143.2 cubic feet and 111.1 inches long); the most interior volume (72.2 cubic feet); the most cargo volume behind rear seat (7.7 cubic feet); the largest flat-floor load area (16.8 square feet); the most second-row leg room (44.2 inches); the largest rear-door opening (34.5 inches wide, 35.5 inches high); the largest rear-door open angle (85 degrees); and first-ever reclining rear seats (22- to 37-degree seat-back angle).
“Our new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups continue to build on Dodge Ram’s leadership in the Heavy-Duty pickup segment,” said Scott Kunselman, Vice President of the Jeep/Truck Product Team at Chrysler. “Our Ram Heavy-Duty pickups reinforce Dodge Ram’s bold and powerful reputation, and provide improved capability in critical areas of the segment.”
GALLERY: Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500
More on the new Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy-Duty Pickups after the jump: