- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
According to brand CEO Fred Diaz, the 2013 Ram 1500 was due to receive a mid-life freshening. However, what’s ultimately emerged is an extensively re-engineered truck, despite looking familiar on the outside.
Key developments, many in a gesture toward improved fuel economy, include a re-designed frame that’s both lighter and stronger than last year’s true. In addition, there’s also an eight-speed automatic transmission (the TorqueFlite 8), that’s teamed not only with the base 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 but also the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. There’s also a rotary shifter on the center stack designed to make engaging gears easier and free up additional interior room.
It seems that pickup trucks with “rugged outdoors” themes are becoming increasingly popular. Ram has released the Outdoorsman and more recently the Mossy Oak Edition as production specialty trucks, while General Motors is now taking a stab with this, the Chevy Silverado HD based “Realtree.”
Given how hotly contested the full-size pickup truck market has become in recent years, those manufacturers participating are constantly looking for ways to one-up each other. Most recently, in the half-ton segment, Ram has attempted to do such a thing by going after the fleet crowd with its 2012 model year 1500 Tradesman Heavy Duty.
Heavy-Duty pickups were designed for abuse. And in order to see just how much they can handle, website Pickup Trucks.com put together it’s Heavy-Duty Hurt Locker Comparison test.
The idea was to pit the latest H-D offerings from Ford, General Motors and Ram (in this case the F-350 Super Duty, Sierra HD 3500 and Ram HD 3500) in a series of extreme towing tests, covering a distance of some 2,200 miles across the American West . The tests included navigating some of steepest grades in the country in some of the most extreme climates, hauling fifth-wheel gooseneck trailers of some 19,400 lbs behind each truck.
And when the dust finally settled, the GMC Sierra HD 3500 was judged the overall winner. “The GMC Sierra led with best-in-class performance, with wins in almost every test we put the trucks through,” declared Pickup Trucks.com’s editor Mike Levine.
GM engineers have instigated some changes on the 2012 model Sierra and Silverado HD, in order to improve towing capability; these include reinforced pickup box sills, stronger rear springs and box mounts and revised suspension tuning.
The result is an increase of some 2000 lbs in tow rating capacity, which now stands at an impressive 23,000 lbs. To see how the Sierra performed against its chief rivals in the Heavy Duty Hurt Locker test, watch the video below.
Hit the jump to see the video
Back when it was first introduced to the F-150, there were many who questioned Ford‘s logic for installing a twin-turbocharged V-6 in a pickup truck. However, it appears the Blue Oval has proved the naysayers wrong; in recent months, V-6 sales have been really gathering steam.