LAS VEGAS – Ram is booming. The truck brand has just experienced its best year of sales so far and its all – new Ram 1500 2019 has won virtually every truck award, including the North American Truck of the Year. Now, Ram is launching the world's most tortious pickup truck, the new 201 Heavy Duty. The heavier version holds 1,000 pounds of twists, but this truck is much more than obscenity to grumble low-end. It's also the extra-rugged pickup Ram has made.
More power, payload and towing
The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty is not quite new. It is more of a major refresh, the first of the HD since 2014 and the second since the launch of this generation in 2010. The truck is now imbued with the style, technology and interior of his little brother , the Ram 1500, very light. Only the cabin, doors and sides of the HD bed remain essentially unchanged, as is its 6.4-liter Hemi V8, which is now standard on all 2500 and 3500 models. The unpopular Hemi of 5.7 liters is no longer available.
Ram continues to offer two versions of its Cummins inline six-cylinder diesel engine on all models, with the exception of the 2500 Power Wagon. The 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel, which costs an additional $ 9,100, and the high-performance version have both been redesigned to offer more power, more durability and much less noise.
The Cummins still produces 370 horsepower at 2,800 rpm, but its torque has gone from 800 to 850 pounds at 1,700 rpm. The HO version, which is only available on the 3500 model, reaches 15 to 400 horsepower at 2800 rpm and its torque increases from 930 to 1000 lb-ft at a magic speed of 1,800 rpm. . Redline has only achieved 3,250 rpm and a six-speed automatic gearbox in column continuously supports both engines.
The Hemi models, including the Power Wagon, have been replaced by an eight-speed 8-speed ZH and a dash-mounted rotary selector. The Hemi's power ratings are unchanged, with 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, but the V8 now features a more advanced cylinder deactivation system that delivers improved fuel economy and better fuel economy. more fluid operation when only four of its cylinders are lit. The eight-speed transmission also improves the Power Wagon's crawl index from 35: 1 to 51: 1 for better off-road performance at low speeds.
Most Ram HD buyers choose diesel. The most popular model is the 2500 Crew Cab Laramie 4×4 with the Cummins, but the trucks with the 6.4 liter and the new eight-speed feel much faster on the road. Even the big boy 3500s.
Where is this diesel noise?
Both versions of the Cummins receive a new Compacted Graphite Iron block, lighter and 75% stronger. There is also a new cylinder head with a brand new valve train, lighter and more durable pistons, new bearings, a new exhaust manifold, a new, quieter sprocket drive and a new turbo for more flow. . Max boost on the HO, which costs $ 11,795 more, is now 33 psi.
Both engines are much smoother than before: they have lost most of their rattle. According to Rod Romain, the truck's chief engineer, the new block has natural sound-absorbing features and a new hydraulic lift lash adjuster system has eliminated the annoying ticking of the valves. More aluminum components have also lost 60 pounds of diesels, although at 1060 pounds, they still exceed 490 pounds compared to Hemi.
The overall noise reduction is remarkable. You will not need to scream at the Cummins to order your hamburger and fries at the drive. In fact, the hemi, which retains its muscular car rumbling, could now be the most audible option. Especially at full throttle, with the tight eight-speed gearshift just before the fuel cut at 5,800 rpm.
Each new Ram HD also comes with a standard acoustic glass and active noise cancellation, which is related to the audio system. According to Mr. Ram, these technologies, coupled with the 8% aerodynamic improvement of the truck and other factors, made the cab quieter by 10 decibels. And it's a quiet luxury car inside, even at 90 mph.
The iconic Ram grille has disappeared. There are six new grille designs spread over the many trim levels of the Ram, and the family-like resemblance to the smaller Ram 1500 is hard to miss. The new grids are 30% larger and there are several types of headlights available, including an LED spotlight / projector with Adaptive Forward Lighting System (AFS), which can rotate in a direction up to 15 degrees.
The new look is a little less clever, but the pickup has lost none of its attitude or ability to turn heads. Our Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 Long Box and Brown Walnut Case dropped some claws on the Vegas Strip.
A new aluminum hood saves 27 pounds, while the steel tailgate has been remodeled to improve aerodynamics. It can now be opened remotely, lowering slowly and silently during a controlled fall. Unfortunately, the multifunction hatchback presented on the Ram 1500 at the Chicago Auto Show will not be offered.
Now, HD's clearance lights are new, LED, with a lower profile and more stylish. Other aerodynamic tricks include the shivering of the grille and the reworked rear bumper. "It's such a form that follows the function truck," said HD exterior designer Mike Gillam, who also dropped the truck from his old-school mast antenna. According to Ram, the 0.409 drag coefficient of the HD is the best of its class.
More than 20 sensors and cameras are impressively integrated on the outside of the truck, including hidden cameras in its grille and tailgate. There is also a cam bed. Blind warning system, parking assist sensors, 360-degree monitor, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, integrating the brakes of your vehicle. trailer, are all available.
Inherits a great interior
The interior of the HD is just as new. He was also bred from the Ram 1500 to his 12-inch configurable touch screen. The layout works as well here as in the light truck, and the materials and attention to detail are impressive.
Each trim has its own look, but our favorite is the Laramie Longhorn, with its real open-pore striped wood and gold trim on the dashboard, doors and gauges. The Longhorn logo is so hand-decorated that the logo on the top door of the truck's glove box is hand-marked.
The seats of the HD have been reused by Ram, but they have been remodeled with new padding and comfort has improved. The HVAC system has also been configured to increase airflow by 30%. Indoor storage has increased dramatically, especially with a multilevel center console capable of swallowing a laptop with a 15-inch screen.
Due to the column shift on diesel models, Ram also re-used the HD steering column, which tilts but does not telescope. The pedals adjust, but not enough if you have long legs. As a result, the driving position is not as comfortable as in the light truck.
Ram offers three body styles: Regular Cab, Double Cab and Mega Cab, which still offers the best space for the rear seats and a reclining rear seat. Base prices start at around $ 35,000 for a 2,500 long wheelbarrow 2500 dealer and go up to $ 68,745 for a 3500 4×4 Mega Cab Limited. Load a Laramie Longhorn or Limited with options, including the Cummins diesel engine, and you're considering a $ 90,000 truck.
A stronger chassis and better driving is an excellent formula
Much of the refinement found in the Ram HD comes from its brand new steel frame, which weighs about 30 pounds less but matches the stiffness of the previous design due to an increase in high-grade steel. resistance. A new front crossmember also adds strength while eliminating engine vibration, and new body mounts, including two active tuning mass modules, isolate the cab.
According to Romain, the retuned suspension of the HD with new rings, spring rates and shocks has resulted in a 50% improvement in ride comfort. There are still a few truck movements in the carousel if the bed is empty and the tires are pumped to maximum load pressure, but its lack of hardness is to be taken seriously.
A new steering gear and a new link improved the center feel, and a booster and pedal return report eased the effort of the brake pedal. Active Level Rear Air Suspension, which replaces rear coil springs with airbags, remains available on the 2500 and 3500 models, equipped with new front and rear axles to cope with increased power, payload and towing characteristics. of the truck.
The lack of noise and vibration of the HD is also very impressive. At idle, there is only a slight buzz in the pedals of the diesel models and its towing stability is amazing. Using the Ram's exhaust brake to control our downhill speed, we pulled a load of 25,000 pounds up and down from a narrow wet two-lane track with a 5% slope without sweating. The HD 3500 equipped with HO could not have made it easier.
Ram's Power Wagon also gets the new frame. However, its suspension, which includes Bilstein shocks, remains unchanged. There are some hardware modifications to Ram's best off-road vehicle, including a 360-degree camera with a front view and a new Warn Zeon-12 winch with a synthetic line that can not flex and which saves 30 kg. from the nose of the truck. And his ramp index has gone from 510 to 538. "Off-road guys will understand and appreciate that," said Morrison.
Bragging rights and sales
With a market share of around 30%, Ram consistently ranks second behind Ford in terms of Heavy Duty pickup sales, while its HD trucks account for around 25% of its total sales volume. Maybe the new Monster Couple Index from Cummins HO will change that.
The new Ram 3500 HD carries the Ford F-450, but hardly. With a maximum towing capacity of 7,680 pounds and a towing capacity of 35,100 pounds, the Ram 3500 HD weighs only 40 pounds more than the largest Ford Super Duty diesel engine, capable of pulling 35,000 pounds, just 100 less than Ram. And GM said the Silverado HD 2020 and the GMC Sierra HD with their new 6.6-liter Duramax V8 will increase their performance with a maximum towing capacity of 35,500 pounds.
This is a current game of "my specifications are bigger than yours", and we hope this will never end. In the meantime, we'll see if Ram's new power, comfort, features and refinement drive sales in a market known for the extreme loyalty of its customers.