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Ram Heavy Duty and 6.7-L Cummins deliver big torque

Posted: January 15, 2019

The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup has been unveiled with a series of upgrades, even delivering 1,000 lb-ft of torque when spec’d with a Cummins 6.7-liter high output turbo diesel engine.

The end result is a 35,100-lb. towing capacity and the ability to carry 7,680-lb. payloads.

The upgraded Cummins powerplant delivers the torque at 1,800 rpm, along with 400 hp at 2,800 rpm. Yet the Cummins Turbo Diesel still weighs 60 lb. less than the previous generation of the engine. A new cast-iron cylinder head and new block are accompanied by new exhaust valves and springs, and new rocker arms. Lighter and stronger pistons connect to the crankshaft through redesigned connecting rods and bearings. And an improved variable geometry turbocharger also delivers boost pressure up to 33 psi.

Models with this engine are paired with an Aisin AS69RC electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission. This includes a new transmission controller that doubles the memory of the previous model, helping to deliver more precise shifts, the company says.

Four-wheel-drive versions of the 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty also come with a BorgWarner part-time transfer case designed to handle higher input loads and support up to 15,921 kg of towing capabilities.

Also new for the Ram 3500 Heavy Duty is a larger 12-inch AAM rear axle.

Other engine offerings

The Ram Heavy Duty is also available with a Cummins Turbo Diesel offering 370 hp at 2,800 rpm and 850 lb-ft of torque at 1,700 rpm, paired with an upgraded 68RFE automatic transmission. The standard engine in the 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty is now the 6.4-liter Hemi V9, which delivers 410 hp at 5,600 rom and 429 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm, and it comes with the TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic with more than 40 individual shift maps.

Structurally, the pickup’s frames are made of 98.5% high-strength steel, six cross members, hydro-formed main rails, and full boxed rear rails. But lightweight materials in the frame, powertrain and aluminum hood have helped lower the overall weight by 143 lb.

Roll stiffness is reportedly improved with the wide front frame rails that allow the front suspension springs to be moved slightly outboard. The rear-axle structural cross member, meanwhile, accommodates fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.

To ease the pickup’s ride while unloaded, frequency response damping (FRD) shocks are included on all four corners. And the 3500 is also available with an active-level rear suspension with a bed-lowering mode to ease trailer hookups. So, too, is there a Hotchkiss rear leaf-spring system with optional air suspension. And with the supplemental air bags, the heavy-load leaf springs are softened for more unladen suspension movements, the company says.

It’s all supported by more than 100 safety and security elements overall, including active and passive systems such as automatic emergency braking, 360-degree camera displays, and selectable tire pressures. The tire pressure monitoring system that watches over the pickup’s tires can monitor up to 12 trailer tires. And backup sensors on the Ram 3500 also accommodate the added width of dual wheels.

Inside, the Ram Heavy Duty includes the Uconnect 4C NAV on a 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen, which can be filled with an image from a single application, or divided in half. And drivers pull more details from a seven-inch, full-color driver information display.

The ride quality is further supported by an active noise cancellation system and acoustic glass, reducing ambient sounds by 10 dB when compared to previous models. Even the HVAC system is designed to boost air flow 30% yet make less noise.

 

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