First the 25_mpg highway rated RAM 1500 and now a 850 lb-ft of stump pulling RAM HD with improved fuel economy and lower total cost of ownership? Damn! [fimg=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2013_RAM_HD.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Oct. 1, 2012 Ram’s 2013 Heavy Duty Lineup Features Best-in-class Capability, New Technology and New Features While I was driving a world class diesel automobile around the country, RAM unleashed a release regarding its upcoming 2013 HD Pickup truck lineup and boy was it a doozy! With the introduction of the 2013 RAM HD, RAM wakes up and decided anyting besides “Best-in-class” is no longer a viable option. With the hard work now behind them, the company released details on its all-new 2013 HD Pickup truck lineup and not only do they feature a "Best-in-Class" towing and Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), they added fuel economy with SCR in the process. Beefed up Frames For 2013, Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature new frames built with high-strength 50 KSI steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Wider front frame rails (approximately one inch per side; two inches overall) enable front suspension springs to be positioned slightly outboard, an enabler for generating more positive roll stiffness. A new front suspension cross member is now a two-piece welded component between the front axle and oil pan. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross member with provisions for 5th wheel and gooseneck hitches. A new conventional trailer hitch system is upgraded to Class 5 with a 17,000-lb. load capability and 1,800 pounds of tongue weight for use with 2-inch or 2.5-inch receiver hitches. Suspension To handle the best-in-class towing and payload capability, a new front and rear suspension system with advanced geometry greatly improves overall roll stiffness. An advanced three-link front suspension on the Ram 3500 is necessary for the vehicle’s higher GVWR and for use with heavy front loads, including snow plows. Additionally, a newly designed Hotchkiss leaf spring rear suspension on the Ram 3500 offers improved ride and handling. Steering A new reciprocating ball steering gear, redesigned steering knuckles, ball joints and more robust steering linkages deliver enhanced and precise on-center feel despite the vehicles higher towing and payload capacities. If there was an area its competitors need improvement, it is here and RAM apparently tackled the problem head on with a truck that drives like a car no matter the load. The new truck also arrives with an updated engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading NVH characteristics despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Reduction and 5 years/100,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in fuel economy with introduction of a new DEF system, extended maintenance cycle (oil change, fuel filter life) and brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment. In addition, the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed 5-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty that covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage onto the new owner. The standard 3-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system. Cummins - Where the Beef Resides For 2013, the renowned 6.7L Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I6 is available in three versions. Version One: 6.7L Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I6 is paired with Ram’s segment exclusive six-speed manual, which features a wear-compensating clutch for lifetime “like-new” performance and a dual-trunion shift tower to accommodate a compact shift pattern. This combination delivers 350 HP at 2,800 rpm and 660 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500 rpm. Version Two: The Cummins to mated to a 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine cranks out 370 horsepower at 2,800 rpm with an unsurpassed in ¾-ton trucks 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm. Version Three: An upgraded 6.7L Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I6 for Ram 3500 is paired with a new Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC) providing 385 HP at 2,800 rpm and a “Best-in-Class” torque rating of 850 lb.-ft. at 1,600 rpm. The new AS69RC transmission features wide gear ratios that contribute to upgraded shift performance, an approximate 1 percent gain in transmission efficiency and improved driveability when compared to the previous design. For 2013, an all-new cooling system consisting of a high-efficiency fan, dual radiators, dual transmission coolers and charge air cooler provide 25 percent more heat-rejection capacity. Lower operating temperatures deliver improved performance, durability and lower operating costs. The list of 2013 diesel-engine features does not stop there. The Cummins powerplants benefit from a larger exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) cooler, which complements the debut of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and accommodates a Best-in-Class oil-change interval of 15,000 miles. Remember that these bad boys need as much as 13 quarts of the expensive stuff (not sure how may quarts the 6.7L Cummins needs yet) and extended oil change intervals thanks to reduced soot production and fuel dilution of the oil can save owners maintenance $’s big time! Combined with a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy due in part to the engines’ high-pressure common-rail fuel system, SCR promises a net reduction in Ram Heavy Duty operating costs. Cummins’ variable-geometry turbocharger also affords more effortless operation at higher altitudes, greater management of EGR flow rates and improved control over exhaust temperatures to accommodate de-sooting. The Ram Heavy Duty also features a segment-exclusive front axle disconnecting system. When conditions warrant, select drivetrain components are disconnected, improving overall efficiency and enabling a gain in fuel efficiency of up to 1 mpg! RAM HD becomes more Car like The New 2013 Ram Heavy Duty like most recent Chrysler products features the award winning next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with background screens tailor-made to specific Ram models and themes. To make room for the new big screen, the center stack is upgraded with matching materials found throughout the interior. The all-new HVAC controls take lessons learned from other Chrysler Group Uconnect applications and feature simple, improved function meeting the highest Human Machine Interface (HMI) standards. The HVAC system includes a redundant architecture allowing the operator to use either the 8.4-inch touchscreen or manual controls to alter the truck’s environment. Below the upgraded HVAC arrangement is a new switch bank with relocated, easy-to-use controls for a number of features depending on vehicle models and options. The top row is for functional features and includes exhaust brake, tow/haul and electronic stability control (ESC). The bottom row is for comfort controls and includes heated steering wheel, heated seats and ventilated seats. The bottom row also can be optioned as an auxiliary switch bank for all five spots. All buttons in the comfort bank also are redundant in the Uconnect system. Contiguous to the switch bank is a prominently placed adjustable integrated trailer brake control allowing the driver to add or reduce trailer brake function on the fly. The new console center stack includes a 115-volt outlet and new drawer at the base of the stack with a smooth, premium feel tool box-slide action. The new drawer features 12-volt outlets on either side and an optional powered USB on the driver’s side. The 3.5-inch vehicle information center screen is now standard on entry level trims and displays vehicle-operating functions. The new thin-film transistor (TFT), 7-inch multiview display is now available on select models and features fully customizable function and configurability. Similar to the 8.4-inch Uconnect system, select 7-inch cluster background screens are tailor-made to specific Ram models. Wi-Fi hotspot capability enabled by Uconnect Access provides in-cabin wireless Internet connectivity via laptop, tablet or smartphone, whether on the move or at the worksite. All Ram Heavy Duty trucks continue to use a column shifter for the automatic transmission. Electronic Range Select (ERS) is now located on the face of the steering wheel, right side, allowing individual gear selection. Diesel models offer a manual six-speed transmission, the only manual transmission still offered in the segment. The center consoles for both the bucket and 40-20-40 bench seat configurations are all-new with efficient storage in mind. The new bucket seat console uses the extra space as additional storage. The bench seat design includes three new cup holders built into the console lid that features a washable rubber bellow lining. Both versions of the console feature two tiers of storage and are available with a new multi-media port with USB, SD card and auxiliary inputs in the upper tier. Additionally, a 2.5-amp USB power port and 12-volt outlet are available to meet device-charging needs. Safety Ram Heavy Duty trucks offer standard front and side air bags, knee bolsters, seat-belt pretensioners, BeltAlert and ParkView rear back-up camera system. The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks also include standard electronic stability control (ESC), a segment exclusive on 3500 Heavy Duty. ESC hosts a number of technologies including all-speed traction control, trailer-sway control, Hill-start Assist and anti-lock brake system (ABS). No mention of side curtains was made so we’ll have to find that out possibly on Wednesday. The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks now offer a proximity key system plus a remote central locking system that includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate powerlocks, creating a convenient solution for locking down the truck with the push of a button. All in, Ford’s 6.7L Power Stroke equipped Super Duty has a competitor worthy of consideration. Its name is RAM with a Cummins and it is not about to take any “***t from nobody”!