Motor Trend magazine's 2010 Truck of the Year competition was an odd one this year. Only four models met MT's criteria of being new or substantially changed from the previous model year. Of those, only two were actual work trucks: the 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty and Toyota Tundra 4.6-liter work truck. The other two contenders, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and Transit Connect, likely won't ever do much of the work that we normally associate with trucks (hauling, towing, etc.). Perhaps that hindered their chances at winning the coveted Golden Calipers, because the truck that did win was the purest pickup of them all.
If you hadn't guessed yet, the Motor Trend 2010 Truck of the Year is the Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, which was substantially redesigned for the 2010 model year. We'll let the MT editors explain why the Ram HD was their unanimous choice, but the gist is that it arrives to market a full year ahead of substantially new versions of Ford and General Motors' heavy-duty trucks. As such, it will be the reigning HD truck in nearly every category that matters to heavy-duty pickup buyers, at least for a model year or two.
Not to take away from the Dodge's victory, but we would've chosen the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor if it were our award to give. While the Ram HD no doubt beats it in every measure as a work truck, the Raptor is extra special if for no other reason than that it shows this industry of ours still has a little spark of life left. Ford deserves credit for not only driving out on a limb with the Raptor but also handing its development over to SVT, which guaranteed the final product offer legitimate high performance.
What about you? Did Motor Trend get it right or is there a more deserving Truck of the Year? Sound off in the comments. Thanks to everyone for the tips!
Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2010 Dodge Ram HD
[Source: Motor Trend]
All-new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty Pickup Named Motor Trend 'Truck of the Year'
All-new 2010 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty pickups recognized by editors for setting a new benchmark in heavy-duty truck segment All-new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty pickup beats the competition in a series of rigorous tests
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The editors of Motor Trend today named the all-new 2010 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty pickups the magazine's "2010 Truck of the Year."
"To have our all-new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty named Truck of the Year by the editors of Motor Trend really defines how great this new Ram Heavy Duty pickup is," said Fred Diaz, President and Chief Executive Officer -- Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "The Motor Trend Truck of the Year Award is like a standing ovation for the Chrysler Group designers, engineers and planners who developed this incredible Ram Heavy Duty Truck."
Motor Trend Truck of the Year contenders are evaluated using six criteria, which includes design advancement, engineering excellence, intended function, efficiency, safety and value. To be eligible, a vehicle must have been substantially changed from the previous model.
"The 2010 Ram Heavy Duty absolutely nailed the award in terms of our criteria, from the attractive exterior styling, to the plush and quiet cabins, to the tough and capable powertrains, especially the impressive Cummins diesel, which meets 50-state emissions standards without needing expensive after-treatment technology," said Angus MacKenzie, Editor-in-Chief, Motor Trend. "It delivers the capability heavy duty truck users demand, with style and refinement they perhaps did not expect."
Innovative New Features Strengthen Ram Heavy Duty's Capability and Performance
The 2010 Ram Heavy Duty brings increased capability and innovative new features to the heavy-duty segment with an uncompromising attitude that remains the standard for all full-size heavy-duty pickups.
For 2010, the all-new Ram Heavy Duty is available in five distinct trim models -- ST, SLT, TRX, Power Wagon and Laramie. Each has a unique appearance and offers various equipment options.
Ram Heavy Duty delivers the performance and amenities customers demand. The 2010 Ram Heavy Duty pickups feature a hydro-formed, fully boxed frame with advanced torsional rigidity and stiffness. A coil-spring suspension setup is used up front, while the multi-leaf spring design is maintained in the rear for heavy-duty capability. Front and rear shocks and springs are tuned for optimum ride quality and capability.
Improved suspension tuning and new C-pillar hydra mounts were added to the 2010 Ram Heavy Duty models to improve damping through the frame-bending mode frequency in order to better manage shake and after-shake response. The result is reduced shake, which means an improved ride for the customer.
The new 2010 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups offer the only standard exhaust brake in the segment (diesel-equipped models). This feature reduces brake fade, prolongs brake life and provides confidence and safety when hauling heavy loads on downhill grades. Large front (360 mm) and rear (358 mm) brakes with integrated Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) increase brake life and braking stability.
An available integrated trailer brake control provides better driver control in towing situations. Trailer brake control information is conveniently displayed in the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), which is standard on all Ram heavy duty models equipped with a diesel engine and available on gas SLT, TRX and Laramie models.
In addition, new 2010 Ram transmissions include Electronic Range Select, which enables the driver to manually limit the highest available transmission gear, allowing manual upshifts and downshifts based on road speed and engine speed. A tow/haul mode switch enhances tow capability while towing. Tow/haul mode is available on both five-speed and six-speed automatic transmissions.
Customers in the heavy-duty segment have a range of needs, and most of them involve high levels of capability. The new 2010 Ram 2500 and 3500 are designed to deliver a total package:
-- Increased Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) on 2500 4x4 crew cab
diesel models to 9,600 pounds from 9,000 pounds
-- Increased Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) on 3500 dually models
with diesel, auto transmission and 4.10 rear axle to 24,500 pounds
from 24,000 pounds. With the Max Tow Package, GCWR increases to 25,400
pounds (late availability)
-- Increased GCWR on 3500 4x2 models to 24,000 pounds from 23,000 pounds
-- Increased front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) on several models:
-- To 5,500 pounds from 5,200 pounds on diesel 4x4 pickups
-- To 5,000 pounds from 4,700 pounds on diesel 4x2 pickups
Other towing features include improved trailer-tow mirrors with integrated turn signals, memory function and puddle lamps. The larger 7-in. x 11-in. trailer-tow mirrors offer improved visibility with larger convex glass surfaces. Mirrors flip up and out in a vertical configuration for improved visibility around wide trailers. Trailer-tow mirrors are now standard on 3500. As an added convenience, a Class IV receiver is now standard on all Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups.
Ram Heavy Duty towing, payload and axle capacity have all been increased for 2010. Suspension upgrades and larger front-axle U-joints, combined with increased front GAWR, result in increased front-weight carrying capability -- a must for larger snowplows.
The Ram Power Wagon also returns for the 2010 model year, equipped with electric-locking front and rear differentials, electronic disconnecting sway bar, Bilstein shocks, 32-inch BFGoodrich off-road tires, underbody skid plate protection, 4.56 axle ratio for hill climbing and a custom-built Warn® 12,000 pound winch that is accessible through the front bumper. The 2010 Dodge Ram Power Wagon features new exterior graphics and a lower two-tone paint scheme.
Ram Heavy Duty Powertrains Include 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel and 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8
Powertrain choices include the legendary 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, which produces 350 horsepower (261 kW) at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque (881 N*m) at only 1,500 rpm.
The most durable and reliable engine in its class, the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel features standard oil-change intervals of 7,500 miles. It also has major-overhaul intervals of 350,000 miles, providing more than a 100,000-mile advantage over the competition.
The Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel engine uses a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to virtually eliminate particulate matter emissions and an adsorber catalyst to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by as much as 90 percent, in order to meet stringent 2010.5 diesel emissions requirements.
The 2010 Ram Heavy Duty comes standard with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 gasoline engine, delivering 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N*m) at 4,000 rpm. The 5.7-liter HEMI was redesigned for 2009, with several new and improved technologies including Variable-valve Timing (VVT), increased compression ratio, active intake manifold with long runners for low-end torque and short runners for high-rpm power, improved cylinder head port flow efficiency and reduced-restriction exhaust and induction systems.
New Exterior Styling; Loads of Interior Comfort and Convenience
The all-new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty pickup was born from the same truck family that brought out the award-winning Ram 1500--Strategic Vision's Quality Award Winner.
The 2010 Ram Heavy Duty includes all-new styling, offering a tougher more capable look with improved aerodynamics and fit and finish. To accommodate cooling requirements of the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, the new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty grille opening is larger than the light-duty grille. The larger grille mates to a taller hood that incorporates louvers on each side. Access to the front winch (on Power Wagon models) and tow hooks led to the unique front-bumper design.
The new dual-rear-wheel fenders (3500 dually only) are now integrated into the box stamping and offer a smooth aerodynamic appearance.
The new 2010 Ram 2500 and 3500 Mega Cab models offer best-in-class interior room in the segment, including the largest, longest cab (143.2 cubic feet 111.1 inches long); largest interior cargo volume (72.2 cubic feet); largest cargo volume behind rear seat (7.7 cubic feet); largest flat-floor load area (16.8 square feet); largest second-row leg room (44.2 inches); largest rear-door opening (34.5 inches wide, 35.5 inches high); largest rear-door open angle 85 degrees); and first-ever reclining rear seats (22- to 37-degree seat-back angle).
Ram Heavy Duty Delivers More than 25 Safety and Security Features
The all-new Ram Heavy Duty also offers 25 active and passive safety features, including Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), advanced multi-stage air bags, BeltAlert, Brake/Park interlock, child-protection rear door locks, Constant-force Retractors (CFR), crumple zones, electronic brake-force distribution, energy-absorbing steering column, Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS), height-adjustable seat belts, HomeLink universal home security system transceiver, interior head-impact protection, knee bolsters, Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child seat anchor system, low-risk deployment air bag, Parksense® rear park-assist system, power-adjustable pedals, remote keyless entry, seat-belt pretensioners, Sentry Key® engine immobilizer, standard side-curtain air bags, three-point seat belts, Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) and Uconnect Phone.
2010 Ram Heavy Duty Pricing
The all-new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty is available with a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $28,165 for regular cab models, $31,415 for crew cab models and $36,865 for Mega Cab models. All prices include $950 for destination. The all-new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty arrives in dealerships in late 2009 calendar year.
About Motor Trend
Motor Trend, part of Source Interlink Media, LLC was founded in 1949 and is internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in automotive publishing, Motor Trend comprises Motor Trend Magazine, the motortrend.com website, Motor Trend Radio, Truck Trend, Motor Trend International Auto Shows, Motor Trend en Espanol and Motor Trend Car, Sport/Utility and Truck of the Year Awards program.
With a work-hard, play-hard attitude, Ram offers the boldest, most powerful and capable pickup truck lineup on the planet.
Introduced in 2008, the Ram 1500 is a game-changer in terms of its ability to "outsmart" and "out-tough" the competition with its bold exterior design, crafted and refined interior, engineering excellence, superb innovation and best-in-class features and amenities.
The Ram 1500 also ranks at the top of Strategic Vision 2009 Total Quality Index(TM) (TQI) in the full-size truck segment. According to the survey, the Ram 1500 leads the way with the highest Total Quality score of any truck in the 15-year history of the study.
Customers specifically noted that the Ram has the best added storage capability along with the best truck interior ever rated by customers.
Ram will add to its award-winning truck lineup with the introduction of its all-new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty Trucks. The new Heavy-Duty trucks provide customers with first-time innovations and features along with new standards of strength, utility and driveability, building on the Ram's leadership in the Heavy-Duty pickup segment.