Auto enthusiasts often point to the pony car wars as the last bastion of one-upsmanship among Detroit's automakers, but the truth is, the pickup wars are every bit as competitive – if not more so. Auburn Hills keeps a ready eye on what their rivals in Dearborn and Detroit are doing, and vice-versa. Today, that battle is renewed with the introduction of Ram's 2013 Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab lines at the State Fair of Texas. Why a state fair? The Banner State is the perfect battleground for pickup supremacy, as Texas accounts for one of every five pickups sold in the U.S.

Towing and hauling metrics are poised for a substantial improvement. "... and not just by a little bit."

On the HD front, Chrysler is boasting that its brand-new heavies will bring best-in-class towing, torque, payload and Gross Combined Weight Rating, but thus far, it's declining to cite what those figures are. For the moment, though, Fred Diaz, President and CEO of Ram told us at an Auburn Hills background event earlier this month that key towing and hauling metrics are poised for a substantial improvement. "And not just by a little bit. I think we're going to shock the world," said Diaz.

Visually, not much has changed over the outgoing models – Ram customers told Chrysler not to mess with their distinctive drop-shoulder look. On 2500 and 3500 HD models there's a new, taller grille, which necessitated a new hood as well. SLT trims and above receive LED corner lamps and certain models receive LED taillamps as well. Other changes include redesigned wheel choices, a new power fold mirror design and – to show you how carefully automakers think about intended use – redesigned badges on the bodyside. Why? Because the new "portrait-style" badges better accommodate the signage that many commercial truck buyers add to their doors.

But far more important than stinkin' badges for work trucks is what's underneath, and to that end, there are some significant changes to report from the House of Ram. For 2013, HD models get essentially all-new frames with wider front rails to accommodate new suspension design geometry. Front suspension on the 3500 goes to a three-link design to accommodate heavier loads and weighty front-mounted accessories like snow plows. As one would expect, the rear still rides on leaf springs, but Ram says they've been redesigned to improve handling and hauling ability.


In addition to structural changes for 2013, Chrysler has redone the HD pickups' electrical architectures, in part to accommodate things like its well-regarded 8.4-inch Uconnect system for navigation, apps and wifi capability. The new Powernet wiring system can accommodate up to 40 individual modules, and a new interface system can accommodate up to 72 inputs for aftermarket accessories, great for upfitters like ambulance companies who add all manner of lights, power supplies and sirens to their vehicles.

Interestingly enough, Ram will also make its 5.7-liter V8 available in the 3500 series for the first time – apparently buyers and dealers have been clamoring for a gasoline engine option. In 2013 guise, the 5.7 belts out 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The optional 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel will feature 370 *385 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and a massive 850 pound-feet of torque, all while offering 15,000-mile oil change intervals and a five-year/100,000 mile warranty.



All 2500 and 3500 Ram buyers that specify an automatic will receive new six-speed Aisin units* – the Japanese company has already been supplying units for Ram's chassis cabs for some time. For DIY shifters, a manual transmission will continue to be offered on diesel models. Electronic stability control has taken a while to trickle into work trucks, but Ram says its 2013 lineup make it the only manufacturer to feature ESC as standard across the board.

Cooling plays a big part in heavy-duty towing, and to that end, all HD diesels get new cooling systems incorporating dual radiators and transmission coolers, along with charge air coolers and high-efficiency fans. One key area of innovation with Chrysler's new diesel HDs is a system officials are calling Ram Active Air. Basically, it's a dual-path air intake with small servo-activated vane in the intake. Normally, the intake draws air from an internal fender cavity to prevent things like snow and debris from impeding airflow. But in hot, dry conditions, the vane will automatically open up a second path that draws from the front grille area and bypassing the fender opening. The active system is said to be particularly good work for high-altitude towing and helped Ram achieve its new GCWR increases.



As expected, the 2500 and 3500 models get a lot of the interior upgrades featured in the 2013 1500, including new steering wheels, instrument panels, climate controls, door panels and new materials and options. A seven-inch TFT digital gauge cluster is also available on uplevel trims.

The new trucks come on the heels of the redone 1500 pickups – usually there's a year or more of lag-time in between the light-duty and heavy-duty trucks, but the new models should start rolling off the line at Ram's Saltillo facility in Mexico in January. Having enjoyed 28 months of year-over-year sales improvements, Ram is clearly keen to pour it on as it keeps a steady eye on its crosstown rivals.

For more details on Ram's 2013 bruisers, scroll down for the official press releases.


UPDATE: Ram has provided us with a revised horsepower rating for the 850 lb-ft Cummins diesel, as well as clarified that the new Aisin six-speed auto will only be available on 3500 models. The text has been updated to reflect these changes.



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2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty

OVERVIEW

Ram's 2013 Heavy Duty Lineup Features Best-in-class Capability, New Technology and New Features

¥ 2013 Ram Heavy Duty rises to the highest level of capability with best-in-class towing and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
¥ The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty features best-in-class torque, more horsepower, B-20 biofuel capability and improved fuel economy with the new 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel powertrain
¥ Choice of proven Cummins or legendary HEMI® feature new six-speed automatic and exclusive manual transmissions
- Available 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel produces 370 horsepower (261 kW) at 2,800 rpm and best-in-class 850 lb.-ft. of torque (1151 N•m)
- Standard 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N•m), and features variable-valve timing for greater efficiency and performance
¥ Ram 3500 now available with 5.7-liter HEMI V-8
¥ Ram reduces operating costs via new diesel exhaust after-treatment to deliver best-in-class 15,000-mile oil-change interval and contributes to a 10 percent fuel-economy gain
¥ Segment-exclusive front-axle disconnect works with new transfer cases to boost fuel economy by up to 1 mpg
¥ Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – 5 year/100,000 mile and best-in-class 15,000 mile oil change interval on the Cummins diesel engine
¥ Next-generation Uconnect Access combines a new lineup of smart media centers with a powerful new wireless platform that includes Wi-Fi hotspot capability
¥ Ram Heavy Duty now available with a premium, cluster positioned, customizable, full-color 7-inch multiview display
¥ Addition of new Powernet vehicle electrical architecture allows new content with improved data speeds
¥ New interior features include standard and premium vehicle information center, steering wheel and controls, instrument panel, door panels, interior colors and premium materials
¥ New passive entry, Keyless Enter 'n Go, and remote central locking RamBox cargo management system and tailgate combined with door locks
¥ New lighting, bi-functional halogen projector headlamps and improved quad projection headlamps combine with exclusive LED front turn signals, markers and tail lamps
¥ New frames feature high-strength 50 KSI steel, eight cross member construction, hydroformed main rails, fully boxed rear rails and optional 5th wheel / gooseneck hitch mounting provisions
¥ New steering and suspension offers improved handling and drivability with best-in-class payload, frontal load (snow plow) and towing capabilities
¥ Standard four-channel electronic stability control (ESC) and exclusive for dual-rear-wheel Ram 3500
¥ Conventional trailer hitch system upgraded to Class 5 with 17,000-lb. load capability, 1,800 pounds of tongue weight for use with 2-inch and 2.5-inch receiver hitch

Ram Truck brand now offers the most capable heavy-duty pickups in the segment – the new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty line features best-in-class towing and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks also add new features, including an all-new interior, next-generation Uconnect Access, Powernet, new frames and new suspension. The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty further solidifies the long list of leadership claims, including best-in-class total cost of ownership.

"To answer the needs and wants of our customers, Ram Truck has taken a big step forward in capability while improving cost of ownership and efficiency," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico - Chrysler Group LLC. "The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty allows you to push and pull more than any competitor, and the truck looks great doing it with new exterior design cues and an all-new interior featuring our latest technology."

ENGINEERING

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.

Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. 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 of the new Ram Heavy Duty, a new front and rear suspension system with advanced geometry builds upon the chassis improvements and 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 while delivering higher towing and payload capability.

Steering

The new premium 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.

Body

A number of body improvements have been made to enhance overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and to align with the best-in-class capabilities of the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty. The new truck comes equipped 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.

A new capless fuel filler on diesel applications is a space-saving initiative that enables side-by-side fuel and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) port configuration. The result is more convenient fuel and DEF re-fill at pump stations.

The Ram 3500 features a factory-installed trailer tow connector in the truck bed, included with the optional 5th wheel or gooseneck tow prep package. New structural support is designed into the body to support the payload increase and improve durability performance. Additionally, new reinforced tie-down points with enhanced strength are designed for heavier loads.

Electrical

The new Ram Heavy Duty now features the Powernet electrical architecture system allowing both high and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers.

A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system. A new best-in-class, vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules. The VSIM up-fitter interface module features a total of 72 inputs and outputs, including lighting controls, door position and throttle and transmission position. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles' electrical system.

Additional new features

New for 2013, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage with one push of a button. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also find their way into the feature availability list of the new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty.

Total cost of ownership and unsurpassed powertrain warranty – 5 years/ 100,000 Miles
Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. 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)
• Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed 5-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty 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.

POWERTRAIN

For 2013, the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 makes its debut in Ram 3500 Heavy Duty pickup as standard equipment (single rear wheel). Also standard in the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty, the engine produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and generates peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. at 3,950 rpm. The HEMI V-8 is mated to a 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission.

Dominating the power charts, the renowned 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 is now available in three versions. The first version is paired with Ram's segment exclusive six-speed manual transmission, 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 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 660 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500 rpm – a significant boost from the 2012 model-year maximum of 600 lb.-ft.

The second option matches the Cummins to the 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.

Finally, an upgraded 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 for Ram 3500 is paired with a new Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC), leaving no doubt to Ram Heavy Duty's capability. In addition to 385 horsepower at 2,800 rpm, the most powerful Cummins generates best-in-class torque 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, all Ram Heavy Duty diesels benefit from an all-new cooling system. A high-efficiency fan, dual radiators, dual transmission coolers and charge air cooler afford 25 percent more heat-rejection capacity. Lower operating temperatures deliver improved performance, durability and lower operating costs.

Diesel-equipped Ram Heavy Duty pickups feature an industry-exclusive Ram Active Air intake system, activated by new monitoring capabilities added to the engine controller. When the intake system senses extreme heat, it draws cool air from the front of the vehicle – a function that also engages at high altitudes for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments. When conditions are wet from snow, ice or water-fording, the system pulls air from an underhood inlet clear from snow packing and water ingestion.

The list of 2013 diesel-engine features does not end 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. Oil life is increased by reducing soot production and reducing fuel dilution of the oil.

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. The SCR-equipped diesels, which can run on B-20 biofuel, also operate cleaner by lowering greenhouse-gas emissions and better managing soot production than Lean NOx Trap (LNT) technology.

From behind the wheel, the diesels deliver improved cold-start performance and superior refinement from innovations such as the new smart exhaust brake system. Enabled by Cummins' unique, proprietary sliding-nozzle turbine design, the feature electronically manages best-in-class exhaust braking for smoother downhill driving, regardless of vehicle load.

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.

For the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty, no detail was too small to consider – an approach that inspired the design of a new fuel filter/water separator. The frame-mounted unit delivers best-in-class, 3 micron particulate filtration and water stripping for improved engine performance and durability.
Capability is high on the priority list for Ram engineers, evidenced by axle upgrades for 2013.

The 2013 Ram 3500 boasts a best-in-class GCWR. A contributor is the 11.8-inch rear axle matched with the diesel engine boasting a 300-mm hypoid gear set, a 4-pinion helical differential and an aluminum ring-gear cover for optimal cooling – and improved aesthetics.
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.

DESIGN

The new 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models uphold a bold presence while retaining comfort and styling with exterior design changes. The new Ram Heavy Duty also features an all-new interior and all-new segment-leading technology – every model offers new, specific content.

Exterior

Aligning with all-new grilles, the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty quad headlamp design has improved light spread, pattern consistency and distance. An all-new premium headlamp and lighting system features bi-functional halogen projectors and LEDs for park/turn and tail lamps.
New power folding 6x9-inch outside mirrors help to monitor traffic and obstacles on the side of the truck and allow a better view of the trailer when towing.

A tailgate handle-mounted rear camera back-up system has been upgraded for 2013 with higher definition and dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, a new center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) camera provides a view of the bed for easier 5th wheel or gooseneck trailers as well as monitoring bed loads.

Ram 3500 models feature new, crafted 18-inch and 20-inch wheel designs that incorporate trim level themes.

Exterior door and fender badges are relocated to a portrait style format from the current landscape format, yielding not only a cleaner appearance but more usable real estate on the door for a commercial customer's signs and graphics.

The new, wheel-to-wheel, polished stainless steel running boards have a sturdy-looking box cross-section design with a hexagon tread pattern and offer aerodynamic improvements while providing customer's improved access to the forward portion of the truck bed.

Interior

New Ram Heavy Duty features and technologies create an opportunity for a redesigned interior with material upgrades, improved fit and finish, new colors, HVAC controls and new multi-media systems.

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty features the 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. Complementing the range of Ram Heavy Duty models, the interior design team created new, individualized themes with different colors and materials.

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.

New technology also moves to the gauge cluster. Previously only available on premium models, 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.

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 offering 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.

UCONNECT

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty lineup offers a truckload of innovative, segment-exclusive technology, adding all-new features to an already best-in-class interior. New for 2013, Ram offers the next-generation radio platform, which features Uconnect Access, a more powerful, in-vehicle connectivity system.

Building upon base radio capability, two new Uconnect systems are offered to provide Ram customers with a range of features and connectivity options to best suit their needs. The Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN provide Ram truck owners with a built-in wireless connection allowing vehicle occupants to automatically connect to a variety of new services. Users can remotely lock or unlock doors or start their vehicles from any distance via the web or a smartphone application. The new Uconnect system includes a 911 button on the rear-view mirror for a direct connection to emergency services. An ASSIST button also is integrated into the rear-view mirror to summon help directly from a roadside assistance provider or connect with Chrysler Group's Vehicle Customer Care Center.

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.

Applications are updatable over the air and are downloaded directly to the Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN systems, keeping features current. Ram truck owners will be able to continually evolve their in-vehicle connectivity experience by downloading application updates or new applications as they become available.

The new Uconnect Access system features best-in-class functionality, integrating new entertainment content, including the first time Ram has offered HD radio to its customers. Ram owners also will have access to SiriusXM radio, handsfree mobile phone operation, handsfree navigation, handsfree texting with compatible phones and handsfree control of music.

Uconnect Voice Command allows drivers to control their mobile phone, music and navigation system while staying focused on driving. The phone book within a compatible phone is automatically downloaded, synchronizing as many as 1,000 phone book entries, which can then be selected by simply saying a contact name. The feature also allows drivers to switch radio modes, tune to AM, FM, HD and SiriusXM Radio stations and request real-time information (such as fuel prices) from the available SiriusXM Travel Link using natural voice commands.
Uconnect supports Bluetooth-equipped cell phones with Message Access Profile (MAP) advanced text-messaging. This industry-first voice recognition uses the embedded connectivity to access cloud-based voice-recognition and enable advanced text messaging, which converts the spoken word into verbatim text messages. Communication is limited only by the user's vocabulary.

Filling the gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, color, premium multiview display, featuring a new customizable function that enables Ram customers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. Ram's new information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily. The multiview display offers drivers a wide range of customization options, from a basic digital speed read out to specific vehicle status information. Operation of the display is clearly communicated to users with easy-to-understand icons and instructions.

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty offers an audiophile-quality audio system to immerse passengers in premium sound. Alpine high-performance speakers and an advanced digital signal processing (DSP) amplifier are available with the Alpine 10-speaker premium audio system.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Ram Heavy Duty trucks offer more than 45 active and passive safety and security features, including standard front air bags and seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System, 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).

The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks now offer Keyless Enter 'n Go technology, which allows the doors to be unlocked and the truck to be started without having to touch the key fob. Also new for 2013, remote central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate powerlocks, creating a convenient solution for locking down the truck with the push of a button. An available remote start feature allows a driver to start their truck from up to 300 feet away. Door controls, illuminated entry, engine immobilizer and panic alert are standard features with the Keyless Enter 'n Go system. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam also are new offerings, adding to a long list of content. Manufacturing

Start of production of the 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013 at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.


• • •


2013 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab

OVERVIEW


Ram's Halo Trucks – 2013 Chassis Cab Lineup Offer Best-in-class Capability and New Exclusive Features

¥ 2013 Ram Chassis Cab goes far beyond competitive capability with best-in-class towing and best-in-class total cost of ownership
¥ New 2013 Ram Chassis Cab includes significant upgrades to powertrain, frame, suspension, body, electrical architecture and interior
¥ Legendary diesel power with new six-speed automatic and manual transmissions
- 6.7-liter Cummins available with high output option producing 325 horsepower (242 kW) at 3,000 rpm and best-in-class 750 lb.-ft. of torque (559 N•m)
- 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 delivers 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N•m), and features variable-valve timing for greater efficiency and performance (Ram 3500 Chassis Cab)
¥ New Aisin AS69RC six-speed automatic transmission handles higher diesel output and offers enhanced power take-off (PTO) capability
¥ Exclusive dual-inlet Ram Active Air in diesel models adjusts induction according to driving conditions for optimal performance
¥ Best-in-class 15,000-mile oil change intervals on Cummins diesel
¥ Advanced diesel engine cooling system enables 25-percent more heat rejection for harsh duty cycles when compared to previous design
¥ Next-generation selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system - more efficient energy
¥ Innovative features combined with excellence in engineering make upfitting easy and less expensive
¥ Only manufacturer to feature standard electronic stability control (ESC) on all models
¥ New frame improvements include high-strength 50 KSI steel, eight cross member construction, C-channel rear rails to ensure continued unsurpassed noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), ride and handling characteristics
¥ Integration of Powernet technology enables expansion of feature content by adding bandwidth to the truck's electrical architecture
¥ Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles
¥ Exterior design changes include new grilles and all-new premium lighting system with bi-functional halogen projector bulbs and LEDs for park/turn and side markers
¥ New interior features include: Standard and premium vehicle information center, steering wheel and controls, instrument panel, door panels, interior colors and premium materials
¥ Next-generation Uconnect Access combines a new lineup of smart media centers with a powerful new wireless platform that includes Wi-Fi hotspot capability
¥ New configurable premium vehicle information center with 7-inch multiview display available on SLT and standard on Laramie models
¥ Best-in-class, new vehicle system interface module (VSIM)
¥ New Passive Entry, Keyless Enter 'n Go

The 2013 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab truck is the pinnacle of capability. Engineered and designed for extreme daily work, the Ram Chassis Cabs are products of a demanding environment and direct customer input. Ram's halo truck line focuses on best-in-class capability and best-in-class total cost of ownership, a leading concern among business owners. For 2013, the new Chassis Cab trucks also receive an all-new interior, the latest infotainment technology and exclusive upfit solutions, giving Ram Chassis Cab a competitive advantage. The new Chassis Cab goes further to offer a best-in-class powertrain warranty of 5 years/100,000 miles.
"The Ram Chassis Cab lineup is engineered for hard work. Our efforts to simplify upfitting and reduce total cost of ownership have made Ram a popular choice for industrial, commercial and even personal applications," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico - Chrysler Group LLC. "We see an opportunity to grow our share in the Chassis Cab segment and Ram is offering best-in-class capabilities with class-exclusive features to get the job done and attract new customers."

The new 2013 Chassis Cab best-in-class capability ratings:

• Best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
• Best-in-class towing
• Best-in-class front Gross Axle Weight rating (GAWR) on 4500 and 5500

Features include a number of industry exclusives:

• Vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various Chassis Cab control modules
• Electronic stability control (ESC) on all models
• Largest fuel tank
• Best-in-class 15,000-mile oil change intervals on Cummins diesel
• Largest -in-class brakes
• Best-in-class dual 220-amp alternator system
• Exclusive back up camera for upfitter positioning
• Best-in-class powertrain warranty

Ram Chassis Cab engineers design trucks for upfits and develop unique features to ease installation of multiple systems and bodies without interference or difficult relocation of components, including:

• Industry standard frame lengths 60-inch, 84-inch, 108-inch and 120-inch
• No components or lines above the rear frame rails
• Through-the-frame plumbing and electrical
• Removable/ movable exhaust and frame components
• DEF refill port is conveniently located at the rear of the cab on the driver's side to ensure easy access at pump stations

ENGINEERING

With the upfits in mind, the 2013 Ram Chassis Cab trucks feature new frames built with high-strength 50 KSI steel, including eight separate cross-member construction. Designing the frames for upfits creates a competitive advantage, improves durability and reduces warranty costs from unapproved modifications. Ram Chassis Cab trucks have no components or lines above the rear frame rails. This feature reduces the need for modification and relocation that is sometimes required in competitive trucks. One piece, C-channel rear frame rails, and through-the-frame plumbing and electrical provide a flat plane for ease of mounting application bodies and accessories.

To handle the best-in-class towing and unsurpassed Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) capability of the new Ram Chassis Cab, new springs have been integrated to handle heavier front load while maintaining front ride height. The improvements also improve overall roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness, also known as body roll, is an important characteristic in taller vehicles, especially trucks with heavy payloads. An advanced five-link front suspension ensures excellent ride and handling for a higher GVWR and for use with heavy front loads, including snow plows. The newly designed Hotchkiss rear leaf spring suspension not only provides a minimum of zero degrees rake angle at max load, it also maintains objectives for ride and handling.

Steering

Along with alterations in the suspension, Ram engineers improved the Chassis Cab steering. The drag link is repositioned over the track bar to reduce roll oversteer and to improve tracking at highway speeds. Also, the drag link is now attached directly to the knuckle, offering improved efficiency for driver input. The caster and track are increased for more wheel aligning torque, which improves return-to-center at the steering wheel. A new ball joint alignment feature and sealing method improves alignment and service for lower total cost of ownership. The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab receives a new steering damper with new valving and protective cover for added durability. These improvements result in enhanced and precise on-center feel despite the vehicles higher towing and payload capacities.

Body

The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab comes equipped with updated engine, transmission and body mounts for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics.
Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab commercial trucks are available with an engineering-approved, upfitter-friendly solution for customers who require back panel removal on regular cab trucks. Because the instructions were created and approved by Ram commercial truck engineers, the cutaway design retains the structural integrity of the truck.

Electrical

As the Ram Chassis Cab continues to offer more feature content, it created the need for a technology that allows more information to be electronically communicated within the truck. The new Powernet system allows both high- and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers.

A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system and certain fleet customers require access to vehicle information. A new best-in-class, vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various Chassis Cab control modules. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles' electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug 'n play connectivity for up-fitter use.

New for 2013, an optional dual 220-amp alternator system on the diesel-equipped Ram Chassis Cab provides best-in-class electrical capability for the higher electrical loads required in select upfits such as emergency lighting and electric clutch pumps.

Total cost of ownership and best-in-class powertrain warranty - 5 years/ 100,000 miles
Operating costs are of great consideration for owner's who use their trucks for work. The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab holds class-leading features in:
- Extended maintenance cycle (15,000 mile oil change, fuel filter life)
- Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake
- Upfit integration

The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab is backed with an best-in-class 5-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain limited warranty 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 is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard 3-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Chassis Cab, from the body to the electrical system.

POWERTRAIN

The new Ram trucks deliver the most diesel power in the medium-duty commercial-truck segment – a proven and highly efficient gasoline engine, an upgraded six-speed automatic transmission with enhanced power take-off (PTO) capability and a host of technologies aimed at delivering best-in-class cost of operation attributes.

The 3500 chassis cab comes standard with the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 gasoline engine. The engine produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and generates peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. at 3,950 rpm. Mated to the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission, the HEMI® features enhanced fuel efficiency and power output, thanks to the incorporation of variable valve-timing and a compression ratio of 10.5:1. Refinements and other applied technologies provide the latest-generation HEMI with performance and fuel economy improvements to rival multi-valve V-8 offerings.

Unlike the competition, Ram offers two engine variants based on the 6.7-liter Cummins for diesel supremacy in the segment.

The first version features 320 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500 rpm – an increase of 15 horsepower and 40 lb.-ft. torque over the previous offering. The engine is paired with Ram's segment-exclusive six-speed manual transmission, which features a wear-compensating clutch for consistent performance and a dual-trunion shift tower to accommodate a compact shift pattern.

A second high-output diesel delivers 325 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and generates best-in-class torque of 750 lb.-ft. at 1,600 rpm. The engine is paired with a new Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC) and marks the first time a high-output diesel is offered in Chassis Cab.
The new AS69RC transmission features more robust components and a new controller that improves shift performance, transmission efficiency and drivability when compared to the previous model. The new transmission is designed for higher engine ratings and enables a left-side PTO option, as well as allowing for a split shaft PTO configuration. Fire pumpers, dump beds, cranes and onboard compressor/generators are typical PTO based upfits.

For 2013, all Ram Chassis Cab diesels benefit from an all-new cooling system. A high-efficiency fan, dual radiators, dual transmission coolers and charge air cooler afford 25 percent more heat-rejection capacity to align with best-in-class GCWR. Lower operating temperatures deliver improved performance, durability and lower operating costs.

New GCWR ratings also led to the development of the industry-exclusive Ram Active Air intake system, activated by new monitoring capabilities added to the engine controller. When the exclusive intake system senses extreme heat, it draws cooler air from the front of the vehicle – a function that also engages at high altitudes for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments. When conditions are wet from snow, ice or water fording, the system pulls air from an under-hood inlet, clear from snow packing and water ingestion.

Emissions performance

The Cummins powerplants benefit from a larger exhaust-gas recirculation cooler, which complements the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and accommodates a best-in-class oil-change interval of 15,000 miles. Oil life is increased by reducing soot production and reducing fuel dilution of the oil.

When needed, the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is injected into the exhaust to reduce NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) emissions coming out of the tail pipe. Unlike the competition, the Ram Chassis Cab maintains full power when fluid is low. The state-of-the art DEF system applied on the Ram Chassis Cab features an electric heater in the DEF tank to ensure the fluid is available in a liquid state regardless of climate. The result is a less complex system for enhanced durability. Competitive designs have used a network of glycol-circulated cooling/heating lines. The DEF refill port is conveniently located at the rear of the cab on the driver's side of the vehicle, and clear of upfit zones, a configuration that ensures easy access at fuel stations when compared to the competition.

Combined with an improvement in fuel economy, due in part to the engines' high-pressure common-rail fuel system, SCR provides a net reduction in Ram Chassis Cab operating costs.
The SCR-equipped Cummins engines also operate cleaner by lowering greenhouse-gas emissions and better managing soot production than Lean NOx Trap (LNT) technology.

DESIGN

Exterior


Two new grille designs are available on the 2013 Ram Chassis Cab, and the quad headlamp design has improved light spread, pattern consistency and distance. An all-new premium headlamp is offered featuring bi-functional halogen projectors and new LEDs for park/turn and side markers. The LED light housings are functional hardware with appeal and durability over incandescent bulbs.

An exclusive, new back-up camera is available and delivered with factory wiring and multi-purpose mount for easy installation by the upfitter. The camera provides a view of the rear with upgraded resolution with higher definition and dynamic imaging in the available 8.4-inch radio display or 1.7 x 3-inch display in the rear-view mirror.

Exterior door and fender badges are located in a portrait style format providing usable real estate on the door for a commercial customer's logos and graphics.

For 2013, Ram Chassis Cab offers 12 different colors with an additional 18 specialty paint options, including Midnight Blue, Case Construction Power Tan, Case IH Red, New Holland Construction Yellow, New Holland Agriculture Blue and Robin Egg Blue.

Interior

New Ram Chassis Cab features and technologies create an opportunity for a redesigned interior with material upgrades, improved fit and finish, new colors, HVAC controls and new multimedia systems.

In four-door models, rear-seat occupants enjoy the same quality, fit and finish as the driver. With points of contact a priority, new premium, durable materials are now on all four doors.
The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system. To make room for the new big screen, the center stack is upgraded with matching materials found throughout the interior. To complement the range of Chassis Cab models, the interior design team created new, individualized themes with different colors and materials.

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 ESC. The bottom row comes standard as an auxiliary switch bank for all five spots with a PTO option when equipped. Contiguous to the switch bank is a relocated and 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 one 115-volt and two 12-volt outlets on either side with an optional powered USB on the driver's side.

All Ram Chassis Cab 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 an exclusive manual six-speed transmission, the only manual transmission offering in the segment. On all models, the transfer case retains full capability with a rotary e-shift to control "4WD Auto," "4WD Lock," "4WD Low," "2WD" and "Neutral".

New technology moves to the gauge cluster. Previously only available on premium models, the 3.5-inch vehicle information center screen is now a standard feature. The new thin-film transistor (TFT), 7-inch multiview display is now available on premium models. The 7-inch screen features fully customizable function and configurability giving the owner a variety of systems to monitor from transmission temperature to navigation.

Chassis Cab trucks with bucket seats offer additional storage capacity in the center console. Six-passenger capability is available with the 40-20-40 bench seat.

Two new steering wheels are available and seating colors and feel are upgraded with new colors, including a new premium cloth material.

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 allowing storage for most cup sizes as well as other personal items. Folding back the center console and center front seat base reveals a large storage bin that houses an optional CD player. 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.

UCONNECT

Building upon base radio capability, two new Uconnect systems are offered to provide Ram customers with a range of features and connectivity options. The Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN provide Ram truck owners with a built-in wireless connection allowing vehicle occupants to automatically connect to a variety of new services. Users can remotely lock and unlock doors or start their vehicles from any distance via the web or a smartphone application. The new Uconnect system includes a 911 button on the rear-view mirror for a direct connection to emergency services. An ASSIST button also is integrated into the rear-view mirror to summon help directly from a roadside assistance provider or connect with Chrysler Group's Vehicle Customer Care Center. 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.

Applications are updatable over the air and are downloaded directly to the Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN systems, keeping features current.

Uconnect Voice Command allows drivers to control their mobile phone, music and navigation system while staying focused on driving. The phone book within a compatible phone is automatically downloaded, synchronizing as many as 1,000 phone book entries, which can then be selected by simply saying a contact name. The feature also allows drivers to switch radio modes, tune to AM, FM, HD and SiriusXM Radio stations and request real-time information (such as fuel prices) from the available SiriusXM Travel Link using natural voice commands.
Uconnect supports Bluetooth-equipped cell phones with message access profile (MAP) advanced text-messaging. This industry-first voice recognition uses the embedded connectivity to access cloud-based voice-recognition and enable advanced text messaging, which converts the spoken word into verbatim text messages. Communication is limited only by the user's vocabulary.
Filling the gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, color, premium multiview display, featuring a new customizable function that enables Ram customers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. Ram's new information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily. The multiview display offers drivers a wide range of customization options, from a basic digital speed read out to specific vehicle status information. Operation of the display is clearly communicated to users with easy-to-understand icons and instructions.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Ram Chassis Cab trucks offer more than 45 active and passive safety and security features, including standard front air bags and seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS), knee bolsters, seat-belt pretensioners, BeltAlert and ParkView rear back-up camera system.

The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab models also include standard ESC, a segment exclusive on Class 3/4/5 chassis cabs over 10,000 lb. GVWR. ESC hosts a number of technologies including all-speed traction control, trailer-sway control, Hill-start Assist and anti-lock brake system (ABS).
The new 2013 Ram Chassis Cab now offers Keyless Enter 'n Go technology, which allows the doors to be unlocked and the truck to be started without having to touch the key fob. An available remote start feature allows a driver to start their truck from up to 300 feet away. Door controls, illuminated entry, engine immobilizer and panic alert are standard features with the Keyless Enter 'n Go system. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also are new offerings, adding to a long list of content.

MANUFACTURING

Start of production of the 2013 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013 at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Vergenbuurg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are we at the point where chassis-cab trucks based on civilian pickups can easily do the jobs of commercial medium-duty trucks... and maybe even better? I wonder how the RAM 3500 of now would stack up to a medium-duty commercial truck from the '70s or '80s...
        Paul P.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vergenbuurg
        They might be able to do the job, but they're still legally limited by their GVWR. Therefore even though my 2011 F350 dumptruck is much more powerful than my '89 F800 dumptruck, it still can't move anywhere near the same load. On the upside though, my new F350 dump does a much better job at towing and hauling than my '94 F350 dump. I don't have to drop two gears and put the pedal to the floor just to keep up with traffic while climbing a slight grade.
          Vergenbuurg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Paul P.
          I appreciate the insight from someone who's more in the know. Thanks!
        Robert Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vergenbuurg
        I would say no. Pretty light MDT for Australia. It would be an effective medium Horse transporter or large 5th wheel tower. I think the lightest MDT is the 26,0000lb GVWR Ford F650.
      CEC
      • 2 Years Ago
      Did sombody here order a Freight Train? Good Golly 850ftlbs is a lot of Torque.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks very macho.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      "All new grocery getters!" Groovy.
        car-a-holic
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        Ye because my wife wants to Ditch her cool car to drive that monster to the store. Yup you called it lol
      greenz1977
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Ram has a winner with all the improvements they have made.
      atvman
      • 2 Years Ago
      Regardless of whether or not it wins the magazine drag races, the Cummins is the best diesel engine in the segment. It makes the most torque at the lowest RPM and has legendary durability. I'm also in the camp that thinks adding a DEF system to the Cummins was the right move. Ford and GM have proven that a DEF emissions system is substantially more efficient than the particulate system Ram was using before. Yeah, it's another fluid you have to add, but it's cheap, a lot cheaper than the extra diesel fuel Rams were using.
      truckkiddd
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love the truck. Best of the HD pickups in my opinion. Especially like that there is a manual transmission option. However, Dodge please MAKE THIS IN THE USA. The fact that this is made in Mexico makes it a 100% no go when I buy my next truck.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @truckkiddd
        Who cares where its made? If you like it, buy it.
          truckkiddd
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jtav2002
          I happen to like keeping jobs in the USA
          threefortyduster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jtav2002
          Truckkiddd....just because final assembly is in mexico doesn't mean you aren't supporting thousands of US jobs in the form of everyone who supplies parts or ships the parts to its assembly point. Cummins employs how many people in Indiana? Chrysler's interior plants are all around the midwest. Chrysler's transmissions are mostly made in Kokomo, IN. Final assembly isn't the whole story. And the reason nobody offers a manual anymore is because automatics nowadays are stronger and do their job better than people do running sticks. Max towing is with an auto.
        GreenN_Gold
        • 2 Years Ago
        @truckkiddd
        Can't you just get one made in Michigan? Or is that plant limited to producing non-HD Rams?
      d.hollywood
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ram loyalist here. Like what I see / read. Carry on.
      mzmb4493
      • 2 Years Ago
      The shark fin antenna, or nipple as i like to call it on my friends 1500, needs to be relocated. It looks so outta place inbetween the cab lights.
      Robert Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would say no. Pretty light MDT for Australia. It would be an effective medium Horse transporter or large 5th wheel tower. I think the lightest MDT is the 26,0000lb GVWR Ford F650.
      Janice
      • 1 Year Ago
      So, when are they coming out??? We are in the market but none are available yet!
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