The heavy-duty truck segment boasts some of the tightest competition of any automotive niche in the US. Being able to tout just one best-in-class figure can be a marketing advantage over competitors, and Ram Trucks is adding one more accolade to its tally with a powertrain update for the 2015 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups. Ram now claims best-in-class ratings for torque, towing and payload, depending on configuration.

The major change comes for the 3500 HD with a boost in torque for its Cummins 6.7-liter, inline-six diesel engine. It now produces a meaty 865 pound-feet of twist, a boost of 15 lb-ft, which is the best figure in its segment, according to the company. To eek out the extra power, the mill has more aggressive fuel delivery, and the turbo has been recalibrated. Of course, more grunt would be meaningless if drivers couldn't do anything with it, and the tweaks help allow payload to grow to 7,390 pounds, up from a rating of 7,320 pounds last year. The max towing rating remains unchanged at 30,000 pounds, though.

The rest of the powertrain lineup carries over from last year. The base HD mill is the gasoline-fed 5.7-liter V8 with 383 hp and 400 lb-ft and a six-speed automatic. The next step up is a 6.4-liter V8 with 410 hp and 429 lb-ft. There are also three trims of the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel starting with 350 hp and 660 lb-ft with a six-speed manual gearbox. If buyers opt for a the 68RFE six-speed auto, they get 370 hp and 800 lb-ft. Finally, there's the updated, top-rung version with 385 hp and 865 lb-ft with an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission.

These brawny new pickups begin rolling off the line at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico, this week. Scroll down for the official announcement along with a video of Mike Cairns, director of engineering at Ram Truck, talking about the best-in-class specs.
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Ram Launches 2015 Heavy Duty Models with a Trifecta of Claims: Best-in-class Power, Towing Capacity and Payload Capacity

• New Cummins 6.7-liter calibration adds 15 lb.-ft. of torque, edging out even Class 4 pickup competitors to a best-in-class 865 lb.-ft.

• 2015 Ram 3500 crushes the competition with up to 30,000 pounds of SAE J2807-spec. towing capacity, beating the closest competitor by nearly 1.5 tons

• 2015 Ram 2500 holds best-in-class 17,970 pounds of towing capacity, while adhering to SAE J2807 test criteria

• New best-in-class payload of 7,390 pounds (Ram 3500)

• Ram maintains credibility and customer confidence as the only automaker to align with the SAE J2807 towing standard for its entire pickup truck line

• Best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 37,900 pounds

• The first 2015 Ram Heavy Duty trucks begin rolling off the factory line this week

• Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles


Auburn Hills, Mich. – Ram takes heavy-duty towing and hauling seriously. With this week's start of 2015 model year Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty production, the truck world's "King of the Hill" further adds to its most-capable claims.

Ram 3500 models will offer increased torque ratings of 865 lb.-ft. and an increased payload of 7,390 pounds, while maintaining a class leading maximum tow rating of 30,000 pounds.

Ram is the only automaker to back its heavy-duty towing claims using SAE J2807 testing criteria.

"Ram maintains leadership throughout its pickup line by offering best-in-class fuel efficiency with our Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at 28 MPG, best-in-class towing at 30,000 pounds, best-in-class power at 865 lb.-ft. and best-in-class payload at 7,390 pounds with our Ram 3500," said Bob Hegbloom, Head of Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Ram owns best-in-class attributes in the areas that are most important to truck customers."

Working closely with Cummins, a more aggressive fuel delivery and turbo boost calibration to the 6.7-liter I-6 produces an additional 15 lb.-ft. of torque. This improvement places the coveted engine ahead of the competition with 865 lb.-ft. of torque, while maintaining performance and EPA compliance. The Ram 3500 continues towing leadership at 30,000 pounds and adds a new notch in its belt with a chart-topping payload of 7,390 pounds. The payload claim was made possible by challenging the Ram 3500 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 pickup with an increase in GVWR of 100 pounds, now 13,800 pounds GVWR.

"Ram has driven innovation in the heavy duty segments and intelligently engineered a better truck than our competitors, including a 30,000 pound towing monster," said Mike Cairns, Director- Ram Truck Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC. "Our 2015 Ram Heavy Duty Trucks own all three relevant titles in the segment: towing, payload and power, while delivering an impressive level of comfort and features unavailable elsewhere in the market."
Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickup trucks are assembled at Chrysler Group's Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.

POWERTRAIN
With Chrysler Group's 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, the Ram Heavy Duty delivers to best-in-class horsepower and best-in-class torque among pickups with gasoline engines. Compelling numbers tell the story of the 16-valve engine with 410 horsepower (306 kW) at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft.(582 N•m), at 4,000 rpm.

Other engine options include the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, standard equipment for the Ram 2500 and 3500 (SRW). The engine produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and generates peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 is mated to a 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission.

The renowned 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel I-6 is available in three versions. The first version is paired with Ram's segment exclusive six-speed manual transmission. This combination delivers 350 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 660 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm. 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 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm.

Dominating torque charts, the 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 for Ram 3500 is paired with the 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 865 lb.-ft. at 1,700 rpm.

FRAME
Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature frames built with high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Chassis controls on the Ram Heavy Duty ensure reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measurements and improve ride and handling characteristics. Standard electronic stability control (ESC) on single and dual-rear-wheel equipped trucks, and body-to-frame hydro-mounts provide improved ride quality.

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 frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross-member with provisions for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.

SUSPENSION
Heavy Duty trucks generally have suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This leads to a harsher ride when unloaded. Ram innovation leads again. The Ram 2500 takes lessons learned from the Ram 1500 with a segment exclusive five-link coil rear suspension system. Loaded or unloaded, the 5-link coil system provides best-in-class ride and handling. The five-link coil design incorporates support at all major points of force. Leaf spring suspensions struggle to combat axle wrap by using staggered shock absorbers (one mounted on the front of the axle tube and one mounted on the rear of the axle tube). The superior design of the five-link coil system functionally resists unwanted axle rotation. Leaf spring configurations also lack lateral support, forcing the leaf ends and shackles to hold against lateral loads - a task they're not particularly good at and one reason competitive leaf-sprung rear suspensions shutter on rough surfaces. Additionally, the Ram 2500 offers a rear air suspension system for automatic load leveling and greater versatility.

The Ram 3500 continues to feature the rear Hotchkiss leaf spring system, but offers a supplemental air suspension system (late availability). By adding supplemental air bags to the rear suspension, Ram engineers were able to soften the leaf springs, allowing for more unladed suspension movement- even with a best-in-class 30,000-lb. trailer.

In the front, the Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness, also known as body roll, is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck's body tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering.

BODY
The Ram Heavy Duty comes equipped with robust engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics despite the truck's aptitude for higher payloads and towing.

The Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature a factory-installed seven-pin trailer tow connector in the truck bed, included with the optional fifth wheel or gooseneck tow prep package. Ram is unmatched in terms of offering the most complete "hitch 'n go" towing prep package found anywhere in the heavy-duty category. Additionally, Ram features a standard Class 5 receiver hitch with four- and seven-pin connectors on the bumper. A tailgate handle-mounted, rear high-definition camera backup system is available with dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, the cargo-view camera located in the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for easier connection to fifth wheel or gooseneck trailers as well as monitoring bed loads.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Ram Heavy Duty customers can enjoy the convenience of an exclusive cargo camera, power folding mirrors and a combination, power rear-sliding window with defrost. Also, 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 are available, adding to a truckload of content offered in Ram Heavy Duty.

Total Cost Of Ownership And Unsurpassed Powertrain Warranty - Five Years/ 100,000 Miles
Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in:

• Extended maintenance cycle (oil change of 15,000, fuel filter life on diesel)
• Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment


The 2015 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed five-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 on to the new owner. The standard five-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      Jacel
      • 4 Months Ago

      Who cares about who's truck has the highest tow rating. These are amazing towing machines that they produce these days. Quite frankly the RAM and its six speed manual available transmission talk to the inner truck driving kid inside me. The ram just seem like the most honest rig to me, followed by the ford, and finally the GM twins.

        dude
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Jacel

        that manual trans sounds like a beast to drive

      Brodz
      • 4 Months Ago

      Why is this video so poorly made?

      Bombdefuzer
      • 4 Months Ago
      RAM is the honey badger!  It doesn't care what you put behind it!
      Carpinions
      • 4 Months Ago

      Kind of an underwhelming response. OK so the Ram now has 5 more pounds of torque than Ford's 6.7. Not a hard hurdle for Ford to come right back and clear, especially with the new turbo setup. And the payload goes up 70 lbs, but the towing remains the same. If they really wanted to stick a needle in Ford's eye, they should have at least matched (or come darn close to) the F-450's towing, even if it's a different class of truck.

      I think one of Ram's issues still is the fact that their diesel has tiered power depending on the model/options you have. Ford and GM don't have that, and I'm surprised Ram still does. Perhaps it doesn't matter anyways because a 3/4 ton version of each make's truck can't suddenly do more now than it could yesterday just because it's got whole-hog power instead of a lower-tier rating. I'd love to hear the rationale for this though.

        RJ
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Carpinions

        Maybe RAM learned something from Ford's book - pull off the spare, instant 70 lbs of payload, voila.

          Carpinions
          • 4 Months Ago
          @RJ

          Possibly. But that is a big selling point for Ram right now, that they tow and payload what they say, with the backing of SAE J2807 certification. Ford's F-450 claim isn't verified yet, though that never stopped any of the Big 3 before J2807 came around.

      Avinash Machado
      • 4 Months Ago

      Love this beast.

      Doug Danzeisen Sr
      • 4 Months Ago
      Tiny gains on already huge numbers. Ultimately this meanings very little, except to sales fodder. Most of the time I see these trucks they are hauling nothing more than a light or medium duty trailer anyway. If you are going to plunk down $60,000 for a truck you may as well get bragging rights.
      Emilio
      • 4 Months Ago

      Ram isn't F_c_ing Around!!!

      Ryan
      • 4 Months Ago

      Cummins or powerstroke? Yeah, that's a tough choice..

      hokkaido76
      • 4 Months Ago

      "These brawny new pickups begin rolling off the line at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico, this week."

      Of course, the bleeding heart "buy 'merican!" nationalists are probably blissfully unaware of this reality. lol

        carcomptoy
        • 4 Months Ago
        @hokkaido76

        Meanwhile, the Toyota Tundra is made in Texas and the Nissan Titan in Mississippi. #ohtheirony

          Luke
          • 4 Months Ago
          @carcomptoy

          #whyareyouputtingahashtaginacommentthreadthatdoesntutilizehashtags?

        Eu_Driver
        • 4 Months Ago
        @hokkaido76

        But... Mexico is in America! So people buying Mexican-assembled products are actually still buying 'merican... :-D

      Chumly
      • 4 Months Ago
      Meanwhile the GM trucks still put it to the ground better...
      http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2014/08/ultimate-one-ton-hd-challenge-and-the-winner-is.html
        Luke
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Chumly

        Why do you keep re-posting this? Let me quote the article for you to put it in context:
        "The Power Stroke dominated our acceleration and hill-climb tests, winning just about every zero-to-60-mph and quarter-mile run we set up."

        You were saying?

          Bombdefuzer
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Luke

          I'm not interested in how fast a truck can go to 60mph..  Id rather have a slower truck that can still tow a trailer with 200k without replacing several turbos and head gaskets and transmissions.  I know, I've been there.  I had a Ram 3500 and that truck NEVER went to the shop for anything other than free oil changes!  200k without 1 freaking thing going tango uniform.  My Ford?  Hanger Queen!  

          Chumly
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Luke

          I only posted it once....Why did it not win the overall contest?  

          Carpinions
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Luke

          Acceleration is only one metric. The test was for all-around prowess. Chumly posting the link *is* in fact making a point. The GMC cleared both Ram and Ford easily in MPG towing the same load. So go ahead; slam that Ford gas pedal all you want. Whatever time you saved by hammering the throttle will be lost when you're stopped short of your destination at the pump. And Ram and Ford may tow more, but that only means the MPGs will continue to go down when you add another 2+ tons to the mix.

      2011 Sportsman
      • 4 Months Ago
      2016 Ford Powerstroke, 900 ft lbs torque and could do it easily 
      Luke
      • 4 Months Ago

      Where are all the Ram fanbois that flog Ford for their 'magic fairy dust'? When Ford boosted the Powerstroke, they actually upgraded hardware...and made it available to ALL the users. And it doesn't matter how much torque they put in that motor if they don't get the horsepower up relative to the competition.....

        Jacel
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Luke

        Who cares, you drag racing or towing? Horsepower is a measurement directly related to RPM... something you don't want when you are trying to tow a heavy load as efficiently as possible. You kind of want it to lug around effortlessly and save you that MPG.

        Carpinions
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Luke

        Horsepower doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does for doing things like towing. Look at semis; they don't make impressive HP numbers, but their torque is off the charts. Freightliner engines start at 470hp, not much higher than Ford's 440hp light duty engine. But at 1,650 lbs of torque, is there even a question it outpowers the PowerStroke nearly 2:1?

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