- Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.