New 2010 Dodge Ram HD trucks
The 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups (Ram 2500 and Ram 3500) will be produced starting on September 28, 2009. The Dodge Ram Chassis Cabs will have a short 2010 model year and will all be built within calendar-year 2009; 2011 models will have the new styling and interiors, and will be built starting in March 2010.
2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty
While the Ram 1500 is aimed at the primary users of light-duty pickups — people who do not routinely tow or haul heavy loads, but need the space or shape for other reasons — the Ram Heavy Duty is aimed at commercial and fleet users, the primary buyers of serious, diesel-powered pickups and chassis cabs.
The 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, available in Fall 2009, will continue to use the previous generation’s proven chassis and frame, but with more comfort, higher capabilities, and more body options: Dodge has replaced the Quad Cab with a crew cab, which joins the regular and (possibly) the Mega cabs. There are two cargo-box sizes (6-foot-4-inches and 8 feet), in single and dual-rear-wheel configurations. Even the chassis cabs come in a crew cab version.
The ride was greatly improved through re-tuned suspension components; handling under a full load was also beefed up, while the gross vehicle weight rating increased by 600 lb to 9,600 pounds (Ram 2500 crew and possibly Mega Cab 4×4 with Cummins diesel). Fluid-filled hydro-mounts under the cab reduce beaming and bounce over rough surfaces. (What are fluid-filled hydro-mounts? Here’s what Dodge said: “C-pillar hydro mounts were added to improve damping through the frame-bending mode frequency in order to better manage shake and after-shake response. The result is reduced shake and improved ride.”)
The new TRX and TRX4 (2WD and 4×4) crew cabs are designed to compete head to head with Ford; they include an anti-spin differential, 4.1:1 axle ratio, 17-inch aluminum wheel with offroad tires, skid plates, and other features. They will be priced thousands less than the Ford F-250 FX4.
The 6.7 Cummins turbodiesel will be essentially unchanged, but with a new particulate feature that slashes nitrides of oxygen by 90%; in the pickups, the engine produces 350 hp at 3,000 rpm, and 650 lb-ft of torque at a stunning 1,500 rpm, just off idle (automatic transmission). With the G56 manual transmission, the Cummins puts out 350 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque; with the chassis cabs, 305 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque.
The Hemi V8 is available, with 383 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, on Ram 2500 only; the Ram 3500 appears to now require the Cummins diesel. While the industry mix for this class is 59/41 diesel to gas, 79% of Ram heavy duty trucks sold in 2008 were diesels, and in most recent years 80%-87% of Ram 2500/3500 trucks were diesels.
Maintenance for the Cummins engine – which is in 90% of the Heavy Duty Rams – includes 7,500 mile oil changes and overhauls at 350,000 miles (100,000 miles more than Ford or GM). It includes an exhaust brake, a major safety feature and unique in this segment the exhaust brake is a $3,500 value, according to Dodge, and provides additional savings with lower brake maintenance. A B20 (biodiesel 20%) version is available for fleet buyers.
Power-wise, the Cummins engine has the same ratings as the Ford Super Duty diesel (though peak torque comes in earlier), while the Silverado’s Isuzu-boosted Duramax diesel has 15 more horsepower and 10 lb-ft more torque. The Cummins has met 2010.5 emissions requirements since launch, and has no diesel exhaust fluid (e.g. urea) requirement.
In chassis-cab service, the engine now meets 2010.5 emissions standards in 50 states, thanks to diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) injection based on urea injection Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) technology. The standard diesel has a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty, the best in its class. The base alternator increased from 136 to 180 amps.
The diesel pickups can be equipped with a G56 six-speed manual transmission with an extra-low first gear ratio, or the 68RFE six-speed automatic that now includes Electronic Range Select, so the driver can limit the highest gear and make manual up- and down-shifts.
The 5.7 liter Hemi is also available, with 383 horspower and 400 lb-ft of torque, somewhat more than in any other Dodge vehicle, partly due to extra underhood space which makes exhaust routing easier. Gas mileage on the 3500 Hemi is up 4%, too. The 545RFE five-speed automatic is the only transmission available with the Hemi; it too has Electronic Range Select.
4x4s get one of two transfer cases: the manual NV271 unit (ST and Power Wagon) or the electric, shift-on-the-fly NV273 case. Axle ratios are 3.42, 3.73, 4.10 or 4.56.
The interior was naturally upgraded, with optional heated/ventilated front seats; heated rear-seats and steering wheel; automatic temperature control; two-tone upholstery; memory seats, radio and mirrors; navigation; adjustable pedals and numerous infotainment options including Backseat TV(tm) with three channels of programming, uconnect tunes with a 30-gigabyte hard drive, and a first-in-segment 10-speaker surround-sound system. Numerous storage options include in-floor storage.
A trailer brake controller is built in. Capacities are up, with Ram 3500 with dual rear wheels, diesel, automatic, and 4.10:1 rear axle sporting a 25,400 pound combined gross weight rating; the 4×4 diesels get an increased front axle weight of 5,500 pounds (for better front weight capabilities including heavier snow plows); and the Ram 3500 can tow 18,500 lb, with a maximum payload of 5,100 pounds.
Five trim levels include ST, SLT, TRX, Laramie, and Power Wagon. The grille, hood, and bumpers are unique to the heavy duty line, but reflect the 2009 light duty Ram with a chromed lean-forward grille; the hood is taller hood for more cooling capacity.
Large external mirrors are new for 2010, giving drivers a more useable area while improving aerodynamics and minimizing wind noise. Depending on trim level, mirrors are finished in black, or black and chrome and equipped with turn-signal indicators, memory function, puddle lamps and adjustable convex mirrors. The larger, 7-in. x 11-in. mirror for trailer towing is standard. These mirrors flip up and out into a vertical configuration for trailer tow use.
Engineered to deliver precise feel and response for better handling, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Chassis Cab’s steering and suspension system boast superb strength with a focus on improved load capacity, increased durability and refined handling. Two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models feature a recirculating ball system that provides precise response and an on-center steering feel through lower internal friction.
Featuring solid front and rear axles, and a five-link, coil-spring front suspension with solid axle, a front and rear link-type sway bar and heavy-duty tubular shock absorbers are standard. The rear suspension on two- and four-wheel-drive models is equipped with leaf springs and includes standard two-stage springs as part of the design for greater load-carrying capability and better ride with light loads.
When fuel prices shot up and gas mileage became politics, aerodynamics gained a new prominence — not that Chrysler had not already been moving back towards its pre-Daimler aero emphasis. Thus, styling followed both aesthetics and aerodynamics.
The tailgate is sculpted for better air flow, incorporating a spoiler in the upper part of the sheet metal. This tailgate also accommodates an available back-up camera for convenient trailer hook-ups and includes a lift-assist feature that makes raising and lowering a one-hand operation. Standard bedrail protection is included with both the 6-foot-4-inch. and 8-foot cargo boxes. The boxes now feature bedrail caps that protect sheet metal from dents and scratching.
External mirrors are sculpted to produce a more useable area, with aerodynamic benefit and less noise. Mirrors are equipped with turn-signal indicators, memory function, puddle lamps and adjustable convex mirrors. Depending on trim level, mirrors are finished in black, or black and chrome. The larger 7-in. x 11-in. mirror for trailer towing is standard on 3500 models and available on 2500 pickups. These mirrors flip up and out into a vertical configuration for trailer-tow use. Front fenders and headlamps of the new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 are shared with light-duty pickup models.
The new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty grille includes a chromed surround with either black center bullets (ST, SLT and Power Wagon models) or chromed center billets (Laramie, Big Horn and Lone Star models). Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 TRX models feature a body-color surround with black center billets. The grille is body-mounted, while the bumper is frame-mounted.
To accommodate cooling requirements of the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine (with a take-rate of 90 percent), the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty grille opening is larger than the light-duty grille. The larger grille requires a taller hood that incorporates “louvers” on each side. Access to the front winch (on Power Wagon models) and tow hooks led to the unique front-bumper design.
Front and rear doors follow the style pioneered by the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 – a design that places the door cut to the side of the truck, rather than into the roof, in order to reduce wind noise and weight.
Dual-rear-wheel fenders (3500 Dually only) are new for 2010 and have improved aerodynamics.
Dodge Power Wagon and Mega Cab
The Dodge Ram Power Wagon returns for the 2010 model year. Equipped with electric-locking front and rear differentials, electronic disconnecting sway bar, Bilstein shocks, 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires, underbody skid plate protection, 4.56 axle ratio for hill climbing and a custom-built Warn® 12,000-lb. winch is accessible through the front bumper.
According to the original factory literature, the new 2010 Dodge 2500 and 3500 Mega Cab models retain their title of best-in-class interior room in the segment – including the largest, longest cab (143.2 cubic feet,111.1 inches long); largest interior cargo volume (72.2 cubic feet); largest cargo volume behind rear seat (7.7 cubic feet); largest flat-floor load area (16.8 square feet); largest second-row leg room (44.2 inches); largest rear-door opening (34.5 inches wide, 35.5 inches high); largest rear-door open angle 85 degrees); and first-ever reclining rear seats (22- to 37-degree seat-back angle). However, there have been reports that the Mega Cab has been dropped.
- Advanced antilock brakes modulate the four brakes individually
- Auto-reverse windows automatically move windows down when they hit something on their way up
- The Ram 3500 has Brake Assist, applying extra brake power when a panic stop is detected
- Load-limiting retractors have a two-stage system to limit maximum force on the seat belts
- Steering columns have two hydroformed coaxial tubes that move relative to each other in order to allow the column to move forward for enhanced energy-absorption during an impact
- In an accident, the interior lights are turned on and doors unlocked for rescue people
- Front seat belts are height adjustable
- New pillars are designed to limit head impact force
- Power adjustable pedals to avoid accidents
- Front-passenger air bag that uses unique shape, venting, folding patterns, advanced inflators or a combination of these four technologies to position and inflate the restraint properly for a belted passenger, while also meeting federal safety requirements for out-of-position, small occupants and rear-facing infant seats.
- Ultrasonic rear parking alert assists at low speeds in Reverse to detect stationary objects. Consists of visible (interior lights seen with rearview mirror) and audible warnings for the driver
The rumor mill: who got it right?
oh20 had predicted the crew cab with an eight foot bed; the upgraded interiors and creature comforts (right down to heated steering wheel and ventilated seats); and audiophile option. He also predicted active head restraints, turn signals in the mirrors, and blind spot detection; we don’t know about these yet. We’d expected the new smaller Cummins diesels, but those were officially delayed.