The new Ram 2500 and 3500 HD Series get a total redesign for 2019. A significant change, like the 1500 Series, is the end of the crosshair grill. The HD Series gets a family look to match the 1500. The Power Wagon (center rear) has a range of standard features.
LET’S TALK MUSCLE
This is the new Cummins 6.7-liter, inline 6, high-output turbo diesel engine. It generates up to 1,000 foot-pounds of torque at 1,800, rpm and 400 hp at 2,800 rpm. The block is made from compacted graphite iron. Overall, the new engine weighs more than 60 pounds less than the previous-generation engine but delivers higher power and torque. To provide the intake air this monster needs, Ram engineers designed a new exhaust manifold, which is also the mounting point for an improved variable-geometry turbocharger; it delivers boost pressure up to 33 psi.
That big diesel is mated to an Aisin AS69RC electronically controlled six-speed automatic. The transmission is engineered to handle the higher torque from the new engine, as well as increased vehicle weight ratings. The transmission has a new controller with double the memory of the previous design, and a dual-core processor. That design allows for faster, more precise shifts in a range of driving and load conditions.
The HD Series truck standard engine is an upgraded 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with 41 hp at 5,600 rpm, and 429 foot-pounds of torque. That’s power for handling the bigger payloads and towing requirements of this pickup class.
That Hemi engine is mated to a TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic. This transmission has more than 40 shift maps designed to optimize shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. Using shift-by-wire technology, Ram engineers have eliminated the mechanical linkage between transmission and gear selector. The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty uses a rotary e-shift mounted on the left side of the instrument panel’s center stack. That frees space on the console.
There are new front and rear axles engineered to improve durability, handle payload and towing capabilities, and minimize cabin noise. The Ram 3500 Heavy Duty has an all-new, larger 12-inch rear axle to handle power needs.
The new frames use 98.5% high-strength steel, six separate cross members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. The use of lightweight materials in the frame and powertrain, as well as an aluminum hood, reduce overall weight by 143 pounds. And two active-tuned mass modules on the frame rails search out vibrations and apply countermeasures to eliminate them.
A LITTLE AIR, PLEASE
Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks come with a class-exclusive Active Level rear air suspension system. It includes Bed Lowering Mode to make even heavy trailer hookups easier. The 2019 Ram 2500 uses two air bags to replace coil springs, and load capacity is not sacrificed. The Ram 3500 features a Hotchkiss rear leaf spring system (not shown) with optional air suspension. This air suspension approach helped Ram engineers soften the ride.
Several body elements were upgraded from mild steel to high-strength steel. Engineers used wind-tunnel analyses and 3 million miles of durability tests to create what Ram calls the quietest Ram Heavy Duty ever. The truck’s design also features a drag coefficient of .409, which is a segment leader in HD pickups.
REVISED POWER WAGON
The production off-road truck has unique suspension, a factory suspension lift, locking front and rear differentials, a disconnecting sway bar and a 12,000-pound winch (standard). New for 2019 is a 360-degree camera, which includes forward-view gridlines to help navigate obstacles. That integrated WARN Zeon-12 winch has a unique fairlead and fairlead retainer, with a new synthetic line that can’t kink and doesn’t fray. A Power Wagon package for the Tradesman-class Ram is available with all the off-road equipment but keeps the Tradesman design elements (not shown).
PLENTY OF SAFETY GEAR
The new trucks include more than 100 available safety and security elements including active and passive systems to assist the driver and passengers. Automatic Emergency Braking, 360-degree camera display and selectable tire pressures show some of the new specialized functions available. Tire Pressure Monitoring, which can monitor up to six tires on the truck, now includes trailer tire monitoring for up to 12 trailer tires. There’s even a cargo-view camera to track your payload.
RETHINKING THE INTERIOR
Trucks are increasingly a place where drivers spend a lot of time, and Ram knows it. The new interiors of these trucks mirror some of the luxury touches added to the new 1500 Series trucks. This is the Limited, showing the new 12-inch Uconnect 4C NAV screen (the big blue monitor in the center console). It can be split into two screens to offer content and heating/ventilation controls in one place. The new HVAC system features 30% more airflow at lower noise levels, including larger front defroster vents for better performance. All new in-duct electric heating elements on diesel models help keep you warm.
PLENTY OF SPACE
This is the premium Longhorn trim with the 12-inch monitor split into two screens. There’s up to 258 liters of interior storage volume on the Mega Cab, including two bins behind the rear seats. The new series offers more than 120% added storage capacity versus the nearest competitor, Ram reports. There are five USB ports in the center console to keep your devices running smoothly. There can be up to three 115-volt household plugs, too (three-prong): one in the first row and one in the second.
With those bigger engines, Ram is upping the ante for hauling, too. Top-end towing capacity is now 35,100 pounds, and there’s 7,680 pounds of payload capacity, too. Ram claims these are industry-leading numbers.
MAKING A STATEMENT
The new Ram 2500 and 3500 HD pickups have something to say. The Power Wagon shown here has a bold Ram imprint in back. Other models have an imposing Ram head. The company will offer six different price classes when these machines hit dealerships soon.