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2013 Ram Heavy Duty

By New Car Test Drive

On Sale: First Quarter 2013
Expected Pricing: $28,000 to $68,000

Ram Heavy Duty pickups have been substantially updated for the 2013 model year. Most changes are underneath or hidden altogether, but 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks get new interiors, new grilles, and new headlight and tail light designs, essentially the exterior detail upgrades as the 2013 Ram 1500 light-duty pickup.

Ram said load carrying and towing numbers would beat the competition but won't say what those numbers are until January 2013. We expect at least one version to carry more than 3.5 tons of cargo and another to tow more 11.5 tons of trailer.

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty lineup will offer two bed lengths and Regular, Crew and Mega Cabs, with two- or four-wheel drive.

The Hemi V8 gasoline engine will come standard on 2013 Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 models, backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission. The optional Cummins diesel engine, equipped with significantly more cooling capacity and an emissions control system Ram claims improves fuel economy by 10 percent, is offered in three power levels: standard with 6-speed manual gearbox rated at 350 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque; with a 6-speed automatic rated at 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque; and, for 3500 only, a Cummins High Output of 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque hooked to a stouter automatic.

The 2013 Ram 3500 gets a new front frame section and a new front suspension. The 2013 Ram 2500 continues with the existing front section and suspension. We think the Ram 2500 will get the new setup for the 2014 model year, but that's speculation. Ram isn't saying yet.

Frames have been upgraded to higher-strength steel, boxed in the back and equipped with new crossmembers, all engineering-speak for stronger. Pickup boxes have been reinforced, equipped with stronger tie-down points. Ram HD models will come factory-ready for fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailer hitches. The Class V receiver hitch is rated for up to a 17,000-pound trailer and up to 1800 pounds tongue weight.

Numerous changes at reducing noise and vibration have been made to the running gear and body mounts for 2013.

The front suspension of the Ram 3500 has changed substantially, the rear less so, both proven designs.

Massive brakes are fitted all around and electronic stability control is standard on all Ram Heavy Duty trucks up to and including the Ram 5500 Chassis Cab. Those who work their trucks hard may appreciate things like dual alternators, a PTO with left and right output, no-cap diesel fuel fill and a revised electrical system that allows more flexibility for add-ons.

Inside, the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks get new a new instrument panel and the switchgear has been relocated for easier operation. Storage areas are abundant. Rearview camera options include one by the tailgate handle and one at the back of the cab for easier hitching of fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers. Ram HD can be ordered plain vanilla or saddled in luxury, and top-tier trucks include a configurable 7-inch screen amidst the gauges and an 8.4-inch nav/audio system screen center dash, Bluetooth, heated/cooled front seats, and key-in-pocket entry and operation. A new passive entry system called Keyless Enter ’n Go which offers remote central locking of the RamBox cargo management system and a tailgate lock combined with door locks.

New exterior features on 2013 Ram Heavy Duty models include new LED front turn signals, markers and tail lamps and bi-functional halogen projector headlamps, which Ram says offer improved light spread, pattern consistency and distance. The grilles have been redesigned. New power folding 6x9-inch mirrors are designed to allow a better view of the trailer when towing. 2013 Ram HD badges have been redesigned to allow more real estate on the door for commercial signage.


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