Power to the Pickups
by Ken Freund
October 10, 2014
Filed under Trucks For Towing
2015 Ram Heavy Duty Pickup Trucks boast more power, higher tow ratings, smoother suspension.
Ram trucks division of Chrysler has focused on ratings more than new styling for 2015. The Ram 3500 heavy duty pickup trucks have received power upgrades and boast the highest tow ratings in their class. New Cummins 6.7-liter calibration adds 15 lb.-ft. of torque, for a best-in-class 865 lb.-ft. The 2015 Ram 3500 also offers up to 30,000 pounds of SAE J2807-spec. towing capacity, beating the closest competitor by nearly 1.5 tons and a best-in-class 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. Meanwhile the 2015 Ram 2500 holds best-in-class 17,970 pounds of towing capacity, while adhering to SAE J2807 test criteria
With the 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. The engine is rated 410 horsepower at 5,600 rpm with a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. 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 6.7-liter Cummins turbodisel I-6 is available in three versions. The first version is paired with a 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. At the top of the 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). 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.
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. Leaf spring suspensions struggle to combat axle wrap by using staggered shock absorbers. 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. Ram 3500 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 unloaded suspension movement― even with a 30,000-lb. trailer capacity.
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. 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. The frame includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross-member with provisions for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.
Electronic stability control (ESC) is standard on both single and dual rear-wheel equipped trucks. 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. Prices for the 2015 Ram 2500 pickup truck will start at $31,510 and the 2015 Ram 3500 model will start at $32,105.