2014 Ram Heavy Duty: Projections and Predictions
Expect a diesel power boost for 2013 HDs to 800 lb-ft with capacity boosts for diesel and gas engines. The Cummins V6 and V8 diesels appear to be delayed until 2013-2014 except for military use (possibly/probably not in Ram trucks) — Nissan will be using one of these new diesels. The diesels will require exhaust fluid, like the Chevy and Ford diesel pickups, but when that change takes place, gas mileage should rise considerably.
Dom, who made some predictions which have come true, said in June that there would be a 6.4 Hemi option for the Ram heavy duty trucks, along with a new transmission to compete with the GM’s Allisons. (We expect an Aisin, which Dodge already uses.) In August, MoparNorm spotted gasoline-powered Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs being tested.
A CNG version of the Hemi engine was quietly added to Ram’s 2012 specs sheets for body builders, only on the Ram 2500 pickup (4x4 with crew cab, ST or SLT, trim, long bed, automatic, and 3.73 axle ratio). After we broke this news in September 2011, Ram chief Fred Diaz denied that Ram was working on a CNG engine. In March, a dual-fuel CNG Ram 2500 was announced.
Heavy duty Ram pickups will be getting an optional air suspension setup, according to several sources (first was pickuptrucks.com, which said it was only coming on the 3500). One source said the air suspension would be better than the one in the Grand Cherokee. The Long Hauler concept used a Kelderman air suspension in front and rear, for higher capacity with a smoother ride; that model was based on the Ram 5500, which has a leaf-spring rear suspension. The Long Hauler now appears to be a “go” for production.
The Long Hauler used a rolling lobe, primary air spring, located over the axle (not cantilevered on the forward bar from the frame), according to reader Mike V., whereas the Grand Cherokee uses a supplemental spring. MoparNorm wrote, “The air springs will be only on the rear axle, so there won’t be any impact upon turning radius. There will also be no ‘axle shift’ as the panhard bar prevents that and the control arms keep the axle in place front to rear. Look at the rear of a Wrangler or Ram 1500 and just imagine the coil spring replaced by an air spring, or look at the rear axle of most newer semi truck tractors.”
The 2012 Ram 2500 gained 2,000 lb of trailer towing capacity with the 4.1 rear axle. Ram 2500/3500 for other changes.
Chassis cabs and commercial heavy duty trucks
oh20 wrote: “Dodge is currently working on a plan that would make the Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs available to all Ram dealers.”
Commercial heavy-duty trucks (e.g. tractors, class 7-8) might be planned, though they could be Ivecos, and aren't expected until 2015 at the earliest. Update: These were discussed, and the expertise is available from Iveco, but leaders decided that they did not know the market well enough to field and sell a credible entry. The decision was made to wait until the end of the Five Year Plan (calendar year 2014) and then revisit the question.