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New 2013 Ram Heavy Duty pickups, chassis cabs

by David Zatz on

Ram has again surprised the truck world by making major changes to truck lines that were due for a refresh. The Ram Heavy Duty pickups and chassis cabs have been upgraded with new frames, a new electronics architecture, power boosts, transmission and suspension upgrades, interior and feature upgrades, and Active Air, a new system which builds on Chrysler’s past use of alternate air paths.

The mystery of the new Active Air trademark, which we reported two weeks ago as likely being related to Chrysler’s existing dual-path air intake technology, turns out to be “similar but different.” The system has two intake paths to the engine; rather than being a way to build a variable-length intake manifold (to take advantage of natural supercharging effects), as we’d posited, the system swaps air ducts outside the manifold. It can use one setup to get cooler air from the front, or to improve throttle response at high altitudes; in wet conditions, the system switches to an under-hood inlet for dry air, and to avoid snow packing.

The Cummins diesel is now up to a maximum of 385 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque, when coupled with the Ram 3500 pickup and the optional, upgraded Aisin automatic.

The chassis cab has been modified in numerous ways to improve upfitter connectivity — both physical and electronic. Both truck series have upgraded axles and frames, and numerous other changes.

See 2013 Ram Chassis Cabs and 2013 Ram Heavy Duty Pickup Trucks for more photos and information, and power charts.

Ram will host a live webcast of the unveiling of the new 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups and 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab work trucks at the Texas State Fair this morning, beginning 10:00 AM eastern, 9:00 AM Central, 8:00 AM Mountain and 7:00 AM Pacific. The webcast can be viewed at:

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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