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Meet the 2019 Ram HD, America’s strongest truck

by Patrick Rall on

This morning at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Hall, Ram brand introduced their next generation heavy duty trucks. The new 2500 and 3500 that will arrive later this year as 2019 models have a new look, more interior technology and, most importantly, a new Cummins turbo diesel engine that delivers 1,000 lb-ft of torque – making this the first factory production road vehicle from any automaker to break into the four-figure torque range.

2019 Ram Heavy Duty By The Numbers

The 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty will be offered in six trim levels – Tradesman, Big Horn/Lonestar, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Limited – with the regular, Crew and Mega cab configurations. Of course, rear-wheel-drive is standard across all models and four-wheel-drive is optional, regardless of which of the three engines is chosen.

The base engine is a 6.4-liter Hemi with 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, mated to a new 8-speed TorqueFlite 8HP75 automatic transmission. Those who want more power and functionality can opt for the “basic” 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine, delivering 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque by means of an upgraded 68RFE 6-speed automatic transmission. Depending on the other options, these two engines can be ordered with an electric or manual Borg Warner transfer case.

For those new Ram HD buyers who want the most torque and the greatest capabilities in the segment, there is the new 6.7-liter high output Cummins turbo diesel. This mill sends 400 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque – yes, 1,000 pound-feet of torque – towards the wheels by means of an Aisin AS69RC 6-speed automatic transmission and a new Borg Warner heavy duty transfer case (BW 44-48).

Beefed-Up Chassis

After introducing all of that power, the Ram engineers had to make sure that these trucks could safely use it. This includes a stronger chassis, new brakes, new 8-lug wheels on every model and three different suspension systems.

In the 2019 Ram 2500 exclusive five-link coil design with Frequency Response Damping while the 3500 has the Hotchkiss rear leaf-spring system with the same high tech dampers. Both the 2500 and 3500 can be upfitted with the exclusive Active-Level rear air suspension system, allowing the trucks to ride much smoother without compromising capabilities.

Speaking of capabilities, when properly equipped, the 2019 Ram HD offers 35,100 pounds of towing capacity and 7,680 pounds of payload capacity, both of which lead the segment.

A Kind-Of-New Look

The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty looks a whole lot like the newest Ram 1500, even though there are no shared exterior components between the light duty and heavy duty trucks. Like the 1500, the crosshair grille is completely gone from the lineup, but each of the six trim levels mentioned above has its own unique face. Also like the 1500, the 2500 and 3500 now wear their model and engine callout on prominent chrome badges on the hood, while the doors have only the RAM logo and, when applicable, a trim level badge.

Along the sides, the new Ram HD has new 8-lug wheel options for every single package along with some new sculpting and the aluminum tailgate wears the new chiseled Ram head logo. LED taillights are standard on the new Ram and while there is a basic Halogen headlight design, higher-end trims come with two different premium LED headlight designs that have a look that works with the pricier packages.

Big Luxury on the Inside

While the basic Ram 2500 and 3500 in Tradesman form comes with basic cloth seats and a 5-inch infotainment screen, an 8.4-inch screen is standard in the premium models and most importantly, that big, beautiful 12-inch screen that debuted on the Ram 1500 is available in the new HD trucks. This is, without question, the best infotainment system in the truck segment and unless you compare it to the Tesla Model S, there is no system sold in America that really rivals that Ram’s 12-inch UConnect system – especially when you add in the 750-watt, 17-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. At the same time, knowing that many of these trucks will be used for work, by men and women with gloves or dirty hands, there are traditional knobs and buttons for the climate control system and the sound system.

Next, as you get into the premium trim levels, the 2019 Ram HD introduces all sorts of leather trim, from the dash to the door panels to the seats. Of course, the seats can be heated and cooled with power controls up front and for the first time, the new Ram HD with the Mega Cab offers 15-degrees of rear-seat recline and 41-inches of legroom. As a result, there is no truck that offers as much passenger space as the new Ram trucks.

In short, the interior of the new Ram HD can be ordered in a bare-bones work truck form, but for those heavy duty owners who live in their trucks and who want more comfort, there is no truck on sale today that will truly rival the cabin of the newest Ram 2500 and 3500.

The Power Wagon

The most exciting 2019 Ram HD in my opinion is the new Power Wagon. Like the previous versions of the most-capable ¾-ton truck in America, the new Power Wagon is based on the 2500 4×4 Crew Cab with the 6.4-liter Hemi V8.

The package includes a uniquely tuned suspension setup that sits higher than other models, locking front and rear differentials, an electronic disconnecting sway bar and a 12,000-pound winch in the front bumper. Of course, it also includes the unique exterior design with the black grille, the RAM logo on the tailgate and the package-specific graphics on the bedsides.

The Best HD in America

In summary, the all-new 2019 Ram HD offers the most power, the most interior luxury, the greatest capabilities, the smoothest ride and the most interior space in a truck that wears the familiar exterior design of the new Ram 1500 – maybe looking even better than the half-ton truck with the same basic look.

There is loads more information to be discussed and in the coming weeks, we will continue to dissect the 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500, but the bottom line is that there is no question that this new Ram HD will help the brand continue to grow its share of the market and its overall sales numbers, as this truck will literally do everything better than the competition while showcasing the great look of the modern Ram truck lineup.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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