Few vehicle categories are as fiercely contested as the pickup class, in particular the heavy-duty segment – the trucks that are really used as trucks, for serious towing and hauling.
With the introduction of its updated 2015 Ram Heavy Duties, Chrysler Canada throws down the gauntlet for its competitors, boldly claiming "King of the Hill" status for its 2500 and 3500 models. (Ram trucks swept all three category awards in the 2014 Canadian Truck King challenge.)
"Ram owns best-in-class attributes in the areas that are most important to truck customers," says Bob Hegbloom, president and CEOof the Ram Truck brand (recently taking over that post from Chrysler Canada CEO, Reid Bigland).
The 3500 models will offer increased torque ratings of 865 lb.-ft. and an increased payload capacity of 3,352 kg (7,390 pounds), while maintaining a class leading maximum tow rating of 13,608 kg (30,000 pounds).
Chrysler also claims Ram is the only pickup producer to back its heavy-duty towing claims using the SAE J2807 testing criteria.
The 3500's 6.7-litre, Cummins in-line six-cylinder diesel engine gains an additional 15 lb-ft of torque through more aggressive fuel delivery and turbo boost calibration.
It maintains its towing leadership at 13,608 kg (30,000 pounds) and adds new superiority in terms of payload with a capacity of 3,352 kg (7,390 lb) in 6.4-litre Hemi V-8 guise.
Among gasoline-fuelled pickups, the Ram Heavy Duty's Hemi V-8, claims best-in-class power and torque with 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft respectively.
Beyond brute force and capability, operating costs are a major consideration for work truck owners and the Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in that respect as well. They include:
> Extended maintenance cycle (oil change intervals of up to 24,000 km, fuel filter life on diesel)
> Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment
> Five-year/160,000-km transferrable Diesel Powertrain Limited Warranty including free towing.
The Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickup trucks are assembled at Chrysler’s Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.