SPIED: 2018 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty With Updated Cummins?
License Info Suggests New Powertrain for Former Torque Champ
A fresh batch of images of the next Ram Heavy Duty have surfaced, and although the truck looks almost identical to the current Ram 2500 and 3500, some sleuthing answers a few questions about what the company has in store.
Foremost, it appears Ram is not ready to completely abandon its longtime-signature grille crosshairs. The 3500 Heavy Duty dualie model seen here clearly maintains a clear Ram truck identity without resorting to the brand’s new script logo. That should make traditionalists happy, some of whom weren’t crazy about Ram ditching the crosshairs on some of its recent models.
Interestingly, both trucks photographed feature conspicuous manufacturer markings belonging not to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but to Cummins Inc., the legendary supplier of the Ram Heavy Duty’s optional diesel engines. That leads us to believe Ram is putting an updated diesel engine through its paces, on track for a model-year 2018 debut.
Such changes would be an obvious attempt to recapture a few segment hyperboles from the Ram Heavy Duty’s competition from Ford and General Motors. In June 2015, Ram announced its 6.7L Cummins I-6 could be optioned to produce 900 lb-ft, increasing the truck’s towing capacity to 31,210 pounds. At the time, both of those numbers were segment-best. But in less than 18 months, both Ford and General Motors made changes to their respective powertrain options, leaving Ram at the back of the pack in terms of torque output.
However, with Cummins clearly testing Ram pickups with towing equipment, perhaps that could change. Are we about to witness the first-ever production passenger vehicle to produce 1,000 lb-ft? It’s definitely possible. It’s also likely Ram will make changes to its biggest truck’s other powertrain components, allowing the transmission, transfer case, and axles to cope with an updated engine’s added twist. Furthermore, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some added chassis bracing or an updated platform to enable added towing capacity, helping the Ram rival the Ford F-Series Super Duty’s 32,500-pound max.
It’s mind-boggling to think that less than a decade ago, these trucks’ forebears were just starting to produce 600 lb-ft, and when the Cummins-Power Stroke-Duramax battle began at the turn of the century, those engines barely made 500 lb-ft. We hope to learn more about the next Ram Heavy Duty soon, so stay tuned.
Source: SpiedBilde Photography