Just as Ram let journalists be hands-on with its 2013 Ram 1500 model, we're already seeing late-stage mules of the 2014 HD models. Based on exterior and interior photos, the updates for the HD trucks appear largely to mirror those on the 1500 model.

But it looks like the HD models could one-up the 1500 in several areas. Ram is proud of the 8.4-inch center touchscreen display on the 2013 1500, but it appears the touch screen in the HD is larger yet, flanked by HVAC vents that appear to be taller and narrower than those in the 1500 to accommodate the larger display. It also appears that the HD models will be getting the dash-mounted rotary-knob shifter that debuted on the Ram 1500. Could this also portend the availability of an eight-speed transmission on the HD line as well?

The horizontal-to-vertical flip-out towing mirrors appear to be making an encore appearance on the updated model. On these testers, the mirrors were fully extended, giving the driver maximum visibility when towing.

At least one of the testers appeared to be a gasoline model, presumably the Hemi, as evidenced by a smaller tailpipe and muffler relative to the larger-diameter pipe usually found on the Cummins diesel models. Although Fiat has a full arsenal of heavy-duty diesels in Europe, and it appears a turbodiesel V-6 may find its way under the hood of the 1500 model, Cummins fans should have little to fear, as Ram is keenly aware of the brand equity of the Cummins name, and the fierce loyalty Ram HD buyers have for the proven engine.