SPIED: 2020 Ram Heavy Duty Pickup Loses Crosshairs, Follows 1500 into the Future
Modern Styling for Massive Truck
As could be expected, Ram will fully redesign its Heavy Duty line of pickups about a year after unveiling the all-new 1500. Spotted testing in Michigan, these snapshots of the all-new Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty give us some clues as to what to expect from the company’s hard-working trucks.
Foremost, peeking through the mesh on the front of the trucks reveals they abandon their old crosshairs grille design entirely. Much like the Ram 1500, the Heavy Duty lineup will no longer wear the four-square grille, which has been a Ram signature since the 1986 model year. Although it’s not totally obvious given the camouflage these trucks are wearing, it’s possible the new grille design will ape that of the 1500 pickup, with “RAM” lettering leaving no doubt as to what kind of truck this is. There’s also a chance the company will place its new ram’s-head logo front and center, giving the brand a dose of subtlety.
Otherwise, expect the Ram Heavy Duty to share the smaller truck’s graceful, inoffensive styling. Unlike the likewise-new 2020 Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups—which will likely depart significantly from their light-duty counterparts, a la Ford F-Series Super Duty—the Ram 2500 and 3500 will likely receive the same headlights and styling elements as the Ram 1500, with fenders, hoods, grilles, and other bits proportionally upsized (but not restyled) for big-truck duty.
Our spies caught a particularly interesting configuration testing: a Mega Cab dualie with a 6.5-foot bed. This version of the 3500 Heavy Duty is popular for long-distance towing, a feat made all the more comfortable with an all-new interior that should borrow heavily from the one found in the standard-setting 2019 1500 pickup. With plenty of leather and wood trim, a new 12-inch vertically oriented touchscreen, and active driver-assist systems, expect a top-spec Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Limited Mega Cab to be the last word in highway-eating, trailer-hauling comfort.
Other versions of the Heavy Duty were spotted: short-bed and long-bed versions of the still-spacious crew cab. Both share a similar front control arm suspension with the 3500 dualie, and there are obvious holes drilled into each arm. Could this be evidence of a significant lightweighting program for the new truck? It’s likely, as Ram would be wise to chase the aluminum-bodied F-Series Super Duty in the weight-loss game.
Expect carryover powertrains, with up to 385 hp and 930–lb-ft on offer from the 6.7L Cummins turbodiesel I-6 when paired with an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission. A 6.4L gasoline Hemi V-8 will likely soldier on as the standard engine, offering 410 hp and 429 lb-ft. Ram may offer its eTorque mild-hybrid system on the gas engine, giving the V-8 a bit more instant-on torque, quick-reacting engine idle stop/start, and a small improvement in fuel efficiency.
The 2020 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty will likely be revealed less than a year from now, at the 2019 North American International Auto Show. Expect to see the big pickup on the road by the end of that year, primed to do battle with the big trucks from Ford and GM.
Source: KGP Photography