As to interiors, you can expect many of the same creature comforts and features from the half-ton Ram. The new dash and gauge layout uses a six-ring instrument cluster and an integrated center stack with quite a number of HVAC and radio knobs and buttons. 2010 Ram HDs will also get a high-tech option that includes a 30GB hard drive, larger-screen navigation system, Sirius Backseat TV (three channels), and a 10-speaker surround-sound arrangement. New Ram HDs will have dual gloveboxes, upper and lower center console/armrest storage (unless you get the base bench seat), and two in-floor storage coolers (Crew Cab models only).
As mentioned earlier, engine options will remain with the carryover workhorses from last year, with the base engine being the 5.7-liter Hemi (revamped in 2009 with variable valve timing and five-percent-better fuel-economy numbers), rated at 383 horsepower at 5600 rpm, and 400 pound-feet at 4000 rpm, while the hands-down favorite in the HD segment will remain the Cummins 6.7-liter I-6, rated at 350 horsepower at 3000 rpm and 650 pound-feet at 1500 rpm. There are no changes to either powerplant, the three transmissions offered (545RFE for the Hemi; G56 manual or 68RFE auto for the Cummins), or the optional ring and pinion choices--3.42:1, 3.73:1, 4.10:1 (4.56:1 gearing available only for Power Wagon).
Worth noting is the fact that some towing and payload numbers have changed, albeit only slightly. Cairns tells us front and rear spring rates were revised to deal with the changing weight distributions with the new exterior metal and interior redesign, both of which added weight. Likewise, they modified the front live axle by upgrading to a heavier-duty U-joint to give it a stronger axle rating for their buyers who work the snowplows in winter. However, because the overall weight of the truck has gone up, yet the entire frame has stayed the same, the payload in certain combinations is actually less than last year's model (i.e., a 2WD long-bed regular cab 3500 with 4.10:1s has a 300-pound lower payload). But in many other instances, as well with maximum towing and GCWR (gross combined weight rating) numbers, there are many other setups that have higher ratings than the models they replace. In regard to towing, Dodge is the only OE to make an exhaust brake standard (diesel only, of course) on its HD lineup. Additionally, Dodge now includes an integrated trailer brake controller with its big trucks, mounted on the left side of the steering column. All information from the controller can communicate to the driver via the gauge cluster info center right between the speedo and tach.
No worries, hardcore 4x4 enthusiasts: The Power Wagon option package, previously offered in Regular Cab and Quad Cab versions, will be available for boulder-hopping duties for 2010; however, due to demand, the new Power Wagon will be offered only in the new Crew Cab configuration. Some of our favorite on the unique Power Wagon pickup include the front and rear electronic lockers, pushbutton anti-roll bar disconnects, monster front winch, 4.56:1 gears, and big wheels and BFG tires.