It’s the only heavy duty pickup with an independent rear suspension, giving it the best ride and handling in its class. It has an optional Cummins turbodiesel that many pickup buyers would get no matter what body is wrapped around it. And it’s trying hard to burst out of its #3 sales position.
It’s the Ram 2500, and it’s all set to go into a new generation within the next year, following the launch of a completely re-engineered Ram 1500.
Just how Ram will build this truck is uncertain, because their Warren plant, which should have been retired from making pickups already, is still pumping out “Ram Classics,” old-generation 1500s that are in high demand because of their low price (and, in some cases, because customers prefer the styling or want the VM diesel option).
If MoparInsiders is to be believed, the new pickup may have an optional 426 Hemi V8 engine, sharing with an SRT Hemi in the same way the current 6.4 liter truck engine shares with the SRT 6.4. The same source wrote that the next-gen Cummins diesel will keep its 6.7 liter displacement, but move to a compacted graphite block for greater stiffness and lower weight. That would also cut noise a bit. Expect two versions of the big diesel, with 400 and 430 horsepower and 930 and 980 pound-feet of torque.
A new set of extra-heavy-duty eight-speed automatics might be made; the six-speed manual is unique to Ram, and may continue for just that reason, though it finds few buyers. It seems fairly certain at this point that the current suspension choices will continue (link-coil rear on 2500, leaf-spring on 3500, solid front axles regardless). Interior should be considerably upgraded, keeping pace with the Ram 1500 series, but possibly sticking with column shifters rather than going to knobs.
There’s a lot to look forward to in pickups, as three companies fight for what they have and two more, Nissan and Toyota, try to pick up whatever remains on the table.
The author of Dodge Viper, Jeep’s Go-Anywhere Vehicles, and The Rise and Reinvention of Chrysler Minivans, David Zatz has been writing about cars and trucks since the early 1990s; he also writes on organizational development and business at toolpack.info and covers Mac statistics software at macstats.org. His latest book, for kids, is Meet the Jeep.
David has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. You can reach him by using our contact form (preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304.