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2019 Ram Heavy Duty gets new face, 1,000 lb-ft Cummins and the towing crown

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We’ve seen

uncovered images before in spy shots

, but here are the official images and word on the 2019


Heavy Duty pickups. Ram dropped so much verbiage on new features that we’d need the truck’s 7,680-pound max payload rating to haul the press releases, so dig in. We’ll start with that max payload rating, and the 35,100-pound tow rating. Gimlet-eyed truck watchers will note the Ram HD’s max tow rating is exactly 100 pounds more than that available on a


Super Duty, meaning the Auburn Hills clan takes the “best-in-class” mantle for a few months.

The other big number: 1,000 pound-feet of torque from the high-output version of the 6.7-liter


inline-six turbodiesel, a 70-lb-ft increase over the 2018

Ram 3500

HD. Completing the specs at the top, that HO motor produces all that torque at 1,800 rpm, and makes 400 horsepower at 2,800 rpm. One step down, the standard-output 6.7-liter Cummins puts out 370 hp and 850 lb-ft. Thanks to developments like a compacted graphite iron block, lighter pistons, hollow camshaft, and new forged connecting rods and bearings, the Cummins engine has lost more than 60 pounds. The entry-level motor is a 6.4-liter Hemi gas-powered V8 with an unchanged 410 hp and 429 lb-ft.

The HO Cummins pairs to an Aisin AS69RC six-speed transmission, with upgraded hardware and programming for better shifting and oversight of the gravity-warping torque. The regular Cummins mates to a “significantly upgraded ” version of the in-house 68RFE six-speed automatic. The 6.4-liter Hemi works with the well-known TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic, bolstered for heavy duty obligations, the first time the eight-speed makes an appearance in a Ram HD. A column-mounted shifter works the gearsets on the Cummins-equipped rigs, a rotary dial on the center stack controls the shift-by-wire eight-speed.

The Cummins motors come with two 220-amp alternators. The Hemi V8 gets a 220-amp and a 160-amp alternator, which Ram says is the “first gas-driven application of its kind in either class.”

There will be six trims available: Tradesman, Bighorn/Lonestar, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited. The HD trucks don’t share any exterior sheetmetal with the light-duty


, and each trim is known by different grilles, bumpers and wheels. Designers pushed an “interlocking” theme, with pieces like the grille, hood and fenders sharing pieces, the same with the instrument cluster, instrument panel and center console.

Outside, three headlight choices top out with LED projectors that swivel up to 15 degrees in the direction of travel. Above them, the raised aluminum hood helps the new HD lose up to 143 pounds compared to the outgoing model. Badging moves to the scalloped sides of the hood to leave the front doors free for commercial signage. RamBox lights are now in the lids for better illumination of the contents. The wheel flares, bodyside moldings, side steps, shark fin antenna and spoiler on the new aluminum tailgate are all new additions. Six new eight-lug wheels range from 17 inches to 20 inches, and three of the 12 possible colors are new: Billet Silver,


Blue and Diamond Black Crystal.

The taillights house amber turn signals, and some trims come with smoked lenses. There’s a new stamping for the full-length rear bumper, featuring larger corner steps, a lower center step, and a lower valance that hides the parking sensors.

All 2019 Ram HD trims get extensive NVH-abatement measures, including acoustic glass, hydromounts on the C pillars, a lower front air dam, and improved driveline angles and pinion seals. On top of that, two frame-mounted active-tuned mass modules emit frequencies to counter chassis vibrations, and two of the four available stereos feature active noise cancellation. On trucks with the 6.4-liter V8 that has cylinder deactivation, the vibration countermeasures mean a wider range of operation in four-cylinder mode, resulting in better

fuel economy


High-strength steel makes up 98.5 percent of the frames, with hydroformed main rails, fully boxed rear sections, and six crossmembers. The new, two-piece front-suspension crossmember adds longer welds for more strength. The standard trucks get 9.25-inch AAM axles in front, 11.5 inches in back. The


HD with the Max Tow Package puts a beefed-up 12-inch AAM axle at the rear, with 4.25-inch axle tubes. The Class 5 hitch on the


is rated at 20,000 pounds, the 3500 gets a 23,000-pound Class 5 hitch.

A three-link suspension sits up front on the 2500 and 3500. In back, the 2500 uses a five-link coil spring suspension, while the 3500 gets Hotchkiss rear leaf springs. Optional air suspension on the 2500 replaces the rear springs with


, and on the 3500 two airbags supplement the leaf springs. On all models, Frequency Response Damping (FRD) on all four corners provides a measure of adaptive damping. The baggers have three modes: Normal/Payload, which lifts the rear to normal ride height in response to the payload; Bed Lowering, which drops the back as low as it will go to make trailer hookup easier; and Trailer/Tow mode, which can lower the rear suspension an inch to try to level the truck with the trailer. The Rams also fit larger tow hook openings, in case the truck itself becomes the towee.

A standard 4/7-pin connector sits in the bumper, with another seven-pin connector at the back of the bed for gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers. A rear camera in the tailgate handle pairs with another camera in the CHMSL that provides a view of the bed and can help hooking up a trailer. If a buyer chooses the remote camera prep package, enabling a camera mounted in or behind a trailer, a 12/7-pin connector replaces the 4/7-pin connector.

The Power Wagon version goes beyond everything listed above in service to its deep-woods and deep-muck brief. It gets a unique lifted suspension, locking front and rear differentials, disconnecting sway bar, and a 12,000-pound Warn Zeon-12 winch with synthetic line.

The range of standard and optional convenience features includes a 360-degree surround-view camera with trailer reverse guidance view, and the


can monitor six tires on the pickup and up to 12 tires on a trailer. The dozens of standard and optional driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, ABS with rough-road detection, forward collision warning, hill start assist, parking assist, rear cross-path detection and better mirror-mounted rear spotlights.

The interior mimics the outstanding setup developed for the

Ram 1500

, here bigger and with more options for commercial users. That means a 12-inch screen on the top-tier infotainment system, 12 storage configurations for the center console, five USB ports, dedicated and assignable switches and wireless charging dock. The three possible 115-volt plugs can all handle up to 400 watts for charging and powering tools.

A 3.5-inch screen slots into the dash cluster, a full-color and a configurable seven-inch screen is an option. Uconnect screens run from 5 inches to 8.4 inches to 12 inches, flanked on both sides by larger HVAC controls that can be operated with gloves on. The center console area grows by 2.9 liters to 22.6 liters, housing larger storage and docking areas.

You can check out all this and more in the heavy duty photo gallery of 286 images.

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