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Dodge reveals ‘new crew’ of Ram Heavy Duty pickups

Posted Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009, 1:52 pm in Employee News

2010 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie Crew Cab
Bold, powerful and capable. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Dodge introduced the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty lineup, offering first-time innovations and features along with new standards of strength, utility and driveability.

“Our new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups continue to build on Dodge Ram’s leadership in the heavy-duty pickup segment,” Scott Kunselman, Vice President—Jeep®/Truck Product Team, said. “Our Ram Heavy-duty pickups reinforce Dodge Ram’s bold and powerful reputation, and provide improved capability in critical areas of the segment.”

First and foremost, the new 2010 Dodge Ram is about capability. In fact, its many features—including powertrain, towing and payload capacities, driving dynamics, amenities and styling—truly make it the ultimate heavy-duty pickup truck.

“This is the continuation of the reinvention of our Dodge Ram lineup,” Mike Accavitti, Director—Brand Marketing, said. “Over the past five years, Dodge has gained market share in the heavy-duty pickup segment, and to stay on that track, Dodge keeps innovating. Our new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups will continue to build on our momentum.”

Dodge’s Heavy-Duty resume

Dodge continues its strong heritage in the heavy-duty truck market by building on its past. Since 2003, Dodge has launched new models or made improvements to its Heavy-Duty lineup:

2003—Launched all-new version of Ram Heavy Duty
2004—Introduced diesel engine improvements
2005—Introduced Dodge Ram Power Wagon
2006—Introduced Dodge Ram Mega Cab
2008—Introduced (2007.5) new 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine
2009—Introduced new 5.7-liter HEMI® engine, new brake system for added brake life and improved fuel economy and new 3.42 axle ratio on diesel automatic transmission

And new for 2010, the Crew Cab with 6-foot, 4-inch box replaces the Quad Cab® to meet heavy-duty customer needs and focus on overall vehicle refinement and ride comfort.

Ultimate hauling and towing capability

The backbone of 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty pickups is a hydroformed, fully boxed frame with advanced torsional rigidity and stiffness. A coil-spring suspension setup is used up front, while a multileaf spring design is maintained in the rear for heavy-duty capability. Front and rear shocks and springs are tuned for optimum ride quality and capability.

Customers in the heavy-duty segment have a range of needs, and most of them involve high levels of capability. The new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 are designed to deliver a total package:

Increased gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) on 2500 4×4 crew cab diesel models to 9,600 lbs. from 9,000 lbs.
Increased gross combined weight rating (GCWR) on 3500 dually models with diesel, auto transmission and 4.10 rear axle to 25,400 lbs. from 24,000 lbs.
Increased gross combined weight ratings (GCWR) on 3500 4×2 models to 24,000 lbs. from 23,000 lbs.
Increased front gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) on several models:
To 5,500 lbs. from 5,200 lbs. on diesel 4×4 pickups
To 5,000 lbs. from 4,700 lbs. on diesel 4×2 pickups
Suspension upgrades and larger front axle U-joints, combined with increased front GAWR, result in increased front-weight carrying capability – a must for larger snowplows.

Towing capability is a strong suit with the new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, with the only standard exhaust brake in the segment (diesel-equipped models). This feature reduces brake fade, prolongs brake life and provides confidence and safety when hauling heavy loads on downhill grades. Large front (360 mm) and rear (358 mm) brakes with integrated Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) increase brake life and braking stability.

An available integrated trailer-brake control provides better driver control in towing situations. Trailer-brake control information is conveniently displayed in the electronic vehicle information center (EVIC) that is standard on diesel models and available on gas SLT, TRX and Laramie models.

In addition, new 2010 Dodge Ram transmissions include Electronic Range Select, which enables the driver to manually limit the highest available transmission gear, allowing manual upshifts and downshifts based on road speed and engine speed. A tow/haul mode switch enhances tow capability while towing. Tow/haul mode is available on both five-speed and six-speed automatic transmissions.

Other tow-friendly features include improved trailer-tow mirrors with integrated turn signals, memory function, and puddle lamps. The larger 7-inch by 11-inch trailer-tow mirrors offer improved visibility with larger convex glass surfaces. Mirrors flip up and out in a vertical configuration for improved visibility around wide trailers. Trailer-tow mirrors are now standard on the 3500.

Ultimate powertrains

In terms of power, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty tops the charts with the available, legendary 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine, which produces 350 horsepower (261 kW) at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque (881 N·m) at only 1,500 rpm.

The most durable and reliable engine in its class, the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel features standard oil-change intervals of 7,500 miles. It also has life-to-major overhaul intervals of 350,000 miles, providing more than a 100,000-mile advantage over the competition.

And it’s as clean as it is durable. The Cummins 6.7-liter turbodiesel engine uses a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to virtually eliminate particulate matter emissions and an absorber catalyst to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by as much as 90 percent in order to meet stringent 2010.5 federal diesel emissions requirements.

Backing up the 6.7-liter diesel is a choice of either a G56 six-speed manual transmission or a 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed manual has an ultra-low first-gear ratio, which makes it ideal for heavy hauling requirements, while the six-speed automatic offers ease of driveability and towing.

The other choice for 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty customers is the standard 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 gasoline engine, delivering 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N•m) at 4,000 rpm. The 5.7-liter HEMI was redesigned for 2009, with several new and improved technologies:

* Variable Valve Timing (VVT)
* Increased compression ratio
* Active intake manifold with long runners for low-end torque and short runners for high-rpm power
* Improved cylinder head port flow efficiency
* Reduced-restriction exhaust and induction systems
* The 5.7-liter HEMI comes standard with the heavy-duty 545RFE five-speed automatic that offers Electronic Range Select and tow-haul capability to provide a unique shift schedule that minimizes gear hunting while towing heavy loads. It also provides automatic downshift capability while decelerating.

Two 4×4 transfer cases are available: the NV 271, a manual unit standard on ST and Power Wagon models, and the NV273, an electric shift-on-the-fly transfer case, standard on SLT and Laramie models.

A choice of the following four axle ratios are available on new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups, depending on equipment level: 3.42, 3.73, 4.10 or 4.56.

Ultimate off-road capability

The Dodge Ram Power Wagon returns for the 2010 model year. It is equipped with electric-locking front and rear differentials, electronic disconnecting sway bar, Bilstein shocks, 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires, underbody skid plate protection, a 4.56 axle ratio for hill climbing and a custom-built Warn 12,000-pound winch that is accessible through the front bumper.

Improved ride comfort

Improved suspension tuning and new C-pillar hydro mounts were added to improve damping through the frame-bending mode frequency in order to better manage shake and after-shake response. The result is reduced shake and improved ride.

Bold exterior design

The new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups carve out a unique design with styling differentiated from the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram light-duty lineup.

“We brought some of the best design cues from our Dodge Ram 1500 to the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, yet we set the 2500 and 3500 pickups apart from our light-duty trucks,” Ralph Gilles, Vice President—Design, said. “The ‘big-rig’ styling is even more pronounced, with the classic Dodge look that conveys bold, powerful and capable.”

Styling the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty encompassed practical as well as aesthetic considerations.

For example, to accommodate cooling requirements of the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine (perennially the most popular powerplant in the Ram Heavy Duty lineup with a take-rate of 90 percent), the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty grille opening is larger than the light-duty grille. The larger grille, in turn, requires a taller hood that incorporates “louvers” on each side. And, access to the front winch (on Power Wagon models) and tow hooks led to the unique front-bumper design.

The new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty grille includes a chromed surround with either black center bullets (ST, SLT and Power Wagon models) or chromed center billets (Laramie, Big Horn and Lone Star models). Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 TRX models feature a body-color surround with black center billets. The grille is body-mounted, while the bumper is frame-mounted.

Front fenders and headlamps of the new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 are shared with light-duty pickup models. External mirrors are sculpted to produce a more useable area, with aerodynamic benefit and less noise. Mirrors are equipped with turn-signal indicators, memory function, puddle lamps and adjustable convex mirrors. Depending on trim level, mirrors are finished in black, or black and chrome. The larger 7-inch by 11-inch mirror for trailer towing is standard on 3500 models and available on 2500 pickups. These mirrors flip up and out into a vertical configuration for trailer-tow use.

Front and rear doors follow the style pioneered by the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500—a design that places the door cut to the side of the truck, rather than into the roof in order to reduce wind noise and weight.

Dual-rear-wheel fenders (3500 dually only) are new for 2010 and offer an appearance that communicates quality and achieves improved aerodynamics.

The tailgate is sculpted for better air flow, incorporating a spoiler in the upper part of the sheet metal. This tailgate also accommodates an available back-up camera for convenient trailer hook-ups and includes a lift-assist feature that makes raising and lowering a one-hand operation. Standard bedrail protection is included with both the 6-foot-4-inch and 8-foot cargo boxes. The boxes now feature bedrail caps that protect sheet metal from dents and scratching.

Upgraded interiors

Inside, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty offers abundant amenities, comfort and convenience. Many of the comfort and convenience features were pioneered with the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500.

Interior appointments include soft-feel door bolsters and armrests and one-piece molded door panels. Seats are redesigned with improved power lumbar and lateral support. Six-ring instrumentation keeps track of vehicle functions, while many controls are arrayed in the center stack for easy reach to buttons and knobs.

Other available features include two-tone upholstery with full-width contrasting stitching on the instrument panel; premium seating with heat and ventilation; heated rear seats, heated steering wheel; automatic temperature control; two-tone upholstery; memory seats, radio and mirrors; navigation; adjustable pedals and numerous infotainment options including Sirius Backseat TV with three channels of programming, uconnect® tunes with a 30-gigabyte hard drive and an available first-in-segment 10-speaker surround-sound system.

Storage is top-of-mind with many work- and leisure-oriented customers, and Dodge provides many more storage locations in its new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty pickups.

A new-for-2010 available center console features an upper bin that is large enough to hold a laptop computer (with an accessible power outlet), and a lower bin that accommodates hanging files. In addition, the console offers several other storage compartments.

Additional storage locations are built into the instrument panel, front and rear door panels, seat backs, and even the floor. In the crew-size cab, two in-floor bins located in the rear footwells of the crew cab offer storage enough for 10, 12-ounce cans. Bins have removable liners for easy cleanout. Upper and lower glove boxes provide a total of more than 800 cubic inches of storage.

The ultimate cab—Mega Cab

The new 2010 Dodge 2500 and 3500 Mega Cab models retain their title of best-in-class interior room in the segment—including the largest, longest cab (143.2 cubic feet, 111.1 inches long); largest interior cargo volume (72.2 cubic feet); largest cargo volume behind rear seat (7.7 cubic feet); largest flat-floor load area (16.8 square feet); largest second-row leg room (44.2 inches); largest rear-door opening (34.5 inches wide, 35.5 inches high); largest rear-door open angle 85 degrees) and first-ever reclining rear seats (22- to 37-degree seat-back angle).

Ultimate lineup

All in all, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups are the result of exhaustive research and study.

“We went all over the country to learn how people really use their heavy-duty trucks at work and play,” Accavitti said. “We did our research with a cross-functional team because we create new vehicles with cross-functional teams. And what we learned, we brought to the process of creating the all-new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy-Duty pickups.”

Research confirmed that heavy-duty customers wanted a cab with four full-size doors. So the big news for the new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups is the addition of a crew-size cab, which accounts for approximately 50 percent of the segment. Also available are regular cab and Mega Cab models.

Customers also wanted choices in packaging and equipment. Five distinct trim levels are offered—ST, SLT, TRX, Laramie and Power Wagon. Each has a unique appearance and offers various equipment options.

“The heavy-duty segment comprises about a third of the full-size truck market, and its customers are the most brand-loyal in the industry,” Accavitti said. “With five models, we want to provide them with the ultimate lineup of heavy-duty pickups.”

More than 25 safety and security features

Chrysler employs a two-fold approach to safety: passive safety features including pre-tensioning and load-limiting seat-belt retractors and supplemental side air bags, while active safety features including responsive steering, handling and braking.

Saltillo Assembly Plant

The new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy-Duty pickups will be built at Chrysler’s Saltillo Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico. One of the company’s most flexible plants, the Saltillo plant also produces the Dodge Ram Mega Cab, Ram Power Wagon, and the Ram 3500 and 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs.

The Saltillo Assembly Plant has 1,700 employees working on two shifts and is one of five Chrysler LLC manufacturing facilities in Mexico.
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