The power boost comes courtesy of the next-generation Cummins diesel engine. Though it remains 6.7 liters and an inline-six, the engine has been redesigned to not only boost power, but also to reduce weight, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says.
Ram, which has used a Cummins-built inline six in its heavy-duty trucks for 30 years, edges out Ford’s 6.7-liter Powerstroke diesel V-8, which has a torque rating of 935 pound-feet. The 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V-8 in the redesigned heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups coming midyear is rated at 910 pound-feet of torque.
When it comes to horsepower — which is more closely related to a vehicle’s top speed, not its hauling capability — both the Ford and GM diesel heavy-duty V-8 truck engines outhustle the Ram’s inline-six. Ford’s Powerstroke heavy-duty diesel is rated at 450 hp and GM’s Duramax is 445 hp. Ram is rated at 400 hp.
Upgrades to the Ram’s Cummins engine include:
- A new lighter, stronger cylinder block made of compacted graphite iron, which replaces cast iron. The new block reduces vibration and helps lower weight by 60 pounds.
- A hollow camshaft, new rods and low-friction bearings.
- Lighter and stronger pistons with low-friction rings.
- A redesigned exhaust manifold and improved turbocharger with higher boost pressure.
- Fuel injectors that can handle 29,000 pounds of pressure.
One key piece of information Ram has not revealed is the price of the 3500 with the 1,000 pound-feet engine. But the price bump over lower-powered counterparts is likely to be significant, perhaps around $11,000. On the 2018 Ram 3500 with the high-output engine, the price walk looked like this: Choosing the Cummins engine over the available gasoline Hemi V-8 added $9,300. And getting the high-output diesel meant adding another $2,695.
Ram’s lead in torque and maximum towing may be short-lived. Ford plans to launch a redesigned Super Duty pickup second half of this year.