made changes up front. Bucket seats with a center console are now optional
over the familiar 40/20/40 front seat. More upscale finishes are available,
and a new instrument panel features white gauges. The center stack now
has enough room for a navigation system and the audio controls are larger
and easier to use. New air vents, plenty of storage options, cup holders
that do a pretty good job of handling water bottles, redundant controls
on a 4-spoke steering wheel and optional adjustable pedals are all welcome
touches. The exterior also received a freshening with a new grille, angular
headlights, one-piece body-colored fascia with chrome applique and hood
with a more pronounced crown effect continue to manifest the Ram’s
traditional big-rig, in-your-face design.
But heavy-duty truck buyers also want performance and capability. Still
working off a long-bed chassis, engineers retuned the suspension to handle
the added weight. An independent front suspension is standard on 2-wheel-drive
models while 4x4s get a solid front axle with a 5-link/coil spring suspension.
Disc brakes measure nearly 14 inches front and rear. The standard ABS
is enhanced with electronic variable brake proportioning to help balance
front-to-rear brake effort under light cargo loads.
As with previous Dodge heavy-duty trucks, two engines are available:
the 5.7-liter Hemi rated at 345 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque and
the 5.9-liter Cummins diesel rated at 325 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of
torque. The Cummins is no longer the torque king, having been displaced
by an upgraded 2006 GM Duramax with 650 lb-ft, but it’s still a
workhorse. I towed 8,000 pounds easily in a 2500 Cummins model through
the tight, rolling hills of Virginia with confidence and also pulled a
a 4000-pound boat behind a Hemi-powered 1500 Mega Cab. Again, smooth and
plenty of power when needed.
Cab will be offered in three models with a choice of the SLT or Laramie
trim. Here’s a quick overview:
these are maximum numbers. Capacities may change due to engine/transmission
choice, 2- or 4-wheel-drive and axle ratio.
sheetmetal and amenities have packed on a few extra pounds. A 2-wheel-drive
1500 model tips the scales at over 6000 pounds. Curb weight for a 4-wheel-drive
Mega Cab 3500 with the 6-speed manual transmission is just under 7500
pounds. And that’s with the single rear wheel as Dodge will not
offer the Mega Cab in a dually configuration. Officials say the launch
will focus only on single rear wheel even though Dodge does offer a Quad
Cab 3500 on the 160-inch wheelbase with dual rear wheels, so the engineering
is in place.
for the future of a Mega Cab dually focuses on a few interesting possibilities.
First, the Mega Cab now lends itself to a special edition that would serve
those towing big RVs. This special model could feature captain’s
chairs n the back for added passenger comfort or a fold-down sofa bed
in the rear for long-haul drivers or rodeo contestants who make long trips
towing horse trailers. As we all know, there is a torque war going on
between Detroit’s truck makers. It won’t be long before there’s
a more powerful, maybe even bigger Cummins engine that will be offered
in the Ram. And what better way to introduce it than to bring out a dually
with even higher towing and payload capacities to please the numbers worshipers.
of numbers, here are the MSRPs for the Mega Cab lineup:
The SLT trim includes
air conditioning, CD player, power windows/locks and manual-shift on 4x4
models. Optional equipment includes bedliner, trailer tow mirrors, power
sliding rear window, moonroof, adjustable pedals, 6-disc CD changer, navigation
system, satellite radio, rear-seat DVD, power seats and electric-shift
transfer case on 4x4 models.
Laramie trim includes
dual-zone climate control, power-sliding rear window, 6-disc CD changer,
Infinity speaker system, satellite radio, steering-wheel mounted audio
controls, leather seating, power/heated front seats and power windows.
Options include moonroof, navigation, side-curtain air bags, bucket seats
and electric-shift transfer case.
Cab will be built at the Saltillo assembly plant in Saltillo, Mexico.