2002 SEMA Preview: Performance West Group Ram Dodge Ram HD 'Cannonball Express'
By: Harvey Schwartz Posted: 10-14-02 20:00
© 2002 PickupTruck.com, Harvey Schwartz Automotive Photography

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The all-new 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty 3500 1-Ton Cummins Turbo-Diesel Quad-Cab Dually has once again rewritten the rules for Heavy-Duty 1-ton pickups.

The new Ram HD with the redesigned Cummins HO diesel in Quad Cab trim is the biggest, the boldest, the roomiest, the most comfortable, the most luxurious and safest in it's class. The fully boxed and hydro-formed steel frame has been redesigned and is incredibly strong and rigid. The Kenworth big-rig exterior design is now more imposing, and the cargo box has the largest cargo carrying capacity. The new Ram HD rides on standard 17in. tires/wheels that are a first for the class. Powering the Ram HD is a redesigned 5.9liter I6 Cummins Turbocharged and Intercooled Diesel engine that generates 305hp at 2,900rpm and an amazing 555ft.lb. of torque at just 1,400rpm. Handling such a large 4X4 vehicle is made easier with a new suspension with a live axle/Quadra Link front setup with leading arms, a track bar, coil springs, thick stabilizer bar and giant gas charged shock absorbers. The rear setup also features a live axle setup with longitudinal leaf springs and giant gas-charged shocks.

The industry's first rack & pinion system makes driving the 2WD HD more fun rack & a newly redesigned recirculating-ball system on the 4X4's has better 'on-center' feel and response at high-speeds. Power is channeled to the rear wheels through a new, slick shifting 6-speed manual transmission. The proven and reliable Hotchkiss 4X4 Transfer case easily gets you in and out of 4X4 'on-the-fly'.

Safely slowing down the new Ram HD down are the largest and strongest power assisted, ABS steel disc brakes in the industry, a whopping 13.9in. with twin-piston calipers at each wheel. This new 4X4 Ram can go anywhere and tow more than 13,000lbs.

When you are behind the wheel you are sitting in the roomiest cabin in the class, it's like your den with all the comfort, convenience and luxurious touches that you are accustomed to. While your on your travels you are sitting in the largest and most comfortable captains chairs, the instrument panel is easy to see and understand with all buttons, levers and switches easy to reach. Safety for front and rear-seat passengers is also class leading with the segment's first use of pretensioners in the front-seat 3-point safety belts and side-curtain airbags to protect front and rear passengers in the event of a side-collision. Dodge has done it again, offering the best looking, largest, most powerful, roomiest, most comfortable and safest in the Heavy-Duty 1-ton pickup segment.

Enter the folks from Performance West Group, innovators and visionaries who design and engineer dreams that come true for pickup truck enthusiasts looking for more than what the factory offers, even when the factory model stands head & shoulders above the competition.

Performance West has taken the great new Ram HD 1-ton Cummins-Turbo Diesel Quad Cab Dually 4X4 to a higher level in exterior styling, power, handling, comfort and luxury, enabling you to go further with added towing capacity, and to more thoroughly enjoy your time spent behind the wheel. Performance West has named this new tuned and dressed-up version of the Ram 3500 HD Cummins Diesel Quad Cab Dually the 'Cannonball Express', aptly named for the legendary Red Ball Express from WWII, the unstoppable US Army Transportation Division that supplied our ground forces with everything from food to munitions, and insured that those who answered the call to arms were not without that which they needed. Nothing could stop the Express; no distance, was too great, no load too heavy. Each journey was not only a life saving mission but also an opportunity to enter history. Today, the Dodge Ram Cannonball Express carries on the great tradition for those spirited individuals who relish their own journeys toward their own unique adventures. This vehicle redefines such concepts as big, strong, smart and totally capable.

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