Available in three-quarter-ton (designated 2500) and one-ton (3500) models, the heavy duty variants of the 2010 Dodge Ram are equipped for serious work-oriented towing and hauling needs. Standard on all 2500 trims is a 5.7L V8 Hemi engine making 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, which is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Standard on the 3500 trims is a 6.7L Cummins turbo-diesel inline 6-cylinder engine making 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of low-rev torque--ideal for towing the heaviest loads--which is mated to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. When properly equipped, the Ram 3500 has a gross combined vehicle weight rating of 25,400 pounds--up from a maximum of 23,000 pounds in 2009. Towing has also improved, with a 2WD Ram 3500 Cummins able to pull up to 18,500 pounds with a gooseneck or fifth-wheel hitch assembly.
Updated styling includes a taller, more aerodynamic nose with a larger grille to allow greater cooling, as well as a new chrome wrap-around bumper. Headlamps and front fenders are shared with the half-ton 1500 models, but the hoodline is taller, making room for the Cummins diesel option. Inside, high-quality materials and stitching have been added to the SLT and Laramie pickups, as well as plush seats and metallic accents. The side mirrors have been modified to increase visibility while towing, and turn signals have been integrated.
The Cummins turbo-diesel engine incorporates a number of technologies to improve fuel efficiency and emissions, including a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, a variable-geometry turbocharger, self-cleaning particulate filter and oxidation catalyst. The engine is available as an option on all 2500 trims.
These heavy duty trucks come with rear-wheel drive or with one of two 4-wheel drive transfer cases. Two-wheel drive Rams for 2010 again have an independent, double-wishbone front suspension, while 4-wheel-drive models get an updated rigid-beam front axle. In back, there's a heavy-duty solid axle, along with a Hotchkiss design that includes leaf springs for stability during heavy-hauling.
The 2500 and 3500 trims come in single (regular) cab, Crew Cab, or Mega Cab styles, with short (6.3 ft) and long box (8.2 ft) variants. The Quad Cab has been discontinued, and that Crew Cab that replaces it is a full nine inches longer, featuring larger rear doors and more rear seat legroom. The Mega Cab model is geared toward rear-seat comfort, offering as much space in back as large SUVs. The Mega Cab's rear seats recline, fold down, and slide forward for flexibility. The 3500 models come with dual rear wheels for increased stability while carrying heavy loads and have a fully boxed, hydro-formed frame for superior load-bearing.
Trim levels include the basic ST, which includes 17-inch steel wheels, vinyl interior, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt wheel, power windows on Crew Cab models and 6-speaker CD stereo. The SLT adds chrome trim, cloth seating, full power accessories, satellite radio and keyless entry. Front and side airbags come standard, as do anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes. An optional Big Horn package (known as the Lone Star package in Texas) includes chrome grille, fog lamps, brighter headlamps, leather wheel with integrated stereo controls, universal garage door opener and auto-dimming rear-view mirror. The Laramie is the top of the line, and includes polished alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, power seats with memory on the driver's side, leather upholstery, leather-covered wheel with integrated audio controls, power-adjustable pedals, upgraded nine-speaker stereo with 30-gigabyte music server, rear parking sensors and Bluetooth capabilities.
The Power Wagon returns to the lineup this year, available only on the 2500 SLT Crew Cab 4x4, featuring the Hemi V8, electronic locking front and rear differentials with 4.56 gears, electronic disconnecting front sway bar, Bilstein shocks, underbody skid plates, special roof-mounted lighting and a Warn 12,000 winch accessible through the front bumper.
Major options include sunroof, remote start, front bucket seats, power-adjustable pedals, navigation, rear seat entertainment and an upgraded stereo with satellite radio. Available exterior colors include variations of red, blue, gray, brown, black and white.
For 2010, Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups see a significant styling update, with all-new exterior sheet metal and a new interior similar to the one used in the 1500 model. Only a few mechanical changes have been made, including a redesigned front axle and suspension system and all-new hydraulic cab mounts have been fitted to certain models to help maintain a smooth ride. A roomier Crew Cab model is also available in place of the Quad Cab model, and a new Power Wagon is also offered, featuring electronic locking differentials, a detachable front sway bar, a 12,000-pound Warn winch, electronic trailer brake controller, a Class IV trailer hitch and heavy duty battery and alternator.