2003 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Debut asToughest and Most Powerful
Heavy-Duty Pickups Ever
- Feb 6, 2002 - The all-new 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty debuts
as the most powerful heavy-duty pickup, with the most powerful diesel
engine on the market and the all-new 5.7-liter HEMI® Magnum
V-8. The Dodge Ram Heavy Duty carries forward its reputation for
toughness into a new century with class-leading towing (Gross Combination
Vehicle Weight Rating), payload capacity and interior room. New
from grille-to-tailgate, the Heavy Duty Dodge Rams bring an array
of new powerplants, class-leading features and the "big rig"
styling introduced on the 2002 Dodge Ram 1500.
heavy-duty pickup market has grown 34 percent since 1996 with 2500/3500
pickups accounting for 31 percent of the large pickup market,"
said Jim Julow, Vice President, Dodge Division Global Brand Center.
"Ram 2500s and 3500s now account for a third of overall Ram
sales, and with the 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500, we are poised
to increase those numbers significantly."
Up or Shut Up
this market, capability is everything and the new Heavy Duty Dodge
Rams are the most capable pickup trucks available," said Frank
Klegon, Vice President, Truck Product Team. "We have taken
the bold styling of the all-new 2002 Dodge Ram 1500, with its class-leading
interior package, and added all-new, class-leading powertrains and
a new chassis featuring a full-length hydroformed heavy-duty frame."
2003, the all-new Dodge Ram Heavy Duty is aiming at the heart of
the heavy-duty market with two new engine offerings and, for the
first time on a Ram, a 3500 single rear wheel option.
1500 Ram buyers are looking for a multi-use truck, but they rarely
come close to its performance limits," added Julow. "Dodge
Ram Heavy Duty owners are different. They also want a multi-use
truck, but buy their Dodge Ram Heavy Duty with very specific tasks
in mind. And those tasks require maximum capability. "They
routinely push their Rams to the limit," Julow said. "That
is why about 75 percent of our Ram 2500/3500 sales are diesels and
70 percent are four-wheel drive models. These trucks are being used,
and used hard. Our reputation as the longest-lasting pickup, and
now the most powerful diesel pickup available, will serve us well
in this market."
the new 2003 Ram 2500 and 3500, Dodge designed a truck aimed at
the heart of the heavy-duty market. Dodge created a new duty cycle
aimed directly at commercial customers, testing the new Ram in conditions
ranging from -40 F to + 130 F and running the equivalent of 150,000
miles at 95 percent of their maximum towing and payload ratings.
Dodge Ram and HEMI Magnum = Class-leading Power and Performance
all-new 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 herald the return of one of
the most legendary names in automotive lore: HEMI. This is the Chrysler
Group's first application of the new 5.7-liter HEMI which
for the Dodge Ram will be called HEMI Magnum, and will serve as
the standard engine on the all-new Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickup trucks.
This all-new engine produces an estimated 345 horsepower at 5,600
rpm and 365 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm, providing more power
than competitive standard V-8 engines. In fact, versus competitive
vehicles with similar size gasoline engines, it provides best-in-class
acceleration and towing capability, as well as significantly improved
fuel efficiency over the engine it replaces.
Cummins Turbo Diesel = Class-leading Capability
Another returning legend is the all-new, high-pressure, common-rail
injection, High Output Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. The new High
Output Cummins Turbo Diesel is the most powerful turbo diesel engine
available in the 2500/3500 segment, producing 305 horsepower at
2,900 rpm and 555 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm. That prodigious
torque results in a class-leading towing capability of 23,000 lbs.
durable as it is powerful, the Cummins Turbo Diesel has average
major overhaul intervals of 350,000 miles, providing a substantial
advantage over the competition. An inline six, the new 5.9-liter
Cummins has 30 to 40 percent fewer parts than typical V-8 diesels,
which means added durability and better reliability.
Tough Enough To Wear the Ram Heavy Duty Name
on the advances we made in safety, ride and handling on the all-new
Dodge Ram 1500, we were able to create a heavy-duty truck with precise
steering and a comfortable ride without compromising its work ethic,"
Klegon said. "We were able to do this because Ram has an extensively
hydroformed frame; one of the stiffest ever on a pickup truck. That
chassis stiffness provides a firm foundation for suspension and
NVH fine tuning."
steering and handling on two-wheel drive Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickup
trucks is a new rack and pinion steering system that delivers precise
feel and response tuned to give the driver control and positive
feedback. On four-wheel drive Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups, an all-new
recirculating ball system improves on-center steering feel through
lower internal friction and responds more precisely. In fact, the
four-wheel-drive Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickup has the quickest steering
ratio in the industry. The 13.4:1 ratio and 2.75 turns lock-to-lock
are especially effective in a heavy-duty truck when making tight
turns, or maneuvering a trailer in close quarters.
Ram Heavy Duty: Designed to be Tough On- and Off-Road
With the majority of Heavy Duty Rams being ordered with four-wheel
drive, the Dodge Ram's off-road performance is a key selling point.
new transfer cases, a conventional manual shift and a new electric
shift, are available on 2500 and 3500 four-wheel drive models to
provide quieter operation, and improve quality. The manual-shift
unit is standard on ST and SLT models. The electric-shift unit is
standard on SLT Plus models.
The four-wheel drive front axle is all-new, but retains beam construction.
All-new rear axles contribute to a best-in-class payload rating
(GVWR) of up to 12,000 lbs. The refined four-wheel drive system
on the all-new 2500/3500 Dodge Ram pickup provides an outstanding
combination of ride, handling and off-road operating characteristics.
suspension on four-wheel-drive 2500 and 3500 Dodge Ram Pickups is
a refined version of the five-link, coil-spring suspension with
beam axle used on the previous series Dodge Ram Heavy Duty. A link-type
sway bar and heavy-duty tubular shock absorbers are standard. The
rear suspension, common to both two-wheel and four-wheel drive models,
is equipped with new, three-inch longer leaf springs.
Rams Set New Safety Standards for the Heavy-Duty Truck Market
as the 1994 Dodge Rams redefined pickup safety with the first driver-side
air bags, Ram 2500 and 3500 lead the way for 2003 with the first
heavy-duty pickup application of side curtain air bags. Dodge Ram
Heavy Duty also offers the first power adjustable pedals (on both
automatic and manual transmission equipped trucks), and the first
pre-tensioning, constant-force seat belt retractors in a heavy-duty
with a holistic safety approach, Dodge Ram Heavy Duty utilizes both
conventional safety features, such as air bags, and combines them
with accident avoidance features such as excellent steering, handling
and braking. Standard ABS, the largest brakes in its class and 17-inch
wheels and tiresthe largest standard wheels and tires on a
heavy-duty pickupall contribute to Dodge Ram's excellent safety
Also standard on Dodge Ram Heavy Duty are next-generation driver
and front-passenger air bags. The passenger side air bag can be
turned off on regular cab Rams to accommodate child seats. The 2003
Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks also include a standard Lower Anchors
and Tether for Children (LATCH) child seat anchorage system. The
LATCH system works in conjunction with the standard child seat tether
anchors to create safer child seat attachments.
Ram 2500 and 3500 Safety Highlights:
First heavy-duty pickup to offer side curtain air bags
First heavy-duty pickup to offer pre-tensioning, constant
force seatbelt retractors
First heavy-duty pickup to offer power adjustable pedals
(available on both manual and automatic transmissions)
Largest standard brakes in its class
Largest-in-class standard wheels and tires
Standard child seat tethers
Standard rear seat center shoulder belt (Quad Cab) and front
center shoulder belt (Standard Cab)
Big, Bold and Powerful Enough to be a Dodge Ram Heavy Duty
With the most visually recognizable DNA of any pickup, a strong
business case was made to combine the styling of the all-new 2002
Dodge Ram 1500 with the new heavy-duty chassis of the Ram 2500 and
3500. From the beginning of the Ram 1500 design process, engineers
were already taking into account the extra capacities and development
needs of the heavy-duty series of Rams. The Ram 1500's grille, for
example, was designed to be large enough to incorporate the extra
cooling needs necessitated by the heavy-duty Ram powertrains.
our competition's need to toughen the look of their heavy-duty pickups,
we didn't feel it was necessary to stray from the bold Ram design
to provide a more masculine look for the 2500 and 3500," said
Rick Aneiros, Vice President of Design and Ram Design Team Leader.
"The massive horse collar grille is bigger and bolder, and
still the most recognizable Dodge Ram feature. This truck makes
the type of statement a heavy-duty truck needs to make. It says
all-new 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty will begin production in the summer
of 2002 at the Saltillo, Mexico and St. Louis North Assembly Plants.