2011 Chicago Auto Show: Ram Increasing Heavy Duty Diesel Power Ratings


Update 1: Feb-11-2011 10:31 am PT

We reported earlier that horsepower for the new High Output 6.7-liter I-6 Cummins would be able to climb to 390 hp under certain conditions. That was incorrect. Peak horsepower remains 350 hp, the same as the current Cummins 6.7.

"The peak horsepower doesn't go up," said Mike Cairns, Ram Heavy Duty chief engineer. "Horsepower at various RPMs is higher [than before]. It's about 23 percent higher at 1,600 rpm, which is where we now hit the peak torque rating. Horsepower is about 244 horse [at the rear wheels]. The peak is the same but at the working RPM level you're getting about a 23 percent boost."


The battle between Ford and General Motors for towing and hauling bragging rights in the heavy-duty truck segment has been brutal -- especially for Chrysler's Ram division. No longer. Ram Truck has announced midyear powertrain and towing upgrades to its 2011 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty truck line up that will give it best-in-class trailer towing ratings amongst one-ton trucks.

"Get a load of this new bad boy," said Fred Diaz, Ram's CEO introducing a Ram 3500 with the new High Output Cummins 6.7-liter I-6 diesel. "It's guaranteed to defend the title as the most capable truck on the planet."

The High Output 6.7-L Cummins I-6 engine increases torque 23 percent to 800 pounds-feet (@ 1,600 rpm), up from today's rating of 650 pounds-feet (@ 1,500 rpm). It will be standard on all 2500 and 3500 models equipped with Chrysler's 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The transmission also gets a new torque converter with updated shift calibrations to handle the increased power. There's also a new crankshaft damper that's said to reduce engine noise and vibration.

Horsepower for the Cummins remains 350 hp (@3,000 rpm), the same as today.


Above are the new dyno charts for the High Output Cummins 6.7 vs. the current Cummins 6.7.

Ram HD pickups with six-speed manual transmissions will keep today's Cummins diesel and 350 hp, 650 lbs.-ft. torque ratings.

Ram HD towing ratings are also headed upward, with an optional Max Tow package that will increase fifth wheel towing to 22,700 pounds on select Ram 3500 one-ton models, up from today's 18,500 pounds rating. The max gross combined weight rating will also rise to as high as 30,000 pounds.

To handle the increased towing, the Max Tow package will add a beefed up rear axle with a new 4.10 gear ratio, new rear-axle pinion, new helical gears, upgraded bearings and an aluminum differential cover with large cooling fins. There's also a new water-to-oil transmission cooler and new power steering cooler to help manage the higher trailer towing ratings.

Diaz said Ram will continue to not require the use of desel exhaust fluid to meet emissions. It will remain urea-free, using Cummins technology to reduce NOx without DEF refills.

The High Output Cummins I-6 and Max Tow package for Ram 2500 and 3500 HD goes on sale in the second quarter of this year.



Way to go RAM!!! Do not let those other three run away with all of the glory! Can not wait to hear more.

Ram will be tied for first (Ford) in the torque department.

Ram will be a a close third (to the General) in the horsepower department.

Oh well, people buy diesels for the torque, and not so much for the horsepower anyway.

Now will it use UREA injection or are they going to keep the current emissions set-up that requires the customer to go to the dealer every month to warranty?

What is this warranty issue. They need to be taken to dealers every month.

That's a little weird that they picked up 150ft-lbs of torque, but yet HP is expected to stay the same. Did they find a way to make it rev higher or something?

@Paul810: This story is developing. It's also expected (not confirmed) that horsepower can be increased on the run to 390 hp but the engine will remain with a base 350 hp rating. More news to come.

That's a Cummins for ya and still underrated!

I will say the best looking truck for sure but if they don't do anything about that 5 speed tranny then hell no. The weakest link on any Ram seems to be the tranny and the rear IMHO.

Why don't these people save time and just start selling semis?
Honestly, this is getting way past ridiculous.

This new specs are in the Ford F-650 and F750 a long time ago.


In fact, Ford even uses this engine in their medium duty trucks more than their new powerstroke 6.7. HP wise is rated at 360 and 800 torque. RELIABILITY!!!

Now, just get rid of the particulate trap and go with DEF like Dodge offers in their commercial trucks, and it's back on my list. I have an '08 F350 with the particulate trap, and the stupid thing always seems to start it's cleaning cycle just as I'm getting home. I could live with it if I could force it to start manually (when I know I've got a decent stretch of driving), but I'd rather have DEF.

@ DP

Not a Shocker LOL

Re the five-speed auto tranny comment - the automatic on the Ram with Cummins has been a six-speed since the 6.7L became available with the 2007 models. My 2007 6.7L and automatic has 74,000 miles with nary a whimper. We're fulltime rv'ers, towing heavy, too. Excellent tranny so far.

If there is not an appreciable bump in HP go coincide with the extra 150 ft lbs of torque that means it's simply a flash in the pan and will not make any tangible difference to performance of the truck.

Why is there a table comparing the gassers?

And this calls for another HD shootout...

Max fifth wheel towing is going up to 22,700 pounds.

@ Mike
Any news on upgrades to the frame? A higher GCWR just because of an extra 150 torque?

The HP and towing race continues.
Where will it stop?
At this rate Mack, Peterbuilt, Kenworth etc. will have to start looking over their shoulders.

All 6.7L Diesels came with the 6 speed Asin automatic. A 6 speed manual is also available.

That's what I'm talking about. Go ahead and take it to the Rockies and Dover Dam and get the numbers. I am interested to see what it will do against the Chevy. Who cares about the Ford? lol

@Lou, Told ya Dodge wasn't exiting the towing wars. They just needed time to regroup after the bankruptcy.

Keep On With The HP Wars!
Don't Stop!
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough!


PS How will help my plumbing business? I thought the announcement was for plumbers.

I would not be suprised if they anounced the new 8 speed trans also. Way to go Dodge and Cummins! You have the best trucks and engines out there!

@ Barker
Not all Ram Cummins automatics are the Aisin 6-speed. The Aisin 6-speed auto is exclusive to the 3500-5500 Chassis Cabs. The 2500 & 3500 HD Pickups use the corporate 68RFE 6-speed auto transmission.

@Steve... Sorry must have been thinking about the half ton Ram. You are correct. In another year or two they should have the 8 speed tranny and that should make a good truck a great truck.

I *definitely* smell a HD Shootout ASAP. And Rumble in the Rockies, Part 2

I live in Oklahoma and have a Class A CDL so I would be more than willing to assist in the rumble in the rockies part deux. Can start in Oklahoma the the Super Duty Job 3 and HD from GM and Dodge going from Oklahoma, Kansas and then to Colorado and back. Testing the trucks on terrain from flat to mountains.


@ Brian
I don't have a cdl, but I sure as hell can ride shotgun!

Does this mean that I can have my 2011 that I just got turned up ?


A comment like that shows how little you know. Torque is more important when towing then HP is.

Rumble in the Rockies Part 2! Please make it happen Mike!

Re: ***develping***
I can't wait for the update on the ratings...

DM does have a point. The increase of torque will get a heavy load moving. But more horsepower lets you accelerate when you're already moving and pulling something heavy behind you. Without the increase in horsepower it won't mean as much in a WOT test.

The RAM site shows the engine with 350hp and 800 ft-lbs. Still no DEF required!


i was already planning on buying a new cummins within the year but now this just solidified my decision. As long as the manual trans remains an option

@ mike L or someone else please explain why the eight speed would be so great. To me it seems like while pulling it would be shifting all the time on every little hill. The gears would be very close together. Unless 800 lbs of torque would make up for that I think that would be a problem.


The Cummins B-series has ALWAYS been a better diesel engine option than anything GM or Ford has offered.

A true medium duty commercial diesel engines thats basic architecture can be trased back to the 1930's, its not even a competition.

Cummins guys have always known this and we have been laugh at Ford and GM's engine ratings.

Ask any truck, power is nice, but reliablility and durability are what counts in the end.

I would take a 200hp/400lb-ft Cummins over a 400hp/800lb-ft Ford Power Stroke (International at one time) or GM Duramax diesel everytime without a second thought.

Ford and GM make GREAT diesel engines these days, but they will never hold a candle to the Cummins B-series.

An eight speed would be great because then steps would be shorter which would improve acceleration. Another benefit is, you do not have to drop so much and have such a high RPM if you need to downshift as result of the smaller steps. Most of the new trannies with the eight speeds allow for skips in gears if it is not needed. I am pretty sure BMW and Mercedes are using this type of setup. Just like you can skip gears in a semi with a manual if you are running empty. This would also allow a lower numerical number for the rear end as well as the top gear of the tranny, but can still feel like you have say a 4:10 over a 3:42 because of the spacing of the gears for the tranny. You could have say a 0.62 versus 0.71 for the top gear of the tranny. You can find the gear ratios for the transmission online for the Chrysler and Aisin transmission currently in use in the Ram. This helps with fuel mileage as well as pulling capability. That is my understanding. If I have misstated, please feel free to correct me.


Oh yeah, one other thing is with the tow haul modes in most trucks these days it would probably lock out the top two or three gears.

The 6.7l is restricted from the factory to adviod damaging the tranny. You ever here anyone complain about turbo lag when taking off? This is most likely the output the engine was intended to make. With that being said I believe that this also has to mean that the 8spd will be mated to this version. I wonder what that means for the 6spd manual and the HD Aisian, neither of which are rated for that much torque. The current manual engine combo is detuned to 610 ft-lbs. I hope this doesn`t mean that the manual is going away.

lets go ram!!! come smoke up the ford girls and hang with the good ole gm boys

So with the extra torque a transmission is no longer necessary?

Wow. 800 torque and an 8 speed auto. This is a dream come true for my plumbing business. What??!!

Check this out. Watch the live feed...


bobsled80, the benefit of the extra gears is to keep the engine in its most efficient rpm range more often. The Cummins doesn't have a redline as high as the Duramax or Powerstroke V8s (that's why they have higher HP numbers), so the extra gears would also help with acceleration. An 8-speed would also allow the use of taller (numerically lower) axle ratios - below the current 3.42 - which would also improve fuel efficiency.

Sorry to disappoint you guys. The big announcement is a regular cab half ton work truck.

Very nice, hopefully the fuel economy will match the Powerstroke! I am all for using urea if they get the fuel economy numbers up!

Hopefully they will also address the failing tie rods, Unsafe General tires & chassis / driveline vibrations. Will the current owners of 2011 trucks be able to get a reflash to current power levels?

It's for plumbers because GM and Ford just S#@* themselves.


Nice Bud!!!

Glad to see them bump it up.

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