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.



There was nothing about an 8 speed or new diesel. Just the reflash to the HD torque (HP stays same), and a regular cab half ton. Meh.

I think they missed the boat on the tradesman. They should have announced the work truck with the new 3.6 v6 and 8 speed auto. I know a few contractors and they would all be fine with 6500lbs or less of towing, more payload and 23 + mpg which i believe the 3.6 would/should achieve.

anybody else think ford will come back with job4 and up towing on one-tons to 22900, and this is from a ford fan. @brian and road trip thanks for input, that makes sense.

@ Mike

You have the ford 6.2 listed at 385 HP when the actual hp number is 485 i believe.

If you already have a Ram, can you take it to the dealer for a reflash as you could with the Ford?

@josh .. 385 is correct for the 6.2 ford

my bad. not sure why but i thought it was 485. wishful thinking i suppose lol.

about time, lets all welcome Dodge to the 21st century.

Bad it wasn´t the new Cummins 5-litre V8 diesel they unveiled.

so were is the increase coming from as far as tow ratings go new frame larger braks bigger crossmembers

It is going to be really cool to see how a Cummins 800 Ft. Lb. TQ. motor holds up against the DuraMax on a long pull in the Rockies. I'm betting It will still get beat, but not nearly as bad as the Power Stroke did.

My comment from the story before the Tradesman was announced:

"It wouldn't surprise me if it's something like their 'Ram Outdoorsman Edition.' Just slap on a few stickers and a ram box organizer for tools...BAM...'Dodge Tradesman Edition' coming to a dealer near you."

Did I pretty much hit that one on the nose or what? =-)

magic spring dust ;)

No, you didn't.

Get real. If you followed Cummins at all in the last 30 or so years you would know they were always the top of the class. Just because they spent 6 or so months at the bottom of the power wars doesn't mean they weren't still top notch.

Wow, easy to see that thing was torque limited before!

This is not a reflash like Ford's upgrade - there is some hardware involved. From the press release:

"A new powertrain control module (PCM) with revised performance calibration allows the High-Output 6.7-liter, six-cylinder Cummins Turbo Diesel to reach peak torque at 1,600 rpm and exceed the previous model’s output from 1,200 through 2,800 rpm. While peak horsepower remains unchanged (350 @ 3,000 rpm), the engine’s new calibration delivers more than 40 additional horsepower at typical highway cruising speeds.

Behind the powerful, High-Output Cummins lies a new higher-rated torque converter. The Ram’s new torque converter improves engine/transmission integration for better towing capability on grades and optimizes engine performance.

In addition to the new PCM and torque converter, the 800 lb.-ft. High Output Cummins-powered Ram Heavy Duty trucks receive a new crankshaft damper, reducing engine noise and vibration (NVH)."

Additional hardware comes with the Max Tow package:

"For maximum towing, Chrysler Group Powertrain engineers gave the Ram 3500 an improved dual-rear wheel axle with a 4.10 gear ratio, new rear-axle pinion, new helical gears, upgraded bearings and a heat-dissipating, finned aluminum differential cover.

As part of the Max Tow upgrade to the Ram 3500, the truck will also get a new engine-mounted, oil-to-coolant transmission cooler to moderate operating temperatures during trailer towing.

All Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups will also get upgraded power steering oil coolers to manage the larger loads."

@John, like I said this 6.7 cummins motor specs were already out for the F-750 during or before Ford had made their own diesel. They just never put it in the 2500+ Dodges.

The GCWR of this new Ram will be 30,000lbs. With a max tow rating of 22,700lbs - 5200lbs MORE than closest competition.

Add that to the lower COO (Cost of Ownership) of the longer service interval, no DEF, I-6 Cummins engine, with the ONLY available manual transmission and the most powerful jake brake and service brakes in its class and you've got - hands down - the best truck on the market.

HD Shootout? Nah - wouldn't be fair to those Blue Oval and Bowtie fellas...

@Dieselpower Ford abandoned the Medium duty market to the Japanese and Europeans a long time ago in Australia. Extremely competitive sector here unlike the US, where you have only relatively few companies involved.

It sounds really exciting for diesel fans. This Cummins upgrade will kill Bob's ability to brag about which diesel is best.
No DEF - these trucks will sell well.
Maybe outsell Silverado.
I've always liked the Cummins engine.

The "Tradesman" package is a bit of a joke.
Instead of coming up with a decent V6 you put a V8 in it. Sounds really innovative .
Okay for guys who want a base truck with pulling power.
Is this Ram's answer to GM's Dmax powered regular cab?
A stripper version of the SRT10?

What abou fuel mileage? Isn't that going to get worse now? DEF is the reason Ford and GM can get that much power along with fuel mileage, right?

wow dodge first,gm 2.ford 3.....what ford need to do now,gm they have a new diesel coming soon...

Been driving my new Chevy 2500HD for a few weeks now. The motor is pretty magic but its the way the motor talks to the Allison that is the most impressive part.
Props to Dodge for very nice truck, but tell me the tranny works like the Allison and I will consider it. Until then, not for me.

Ram does not use DEF/urea, but that is not without a cost.

Without DEF the Ram just gets worse mpg and pay more in fuel.

MPG figures from the HD shootout 1 ton :
Ford F350 averaged 17.32 mpg
@20,000 miles a year / 17.32 mpg = 1154.7 gallons of diesel fuel
average cost of diesel $3.50 a gallon (AAA fuel gauge report)
$3.50 x 11154.7 gallons = $4041.45 cost for diesel fuel
DEF usage at 2% of fuel usage = 23 gallons of DEF
23 gallons of DEF per year
23 gallons x $3 a gallon = $69 for DEF
$69 DEF + $4041.45 = $4110.45
FORD TOTAL: $4,110.45

Ram 3500 averaged 14.53 mpg towing
@20,000 miles a year / 14.53 mpg = 1376.5 gallons of diesel fuel
average cost of diesel $3.50 a gallon (AAA fuel gauge report)
$3.50 x 1376.5 gallons = $4817.75 cost for diesel fuel
RAM TOTAL: $4,817.75

It costs $707.30 more to run the Ram without DEF than it does to drive the F-350 with DEF.

Same thing with GM.
20k miles. 17.93 mpg. 1113.6 gallons of diesel. 22.3 gallons of DEF = $3897.6 for diesel and $66.9 for DEF per year. TOTAL: $3964.5

It costs $853.25 more to run the Ram without DEF than it does to drive the GM with DEF.


According to the PUTC yearly sales report put out in January that I know you saw because you had commented on it, Ram HD, in fact, ALREADY DID outsell the Silverado HD. If I remember correctly, it was by 1080 units.

@ Mike Levine

Is that Accurate?

Either way I just wish I could make enough money as a paramedic to buy one! Would make hauling cattle a lot easier on my days off.

That was without a trailer....
Ram 3500 averaged 14.53 mpg (NOT towing)

I used mpg without trailers since most people are not towing most of the time.

Check out the "Diesel Power Curve Comparison" on this site to compare to PowerStroke (Job1) and Duramax. I think this a great for Dodge but obviously doesn't put them ahead in raw power numbers; although I would agree with many here that it would be my diesel engine of choice. I was also hoping for the 8 speed ZF to go along with the output increase.

The Rumble in the Rockies Rematch should be a hell of a lot rumblier. I think its going to be quite interesting pitting an L6 w/ 800ft-lbs against a V8 w/ 765ft-lbs and another V8 w/ 800ft-lbs. Probably going to be more of a test of the transmissions than the engines. If the current OTR truck market is any indication of whats to come, the straight 6 should walk away with it; condsidering that theres no OTR trucks that "feature" a V8 diesel, they're all inline 6's.

It's still a Dodge...it'll never compare to a Ford. Butt ugly and front end falling out of it every 15,000 miles.

Way to go RAM. It's all good, I like the Cummins.
BUT - I'll keep my Ford.

Can you stack the most recent power and torque curves for Ram, GM, and Ford on top of each other just to make the comparison easier to see of where the power comes on out?


I think the reason gm out performed ford, even with lower power numbers, is because of the transmission. So untill ram upgrades their transmission, doesn't matter how good the Cummins engine is if you can't get the power to the ground.

@96 Dodge - My bad - good catch.
I was thinking combined Silverado/Sierra sales.
I'm so used to arguing that Silverado and Sierra are different entities that I can't bring myself to combining them ;)

My brother knows a lot of guys holding on to pre-DEF diesels because of the fear of the DEF costs. This news will make them think about a new Ram.

If Ram hurries up and starts putting that 8 speed in their trucks - we will see a new world order in the HD ranks. (Assuming the 8 speed lives up to its hype)

I don't think the RAM will beat either the Ford or the Chevy in the Rumble in the Rockies. The Cummins has all of its power down low, and full speed with 50 extra HP from the other two and the willingness of the V8s to rev harder. The interstate up the Rockies, is where the 8 cylinder diesels will shine. I like the Ram, but I predict it will come third in this test.

OK so Rams HD is back in the game with their torque rating. They couldn't even run the truck in "rumble in the Rockies" because it exceeded their GCWR and was deemed unsafe to do it. The Chevrolet Silverado HD and Duramax Diesel and Allison Transmission will still be the leaders of the class Period end of story.

GM'S Duramax Diesel "Best in Class" and Allison Transmission "Best in Class" when you pair them together there isn't a Better Diesel transmission combo in the class Period!!! I will bet money right now the Duramax will win the Rumble in the Rockies 2 vs the Ram and the Powerjoke.

GM'S Duramax is engineered to kick sand in the face of Ford's powerstroke and Rams cummins diesel engine.

So let it be written, so let it be done!!!

Dodge has no choice but to bump up their power ratings to stay competitive with the Ford & GM trucks!

@Troll (Bob) what do you drive? (Your parents I mean)

Dodge trumps Ford again, 1st in reliability now in power again! I agree lets wee a new truck shoot out with the heavy dutys, and also with the base commercial trucks. The new tradsman will kick there buts with a standard Hemi!

Dave, where did Dodge "trump" Ford in power? I will ignore reliability, because that's not really measurable.

Ford: GAS: 385/405 DIESEL: 400/800
Dodge: GAS: 383/400 DIESEL: 350/800

Which of those numbers is higher for Dodge?

It is very ironic that Ford uses the 6.7L Cummins and an Allison automatic in the Super Duty 650 and 750. Ford advertising can say whatever they want, the fact that their largest and heaviest trucks use a Cummins engine (like a Ram) and an Allison transmisson (like a GM Duramax) speaks volumes.

@Big Bob, good point! The only way to have both is to have an F-750. Is this what you are advocating?

@ Big Bob - truck guys have been saying for years that the ultimate combo would be Cummins diesel, Allison transmission in a Ford truck

@Alex - Bob refuses to tell me what he drives.
I do believe he mentioned an Astro van in the worktruck shootout.

I think we should refer to him as "Astro Bob"
1. for his vehicle choice and
2. for his ASTROnomically outrageous claims.


Urea use goes up dramatically when "using" the trucks. You seem to forget to factor that into the equation. After all, these are "work" trucks, and with the price premium they carry, not to many don't use them for "work" as you state.

There is no real advantage for using or not using urea, besides not having to worry about adding it.

Lou, you were warned by Mike Levine about personal attacks and they won't be tolerated. I know you don't like me and I certainly can't stand you so let's just leave it at that and say we disagree on everything. I don't have to tell you anything about myself and will leave you twisting in the wind. What I drive is irrelavant and doesn't change the fact that GM'S Durmax diesel is the superior diesel on the market today.

You go drive your second place Ford, well now it may be in 3rd place behind Dodge's Cummins engine.

GM and Chevrolet, the Truck and Car more champions trust!

I am curious how many of these new tow ratings will still be used after the new SAE J2807 requirements take effect in 2013. According to Trailer Life magazine only Toyota and GM are complying to the standards at the moment.

hopefully the dodge tranny can put the power to the ground unlike the fords

I love the bump in torque and increased towing numbers. When I tow my big toys, I'd love all of that. But when I am not towing, it would be nice to be able to push an "econpmy" button to tune it down and increase mileage. And when you need it, turn it off to fire the beast back up. Or even tie it to the tow/haul button. I use my truck as a daily commuter in addition to the towing when needed. I just worry all of this extra power will cause MPG suffer even more than the emissions crap did.

Give me a Cummins over Ford's and GM's diesels any day of the week. They are always my favorite engines driving an 18 wheeler. I've driven engines from other manufactures that had higher power ratings but they could never pull like a Cummins!!!

Mike, I'm sure I speak for many truck enthusiasts when I ask....Can you get some more info on the 350hp/390hp "under certain situations"??? Inquiring minds want to know....

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