Spied! Next-Gen Ram 3500 HD MegaCab

Ram3500HD II

Our spy shooters have been very busy lately. Here are a few photos of the next-gen Ram 3500 HD MegaCab. From the looks of it, they're really focusing on engine and rear axle cooling. Whether this is a new Cummins with a tiny exhaust or a bigger Hemi (also with a tiny exhaust) we can't say, but it's interesting. Here's what our shooter wrote us:

"Ram is readying a face-lift for its heavy-duty truck lineup, and we just caught a revamped Ram 3500 dualie prototype testing on public roads. We hear a major overhaul is planned for the full-size Ram trucks in the 2017-2018 time frame, but the truck market, probably more than any other segment, is about continuous improvement to remain competitive. Hence, the updated truck prototype caught here, clearly meant to answer the recently updated Ford Super Duty and the new HD pickups from GM that are headed toward the market."

The face-lifted 3500 HD gets a new grille, along with other possible front fascia tweaks. We expect that a lot of the interior changes and upgrades recently applied to the 1500 will be put into action on the heavy-duty models. One other noteworthy aspect that is clearly visible on this prototype is the massive front control arm seen underneath the bodywork. This change may signal an overall beefing-up of the chassis, to make it more rugged and durable, better able to handle even greater payloads. Meaningful, nuts-and-bolts improvements are the kinds of things that matter to serious truck buyers.


Ram3500HD arm II

Ram3500HD rear II

Ram3500HD 2 II



@ Mark Williams
I could be wrong but I have a bad feeling that the last sentence of this article isnt going to be ignored or go over well with the Ford guys. I think you may be calling it as you see it but do to the brand bashing here that could be turned against you.

Looks like there is abotu a 2 inch body lift on that thing. :)

In response to the tailpipe, that clearly looks identical to my old 5.7 hemi I had. My guess is that to compete with Ford and GM's 6.2's that the heavy duty Ram's will get a truck tuned version of the 6.4 hemi and a new "ultimate" towing model that will allow for them to play in the numbers game. It took them about 2 years to even get to where they are now (remember Mike Levine couldn't even test the Ram in the first heavy duty shoot out in 09 or so becuase the Ram didn't have legal capacity to compete).

The Cummins is still a great motor with a lot of name cache but it can't rev like Ford's Scorpion or GM's Duramax so it will never produce the HP numbers or 0-60 times (that I'd argue are pretty meaningless figures for this market)

Allpar.com is reporting a upgraded Cummins with around 800 lbs. of torque and revamped transmission. Also in the cards is a 6.4 liter Hemi. Im wondering if the dually will get a RamBox. I've heard reports last year that Chrysler was working on one. So it would be awesome to see. Towing and Payloads should also be up.

Someone pointed out a while ago that the exhaust pipes on test trucks may be different due to the need to connect monitoring equipment or to confuse spies.
This truck looks like it is running 19.5"s.
That is a very popular conversion in my neck of the woods.
That snout looks like it is approaching Ford SD clown size.

This looks like one mean machine. No low slung frame at all. It's all clear under there. I wish Chevy would go back to doing things this way.

Funny look at all the room around those wheel wells. Me thinks I remember others complaining about that on one of the other new pickups coming out soon.

I bet that thing would run right over a small compact car. Or think of a little lowered car hitting that in the back. I got hit in the back by a small import and could not even see the car in my mirrors.

@Lou, Those definitely are not 19.5" rims. They look like 17" at most.

That thing looks absolutely massive! How much is the ground clearance on that thing? I'm not a Dodge guy but that monster looks cool!

mhowarth in street trim maybe, but in comp. the Cummins Diesel will out rev and out pull most trucks out there, exp. in the unlimited classes! and the in-line design gives the engine a big advatage in bottom end toughness, even on the street you can get great #'s from even to older Cummins engines, don't count them out so easly.

Interesting. Fat tires, small wheels. Looks like a gasser to me. I hope Dodge isn't changing the front suspension to a radius arm design like the Super Duty. The 5 link on the Ram is much better.

Days of the big old Cummins B series might be over soon. It's going to be very tough to keep a slow revving diesel clean in the future.

@Lou - Those are 17" wheels you're looking at. Actually 19.5s aren't likely to happen on a factory pickup (again).

Owners complained when '08 thru '10 F-450 pickups had a governed 75 MPH top speed because of their commercial 19.5s

Owners also complained of the F-450 pickup's weight and poor fuel economy due to the over-sized, medium-duty axles, suspension, brakes and truck frame.

Now thanks to all the complainers, current F-450 pickups are basically all badge and really just an F-350 Tow Boss.

If you're ready for a real heavy duty pickup that comes factory 19.5 Alcoas, buy a Ram 4500/5500 or F-450/550 cab-n-chassis and custom fit a dually bed.

Now it's the only way to get one. I see lots of these conversions in my area and what gives them away, besides the 19.5s is the huge rear diff/pumpkin and the spacer between the cab and bed.

Check out this Dodge dually. 1200 horse power.

nice looking tuck could be a bit longer though my fav ram trucks were the 96s through the 2001, 12 valve is BEAST!!!

The Cummins diesel goes 100,000 more miles before it needs
overhauled compared to Ford and Chevy. 350,000 miles.

Looks like they beefed up the Control arms to Superduty size, and put cooling fins on the diff cover like the new Superduty too. I guess its about time they get fully caught up with 6.7 Powerstroke power and mpg too then.

@Walter White, @DenverMike

Thanks for the feedback. I do agree that the current F450 is a rebadge of the F350. Too bad really.

@Hope that 6.4L Hemi makes it into the POWER WAGON.

What a GOOFBALL looking truck!! Man you're gonna need some BIG STEPS to get in the back of it. Maybe someone will patent some oneday and dodge can claim em, along with that goofy looking spambox. dodge is such a joke! NO GUTS NO GLORY, SPAM!

It's looks really weird and out of proportion!




@ Sandman,

I know the Cummins makes a great tuner engine (looking for a decent inter-cooled gen 1 truck myself) but I was referring mainly to what Cummins would actually supply as an OEM motor to Ram. They may get it up to the 400 hp level but it would likely come at the cost of some mpg's or durability and neither one of those is good options. the V design of the Duramax and Scorpion allow higher revving and less compromises in terms of peak power and mpg's. Maybe the new SCR will help the mileage of the Cummins enough that they can tweak it a bit more for no mpg penalty.

This may not be a big deal now but in 2 years (really only 1 model year) they will have to start reporting mpg's on heavy duty trucks and be subject to CAFE increases so all parties will be doing what they can to meet the requirements.

@Jason - I hope no one else tries to make a bigger cab. If that is the case, they might as well put a Suburban body on a 3500.

Are my eyes that bad, or does that look like airbags on the front axel?

They need to lower the truck by about two inches

Good looking truck, but Ram has to stop installing the mufflers after the rear axle like that.... Almost looks like it's ready to fall off.

Regardless, people who use truck for real work are going to be the winners with these new trucks; they're all stepping up their game.

Beefier suspension is a good thing.

That's a fat azz truck. Love that rear fender. Great styling.. Ram is now the Armani of pickup trucks.

Maybe the different looking exhaust is actually the new exhaust with SCR and DEF. The SCR would be in line after the DPF and on the current trucks that's where the muffler lives.

Needs to be lowered about two inches, how are you suppose to load anything up in that bed?

Yes it's riding high but it also appears to be levelled. It's air suspension.

Lou, The Ram here would look slightly better with 8' bed. The problem is a Mega Cab only comes in a short box. After the huge cab, the bed just stops. Looks weird.

On the Fords and GM trucks, a dually forces you into an 8' box which looks in better proportion with a large cab dually. A long 8' box is also better for 5th wheel trailers.

@Jason - true. I actually think the F150 SuperCrew with 6.5 box looks better than the 5.5 for the same reasons you noted. I don't know why anyone would want a short box in a 1 ton anyway.

There have been grumblings about airbags on the HD Ram. A big gasser would make sense for many RVers who just don't drive the miles to pay for the diesel option. The Mega cab definitely looks a little off balance. RAM should consider offering it on the 3-5500 cab/chassis with the correct wheelbase for a long box. The radius arms are simpler, so it reduces the number of wear parts. Unless they do some interesting things with engine managent, like allowing higher torque in gears 3-5, HP is limited by the torque the rest of the truck will handle. Only thing consumers stand to loose, is the hand shaker, as emissions are harder to control. Not sure what the take rate is either.

@mhowarth - Yeah your right about the Cummin's not revving like the Pstroke or Dmax in stock form, because it doesn't need to. All the torque is down low to get the load moving and keep RPM's low while moving resulting in better MPG's. Granted the emissions crap that is on today's diesels and Cummin's choice to stay away from Urea Injection has choked it's MPG as of recent. When they finally do introduce Urea next year I'm sure Cummin's will once again be the king of MPG's and they are easy to make fast.

Check out the low clearance with the front suspenssion. They better hope they do something with their cummins so they are not third in the towing competition. I know three individuals that had blown cummins in their Dodges with less then 300,000 miles on them. So much for the durability reputation. It does not exist anymore.

Pretty simple, you want an 8 Ft box get a crew cab instead of Mega. The Crew Cab still has plenty of room but doesnt have the reclining back seats. Until you have spent some time in the back of the Mega Cab you dont realize how nice that feature is on looooong road trips. Pull into a rodeo sometime and look at how many Ram Mega Cab's are there.

Ram has already been using that diff cover on the 3500 duallies for over a year I think. All the 3500 Max Tow trucks have it.

@Warfish - correct on the diff cooling fins.

Greg.... So 3 of your friends have had problems...so what .... what about the other millions of them that are still kicking. The worst thing to do is judge something if you have no experience with it.


@judd, Greg doesn't have a clue. Their are people with one million miles on their Cummins diesel engines. They may not win drag races stock but they will outlast any Ford or Chevy diesel. Guarantee it.

@Peter: I don't think having all that "torque down low" affects fuel mileage. I have never saw a dyno run where the driver barely applies his foot to the accelerator, such as when cruising down the interstate. To generate that torque, regardless of where in the RPM range the torque peak occurs, larger amounts of fuel and air are needed. HP and torque peaks occur only during WOT which usually results in poor fuel economy. For instance your engine is not producing the same HP and torque cruising at 1200 RPM as it is when at WOT at 1200 RPM, thus the reason you accelerate when you floor the skinny pedal.

Is that a manual locking hub on front axle

No it isn't, Dodge hasn't used manual hubs since 92/93

Mark Williams,

Did you notice they don't have coil over shock in this picture? The shock is behind the coil just like a Super Duty and the radius arms are just like a Super Duty... They must have determined it is a better design. It make cure the imfamous "death wobble" that people have experience... I have a 2012 RAM 3500 CUMMINS H.O. and I love it... no issues at all. That's after owning 7 Super Duties too...

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