FCA US has been very quiet about the 5th generation Ram HD. The only thing that hs been confirmed is that production of the Ram HDs will move from the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico to the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan. Warren Truck currently builds Quad Cab and Crew Cab Ram 1500 (DS) models which will continue on sale for part of the 2019 model year or at least till the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) in Sterling Heights, Michigan can produce enough new 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) models to fill all orders.
Warren Truck will get a complete update after the discontinuation of production of the DS models. This will take roughly six months, and the plant will first launch the DT based 2020 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (WS) SUVs. A few months later all-new Ram HD models will launch alongside of the new Jeep twins. At that time Ram will be the only pickup truck maker to have all of their pickups assembled in the State of Michigan. Both plants are within miles of each other as well.
As for the truck itself, here is what we know. The 5th generation Ram HD will share cabs and beds with the DT pickups. The Ram HD will have front styling similar but a little different than the half ton models. The crosshair grille will be gone, of course but the grilles on the HD will be a little different in design that the DT trucks. Some of the spy shots from Real Fast Fotography show that Ram, seems to be working on a new air intake system on the top of the grille similar to the current GM HD trucks will their cold air intake hood scoops.
With the cab design being the same, that means the new 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) interiors will move over to the HD side. Expect the same trims as DT to move along as well (except for the Rebel of course, which on the HD side will continue the Power Wagon model). This means Ram HDs will have a flat load floor and reclining rear seats as their 1500 counterparts. With the seats being able to recline 4-inches now, we do not know the fate of the Mega Cab. But we will let you know more as soon as we learn about it.
Expect the Ram HDs to get most of the great technology that the DT trucks have. 12.1-inch Uconnect screens will be available on select trims. Blind spot monitoring for trailer towing will also help ease future HD buyers when it comes to see around those blind spots. A next generation load leveling air suspension could join the lineup as well.
The biggest news is powertrains. Our inside sources say that Ram has been working hard both ZF and Aisin to develop new transmissions for the truck. It looks like Ram is trying to develop a new 8-Speed Automatic transmission for the 5th generation Ram HD models to help improve towing and fuel economy. This would allow Ram to also use the electronic rotary shifter on the HD models too. Cummins will return with an upgrade 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel. People have been saying that Ram is aiming for the 1,000 lb-ft of torque number. While we can’t confirm this, we wouldn’t be surprised considering the current HD trucks are already hitting the 930 lb-ft mark. Also, HEMI power will return to the HD models as well. But which variant of the HEMI will be standard is yet to be known.
It sounds like the 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab will be back as well. GM has just shown of the Silverado 4500, 5500 and 6500HD. We don’t expect a 6500 model, not quite yet. The 4500 and 5500 Ram HD models will be available in select trims. We have been hearing that Ram has been holding customer clinics, in which a response from farmers and heavy haulers are asking Ram to make a factory bed option for certain chassis cabs lengths. We also hear that Ram is really looking into it.
Editors note: Since this article was written our friends at Real Fast Fotography caught this fully camoflauged truck. Looking through the camo we can see LED taillights that match the taillights on the new 2019 Ram 1500’s. We can also see the blind spot monitoring system in the mirrors. Headlights look like a cross between the current headlights and the headlights on the all new Ram 1500. Our spy photographer said the truck definitely sounded like it had more than 6 gears in the transmission due to the amount of upshifts as the test driver was taking off.