2011-Heavy-Duty.jpgby Patrick Rall

    The folks at Chrysler’s Ram Truck brand have announced that when the 2012 Ram Heavy Duty models hit showrooms later this year, they will feature a new 6-speed automatic transmission for trucks equipped with the power 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel.  This combination of the Cummins Turbo Diesel and the revised 6-speed
    automatic gearbox offer 350 horsepower and a whopping 800lb-ft of torque
    at just 1,250rpm, making the 2012 Ram HD one of the most powerful
    trucks on the market.  Also, when that powerful drivetrain is mated with
    the Max Tow package in the 2012 Ram 3500, it is able to pull an
    incredible 22,750 pounds – giving it best in class towing capabilities. 

    Chrysler goes on to point out that unlike the cross town rivals from
    Ford, Chevrolet and GMC, the Cummins Turbo Diesel in the Ram HD is able
    to reach these impressive towing and power numbers without the annoyance
    of dealing with Diesel Exhaust Fluid; all while still being able to
    meet emission standards everywhere in the United States.

    The 2012 Ram HD models equipped with the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel will
    still come with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, but for those who
    want to get the absolute most out of their truck in the way of towing
    and hauling capacities, this new 6-speed automatic could be the way to
    go.  Chrysler points out that the revisions made to the gearing of this
    new automatic transmission will also help to improve fuel economy, but at
    this point, the company has not offered an idea as to just how much
    fuel economy will improve.  Considering that most Ram Heavy Duty buyers –
    especially those purchasing a truck that can tow 22,750 pounds – are
    far more concerned with the abilities of their truck than they are with
    fuel economy, the added fuel economy will come as a nice addition, but it
    wouldn’t have nearly the impact on the segment as the towing capacity
    or power output.

    Ram Truck brand President and CEO Fred Diaz had this to say about the announcement of the new 6-speed automatic transmission: “Ram Heavy Duty truck owners need pulling power – 79 percent of them
    rate towing as extremely important. Reliability and engine performance
    are tied for second – named as extremely important by 73 percent of
    owners. 800 lb.-ft. of torque combined with Ram Truck’s unsurpassed
    5-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and Cummins’ proven reputation
    for reliability – are a direct response to our customers’ high
    expectations. We stand behind our commitment to build great trucks with
    best-in-class capabilities.”

    Finally, along with the revised 6-speed automatic transmission, the 2012
    Ram HD will receive a handful of new features including optional black
    grilles on various models and a new steering wheel complete with stereo,
    information center and audio/video system controls.  The mighty Hemi V8
    will return as the standard engine for the 2012 Ram HD, packing 383
    horsepower, but unlike the Cummins-powered models, the 2012 Ram HD with
    the Hemi will only get the 5-speed automatic transmission.