By Patrick Rall
After months of speculation and rumors, the Chrysler Group has announced that the 6.4L Hemi V8 from the Street and Racing Technology lineup will be available in the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty lineup. The 392 cubic inch Hemi coming to the Ram 2500, 3500 and Chassis Cab trucks has been built and tuned specifically for hard core truck use so it is not exactly the “same” engine from the Charger, Challenger, 300 and Grand Cherokee SRT8 models – with unique components designed to help handle the rigors of truck life as well as the specific power outputs.
Where the 392 Hemi from the SRT lineup offers 470 horsepower and 470lb-ft of torque, the new Ram HD 6.4L V8 makes 410 horsepower at 5,600rpm and 429lb-ft of torque at 4,000rpm. I would also guess that the Ram HD version of the 392 Hemi has a flatter torque curve for improved performance when towing or hauling.
While this most certainly isn’t the “392 Hemi Ram” news that most Mopar lovers were hoping for, this new mill affords the Ram Brand the bragging rights of offering the most powerful gasoline engine in the heavy duty truck segment. The most powerful gasoline option from Ford is the 6.2L V8 with 385hp and 405lb-ft of torque while the best gas engine that GM has to offer packs 360hp and 380lb-ft of torque.
More importantly, the new 6.4L Hemi offers Ram HD buyers an engine option with slightly more power and improved towing/hauling performance than the standard 5.7L Hemi. Previously, Ram HD buyers who wanted more power and capabilities than what was offered by the 5.7L Hemi had to step up to the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. That engine is substantially more capable in terms of both towing and hauling but it is also an engine option that adds almost $8,000 to the sticker price. In the case of those buyers who need more than what is offered by the 5.7L Hemi but they do not need the class leading capabilities of the Cummins – the new 6.4L Hemi serves as a great option with a price of just $1,495 compared to similarly equipped Rams with the 5.7L Hemi. Also, the 6.4L Hemi will be offered with the Ram 3500 dual rear wheel models whereas the 2013 3500 DRW package is available only with the costly Cummins diesel engine. This means that the 2014 Ram 3500 DRW trucks could be somewhere in the area of $6,000 less than 2013 models.
In addition to the new 6.4L Hemi V8, the 2014 Ram HD lineup will continue on with the standard 5.7L Hemi with 383 horsepower and 400lb-ft of torque as well as three variants of the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel. The first diesel option is a 350 horsepower and 660lb-ft of torque package that comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission while that same engine fitted to an automatic transmission offers 370 horsepower and 800lb-ft of torque. There is also the Cummins Turbo Diesel High Output package that packs a whopping 385 horsepower and 850lb-ft of torque, exclusively with an automatic transmission. This is the drivetrain that allows the 2013 Ram 3500 to tow 30,000 pounds.
The first examples of the 2014 Ram HD with the 6.4L Hemi V8 will roll off of the assembly line in the third quarter with the first trucks hitting showrooms before the end of 2013.