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Dodge Offers New Ram Heavy-Duty Pickups

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

The new Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, which are extensively redesigned for 2003, have been officially introduced.

Ram heavy-duty pickups are offered in standard or Quad Cab. Two
wheelbase lengths are offered on Quad Cab models. New for 2003, the 3500
models now come with standard single rear wheels, and dual rear wheels
are optional on all but the short-wheelbase 3500 Quad Cabs.

Exteriors have been updated similarly to the 2002 1500-series
Rams, with smoother and more modern lines. There are also new safety
features, including largest-in-class brakes, tires and wheels, plus
standard ABS. Dodge has added front center shoulder belts in standard
cab models, and standard rear center shoulder belts in Quad Cab models.
These pickups also are the first-ever to offer side-curtain airbags and
power-adjustable pedals.

The heavy-duty lineup now includes an all-new High-Output Cummins
turbodiesel engine. Its increased horsepower makes it the most powerful
diesel available in a pickup, rated 305 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque.
Standard power will be the 5.7-liter HEMI Magnum V-8, which is rated at
345 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. Drivetrains also include the regular
Cummins turbodiesel (optional on all models; 250 hp at 2,900 rpm; 460
lb-ft at 1400 rpm), and a Magnum 8.0-liter V-10 (optional on all models;
305 hp at 4,000 rpm; 440 lb-ft at 2,800 rpm).

There are four available transmissions, including a five-speed
manual overdrive (standard with all engines except the high-output
diesel), a six-speed manual overdrive (standard with high-output
turbodiesel), plus as a five-speed automatic (optional with 5.7-liter
engine) and four-speed automatic with overdrive (optional with the V-10
and standard turbodiesel). All 2500 and 3500 models are available with
either four-wheel or two-wheel drive.

The optional Trailer Tow group comes with a Class IV hitch,
7-circuit wiring harness and heavy-duty battery. Tow ratings and payload
vary widely. Gross combination weight rating ranges from 15,000 pounds
for several models, with the 5.8L V-8 HEMI to a maximum of 23,000 pounds
for some models with the high-output turbodiesel.

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