There’s an Aussie influence to the 2018 RAM 2500 and 3500, with the Australian-market versions of these revised big-bopper workhorses featuring upgraded suspension that is the result of extensive Down Under development work.
The large-size utes – powered by a 6.7-litre Cummins turbo-diesel donk punching out 276kW and a huge 1084Nm – possess an unmatched maximum towing capacity of 6900kg and are proving popular with off-road tourers towing big vans and fifth-wheelers.
The towing capacity of the RAM duo starts at 3500kg (with 50mm towball), goes to 4500kg with a 70mm ball to the tongue and tops out at that heady 6900kg once you add a pintle to the 70mm ball/tongue. Payloads vary from 913kg for the ‘smaller’ RAM 2500 and go up to 1713kg (depending on spec level) for the big 3500.
Buyers of the 2018 models now also have the choice of the standard six-foot four-inch tub (1938mm) or a new ‘option eight’ tub, stretching the cargo area out to eight feet (2496mm) in length.
As well as that literal shed-load of storage capacity, by ticking the ‘option eight’ box (it’ll set you back an additional $1k), buyers also gain more fuel capacity, with the longer tub featuring a 132-litre fuel tank. Additional to this is yet another option for the bigger tub: auto-levelling rear air suspension ($4000 and a RAM 2500-only option).
Both models now include the latest uConnect 4 system that includes an 8.4-inch touchscreen (with pinch-to-zoom capability), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as USB flip connection (this allows two phones to be plugged into the entertainment system at the same time.
Rain-sensing wipers and auto-dip headlights are two more features for 2018 RAM 2500 and 3500. Also for 2018, the RAM 2500 can now be ordered with five seats (two bucket seats at front), rather than the standard six.
For those who don’t think the RAM 2500 looks tough enough, there’s now a RAM Sport Appearance package option, which includes colour-coded grille, front and rear bumpers, black side-steps, black badges, performance-tuned shocks and black 20-inch wheels shod with Nitto 275/65R20 All Terrain rubber. Tough enough? We think it might be…
Of course, the additional (and welcome) bonus with all these goodies is the fact that they are backed by the RAM US HQ; these rigs are a fully factory-approved import that is built in the US specifically for the market Down Under.
Add this to the sumptuous interiors that include everything from heated/cooled front seats to dual-zone air-con, and plenty of safety tech for heavy towing (think: full exhaust brake system with manual and auto settings, and the ability to switch the vehicles’ chassis and gearbox electronics to a specific tow/haul mode), and the RAM 2500 and 3500 build a compelling case as consideration as an off-road tourer and tow rig.
The RAM 2500 shapes up as the all-rounder, while the ultra-heavy-duty 3500 (fitted with a Hotchkiss rear leaf spring suspension for constant heavy load-carrying; the 2500 has a coil sprung rear) could be a great around-Oz contender.
RAM 2500 pricing starts at $139,950 for the Laramie with standard six-foot-four tub, and tops out at just above $150k with the Sport Appearance Pack with RamBoxes cargo system (two 243-litre lockers fitted to each side of the tray and a rack system, with lockable tonneau). RAM 3500 is available in two versions – a car licence rated model and a light rigid truck licence model – with this larger RAM starting at $144,350 and finishing at $147,500.
Visit American Special Vehicle's Ram website for all model variants and specific options.