Cummins turbodiesel gains 30 pound-feet to become HD torque leader

The Cummins-powered Ram 3500 will make a whopping 930 pound-feet of torque for the 2018 model year. That puts Ram in the lead of the unofficial Torque Wars raging between the Big Three. Ford and its Power Stroke turbodiesel previously held the lead with 925 pound-feet of torque and the GM twins aren’t far behind with the new-for-2017 Duramax and its 910 pound-feet. Ram also announced its new fifth-wheel hitch designed and built in-house. The beefy hitch, combined with the Cummins’ extra grunt, pushes the 3500’s max fifth-wheel tow rating to 30,000 pounds – another segment-leading figure. Ram’s gooseneck and conventional tow ratings remain unchanged at 31,210 and 20,000 pounds, respectively.

Ram says its engineers worked along side Cummins to enable the torque increase. Minimal changes were actually needed, and consist of a higher-flow fuel delivery system and giving the variable geometry turbo a higher boost limit. A retuning of the ECU is also highly likely. What Ram (or Ford or GM) doesn’t mention: any vehicle with a Gross Combined Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more requires the driver have a commercial driver’s license to legally operate on any public road. Hope you’re ready for a written skills evaluation, driving test, and drug testing, depending on your state’s laws.

The 2018 Ram Heavy Duty will begin arriving at dealerships this month. Customers can buy the new fifth-wheel hitch as a dealer add-on for $1,395. But beyond the extra power and new hitch, the Ram Heavy Duty doesn’t change for 2018. Ram is expected to debut the next-generation HD in 2020, which follows the new Ram 1500 in 2019. Stay tuned for our full review of the 2018 Ram Heavy Duty coming soon.


2016 Ram Heavy Duty High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Ram Heavy Duty.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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