Hearsay suggests it, but history advises against it

An interesting article came across my desk this morning stating the possibility of Ram Trucks offering a “heavy half” pickup to compete with the Nissan Titan XD. Like the XD, the truck would slot between the 1500 half-ton and 2500 three-quarter ton with a focus on an improved ride while still hauling and towing more than a 1500-series truck. The Torque News article actually cites a Ram Trucks representative who revealed the plans and said the truck would be called the Ram 2000 and powered by an EcoDiesel engine.

The source of this interesting information is an owner of a 2017 Ram 1500 who was surveyed about his thoughts on his truck by a Ram representative at a marketing booth at the Cowboy Christmas convention in Las Vegas. He claims the rep told him of Ram’s interest in the new pickup class, but revealed no other details. He posted his experience on an enthusiast forum and seen by Torque News.

With the backstory over, let’s dive into what a Ram 2000 might look like and what it means for the pickup market.

Continue reading for more thoughts and opinions.

The Bones of a Ram 2000

2017 Ram 1500 Copper Sport High Resolution Exterior
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The other path would be to soften the suspension of a Ram 2500, reduce its ride height, and fit it with bodywork more akin to the 1500-series truck.

It’s impossible to know exactly what Ram Trucks is planning past 2019. At this point, we know the 2019 Ram 1500 will be an all-new model with vast updates over the current truck. We expect the Ram Heavy Duty models to follow the generation change in 2020. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. Automakers entertain hundreds of ideas and concepts that never make it past the corporate trashcan. This could very well be one, or the Ram 2000 might be the next big thing from Auburn Hills. It’s still way too eerily to tell.

Nevertheless, let’s say Ram is considering a 2000-series truck. I see two paths the automaker could take. One would be to upgrade a Ram 1500 with stronger springs, thicker sway bars, upgraded powertrains, and perhaps even a reinforced frame. This method lines up with what the Ram representative supposedly said as the EcoDiesel is only offered in the Ram 1500. The other path would be to soften the suspension of a Ram 2500, reduce its ride height, and fit it with bodywork more akin to the 1500-series truck.

2019 Ram 1500 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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At this point, we know the 2019 Ram 1500 will be an all-new model with vast updates over the current truck

Of course, this isn’t a new idea. Back in the early 2000s, General Motors offered a 1500HD truck with upgraded suspension parts, axles, and the gasoline powertrain from a 2500 HD truck. Ford did the same between 1997 and 1999 with the F-250 Light Duty. It was basically a F-150 with seven-lug hubs, studier suspension parts, and a beefier frame.

Even Ram was recently in the game, building the Ram 1500 Tradesman HD stating in 2012. The truck had the body of a 1500 and the frame, axles, and eight-lug hubs of a 2500. It was only available in a regular cab, long bed configuration and with the base Tradesman trim level. It was capable of hauling 3,100 pounds in the bed and pulling a 11,500-pound trailer. Power came from the 2500’s version of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The model only lasted a couple years, but fulfilled Ram’s need for a low-volume, high-capacity 1500-series truck.

Would a Ram 2000 Be Successful?

2017 Ram Power Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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it’s hard to predict the future, but “heavy half” trucks have historically not done well. GM canned its 1500HD after only five or six years, Ford did the same once the all-new 1999 Super Duty debuted, and currently, the Nissan Titan XD hasn’t sold quite as hot as predicted, though numbers are climbing.

In my view, Ram would be smart to avoid the “heavy half” segment altogether. Let the 1500-series be the light-duty truck with decent fuel economy, a smooth ride, and moderate capabilities, while the 2500 and 3500 HDs are wholly dedicated to towing and hauling performance. In fact, the 2500 is supposed to be that in-between truck slotted between a one-ton and the half-ton trucks.

What do you think? Should Ram, Ford, and GM follow Nissan’s lead by offering a 1500HD-style pickup? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ram 1500

Read our full review on the 2017 Ram 1500.

2019 Ram 1500 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Ram 1500

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Read more Ram news.

Source: Torque News

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