There are many rumors flying around about the all-new 2020 Ram HD truck lineup. Here is the collection of most of the rumors, and also all of the official information that is currently available. We organized it in a this top 5 list format, so that we can get to the bottom of rumor and fact.
Ram has officially announced that the next generation of the heavy duty truck with arrive in January of 2019. We interpret this to mean that the 2020 Ram HD will debut in January, but the truck are likely to reach dealership several months after that.
New 7.0L V8 and 1,000 lb-ft of diesel torque?
What engines will the new truck have? Ram has not released their engine lineup for the next generation of the heavy duty truck, but here are some rumors that are floating around. There are reports that the 5.7L HEMI V8 will be discontinued from the HD lineup, but the 6.4L HEMI V8 and the 6.7L I6 Cummins turbo-diesels will remain. This sounds plausible, although the 5.7L HEMI V8 is the more affordable work truck engine option.
There is also a rumor about a 7.0L gas V8 joining the group. There is not much data to support this claim.
Will the 2020 Ram HD diesel produce 1,000 lb-ft of torque? We do not have information to support this, but we imagine the next version of the high output 6.7L Cummins will be rated to at least 940 lb-ft of torque, so it can have a “class leading” designation.
New 8-speed automatic? What about the manual?
You have to put all of that torque down to the ground, and there are rumors about two possible transmission choices to the next big Ram truck. ZF transmission manufacturer recently introduced a Ram 3500 HD “prototype” truck with a heavy duty 8-speed automatic transmission that is capable of handling up to 1,000 lb-ft of torque. The other obvious choice is a version of an existing 6-speed AISIN automatic transmission or an 8-speed AISIN transmission that can also be adopted to the truck. Why increase the number of gears? A wider gear range allows the truck to have more low-end pulling power to get off the line, while also providing increased efficiency while cruising on the highway. Naturally, reliability is a big concern, but both ZF and AISIN have a lot of resources and experience to produce a capable and reliable transmission.
What about the 6-speed manual? There is a rumor that it’s going away, but once again – we have to wait for official word on this.
Will it look the same as the 2019 Ram 1500 (DT)?
We have to rely on images of the prototype trucks that have been caught in the wild for design changes. It appears the new HD truck will use the same (or very similar) cab design to the new 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) trucks. It means a crew cab that is 4-inches longer than before to allow for more interior space. The new HD truck will have a grille design (with no cross-hairs) that is similar to the Ram 1500 (DT) trucks. Although, we expect the heavy duty trucks to have grilles and headlight design that are larger than those on the half-ton trucks.
If the 2020 HD truck uses the same cab as the new light duty, it means that it will have much of the same improved interior design. Will we have a 12-inch infotainment screen in the Ram HD? That should be a real possibility.
We expect Ram to update the design of the frame to make it stiffer, and improve the overall safety of the truck.
We also expect Ram to use aluminum for at least the hood and the tailgate of the new trucks. We do not know if they will use aluminum for the doors or other body/bed components.
Will it haul over 7,620 lbs and tow over 34,000 lbs?
Maximum payload and towing numbers are critical to the success of a heavy duty truck. No official numbers have been released yet, but we expect Ram to target the current Ford Super Duty specs with are: 7,620 lbs of payload and 34,000 lbs of maximum gooseneck trailer towing. [Note: Ford claims the 34,000 lbs maximum towing capability on a Ford F-450 2WD which is still considered a 1-ton class 3 truck based on the total GVWR classification.] Also note that the maximum gooseneck towing rating assumes that the gooseneck hitch and ball are also rated to carry the weight.
Bonus: Power Wagon
Power Wagon don’t care!
It’s great to see a next generation Ram Power Wagon prototype testing in the wild. This lets us know that Ram is seriously considering to being it back, as they should. The prototype images let us know that there are still solid axles front and rear. The front bumper appears to hide a winch.