The 2003 Dodge Ram, arriving at dealers this fall, debuts with two all-new powertrains for the heavy-duty pickup truck market. Standard on 2500 and 3500 Series trucks is a 5.7-liter HEMI Magnum V-8 gasoline engine that produces 345-hp. at 5,500 rpm and 365 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm.
The second engine, which is optional on all heavy-duty Dodge Ram models, is the new 5.9-liter, 6-cyl. Cummins turbodiesel. This engine is rated 305 hp. at 2,900 rpm and provides a whopping 555 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm.
In developing the 5.7-liter HEMI Magnum, DaimlerChrysler revived the hemispherical head design of its renowned HEMI V-8 engines of the 1960s and early ‘70s because the design allows for larger valves and more fluid air flow. The HEMI Magnum is being built in a plant DaimlerChrysler recently opened in Saltillo, Mexico.
Although the HEMI Magnum is the standard engine for the Dodge Ram Heavy Duty models, Richard Schaum, executive vp-product development and quality for DaimlerChrysler, says he expects 75% of customers to choose the revised Cummins 5.9-liter diesel.
Cummins has made heavy-duty diesels for Dodge since 1989, but unlike previous direct-injection engines that provided only one injection per combustion event, the new inline 6-cyl. Cummins gets its fuel from a high-pressure common rail that allows for three separate injections for each combustion event to increase power, cut emissions and minimize the noise associated with diesels.
The Cummins diesel will also be available in a standard-output 5.9-liter version, which will produce 250-hp. at 2,900 rpm and 460 lb-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm.
In addition to the new powertrains, the 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty boasts a class-leading towing capability, rated at 23,000 lb. GCW, improved fuel economy and an all-new Heavy Duty 3500 model with a single rear wheel option.
Previously, the Cummins diesel was available only on models with dual rear wheels, but with the 2003 model year, duallys are no longer necessary to get the new turbodiesel.
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