In short, Walkinshaw has employed 15 new workers for the full-time assembly line and done 30,000 hours of validation testing, and spent millions of dollars. A full re-engineering job takes around 20 hours.
This is matched to a heavy duty six-speed automatic gearbox. There’s also a BorgWarner transfer case controlling the part-time 4×4 system. Just remember, the Ford F-250 converted by Performax we tested here, and which you can have in Lariat spec for about $150K, features a 6.7-litre common-rail diesel V8 with an even bigger 328kW of power and a stonking 1166Nm of torque.
The end result for the Ram, though, is a towing capacity on a conventional 50mm tow ball of 3500kg, which is the same as the HiLux, Ranger, BT-50, Colorado, D-Max and co, but more importantly, a maximum rating of — wait for it — 4500kg on a 70mm ball, or just shy of 7000kg with a fifth-wheel setup that you can add as an accessory. Yes, that’s about 7.0 tonnes. Massive.
The Cummins truck engine is brutal. Despite the momentous kerb weight of the Ram 2500, it absolutely hammers. It’s fairly instantaneous in its torque delivery — it also delivers some trademark driveline shunt that is to be expected — and offers a nice meaty truck-like diesel rumble. The six-speed gearbox with column shifter rarely put a foot wrong either.
Fuel use over our mostly highway and towing run, with some city work, was surprising. We returned 12.3 litres per 100km, which is frankly not all that bad, considering. The 117L tank should give a decent range.
The full exhaust brake setup that’s most obvious in the truck’s haul model is a necessary supplementary system, alongside the trailer brake unit. The regular brakes have a fairly wooden and uninspiring pedal feel, and aren’t the last word in stopping power.
Published: Monday, March 21, 2016