Just as supercar builders are in never-ending battles for horsepower and track times, the pickup truck builders pursue torque and towing capacity, two things that the 2021 Ram Heavy Duty has improved enough to earn the coveted “best in class” designation, if only by a bit.
The titles go to the Ram 3500 with the high-output version of the turbocharged 6.7-liter Cummins straight-six. Horsepower is seemingly unchanged, but torque is up by 75 pound-feet to 1,075. This increase comes from additional boost from the turbo and additional fuel flow from the fuel injection system. The added torque also bests the Ford Super Duty’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel by 25 pound-feet, and the Chevy Silverado HD’s 6.6L Duramax V8 by 165. But both V8s beat the Cummins’ 400 horsepower; the Ford by 75 and the Chevy by 45.
As for towing, the Ram 3500’s maximum fifth-wheel towing capacity has increased from 35,100 pounds to 37,100 thanks to a redesigned gooseneck hitch. The new number just tops the Ford F-450 Super Duty’s previous record by 100 pounds. It also bests the Silverado 3500HD’s best by 1,100 pounds. Ford keeps the conventional tow rating crown (towing from a rear-mounted hitch) at 24,200 pounds with the F-450 compared to the Ram 3500’s 23,000 and the Chevy Silverado 3500HD’s 20,000.
One final update to the 2021 Ram Heavy Duty line is inside the truck. It’s now available with a digital rear-view mirror, switchable to a normal mirror. It should be handy for owners who regularly carry loads that obscure the rear window and, in turn, the rear-view mirror. The new Ram Heavy Duty models will be available at dealers this month.