On Monday, Chrysler released new figures about the capability of its Ram heavy-duty lineup — and in the competitive pickup segment, those are fighting words.
Production started Monday on the 2015 Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty trucks, and Chrysler is boasting about their capability.
The Ram 3500 has increased its torque rating by 15 to 865 pound-feet, and the payload is now 7,390 pounds while maintaining a tow rating of 30,000 pounds, making it the best in its class.
Chrysler and Ford have engaged in a battle of words, and Ford threatened legal action earlier this summer if Ram continues to claim it offers the best towing capability. Ford has sent Ram a cease-and-desist request to stop claiming best-in-class towing, said spokesman Mike Levine.
But that is exactly what Ram continues to do.
“Ram maintains leadership throughout its pickup line by offering best-in-class fuel economy with our Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at 28 mpg, best-in-class towing at 30,000 pounds, best-in-class power at 865 pound-feet, and best-in-class payload at 7,390 pounds with our Ram 3500,” said Ram brand chief Bob Hegbloom.
Torque, towing and payload figures are important to heavy-duty truck customers.
Ram has “intelligently engineered a better truck than our competitors, including a 30,000-pound towing monster,” said Mike Cairns, director of Ram truck engineering.
The dispute between the automakers dates back to mid-July, when Ford said the 2015 F-450 with four-wheel drive can tow 31,200 pounds, making it the king of heavy-duty trucks.
But Ford was talking about the F-450, which technically should classify as a class 4 truck, while the Ram 3500 is a smaller class 3 pickup that competes with the F-350.
Ford says its F-450 is light enough to qualify as a class 3, in part because Ford subtracts the weight of optional features.
While Ford uses its own method of calculating maximum payload, Chrysler uses the Society of Engineers testing criteria for its specifications. Ford said it will switch to the SAE standard starting with the new 2015 F-150. General Motors plans to switch to the standard for testing of its 2016 model heavy-duty pickups.
The 2015 Ram heavy-duty pickup comes with a choice of a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine, 6.4-liter Hemi V8 gasoline engine or 5.7-liter Hemi V8.
The Rams are built at Chrysler’s Saltillo assembly plant in Mexico.
Five years ago, Chrysler spun Ram off into its own brand.