The 2020 Ram Heavy Duty was recently spotted trundling around Detroit totally undisguised, giving us our best look yet at the big trucks that are due sometime next year. Spotted in almost every single trim level, we now know what to expect from the company’s biggest, most capable consumer pickups.
Foremost, keen-eyed observers will notice that the trucks seen here make use of the current-generation Heavy Duty’s passenger cab. That comes as a bit of a shock, given how thoroughly updated the 2019 Ram 1500’s passenger cab is. However, our spy photographers told us to expect a massive interior overhaul for the 2020 Ram Heavy Duty lineup, meaning that although the trucks will receive a carryover cab structure, nearly everything the passengers see and touch will be new or significantly revised.
Otherwise, styling is wholly updated. The Ram Heavy Duty’s larger front end is dressed with a bolder forward-leaning grille, bookended by headlights with a sculpted, chiseled design. The grille trim surrounds the headlights, underscoring how much larger the front clip of the Heavy Duty is compared to the 1500.
Following in the footsteps of the 2019 1500, the 2020 Heavy Duty will ditch Ram’s formerly signature crosshairs grille across the lineup. Each trim level gets its own grille design, with the Bighorn featuring black plastic mesh with a silver RAM logo in the middle. The Laramie Longhorn (and presumably the Laramie) gets billet-inspired grille inserts and a chrome shell—this grille design looks a bit ungainly, to be honest. The top-of-the-line Ram Limited gets a unique chrome mesh with the trim level’s signature nostrils. And finally, the off-road–ready Power Wagon boasts a distinctive open-element grille segment surrounded by a mesh “moustache.”
Around the back, expect a new bed comprised of higher-strength steel than the current Heavy Duty, as well as a composite tailgate to save weight. We also expect other fat-trimming measures to include aluminum skins for the doors and hood.
Our sources tell us to expect mostly carryover powertrain options, starting with a 383hp 5.7L Hemi V-8 standard on most models. A 6.4L Hemi with 410 hp should come standard on the Power Wagon and be available on other models. Ram will also recommit to the 6.7L Cummins turbodiesel I-6, optimizing it for more horsepower and class-competitive torque. The current diesel can put out up to 385 hp and 930 lb-ft—expect at least 400 hp and as much torque when the pickup hits the market. Finally, there’s good news for do-it-yourselfers, as the Ram Heavy Duty will continue to be available with a six-speed manual transmission on the low-output version of the Cummins (and low is relative, as it’ll still have 350 hp and 660 lb-ft).
That aforementioned Power Wagon will likely be the most capable version of itself yet, boasting sway-bar disconnect and Ram’s novel Articulink front suspension for improved articulation. There will also be an integrated 12,000-pound Warn winch in the front bumper, as well as authentic locking differentials front and rear. Given how excellent the current Ram Power Wagon is and taking into account the alterations made to the 2019 1500, we’re confident the next-generation off-roader will be a slight improvement on its predecessor.
We expect the 2020 Ram Heavy Duty lineup to make its official debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Such a January debut would put the Heavy Duty exactly a year behind the 1500, meaning we could expect an on-sale date sometime in the middle of next year.
Source: SpiedBilde Photography