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2025 Ram Heavy Duty: What’s Coming & Will It Beat Ford?

Any time an OEM allows an extended amount of time to pass between vehicle redesigns, its fans tend to grow a bit antsy. Welcome to the world of heavy duty Ram truck owners, a group whose trucks haven’t been treated to any substantially tangible changes in over a decade. Sure, Ram 2500 and 3500 models have been graced with a stronger fully boxed frame, larger rear axles and a new 1,000 lb-ft of torque Cummins engine option over the years, but the same basic chassis, cab and bed configurations have been largely unchanged since their 2010 debut. Will we see all of that change for the 2025 model year?

Based on what’s been leaked out of Detroit, the always-busy automotive rumor mill and in being good students of Ram truck history, what follows is our best educated guess as to what you can expect to see in a ’25 Ram 2500 or 3500. Expect new front-end styling (which includes a redesigned grille), significant interior updating, an eight-speed automatic transmission to replace the notorious 68RFE six-speed, a higher output 6.7L Cummins diesel and higher towing capacity. Also, don’t rule out the possibility of Ram targeting Ford’s best-in-class 1,200 lb-ft numbers or its segment-leading 40,000-pound towing capacity. Hang on tight—a revolutionary new workhorse from Ram may be on the way.

Parting Ways With The 68RFE Transmission

Chrysler 68RFE Automatic Transmission Six Speed

For many Ram fans (and especially those partial to the Cummins), bidding farewell to the Chrysler 68RFE is the best news they could ask for. Since being brought to market for the ’07.5 model year, the electronic, six-speed automatic has been plagued with a myriad of problems—the biggest of which is the fact that it has a hard time handling the torque output of the 6.7L inline-six Cummins. And despite the addition of the “commercial grade” Aisin AS69RC automatic in 2013 for use behind high output Cummins models, it too never fully lived up to customer’s expectations. This is unequivocally true in Rams that’ve been treated to added horsepower and torque—something Cummins fans find all too easy to achieve.

ZF-Built 8-Speed

ZF 8HP75 Automatic Diesel Transmission

Any automotive enthusiast will tell you ZF Friedrichshafen AG builds a tough transmission. In fact, they build lots of them—including various eight-speed automatics. It’s widely believed that a diesel-specific version of the ZF 8HP75 (or similar) will be charged with efficient, reliable power transfer in ’25 heavy duty Rams. In hosts of other applications, automatic ZF transmissions have proven capable of handling well north of their maximum torque input rating (see our work on the BMW 335d here, a car that once came with a compound turbo’d inline-six diesel), and the 8HP75 currently in use behind the 6.4L Hemi has shown itself to be tough-as-nails thus far. Look for the diesel-specific eight-speed in ’25 Rams to wear the name “ZF Powerline” or “PowerLine 8AT.”

Will The 6.7L Cummins See An Increase In Horsepower And Torque?

6.7L Cummins High Output Ram 3500 Diesel Engine

There is high speculation that one Cummins engine option will be offered in 2025—meaning no more high output vs. standard output decision to worry about (like being forced into a 3500 model in order to get that other-worldly torque number from the H.O. mill). But what will the new, one-size-fits-all power rating be? Will Ram and Cummins challenge Ford’s class-dominating figures of 500 hp and 1,200 lb-ft on its high output 6.7L Power Stroke? In keeping with Ram’s recent history, don’t expect horsepower to match Ford’s V8, but also don’t be surprised to see it produce 450 hp. Peak torque is anyone’s guess at this point, but definitely prepare yourself for a rating that tops 1,100 lb-ft.

A New Chassis

Fifth Gen Ram Heavy Duty Truck Frame

If our higher horsepower, bigger torque Cummins prediction proves true, it’s a step in the right direction for challenging Ford. However, we have to believe that owning the best-in-class towing accolade is something Ram is anxious to achieve again. To get there, it will take a redesigned or vastly revised chassis. Its last major chassis changes took place more than a decade ago. Expect 2025 Ram 2500 and 3500’s to feature thicker steel frame rails, but also a frame that’s longer and supports a few additional inches of wheelbase. This will allow Ram to rival the length Ford and GM now enjoy, which enables their short bed models to be roughly 6-inches longer than Ram’s.

Gargantuan Towing & Payload Ratings

Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Pickup Truck Towing

So now that we’ve painted a picture of a 450 hp, 1,100 lb-ft Cummins-powered Ram heavy-duty that’s longer, stronger and more stable than ever before, how much will a properly equipped 3500 model be rated to tow and haul? Besting GM’s HD trucks is easy—and ’24 model Rams already have that one in the bag—but competing with Ford’s F-450 for all-out supremacy is the big kahuna. In the towing department, the number to beat is 40,000 pounds (via gooseneck hitch). As for payload, beating Ford’s class-topping 8,000-pound figure may be in Ram’s crosshairs as well (its ’24 models can currently haul as much as 7,680 pounds in the bed).

All-New Interior

2025 Ram Truck Rebel Trim Interior

It’s no secret that Ram has fallen behind the competition when it comes to interior options, so without question the gadgets and tech offered on the new, DT generation (1500) need to be present in Ram’s ’25 Heavy Duty’s. Hopefully, the available 14.5-inch central Uconnect infotainment touchscreen in the ’25 1500’s makes the cut, as well as the 10.3-inch passenger side heads-up display… And how about the infinitely configurable, 12.0-inch driver information screen the 1500s were treated to? With better tech and materials offered in its upscale trims, Ram can easily bring its high-end truck customers back to the table.

Redesigned Body

Ram 3500 Exterior Redesign New Front End Styling

This is something Ram fans have literally been waiting forever to see. It didn’t happen in 2019. It didn’t happen in 2023 (as some had suggested it would). And now here we are, steamrolling toward model year 2025. This time around, we think it’s a guarantee. Expect Ram to garnish its ‘25s with new front-end styling: fresh headlights, a brand-new grille, new bumpers (front and rear) and we wouldn’t be surprised to find taillights that mirror the redesigned units on the new 1500 model trucks. As for the cab, aluminum has not been alluded to yet, so we presume that will remain steel—albeit with more space inside given the longer chassis we expect to see.

Onboard Power

Onboard External Power 2025 Ram 2500 Bed

Providing truck owners with external power has become the norm in recent years, with Ford and GM ahead of the game. Don’t be surprised to find onboard power present on ’25 model Ram 2500 and 3500s. After all, Ram has already added it to the ’25 half-ton line. The latter allows you to power tools, music, lights, or even home appliance necessities in the event of a power outage. It boasts two 110-volt power outlets and, if you need to switch power sources, you can do it with the help of an available 2-kilowatt inverter.

It's Happened Before

2019 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Long Horn Cummins Diesel

That’s right. Ram has led the field in the past. From seemingly out of nowhere, the Auburn Hills truck maker launched a ’13 model year 3500 that blew the competition away. It could out-tow Ford’s F-450 and its gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 37,600 pounds dwarfed Ford’s then 33,000-pound limit. Fast-forward to 2019 and Ram shocked the world again with the release of the high output 6.7L Cummins, an all-new, CGI block inline-six that turned out 1,000 lb-ft of torque (becoming the first light-duty diesel engine to break into four-digit territory). That same year, properly spec’d Ram 3500s owned a best-in-class gooseneck tow rating (for a period) of 35,100 pounds. The moral of the story is that anything is possible, so stay tuned for official word from Ram later this year.

  • As proof that we’ve been right before, remember when we predicted the 2020 6.7L Power Stroke would blow past the 1,000 lb-ft barrier four months before it came true? So do we…
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