In addition to frame, powertrain and suspension enhancements, there are other new features added to the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty pickups. Central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage with one push of a button. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam head lamps are also offered.
Ram Delivers factory CNG pickup
Ram Trucks unveiled a 2500 HD Heavy Duty CNG pickup that is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 and features both compressed gas storage tanks and an 8-gal. gasoline fuel tank. (Canadian customers can opt for a 35-gal. tank.)
The pickup’s 4.6-cu.-ft. (130-liter) CNG tanks are located in the forward portion of the 8-ft. bed. Both tanks are mounted to the frame and covered by a painted 50-ksi high-strength steel cover. The CNG filler connection is located next to the gasoline fuel neck and accessed through the fuel filler door. Range on CNG alone is estimated to be 255 miles, while the backup supply of gasoline extends the range to 367 total miles.
The 5.7-liter HEMI bi-fuel engine has been modified to run on CNG as well as gasoline. Redesigned cylinder heads with specifically designed CNG-compatible valves and valve seat materials allow the engine to burn both fuels. It also gets a second, CNG-specific fuel rail and a set of injectors. New spark plugs improve combustion and durability, and a new powertrain control module allows the HEMI to seamlessly operate on either of the two fuel sources.
Fuel system operation is automatic. It transitions from CNG to gasoline with little discernible difference in operation or capability. Although a small amount of gasoline is used during engine startup, the pickup runs exclusively on CNG. If the CNG tanks are emptied, the vehicle will automatically switch to gasoline.
GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado updated
The big news from Chevrolet and GMC is yet to be announced, as General Motors prepares to unveil a new platform for model year 2014 1500 pickup trucks in December. But there are changes to the current pickup line, as well.
New for 2013, the 6.0L powertrain now features powertrain grade braking in the normal transmission mode. This feature was previously incorporated only when the Tow/Haul mode was activated. It uses engine torque to help slow the vehicle on descents, which helps to reduce brake wear.
Powertrain grade braking is now included in all six-speed automatic transmissions. This feature reduces brake rotor temperatures 100° C on grade tests by downshifting transmission gears, thereby reducing brake applications on long downhill conditions.
Under the hood, the 397-hp Duramax turbo-diesel is now available on 3500HD Chassis Cabs and box delete Silverado/Sierra trucks. Previously, these configurations were available with the 335-hp version of the Duramax.
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra pickups also continue to offer proven V8 power with an EPA highway estimate of 21 mpg for mainstream two-wheel or four-wheel-drive models, and a 22-mpg highway estimate for the Silverado XFE. The Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra XFE 1500 (two-wheel-drive crew cab) incorporates unique aerodynamic enhancements, a 5.3L/six-speed automatic powertrain and other details. It also boasts a towing capacity of 7,000 lbs.
The Silverado Hybrid 1500 returns for 2013, delivering fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway, while offering the Silverado’s traditional capabilities, including a 6,100-lb. towing capacity. It is the industry’s only hybrid full-size truck.
A lineup of small-block V8 engines and six-speed automatic transmissions complement the 1500 chassis by enabling a maximum payload capacity of 1,937 lbs. When equipped with the available max trailering package and 6.2L V8, the Silverado 1500 can tow up to 10,700 lbs.
Variable valve timing is standard on all V8 engines and cylinder-deactivating Active Fuel Management is incorporated on 5.3L engines. These technologies help to optimize engine performance and efficiency.
GM adds bi-fuel option
General Motors adds a factory-installed option for natural gas bi-fuel versions of the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD extended cab pickups. These vehicles are powered by a Vortec 6.0-liter V8 engine that features hardened valves and valve seats that enable it to run on gasoline or CNG.