The most notable change for the 2012 Ram Heavy Duty lineup is the availability of a six-speed automatic transmission for trucks equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. What does that mean to an owner? Less gear hunting while towing heavy loads, which is always a plus. The transmission also performs automatic downshifts when decelerating. As it did last year, the Ram offers buyers a 6.7-liter turbo-diesel in-line six-cylinder engine that produces 650 lb-ft of torque with the standard six-speed manual transmission and 800 lb-ft with the optional six-speed automatic. The manual transmission has an ultra-low first-gear ratio, which makes hauling a breeze. Another benefit of diesel models is standard exhaust brake, which reduces brake fade and prolongs brake life. The Ram Heavy Duty pickup can be distinguished from its light-duty sibling by its larger grille and taller, louvered hood. The front fenders and the headlights are still shared with the 1500, as is the refined and technology-laden interior. To dampen some of the jostle that's inherent in big pickups, the HD Ram gets a pair of liquid-filled mounts between the rear of the cab and the frame. The off-road-ready Power Wagon has additional ground clearance, electric-locking front and rear differentials, electronic disconnecting sway bar, Bilstein shocks, 33-inch BFGoodrich off-road tires, underbody skid plate protection, a 4.56 axle ratio for hill climbing, and a custom-built 12,000-pound winch.
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