For a hardcore trucker with a penchant for Western heritage, the Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab dually 4x4 with the 8-foot box arguably is the ultimate pickup.
Along with big-league capability that comes with a Goliath packing a Cummins Turbo Diesel, the Laramie Longhorn dually flaunts Western-themed adornments, inside and out. Base priced at $57,340, the beefy pickup is both a feature-packed show horse and highly efficient workhorse - one with more muscle than ever.
Extra kick recently became available for $500 with an upgraded 6.7-liter High-Output Cummins Turbo Diesel I-6. This beast cranks out 350 horsepower at 3,000 rpm - the same peak rating as the standard 2011 engine, but with a new calibration allowing it to produce 40-plus additional horsepower at typical highway cruising speeds.
Importantly, torque is boosted from the standard Cummins' 650 lb.-ft. at 1,500 rpm to an earth-shaking 800 lb.-ft. at 1,600 rpm. For 2012, the High Output engine will be standard with automatic transmissions, and the 650 lb.-ft. version will be paired with the six-speed manual.
The standard rear-axle ratio is 3.73, and a switch to the $595 Max Tow Package with a 4.10 rear-axle ratio and other strengthening enhancements greatly boosts capability. Towing capacity with the High-Output Cummins is 12,900 pounds with a 3.73 axle ratio and 19,100 pounds with the Max Tow Package. Powered by the standard Cummins Diesel, towing capacities are 12,300 and 14,300 pounds, respectively. The transmission is a six-speed automatic and the 4WD transfer case is electric shift-on-the-fly, with modes selected with a twist of a dash-mounted knob.
This big Ram's standard exhaust brake is especially appreciated when hauling a heavy load downhill. It reduces brake fade, prolongs brake life, and provides confidence and safety.
Dressed in an eye-grabbing two-tone paint scheme, this most luxurious Ram Truck ever is available in five exterior paint colors, including Sagebrush with White Gold ($225 extra), which isn't shared with other Rams. The Laramie Longhorn's running boards match the lower-body color and are topped with rubber step pads.
Adorning the body are distinctive Western-style badges, with a look reminiscent of championship rodeo belt buckles. Tacked to the front door sides are large chrome metal badges commemorating the special edition and signifying the model designation, and a Laramie Longhorn Edition badge with painted accents is mounted on the tailgate. More flash comes with bright 17-inch aluminum wheels, punctuated with Laramie Longhorn Edition-badged center caps. Standard tires are LT235/80R-17E all-season tires, and the test truck is upgraded with LT235/80R-17E on/off-road tires, adding $200 to the price tag.
Inside, the distinction of the special-edition truck is taken to an even higher level. There's premium leather throughout the interior. Upholstery is available in a choice of Dark Slate Gray
and Russet, or Dark Brown and Light Pebble Beige. Bark Brown leather gets the distinction of laser-etched filigree on the seat bolsters.
A stitched-on leather Laramie Longhorn badge adorns the double-stacked center console and backrests, with a laser-etched badge on Bark Brown seats and a branded badge on Russet-colored seats. Contrasting piping and special stitching also contribute to the interior's premium effect.
Saddlebag-inspired flap-closure pockets with tooled-metal buckles, attached to the backs of the front seats, further drive home the Western theme and give rear-seat passengers small-storage utility.
The dashboard also benefits from the Laramie Longhorn designer touch. A highlight is a custom-look instrument panel, featuring six liquid-chrome gauge rings with painted taupe-silver backgrounds. Filigree patterns are etched on the bezels and faces of the speedometer and tachometer, and the speedometer wears a small Laramie Longhorn Edition badge.
Burled walnut wood graining accents the pickup's center stack. It's specially stained to complement the chosen interior theme - Russet or Bark Brown. The test truck has a combo Light Pebble Beige and Bark Brown color scheme.
The passenger-side upper glove-box door is adorned with a full-length, filigree-engraved aluminum band and Laramie Longhorn Edition badge. Even the floor mats wear a polished-metal Laramie Longhorn Edition badge, and are embellished with a barbed-wire pattern. More style is added with snap-in/removable inserts made from color-flecked Berber-style weave.
Front power-adjustable seats are comfortable and supportive, and feature the pampering of heat and ventilation. Headroom and legroom are excellent up front and in the 60/40-split-folding heated rear bench.
This spoil-you-rotten pickup has a long list of standard comfort-and-convenience extras. Among those are: ParkView rear backup camera; ParkSense rear park-assist system; power-adjustable pedals with memory; remote-start system; power chrome heat T-Tow Mirrors with puddle and signal lamps; Garmin Navigation System; automatic dual-zone temperature control; 506-watt, nine-speaker Alpine premium sound system; power-sliding rear window; and Sirius Satellite Radio with one-rear subscription.