2013 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 Test Drive

2013 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4

A luxurious Heavy Duty Hauler”

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Trucks used to be a utilitarian extension to car lines – at least in the pickup segment – even the truck grilles were similar to car grilles. Obviously, that’s all changed. The latest trend in pickup trucks is toward full size and heavy-duty luxury offerings, with specialized themes. All builders of today’s big trucks have a top-of-the-line or flagship model that is really “over-the-top” in terms of trim treatment. Ford had the King Ranch Edition, Chevrolet offers the Silverado High Country, Toyota has their 1794 Edition, and Ram’s version is the 2013 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4. All new full size trucks seem to be embroiled in a battle of the grilles, to see who can produce the biggest, boldest, in-your-face leading edge.

The Heavy Duty Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn is big enough to be proclaimed the state truck of Texas – not just for its gargantuan proportions, but also for its high level of capability along with its best-in-class tow rating and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating. The new 6.7-literCummins High-Output Turbo Diesel features best-in-class torque, more horses, B-20 biofuel capability and improved fuel economy.

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The standard engine for this big hauler is a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that delivers 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm along with 400 pound feet of torque. The optional 6.7-liter, OHV, 24-valve inline, liquid-cooled, Cummins Turbo Diesel engine is intercooled with electronic high-pressure common rail fuel injection. It produces 385 horsepower at 2,800 rpm with the G56 manual transmission or 370 horses with the 68RFE automatic transmission. 660 pound feet of torque are produced at 1,500 rpm with the manual gearbox or 800 lb.-ft with an automatic. For 3500 heavy-duty models, the torque level is 850 lb.-ft. at 1,600 rpm with the automatic. Engines are mounted longitudinally up front and drive either the rear wheels or all four in a 4×4 application with a transfer case. The drive shaft design is more robust to enhance capability and durability. A “Smart” exhaust brake delivers a smoother ride, while performance and durability has been improved with a new diesel cooling system. A segment-exclusive front-axle disconnect works with new transfer cases to boost fuel economy, and the powertrain warranty is 5 years/100,000 miles with a best-in-class 15,000 mile oil change interval on the Cummins diesel engine.

The transmissions are: a AS69RC 6-speed manual along with three 6-speed automatics for specific applications with two transfer case versions – manual and electric shift with 2WD, 4WD High, Neutral, 4WD Low operating modes.

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Cab configurations offered for the Ram 3500 are: a Regular Cab; Crew Cab or Mega Cab, and available bed sizes include: 6’3”; 6’4” or 8 ft. Availability of bed size is dependent upon cab configuration. Both single and Dual rear wheel applications are available.

New frames are made of high-strength 50 KSI steel, eight cross member construction, hydroformed main rails, fully boxed rear rails and optional 5th wheel / gooseneck hitch mounting provisions. New steering and suspension provides improved handling and drivability with best-in-class payload, frontal load (snow plow) and towing capabilities, and standard four-channel electronic stability control, and exclusive for dual-rear-wheel Ram 3500 Conventional, the trailer hitch system is upgraded to Class 5 with a 17,000-lb. load capability, 1,800 pounds of tongue weight for use with 2-inch and 2.5-inch receiver hitch.

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Next-generation Uconnect Access combines a new lineup of smart media centers with a new wireless platform that includes Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and Ram Heavy Duty is now available with a premium, cluster positioned, customizable, full-color 7-inch multiview display. The addition of new Powernet vehicle electrical architecture allows for new content with improved data speeds.

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New interior features include as standard a premium vehicle information center, steering wheel with controls, instrument panel, door panels, interior colors and new premium materials. There’s a new passive entry system –  Keyless Enter ’n Go, and remote central locking RamBox cargo management system and tailgate combined with door locks. New lighting features include, bi-functional halogen projector headlamps and improved quad projection headlamps combined with exclusive LED front turn signals, markers and tail lamps.

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Let’s face it, not everyone needs a heavy-duty full size hauler in the 3500 class, but if you happen to, or just want to tool around in an exceptionally impressive ride, this Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn is a beauty – especially inside. There’s decorative stitching galore and special western flavor touches that contribute to the luxurious ambience. The front seat backs even have special pouches that resemble saddlebags, completed with cover flaps and buckles. There are also plenty of wide-open spaces in this latest iteration Ram Heavy Duty pick’em-up.

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My test 2013 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab came in a 4×4 configuration, powered by the 6.7-liter , 6-cylinder Cummins Turbo diesel with the automatic transmission. The exterior was finished in a True Blue Pearl Coat, while the interior was executed in Canyon Brown/light Frost Beige tones with the decorative scroll stitching. The base sticker was set at $52,790, while the final price tag was elevated to $67,835 after adding a host of options including the diesel, which alone incurred an extra $7,795. The Heavy Duty 6-speed automatic transmission accounted for $2,650.

SUMMARY: Driving the 2013 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 is a breeze once you’ve managed to climb up into it – even with running boards, it presents a reach. The feeling when behind the wheel borders on a feeling of invincibility, with complete control over the universe. Well, close to that feeling anyway. Even unladen, this big Ram is comfortable and pleasant to wheel about. The ride quality without a load is surprisingly compliant, and the handling characteristics are very responsive for such a big craft.

The diesel engine lets you know that it is indeed a diesel, but if towing is in your future, this big Ram is up to virtually any task that it’s called upon to perform. And, a family of five can travel great distances in comfort in the spacious and luxurious interior.

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The entire Ram truck lineup may well is representative of being the best truck available in today’s hauler marketplace. The Laramie Longhorn is not inexpensive, but you definitely get what you pay for, and then some. It is without doubt, a “Gutsy” truck with glorious attributes.


SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4


Base Price: $52,790.
Price as Tested: $67,835.
Engine Type and Size: 6.7-liter OHV, 24-valve inline 6-cylinder ,liquid-cooled, Cummins Turbo Diesel, intercooled with electronic high-pressure common rail fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 385 @ 2,800 rpm with G56 manual transmission (370 hp with 68RFE with automatic transmission /. 385 hp with AS69RC automatic transmission in 3500).
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 660 @ 1,500 rpm with manual gearbox / 800 lb.-ft with automatic and 850 lb.-ft. at 1,600 rpm in 3500 models with automatic.
Transmission: AS69RC 6-speed manual and three 6-speed automatics for specific applications with two transfer case versions: manual and electric shift with 2WD, 4WD High, Neutral, 4WD Low operating modes.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / 4×4 / Transfer case.
Suspension: Front – Five-link with track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar, solid axle.
Rear – Hotchkiss leaf spring suspension, solid axle.
Brakes: Hydro Boost -assisted, four-wheel discs with twin-piston pin-slider caliper and ABS front and rear.
Tires: Firestone Transforce HT – LT 275/ 70 R18 mounted on six-spoke chrome clad alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 169.3 inches
Length Overall: 259.3 inches
Width: 79.1 inches
Height: 78.9 inches
Curb Weight: 7,932 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 31 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: Not required for vehicles in this weight range.
Drag Coefficient: Not Listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not Tested.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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