By on December 5, 2018

Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

The Ford Super Duty line grew fairly grotesque in its latest iteration, and yesterday’s reveal of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD turned some people’s hair white with fright. I’ll admit the Chevy’s design works (looks better than the Silverado 1500, IMHO), but it’s jarring nonetheless.

With so much styling excess on hand, this writer often calls up images of the current, aging Ram 2500 and 3500 and breathes a sigh of relief. Soothing nerves since 2010, the Ram HD is. As Fiat Chrysler has now worked out the production bugs plaguing its 2019 Ram 1500, the stage is set for a larger follow-up. Next year brings the first new heavy duty Ram in a decade, and fear was high that FCA might join its Detroit comrades in going way out and wild.

Breathe easy. We’re here with completely uncamouflaged photos of the 2020 Ram HD line to show you there’s nothing to fear.

Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

There’s no crosshair grille, but that design feature was on its way out even before the smaller 1500 dropped it altogether for the 2019 model year. Everywhere else, the 2020 HD is pure Ram, drawing on the styling cues of both the current model and the next-gen 1500.

You’ll notice the headlights haven’t migrated to some new location, nor has the bumper lost its prominence. The 2020 Ram HD is, quite frankly, the safe choice for those easily offended by modern styling trends.

Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

Sure, the front fender bulges aren’t quite as pronounced, but the HD’s flanks still resemble what came before. With its 1500, Ram offered a meaningful evolution in styling, not a revolution, backing up the proposition with greatly increased quality, comfort, and driving dynamics. Portals in the HD’s front bumper house foglights and tow hooks and manage to come off looking less awkward than on the smaller truck. Headlights and grille are underscored by branches of chrome.

Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

As for the logo, dare we call this Ram’s front-end brand advertising subtle? Compared to some Super Duty models and yesterday’s Silverado, I think we can. One new addition to the new truck is a model designation badge appearing on the sides of the hood.

Certainly, the horizontal slat grille makes a glitzy entrance, but there’s other trims (and grilles) to be had. The cavalcade of Rams that cruised past the camera included a Limited, Limited MegaCab, Laramie Longhorn, and a Big Horn. Jackpot for the photographer.

Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

Out back, the taillights are sure not to offend anyone enamored with the current model’s rear lenses. The RamBox makes its return, too. While the photos don’t show us what’s inside, expect an updated interior with an 8.4-inch touchscreen running FC’s Uconnect 4 infotainment system. Like the 1500, the 2500 and 3500 models should also gain an available 12-inch screen. There’s be more than enough dash acreage for it.

Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

While GM promises a new gas engine for its HD, there’s no fancy new mill on tap for this rig. The familiar 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is poised to return to base models when the next-gen Ram HD starts production in Warren, Michigan, with a 6.4-liter V8 and 6.7-liter Cummins diesel inline-six rounding out the powertrain options. Will the diesel-only six-speed manual continue in the Ram HD line? That we can’t answer.

Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

While no Power Wagon variant cruised past this shutterbug, it’s hard to believe Ram would drop that variant. It kept the Rebel alive with the new 1500, and American automakers aren’t in the habit of discontinuing macho trims. Again, rest easy.

When should we expect an official glimpse of the 2020 Ram HD? Seems like January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit would be a fine place for it.

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

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55 Comments on “Spied: 2020 Ram HD, Your Conservative Alternative to GM Design Experiments...”


  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    This is a face that a contractor, rancher, or farmer will love.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I like it. I guess it really is possible to make an HD truck in 2019 that doesn’t look like it belongs in a Hellraiser movie.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Actually retains some cues from the old design language up-front.

    Looks better than the half-ton, IMHO!

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    Camera cuts to Jim Hackett furiously scrubbing predator-faced F250s off his whiteboard.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Looks a heck of a lot better than the upcoming Silverado HD.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It’s kind of a mashup of the current HD, and the 2019 half-ton. I like it.

    I don’t think the Ford Super Duty is ugly; sure, it’s boxy, and the four-headlights-on-all-the-time thing was weird at first. The Chevy? It’s egregiously ugly.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    At least there is a semblance of subtlety with this grille. I guess GM decided that instead of billboards, commercials, they could just park a bunch of trucks next to each other to promote the brand.

    Ram is methodically picking off F and GM, one magazine recently named it “truck of the year”, I’m not a truck person but am slowly unwinding my F stock. How in the hell can RAM seem to not fall into the trap of ludicrous chrome/ brash gaping trucks? It’s like a Toyota design engineer snuck into both companies and guided them into the monstrosities they are.

    Kudos RAM for somewhat keeping some of the bling off the grille.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      “At least there is a semblance of subtlety with this grille.”

      Everything is relative. This is less garish than the Chevy, but there is absolutely nothing subtle about a 5×15″ “RAM” logo in your rear view mirror.

      Masculinity in the US has become so fragile and external that this stupidity is what we have been reduced to.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You obviously consume too much soy, and consume food from Styrofoam containers that contain large amounts of testosterone inhibitors. You probably also cook with non-stick pans.

        Don’t do these things, as they disrupt and diminish your free testosterone, amp estrogen levels, and shrink your penis, testicles, drive and stamina (and based on your past comments, you clearly can’t afford to lose nary a centimeter of what you had to work with in the first place).

        Eat clean, grass-fed red meats, clean seafood (wild caught/harvested in clean, cold Atlantic or Pacific waters), and you might be able to raise even your virility (ev3n if you are clearly working off of a very low baseline level).

        Everything is relative, and things should be taken in with balance.

        This truck is less garish than the F Series HD, and FAR less ridiculous than the Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors (GM) Silverado HD, which has an up level trim known as The Total Package.

        This RAM is way better styled, inside and out, better built, more reliable and durable, with more American-made components, by a wide margin, than any Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors Silverado or Sierra.

        It looks better, drives better, and is more capable for real truck-focused duties than the Chinese General Motors products it competes with, and is a way better value, as an added kicker.

        Stop consuming so much soy and hormone disrupting chemicals, and salvage what’s left of your manhood, so that you one day don’t succumb to your well-founded insecurities and buy something as atrocious as the Silverado HD, looking positively diminutive and ridiculous behind that (canted/crooked) steering wheel.

  • avatar
    George B

    I like how the non-chrome design works well for a basic work truck.

  • avatar

    Handsome truck and I LOVE that brown color!

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Not too bad looking though the second generation is my all-time favorite design. Didn’t really like the fourth generation as much.

    I have a 2006 Ram HD, to which my wife says the front end looks like a truck version of the Dodge Caliber (headlights?). I actually like it and it is my second all-time favorite design of the Ram but can see where she is coming from, lol.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “fear was high that FCA might join its Detroit comrades in going way out and wild.”

    Yes, thank God they kept that massive chrome grille tasteful and understated. The top of that grille looks like it would be about even with my chin

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    A clean, simple, uncluttered, and timeless design which is so lacking in the new Chevies and Fords. If Ram can keep the quality up they will be knocking at both Ford’s and GM’s doors. I hope the GMC design has not been ruined. I do like the looks of the Colorado and Canyon.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      RAM is making progress against Ford and GM. I’m not a RAM fan but I would choose a RAM over a GM pickup any day.

      I hope it never comes to that for me since my #1 choice in HD 3/4-ton and 1-ton pickup trucks is the F250 DRW and F350 DRW respectively.

      My brethren in the Traveling Elks seem to share that view. Very few GM and RAM tow vehicles in our group.

      Even the low-trim XL in the Ford line gives the owner everything he needs to tow and haul in comfort. Migrating up to the King Ranch trim is like driving from your Easy-chair in your living room with all the comforts of home. Yeah, there are a few in our group who went whole hog on the last vehicle they will ever buy.

      Neither RAM nor GM can even come close to what Ford offers in HD trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I have never… NEVER… had good luck with a Ford product. It was always something just to keep it running even halfway decently.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Vulpine, neither have I. And I owned several Ford products over the decades, to include a 2006 F-150 XLT which let me down when I needed it most, being self-employed.

          My favorite brand since 2008 is Toyota, and I have owned two Tundras since 2011. All Toyota products have given me excellent service without problems.

          But if I ever NEED an HD truck, there really is only ONE on the market for the discerning aficionado, and that’s the F250, F350 and up. They may not be totally problem-free, but they are the best on the market.

          My son’s 2015 F350 DRW has accumulated lots of miles since it was bought. It had some issues but the local dealer cleared it up under warranty.

          And it may be simpler just to trade it for a brand new one when the factory warranty expires.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Similarly, my mom has bad luck with her Tundra (so they all must be bad!) bought new, babied, garaged, maintained by the book. One problem after another. One of the most aggravating was when it would not come out of PARK.

            Under warranty, the dealer said she had to have jump-started it with “reversed polarity” on the battery and blown the little fuse for the shift release… They wouldn’t pay for the tow or labor. What a bunch of crap. Reversing the polarity would’ve done a lot more damage.

            Then it would die while driving, repeatedly once up to temp, just shut off, but would restart every time. The dealer said “Sorry, it’s throwing no codes”, and was happy to try to sell her all sort of needless, unrelated services… “NEXT!”

            Screw Toyota.

            I changed the fuel pump, with no luck. Then I guessed the Crank Position Sensor. Bingo!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, I was very leery about buying my first Tundra in 2011 to replace my troublesome 2006 F150.

            But there was this guy by the name of Binder Dundett on one of the automotive sites I visited and he was impressed by his 2009 Tundra. He had driven Detroit iron until then.

            He said on the board that he serviced telemetry and satcom gear at Edwards AFB as a contractor, worked out of his Tundra in the desert and kept it idling or running for at least 10 hours each day. He said he never had a problem with it.

            I asked to go private and we exchanged email addresses and he was instrumental in me switching from Detroit iron to Tundra.

            And he was right. Tundra was the best two trucks I ever owned.

            I lost contact with the guy and don’t know what happened to him.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: I’m strongly looking at the probability of a BEV pickup when I finally replace my recently-purchased Colorado. On the immediate or near-immediate market, the Rivian looks like the top contender. That may change as a lot can happen in 8-10 years.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, indeed, a lot can happen in 8 – 10 years. Not only with cars and trucks, but also with people, i.e. who will still be around and who will be long gone.

            The G.H.W. Bush memorial brought that reality to mind.

            But whatever happens, I know you will do what’s right for you and yours. You didn’t get where you are now by making the wrong decisions.

            So, best of luck. Maybe by then cars and trucks won’t have any wheels and levitation will be the norm.

            When I was a kid, many years ago, that seemed to be the forecast for future vehicles, but it never came to pass (yet).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Electromagnetic or anti-gravitic levitation is rather unlikely for the global highways any time soon (100 years from now? Who knows?) On the other hand, aerodynamic lift is a fairly well-known art and it is improving at a remarkable pace; to where a tiny toy that used to weigh less than one ounce is now big enough and strong enough to lift multiple people using only battery power. Who knows where THAT will be in another 10 to 15 years!

        • 0 avatar
          PentastarPride

          Doesn’t most of the Ford HD diesels from the early/mid-2000s exist as Chinese washing machines (if they aren’t still on the road with their second or third engine)? It seems like those that exist are on their last legs and driven by teenaged boys or guys in their early 20s.

          Ram makes a comfortable truck. My 2006 is a Laramie and is very nice (even though it was made during the Daimler days). The Resistol Edition (upgraded Laramie) is VERY nice.

          • 0 avatar
            pdog_phatpat

            Yes. Every single one is now a washing machine. Because you said so. I imagine you have some super genuine links to back that up, right?

        • 0 avatar
          pdog_phatpat

          Now you know what its like to own a GM.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @pdog_phatpat: I currently own a GM. I choose to reserve judgement until it has a few years on it. It didn’t take long at all for me to discover problems in any of my Fords.

            But personally, I prefer the RAM… they just weren’t building the right-size truck for my needs and desires.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    “…there’s nothing to fear.”

    Well, maybe there’s one thing … Crossing the street in front of this massive prow.

    The truck looks nice, however.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Eww eww eww, send it back! All that noise around the headlights, the filler panels, the droopy turn signals, the multiple crests on the hood, this may as well be that vaporware hunday pickup.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    Interesting since it was Dodge (Ram) that started this grill war back in 1994. I’m no fan of FCA or their products, but you have to give credit where credit is due. Prior to 1994, Ram had 7% of the truck market, they are now up to 22%. (Please correct me if that should be referencing “full-size” truck market.)

    Ram just leads Ford and GM around by the nose (grill?) and stays several steps ahead of them.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The ride quality of the half-ton RAM is what draws many buyers away from the other brands.

      The RAM 2500 and the RAM 3500 do not have the same supple ride but are more like the offerings of Ford and GM in those same classes.

      The 5.7L RAM V8 is the better engine on the market except for the all-aluminum 5.7L DOHC 32-valve V8 in the Tundra. We owned three of those engines and they truly are flawless, smooth running, and trouble-free.

      At one time only Ferrari offered such an engine in a production vehicle.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Doug-g
    Dodge was the first with the high grill, low headlights and fenders you could set your drink/lunch box on. But it was that and the turbo Cummins engine that brought them from the brink of cancellation by the K-car pushing nazi.

    The Cummins showed up around ’89 or ’90, but before that, it was just about strictly fleet sales. Who else would put up with basically a ’73 pickup with very few updates, if at all.

    • 0 avatar
      doug-g

      @DenverMike

      Prior the 1994, Dodge was last redone for the 1972 model year. And I remember when the Cummins showed up because I knew a couple of retired RV’s and all of a sudden they were talking about Dodge pickups and I couldn’t understand why. Interestingly, GM brought out new pickups in 1973 and did little to update them (save a slightly redone front end design in about 1981) thru 1987. Perhaps this is why Ford is where it is now.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It was the F-250 4X4 commercials pulling a Chevy up a steep hill of cinder blocks, then next year a dodge too, towing one and one piggyback that broke it wide open for Ford trucks.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Fiat is certainly going for MEH with the new Rams. The ugly tallness of it doesnt help. Lots of filler. Certainly better than the GM. Yikes stripes. Ford had nothing to worry about between the 2.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The base truck above looks the best, just the way I like them. Red too. Silver steelies (?), raised white-letter tires, mono-chrome, satin-black mesh grill, etc.

    I hate too much chrome.

    I’d just paint the bumpers red to match, maybe scuff and paint the chrome “RAM” on the grill gloss-black.

    A rubber floor would be a bonus.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    I wonder if this aggressive monster pickup styling will finally peak and jump the shark eventually? Just how tall and vertical and gaping mouth can pickup front ends become?
    Reminds me of the 50-60’s tail fins trend, the difference being the tail fins thing burned out in about 5 years’s time. This massive front-end pickup truck thing has been building for decades.
    The possibility of a front end camera to see past the high flat hood and over the grille someone mentioned in another thread recently is not really a ridiculous concept at this point.

  • avatar

    Gack! How are the grills of these Detroit trucks (and Toyotas) not the styling brethren of the 1957-60 tail-finned big cars?

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I would still love a new Power Wagon with the refresh. If I were given a new Chevy HD it would be white and I would name it after Blofeld’s cat.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    So Ram, you ALMOST made a truck that’s not vomitous to look at by today’s ultra-low standards, but then you had to go and give it a narrow track and a jacked-up ride height that together make it look tippy and uncertain. Come on man, either fix the wheel offset or widen the track, and lose the Pep Boys body lift kit.

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