We're starting to hear some rumblings about the next-generation Cummins turbo-diesel engine -- which makes up about 85 percent of all Ram HD sales -- being slated for installation in 2014 models.
Another hurdle in emissions regulations is due for the 2014 model year, and we hear that Cummins may move away from its relatively expensive precious-metal catalyst strategy in favor of the proven urea-injection technology. (Ram HDs don't need to use urea-injection fluid tanks, whereas Ford's Power Stroke and GM's Duramax engines use urea injection.)
Because of a different EPA regulation for commercial chassis-cab trucks, the Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 work trucks already use diesel exhaust fluid to neutralize nitrous oxide emissions, while the catalytic-converter-like filters of the non-commercial Ram 2500 HD and Ram 3500 HD are used elsewhere, and the costs of those catalysts are climbing.
That makes the possibility of steering toward the less-expensive industry-standard DEF more likely. The only real question, especially since Ram already has the technology on other HDs, is why wouldn't they start putting the new urea-injection technology on all Ram HDs starting Jan. 1, 2013, to be the first to meet the stricter emissions regulations?
That would make sense to us, but then again we haven't heard anything definitive yet.