The United States is in the middle of a great war, one that isn't being fought with military power or tax payer's money. Of course, we're referring to the pickup truck war currently taking much of Ford, GM, and Ram's human and financial assets—one that's about one-upping the competition and rolling out bigger and "badder" TV and YouTube ads. The latest victim of this ruthless war: Ram's new Heavy Duty pickup truck.
According to a presentation made by Chevrolet during the recent introduction of its all-new heavy-duty pickup truck, the Silverado HD can out-accelerate the also all-new Ram Heavy Duty while towing an 18,000-pound trailer.
To be specific, the data gathered (as shown in the photo below) explains that a Silverado 3500 DRW (dual rear wheel) accelerates faster from zero to 60, 25 to 60, and 40 to 60 miles per hour than a Cummins-powered Ram 3500 DRW. Why does this matter? Because the Ram boasts a higher torque figure than the Silverado, which—in theory—should make it more capable at towing. The Silverado offers 910 pound-feet of torque on tap, while the Ram reigns supreme with a staggering 1,000 pound-feet.
There are other differences besides torque, of course. The Silverado delivers 445 horsepower while the Ram gets the job done with "only" 400. When it comes to transmissions, the Silverado boasts a fancy 10-speed automatic, which offers four more gears than the Ram's old-school six-speed. Lastly, despite the differences in torque, the Silverado claims a maximum towing capacity of 35,500 pounds, while the Ram is rated at 35,100.
According to Chevrolet, upgraded drive-line components help the Silverado achieve maximum torque in first gear without needing to electronically limit torque. On paper, 910 pound-feet of torque isn't best-in-class, but yet through clever engineering they were able to obtain the current best-in-class towing number.
During the presentation, Chevy explained that they compared both vehicles at the Milford Proving Grounds, where they attached to an 18,000-pound trailer to both of them and performed the acceleration tests. At the end of the day, the Silverado reached 60 mph a whopping 2.6 seconds quicker than the Ram with the more powerful, high-output diesel engine.
Of course, the two weigh different amounts and there is different gearing on each truck (and the gearing delta is different by design), but Chevy claims they are able to do more with the additional four gears in the 10-speed transmission compared to the six-speed in the Ram.
While we can't talk about actual driving impressions of the new Silverado HD yet, Chevrolet's own testing data seems to make a case for higher/better gearing over a pure torque figure.