America’s love affair with the pick-up truck moved up a notch this week. The Detroit motor show saw the unveiling of what will become the replacement for the Ford F-150 – the most popular vehicle in the US.
The Chevrolet Silverado – GM’s top truck – and its sibling, the GMC Sierra, were also premiered in their latest guises.
But these three are trifling wimps next to the latest model from Ram Trucks, Chrysler’s commercial vehicle division.
The Ram 3500 Heavy Duty presumably has many talents, but it is a combination of massive engine, beefy transmission and an ultra-tough frame that conspires to create the single greatest figure to ever feature on a spec sheet.
Towing capacity: 13,607kg.
Think about that. Here we have something that is available in dealerships, alongside the Alfa Giulietta-based Dodge Dart, that could tow 12 Fiat 500s, a Eurofighter Typhoon or two Mercedes Actros trucks.
I’m fairly confident that, if it was on wheels, it could haul the factory in which it is built.
The Ram’s closest competitor has a 10.4-tonne towing capacity. That's rubbish. Frankly, you’d be better off with a G-Wiz…
Under the Ram’s vast bonnet sits a 6.7-litre Cummins diesel engine generating 850lb ft. No fuel economy figures have been quoted, but you can guess it’s not much.
But here’s the thing. I spent time in the US last year and saw hundreds of massive ‘duallies’ with twin rear axles, and saw nothing more than a lawnmower loaded in the back. Its nice to know that these things are capable of uprooting an entire city, but I can’t help thinking it is largely pointless for the majority of their drivers.
But then again, is that so different from someone buying a supercar and spending every day driving around a city?