Many reports suggest a mid-cycle update of Ram pickups for the next year. At this point, the officials are still quiet but experts speculate about a pretty comprehensive update, which would include changes in various aspects. Of course, things like styling changes and new features are the first that come to mind, but there is also a big chance for important mechanical updates. This particularly refers to the 2023 Ram transmission, which could be significantly upgraded.
This primarily refers to the HD lineup. Light-Duty models use a familiar 8-speed automatic gearbox from ZF, which does a fantastic job and it is arguably one of the best in the business. On the other hand, the situation with the HD lineup is a little bit different. While gasoline-powered models also use ZF transmission, diesel models are relying on a little bit older Aisin transmission, which could be replaced after this update with something more modern.
So, we are about to speculate about new transmission options for the Ram HD lineup. Still, make sure to take the following paragraphs with a reserve, as the officials are still quiet.
2023 Ram transmission: Aisin
As we already mentioned, the current model uses a good-old 6-speed unit from the Japanese company called Aisin. Although a little bit older, this transmission works great in pair with the legendary inline-six turbodiesel from Cummins. It handles the massive torque with ease, while remaining reasonably smooth and refined.
However, rivals use more modern transmissions, with 10 gears. The advantage of such transmissions is primarily better fuel economy, but their more modern design also ensures quicker and smoother shifts. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to expect something new in the next year’s Ram HD. The first thing that comes to mind is a new transmission from Aisin. The new Tundra uses a 10-speed automatic from this company, so we might see something similar in Ram HD pickups as well.
2023 Ram Transmission: Allison
The second option would be Allison transmission. This gearbox is already used by Chevy Silverado HD models and it works great. It is smooth and refined, while its ration would probably improve fuel economy, maybe towing capabilities as well. Moreover, some aftermarket shops already offer the possibility to install this transmission in Ram HD trucks, so we may conclude that this switch wouldn’t be too complicated.
2023 Ram transmission: ZF
Finally, there is the ZF transmission, which already comes with gasoline-powered Ram trucks. It is arguably one of the best units around, not just in the pickup truck world. The shifts are fast and incredibly smooth, while the whole system feels extremely refined.
However, the standard version of this transmission can’t deal with such a huge amount of torque, which is the main reason why Ram HD with a diesel engine still uses an Aisin transmission. We presume that the German company could make some modifications and make this transmission more rugged, but we don’t how much that could cost Ram and do such expenses make sense in the middle of the production cycle.
What Else Could We Expect from 2023 Ram Pickups?
If we can trust unofficial reports, the whole Ram lineup is expected to receive a mid-cycle update next year. At this point, the officials are still quiet but we presume that most of the changes will be in terms of visual updates. We count on an updated styling, which would make this truck looks more rugged and more aggressive. Other than visual changes, we presume a couple of updates could happen on the inside as well. Finally, we should see the new standard and available features, maybe even some new trim levels as well.
On the other hand, the mechanical aspect shouldn’t bring changes, other than the possible new transmission. The engine lineup will remain the same. So, HD models will continue with a 6.4-liter HEMI V8, as well as with a 6.7-liter inline-six turbodiesel from Cummins. On the other hand, light-duty models will continue with V6 and V8 gasoline engines, as well as with a V6 turbodiesel.
The base price for light-duty models goes around 36.000 dollars, while the HD lineup starts at around 38.000 dollars.
1 Reply to “2023 Ram Transmission: Aisin, Allison, or ZF?”
ZF is known to be investing approximately two hundred million dollars to expand their existing US transmission plant. ZF has had a medium-duty eight-speed transmission in European production and use for several years. It makes sense to use an eight-speed transmission with the Cummins, as its torque curve makes more than two overdrive ratios likely unnecessary for the majority of RAM applications.