The 2021 Ram 4000 Is the Stick-Shift HD Truck We Don’t Get

Neither you nor I can buy a new heavy-duty pickup with a manual transmission, assuming you live in the United States. The beloved stick-shift has been gone from the segment since Ram ditched it for the 2019 model year, meaning automatics are the only option for those looking to buy a factory fresh workhorse short of a semi. That’s not the case everywhere, though, including south of the border in Mexico where customers can scoop a manual-equipped Ram 4000 chassis cab straight off the dealer lot—no mods required.

The Ram 4000 is a wonder, really. It can be had in single- or crew-cab configurations with a bare chassis at the back, ready for whatever bed customers see fit. Two-door trucks are powered by a 383-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi, which Ram did away with on heavy-duty models for the United States and Canada. Full four-doors have the more muscular 6.4-liter Hemi making 410 hp and 429 pound-feet of torque. In exchange for that extra power, though, you lose the Tremec TR4050 five-speed manual. Four-wheel drive is also available.


Weird thing is…That’s it. You can’t have the Ram 4000 with a diesel engine like you can on the 3500 and 4500 models. Without the 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six under the hood, it can’t come anywhere near the 3500’s towing max of 37,100 pounds. Still, it can tow 10,388 pounds via trailer or handle 7,713 pounds in the bed with the 5.7-liter, manual powertrain.

For what it’s worth, crew cabs with the 6.4-liter V8 can manage 14,969 pounds of towing and 6,402 pounds of payload.

The model we’re most interested in here, of course, is the single-cab. It can be spec’d with a short chassis—differentiated by a “P” designation—with 60 inches between the cab and rear axle, or a longer chassis—named “PL”—that features 84 inches of space between the two. While the truck is fairly bare-bones with a cloth bench seat and an optional AM/FM radio, it does feature a Vehicle System Interface Module (VSIM). This allows upfitters to incorporate whatever system is necessary to operate the chosen chassis-mounted equipment, like an electrician’s extendable bucket or a repo man’s rollback flatbed.

Those who live in Mexico and can actually buy a Ram like this will have to fork over $639,900 MXN, which is only $32,020 USD. That’s for the base Ram 4000 P, and the longer 4000 PL is a tad more expensive at $32,571 USD. Its closest American counterpart, the Ram 3500 HD Tradesman chassis cab, starts at $34,925, and that’s with the 6.4-liter as standard.

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