Ram is rolling its new Power Wagon onto the stage at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, but buyers are more likely to head for the hills and dales, and just about anywhere else they can check out the capabilities of the brand’s most serious off-road pickup.
Based on the Ram 2500 4×4 HD Crew Cab, the 2017 Ram Power Wagon aims to deliver the best of both worlds. It’s designed to slog through mud and crawl over rocks, but its also got plenty of creature comforts you wouldn’t traditionally find in a serious off-roader.
“The Ram Power Wagon is an off-road, all-access pass, removing the limitations, instilling confidence and allowing owners to reach areas of recreation and lifestyle not attainable with any other pickup,” said Ram boss Mike Manley.
It also provides the towing and payload capabilities of a heavy-duty truck, Manley adds, with a maximum towing capacity of 10,030 pounds. There’s also a 12,000-pound winch mounted on the front of the big beast.
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The Power Wagon badge has a long history at Ram and, before it, the Dodge brand. It made its debut in 1945, the earliest version based on the Weapons Carrier series of Dodge ¾-ton trucks built during World War II. The civilian version continued through 1980. The Power Wagon came out of a long hiatus in 2005 and is now a stand-alone model in the Ram line-up.
The truck’s basic design is aimed at backing its claim of being the “ultimate off-road truck,” with a new black-out grille framed between twin projector headlamps and LED marker lights. There’s also a glossy black graphic on the vent-stamped hood.
A new side graphic theme brought back from nearly four decades ago pays homage to some of the earlier Power Wagons.
One of the more distinctive touches is the use of a rugged, powder coating on the front and rear bumpers, rather than conventional chrome or a plastic fascia. Those bumpers barely conceal the big Warn winch that can pay out a 125-foot line.
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The new 2017 Ram Power Wagon now features 17-inch forged, multi-surface aluminum wheels shod with 33-inch tires and feature exposed lug nuts with a small center cap.
To help maneuver the most rugged terrain, the Power Wagon’s “Articulink” front suspension system incorporates high movement joints and a sway-bar disconnecting system, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation. The 2017 Ram Power Wagon boasts 14.3 inches of ground clearance, 2.3 inches more than the 2500 Heavy Duty Model. And it can ford up to 30 inches of water.
Driving the beast, the Power Wagon features a 410-horsepower, 6.4-liter Hemi V-8. At 429 pound-feet, it boasts plenty of torque for towing, hauling or rock-crawling.
Among the new features offered for the Power Wagon are two rear cameras. One is a conventional backup camera, the other allows the driver to monitor the vehicle’s load without having to turn around.
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The 2017 Ram Power Wagon will reach U.S. showrooms during the fourth quarter of this year.