Ram Power Wagon for 2017 marks HEMI-powered off-road truck
Bob Plunkett, Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:03:03 PDT
First, let's get that name-thing straight: The new 2017 Ram Power Wagon is not some muscle-bound SUV or a techno-electric hybrid CUV. Rather, it's a behemoth big and V8-motivated three-quarter-ton pickup truck with 4-wheel-drive traction designed for sure-footed crawling over rocky ridges, slithering through tire-sucking mud pits and scampering across slippery dunes of a desert sand-pile.
Actually, the Ram Power Wagon is based on a Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab with a 76-inch truck box in back.
It carries a beefy HEMI V8 engine stuffed below that stair-step hood and running lights mounted on the roof of the 4-door cab, along with an arsenal of 4WD armaments designed to enable the Power Wagon to behave like a mechanized mountain goat.
With a chin-forward face, the Power Wagon's get-out-of-my-way prow is dominated by a massive blacked-out grille that skips Ram's iconic crosshair design in favor of a billet silver R-A-M letter badge. Flanking the grille are black bezel bi-functional projector headlamps with LED marker lights. The grille is underscored by a black off-road front bumper inset with LED foglamps and a concealed Warn 12000-lb winch, roller fairlead and 125 feet of line.
The blacked-out front-end theme extends to flanks with black Power Wagon wheel-arch moldings, flat-black mirrors and black lower body panels in forging a 2-tone paint scheme with black as a constant on the lower body, front to rear.
At the tail the Power Wagon scores a new stamped tailgate with blacked-out R-A-M lettering. The rear bumper also gets Black powder coating and there are Black bezel taillamp housings.
The rear cargo box has a new optional tri-fold tonneau cover embossed with the Ram logo.
Also optional is a backup camera mounted in the tailgate to deliver an improved field of vision when maneuvering. Further, Ram's optional cargo-view camera enables the driver to monitor bed loads via a dashboard touchscreen.
Ram Power Wagon rolls on 17-inch forged aluminum wheels with Silver outer and Matte Black inner rings wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires.
Power Wagon paint shades include Bright White, Flame Red, Bright Silver, Blue Streak and Granite Crystal.
Ram's 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with VVT (variable valve timing) delivers 410 hp at 5600 rpm and massive torque pumped up to 429 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. The muscle is managed through an electronically controlled automatic 6-speed transmission, the 66RFE.
A Borg-Warner 44-47 part-time transfer case enables manual shifting in 2WD/4WD-High/4WD-Low/Neutral. It has a low-range ratio of 2.64 plus electric-locking differential from front to rear.
Constructed on a ladder-type frame using high-strength 50000-psi steel with hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails, the Power Wagon truck employs a 3-link (Articulink) front suspension with track bar, coil springs, electronic-disconnecting stabilizer bar and 9.25-inch solid axle. At the rear there's a 5-link design with track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar and 11.5-inch solid axle.
The driver-actuated disengagement of the front electronic-disconnecting stabilizer bar works in both 4WD-High and 4WD-Low at speeds below 18 miles per hour.
Ram Power Wagon has a running height of 14.3 inches, which is several inches higher than a conventional Ram 2500. It has an approach angle of 33.6 degrees, a breakover angle of 23.5 degrees and a departure angle of 26.2 degrees. Sturdy skid plates protect the fuel tank and transfer case, and the manufacturer says the Power Wagon can ford a 30-inch-deep stream of water.
Brakes to rein so much tonnage and power by necessity must be big and strong. The Ram design installs four massive discs. Front rotors measure 14.17 inches in diameter and are clasped with twin-piston calipers, as rear rotors span to 14.09 inches and also use twin-piston calipers.
The big brakes tie to a computerized anti-lock brake system plus an electronic stability control device to nix lateral skidding. Also, the Power Wagon totes an electronic hill-descent control gizmo which allows the driver to regulate the truck's speed when descending a steep grade via buttons on the column shifter.
We estimate the MSRP figures for 2017 Ram Power Wagon range from about $46,000 to $56,000.