The off-road truck news in the last year has largely focused on the Ford Raptor and all of it’s Baja goodness. But what if you need a heavy-duty pickup that can do the go anywhere fast thing?
That’s where the 2017 RAM Power Wagon steps in and fills the space of ¾ ton truck capability with a comprehensive package of off-road tools and equipment to take your job with you regardless of how rugged the terrain gets.
For 2017, RAM gave the Power Wagon the same Pug-nose grille first seen on the RAM 1500 Rebel. It also gains the black projector-beam headlights and a black powder-coated front bumper. This bumper differs a great deal from the Rebel however with it’s standard built-in 12,000 pound winch.
With 125-feet of cable and corded remote you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps to get further than you might have. You can also pull a friend out of the hole too.
A taller vented hood can be had with punchy graphics and on the bed side this year is the return of the retro style vertical Power Wagon graphic that dates back to the 70’s and 80’s. The graphics come in black or silver, or can be deleted all together. Out back is the large scale RAM lettering first seen on the Rebel and Limited RAM pickups.
Rolling stock is a rugged looking 17-inch aluminum wheel in painted matte black with silver accents complete with exposed lug nuts. They’re mounted up with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac All Terrain tires, some of the most aggressive off-road tires you will find on a production vehicle.
Truly setting the Power Wagon apart from the off-road packages of Ford and GM in the ¾ ton class is its robust level of hardware. To start with, you get heavy duty solid axles front and rear, both with 4:10 gears and electronic-locking differentials.
The front suspension sports a three-link design with 2-inch taller coil springs, Bilstein shocks, and modified control arms that allow for significantly more articulation. The front sway bar has an electronic disconnect that allows the front axle to move more independently for extreme situations.
The Power Wagon get’s a coil sprung five-link suspension at the rear that offers superior articulation and a softer ride than the leaf spring suspension in other brands. With the suspension mods, the Power Wagon has articulation index of 26-inches, an approach angle of 33.6 degrees and 26.2 degrees of departure angle.
Powering the Power Wagon is one engine, a 410 horsepower 6.4-liter gas V8 and six-speed automatic. The Cummins diesel is unfortunately still not an option here. RAM tells us this is because of the engine’s additional weight and its inter-cooler and winch can’t occupy the same space.
While you could say a Ford Raptor is easily a competitor here, the Power Wagon still boasts a payload rating of 1,510 pounds and a towing capacity of up to 10,030 pounds.
The Power Wagon is available only as a Crew Cab model and comes in a limited selection of colors. The slick thing is that it’s also available as a base stripped Tradesman Crew Cab 4×4 without any of the interior or exterior duds. Just the guts and the glory as they say.