2017 Ram Power Wagon Brings Out the Big Guns

Dodge’s war-inspired pickup ready to go from here to the shores of Tripoli.

byJonathon Ramsey|
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Dodge’s three-quarter ton Weapons Carrier line of trucks were vital haulers during the four-year Axis Powers beatdown known as World War II. When returning soldiers badgered Dodge for a civilian version of the carry-all, Detroit gave them the Power Wagon pickup—a glorified tractor that could haul, power, and trample anything, albeit slowly. Those soldiers wouldn’t recognize the 2017 Power Wagon, which is more like a thinly disguised monster truck that probably deserves the title Weapons Carrier. Only this one has its armaments built-in.

The Power Wagon recipe starts with the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab. It takes the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 (410 horsepower, 429 pound-feet of torque), bolts on a 380-amp dual-alternator system, and a recalibration for finer off-road manners in four-wheel-drive Low. It throws on a larger 11.5-inch axle in back, and beefier 38-millimeter axle shafts. Given the 4.10 axle ratio, the six-speed auto’s first gear achieves a 35:1 crawl ratio.

Ground clearance is 14.3 inches, a 2.3-inch gain over the standard Heavy Duty. That’s thanks to 33-inch Goodyears and a model-specific suspension that has three links in front, five links in the back and Bilstein monotube shocks. Also included: a front sway bar that can be electronically disconnected, as well as 26 inches of articulation and 30 inches of water fording for clambering through The Darien Gap. The bed will hold 1,510 pounds, the trailer hitch can support 10,020 pounds. There’s a Warn winch hidden behind the front bumper ready to pull 12,000 pounds. You know, in case you need to rescue Idaho.

In the Ram world, more capability comes with less subtlety. The powder-coated bumpers, black-out treatment on the grille, hood, fender flares, light bezels and lower body panels is reminiscent of the Rebel, but the extra height and unique wheels will let the world know what kind of business you’re on. The Power Wagon logo has been liberally applied and to righteous scale, ensuring residents of the International Space Station will be able to follow your progress. Even with the Tradesman package, which tones things down some with monotone paint and plain black accents, this thing’s no wallflower.

One of the interior treatments works up a varied color palette in hues like Diesel Gray and Iron Gray and Slate Metallic, and gets “technical grain” seats printed with the tread pattern from those 33-inch Goodyears. The other treatment is cross-stitched leather, should you be a dandy outdoorsman. (Lumbersexuals need trucks, too, Ramsey—Ed.)

Ram hasn’t released the price yet, but the current truck is $51,160. Allowing for a small premium in 2017, that’s still probably a fair tariff for the kind of martial-inspired virility you just can’t get anywhere else.

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