Making its debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show is a fortified version of the Ram Power Wagon due to arrive later this year as a 2017 model. The off-road-oriented ¾-ton pickup boasts a brawny look courtesy of a new grille (similar to that used on the current 1500 Rebel), bold side stripes (reminiscent of those pasted on Power Wagons of the late ‘70s), a raised ride height (2.3 inches taller than the current 2500 HD for a total of 14.3 inches of ground clearance), and unique 17-inch wheels shod with meaty 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires.
Underpinning all this are chassis improvements that include Bilstein shocks, front and rear electronic-locking differentials with 4:10 gears, and an electronic front sway-bar disconnect for increased wheel articulation. Power Wagon also gets a Warn 12,000-lb winch mounted behind the front bumper.
Inside, the standard cloth seats are embossed with a tire-tread pattern (matching that of the DuraTrac tires), while the optional leather upholstery is embroidered with Power Wagon and Ram logos.
Power Wagon comes only as a 4×4 crew cab with a 6’4” bed. The only available powertrain is a 410-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi V8 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and a part-time, manual-engagement, 2-speed transfer case.
This new Power Wagon seems to be taking the “Go big or go home” route, and if off-roading is the game, it’s a very serious player.