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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.
By Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the December 2015 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Luxuriously equipped and extravagantly priced ½-ton pickups are common today, but a back-to-basics workaday hauler still has its charms. Among modern-day work trucks, the 2011-15 Ram 1500 Tradesman has the intriguing distinction of being able to pack a near-400-bhp Hemi V-8 engine at a bargain price.
Dates tested: 2/24/2015 to 3/02/2015
Miles Driven: 140
Fuel Used: 7.4 gallons
Those were once magical words.
As kids, after peering out our bedroom windows to see that Mother Nature had blessed us with a fresh, thick blanket of white overnight, my sister and I would sit at the breakfast table eagerly waiting for the phone to ring. And on those all-too-rare occasions when it did, there would be a moment of anticipation followed by a rousing cheer: “Snow day!”
In 2011, Dodge pickup trucks became Ram pickup trucks, ending the Dodge brand’s 82-year tradition of truck sales. The split came as Dodge marketing types sought to separate its cars and SUVs from what would soon become a full line of commercial vehicles. Today the Ram brand includes light- and heavy-duty pickups, plus ProMaster and ProMaster City commercial vans and chassis cabs.
Nissan unveiled a “factory tuned” version of its 370Z Roadster at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept is only a one-off at this point, but it could easily be produced if favorable public reaction warrants.
Several years ago, a Ram truck rep told us, “We just can’t find the price ceiling that turns customers away.” Apparently that’s still the case—and it isn’t for lack of trying.
It seems a bit of an oxymoron, but Ram claims its new Rebel—introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit—boasts an “off-road sport package” that makes it distinctive in the Ram lineup.
For a class that didn’t even exist six years ago, compact cargo vans have witnessed an explosion in growth of late. And that applies not only to sales, but also to the number of entries.