During last weekend’s Moab Easter Safari, our Ram trucks had a chance to show some journalists from the leading off-road publications what we are made of. Assaulting the daunting rock formations and treacherous trails was our 5.7L HEMI® powered Power Wagon. These extreme conditions demonstrate the toughness and the capabilities of this unique package on the Ram 2500. Now for those of you folks not too familiar with the Power Wagon name, it can trace it roots back to WWII. Its tough chassis and rugged four-wheel drive power train was the perfect platform to build everything from troop carriers, mobile anti-aircraft carriages, command cars and even ambulances. Everyone from the military brass to privates loved the Power Wagon. After the war, civilian versions of the Power Wagon continued to roll off the assembly line and contributed to the postwar boom era. The “dependability” marketing slogan of the time was more than just hype as thousands of returning vets knew how rugged these were in combat and wanted the same qualities in their own pick-up truck.
Our new Power Wagon has the same DNA as its forefathers and salutes its heritage. It’s designed to handle the most rigorous trails and terrains of Moab thanks in part to its 14.5-inch ground clearance, BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A 33-inch tires, Bilstein monotube high-pressure gas shocks and underbody skid plates. We even increased approach angle to 35 degrees and departure angle to 26.5 degrees along with the breakover angle coming in at 25.2 degrees. This came in handy when we took our Power Wagon over the “Hell’s Revenge” trail while at Moab. This six and one half mile roller coaster ride across the slickrock fins east of the town may have other trucks shaking in their treads but not our Power Wagon. Add front and rear electronic axle lockers with the standard 4.56 axle ratio and you’ll be able to conquer the peaks of the rugged trails and have the other off-roaders look twice at the Power Wagon. Just in case you need some extra suspension travel when you get too far off the beaten path, the “Smart Bar” is an electronic disconnecting stabilizer bar and delivers additional wheel travel for traversing the toughest trails. You can activate it from the driver’s seat to disengage the bar in both four-wheel drive “High” or “Low” settings at speeds below 18 miles per hour. The Smart Bar even knows to automatically re-engage at speeds above 18 miles per hour. Think of it as built-in crew chief.
For good measure, the legendary 383 horsepower 5.7L HEMI® resides under the hood and has a unique feature exclusive to the Power Wagon. For enhanced off-road maneuverability and finesse in four-wheel drive “Low” operation, the throttle pedal response softens and the idle speed increases by 100 rpm (from 650 to 750 rpm). This comes in handy and adds more control when ascending and descending the numerous extreme obstacles along the scenic Moab trails at slow speeds.
On the outside, a concealed front mounted 12,000-lb. Warn winch will make you popular among your four-wheeling buddies with lesser vehicles. The “Power Wagon” hood and tailgate graphics will tell the folks along the trail what you’re packing.
Our Power Wagon has evolved over the past 60 years and yet the basic premise of an extremely capable 4X4 truck is still its heart and soul. The original models had nowhere near the amenities of the current version but the essence and the purity of its spirit lives on today in every 2011 Ram Power Wagon.