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2014 Ram 2500 HD Power Wagon : Current Models

Although Jeep will always be the most rugged jewel in Fiat-Chrysler’s crown, few individual nameplates imply go-anywhere ruggedness like “Power Wagon,” which was applied to Dodge pickups from the end of World War II through 1980. After a two-and-a-half-decade hiatus, it returned in 2005 to signify Ram’s toughest 4x4 2500 HD crew-cab truck. To show that the new 2014 model hasn’t wussed out in the face of the pickup segment’s continued on-road domestication, Ram invited us to bash some skid plates on the rocky, mountainous trails outside Jerome, Arizona.

Power My Wagon

You can read a full breakdown of the latest Power Wagon’s specs here, but the biggest updates for 2014 are the fitment of coil springs at all four corners, along with a new 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 making 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. While diesel fans remain out of luck—the big, 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six is simply too heavy for this application—the 6.4 is as beastly as the rest of the truck, with more than enough grunt both on-road and off.

The engine’s additional 29 lb-ft versus the previous Power Wagon’s 5.7-liter V-8’s also allows for a taller 4.10:1 axle ratio, which should offer slightly better fuel economy than before without compromising overall performance. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, and the standard two-speed transfer case includes a 2.64:1 low-range and an old-school manual range-control lever on the tunnel.

Despite the coil suspension, two-inch lift over normal Ram 2500 4x4s, and detachable anti-roll bars, don’t assume that the Power Wagon is built to take on Ford’s SVT Raptor. The latter excels as a high-speed desert runner, whereas the Ram is a traditional, multi-purpose 4x4 with solid axles front and rear, conventional Bilstein monotube shocks, and a 12,000-pound Warn winch nestled in the front bumper. Payload and towing capacities aren’t lost in the truck’s off-road conversion, either, with 1490- and 10,810-pound ratings allowing for serious workloads. The Power Wagon is an immense vehicle and commensurately capable.

The Power Wagon doesn’t float over rough terrain, but instead uses its considerable 3.5-ton mass, 14.5 inches of ground clearance, and increased approach and departure angles to roll over or through anything better than almost anything not wearing continuous tracks. (We were unfortunately unable to verify the Ram’s 30-inch fording ability.) The meaty, 33-inch-tall Goodyear Duratrac rubber on special 17-inch forged aluminum wheels afforded excellent traction on our test route’s loose, red-rock trails, even when pumped up to their recommended 65 psi. Electronically lockable front and rear differentials provided added low-range grip over rocks and up steep climbs, and the Hemi was always willing when we needed to power up rocky ledges.

The Power Wagon’s massive axles are located with five links at the rear and a unique three-link arrangement in the front called Articulink, which allows additional movement for the radius arms. Being expected to fulfill some heavy-duty truck work duties means the suspension is still relatively stiff, but wheel articulation side to side is impressive with the slightly softer spring rates and the front anti-roll bar unhooked electronically (which can be done below 18 mph). As a bonus, despite the truck’s added height and a light hum from the off-road tires, it’s nearly as refined on pavement as a regular Ram 2500.

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Sources : 2014 Ram 2500 HD Power Wagon Photo | 2014 Ram 2500 HD Power Wagon Article


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