The redesigned 2017 Power Wagon off-road line of pickups from Ram Truck is going to feature some exterior and interior design enhancements when it becomes available in the fourth quarter this year, including a unique suspension with more than two inches of lift, locking differentials, and a 12,000-lb. winch, according to the OEM.
“The 2017 Ram Power Wagon delivers to those who travel into extreme terrain, while providing the towing and payload capability required in a heavy-duty truck,” noted Mike Manley, newly-installed head of the Jeep and Ram Brand divisions within Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) Global, in a statement.
Unveiled this week at the Chicago Auto Show, the 2017 Ram Power Wagon – to be built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico – will come standard with the 6.4-liter HEMI 16-valve V-8 engine, which generates 410 hp and peak torque of 429 lb.-ft., with what the OEM calls a “unique calibration” to enhance the pickup’s off-road maneuverability and throttle response.
Rob Wichman, director of Ram Truck engineering, noted in a statement that when driving in four-wheel-drive "low," the 2017 Power Wagon’s throttle response will soften and the idle speed increase by 100 rpm (from 650 to 750 rpm)to provide added control when ascending and descending off-road obstacles at slow speeds.
The engine also features Ram’s “Fuel Saver” cylinder-deactivation technology, so when conditions allow – as in highway cruising – four of the V8 engine’s cylinders will shut down to conserve fuel.
The OEM added that the Power Wagon’s HEMI also comes equipped with an active dual-runner-length intake manifold optimized specifically for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup, to boost low-end torque without sacrificing high-end power.
For commercial truck customers needing to tie into the electrical system, especially ambulance and some utility operators, Ram has added an optional vehicle system interface module (VSIM) to the 2017 Power Wagon, capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules.
The VSIM upfitter interface module features a total of 53 circuits, including lighting controls, door position, plus throttle and transmission position, and acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug and play connectivity for upfitter friendliness.
Other features on the enhanced 2017 Power Wagon include:
- An optional front bumper that “hides” a 12,000-lb. winch, roller fairlead and 125 feet of line, with nothing visible except a single heavy gauge steel cable and dozer-sized hook.
- 17-inch forged, multi-surface aluminum wheels with Silver outer and Matte Black inner bound in 33-inch tires.
- Optional backup camera in the tailgate cargo-view camera for monitoring bed loads without turning around.
- Available in a Tradesman Crew Cab 4x4 configuration that includes off-road equipment, including the winch, lockers, larger tires, electronic disconnecting sway bar, suspension and under-body armor.
- A choice of two interiors for what the OEM calls a “uniquely designed cabin” that focuses on “function with flair.”
- A 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission and connects to a part-time manual-engagement Borg Warner BW 44-47 transfer case.
- Axles built by American Axle Manufacturing that measure 9.25-in. in the front and 11.5-in. in the rear (an increase from 10.5-in.) delivering power via a 4.10:1 ring and pinion ratio. Both axles include electronic-locking differentials driven by electro-magnetic actuators.
- A model-specific version of Ram’s three-link front suspension system that includes Bilstein monotube shocks, modified control arms, spring rates and more than two inches of lift.
- Additional suspension flex via a class-exclusive electronic disconnecting sway bar, which allows the front axle to move more independently of the truck’s frame.
- A five-link coil rear suspension system that provides better articulation over obstacles the ability to handle heavier payloads of up to 1,510 lbs., with a towing capacity of up to 10,030 lbs.