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Making Tracks: 2014-15 Ram Power Wagon 4WD Crew Cab

Just the Power Wagon name should tell you this truck has some impressive heritage—if you’re old enough to remember.

01/28/2015


The 3/4-ton Power Wagon WC was introduced in 1945 for the military during World War II as an armament carrier, troop carrier and medical truck. When GIs returned home from the war, they wrote Dodge and asked where they could buy a truck like the ones used in the war, knowing how tough they were. Dodge responded by offering a civilian version in 1946 as the model WDX.

Initially, the Power Wagon nameplate was produced from 1945 through 1980, and then reintroduced in 2005. The original military version featured a 230-cubic-inch flathead six engine, a two-speed transfer case and a four-speed manual transmission with a power takeoff. It carried an 8,700-pound GVW rating and a 3,000-pound maximum payload. Now, 68 years later, the 2014-15 Power Wagon offers considerably more.

According to Dave Elshoff, head of Ram Brand, there is no other pickup on the market that matches the Power Wagon in off-road capability.

And here’s why. The new Power Wagon comes standard with a 6.4L Hemi V-8 engine producing 410 hp and 429 lb.-ft. of torque married to a six-speed automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer case featuring a 2.64:1 low range. A unique “Ram Articulink” front suspension with electronically detachable front anti-roll bars (swaybars) produces better maneuverability. Solid axles are used front and rear. Front and rear electronic locking differentials offer true 4WD and maximum traction. A new five-link coil rear suspension (which replaces semi-elliptical leaf springs) produces a best-in-class ride and superior axle control. A dual-alternator system (first of its kind for 3/4- and 1-ton pickups) combines 220- and 160-amp units for a best-in-class 380-amp output. A standard 12,000-pound electric Warn winch is mounted on the front bumper. The truck is available with up to a 10,810-pound tow capacity and 1,490-pound payload capacity. The Power Wagon also is lifted 2 inches compared to traditional 2500 HD trucks, and at 6,700 pounds curb weight, it’s about 300 pounds heavier, which is due in part to the standard fuel-tank and transfer-case skid plates protecting undercarriage vitals.

In case you’re not familiar with disconnecting swaybars, Elshoff explains that it’s an off-roading trick to give the front end better articulation for navigating boulders and other mountainous terrain. It allows the front axle to move more independently of the truck’s frame. An electric switch on the dash makes it easy to disconnect them. Disengagement is allowed in 4WD-High and -Low gearing at speeds below 18 mph; the system automatically re-engages as a safety feature at speeds above 18 mph.

As for the Hemi engine, its calibration is unique to the Power Wagon in that it enhances off-road control when driving in 4WD-Low mode. According to Ram, the throttle response softens and idle speed increases by 100 rpm to provide added control when ascending and descending obstacles at slow speeds. The engine also has cylinder deactivation that shuts down four cylinders to conserve fuel during highway cruise speeds.

With 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires and the suspension lift, the Power Wagon has a 14.5-inch ground clearance compared to 12 inches on a normal 2500 HD truck. Ram boosted the truck’s approach angle to 34 degrees, increased the departure angle to 23.5 degrees and enhanced break-over to 25.5 degrees for negotiating severe inclines and declines. Plus, the Power Wagon has the ability to ford 30 inches of water.

To make this pickup even better for the hunter, add the optional and lockable RamBox with its long-gun holders and room for ammo and other small items, then include a rearview camera to make hitching a trailer easier (a trailer brake controller is standard) and a GPS nav system for finding your way out of the wilderness (part of the UConnect media/audio system). For short-statured hunters like me, a pair of aftermarket aluminum alloy cab steps would make the 29-inch step-in a lot easier.

The Ram also has one of the best cargo bed extenders. It’s made of heavy-duty molded plastic and can be positioned at one of 15 indented notches on the bed sides. It conveniently folds and slides together when not used as an extender, then doubles as a multi-positional cargo holder. For stowing gear inside the Crew Cab, the 60/40 rear seats (which easily hold three hunters) fold up against the bulkhead for spacious and protected storage on a flat floor space.

Other amenities such as cushy heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, power folding/heated outside mirrors, a sliding rear window and an 8.4-inch display with Wi-Fi capability make for home-away-from-home driving comfort.

For a 3/4-ton truck with heavy-duty underpinnings, the Power Wagon rides smoothly on highways and even smoother with a payload. The only negative: The large, deep-lugged tires produce a noticeable hum on highways. Of course there’s no want for power, and with a 4.10 rear axle, acceleration from a standing stop has been tested at a relatively quick (at least for an HD truck) 0-60 time of 8.4 seconds. Three-quarter-ton and heavier trucks are not mileage-rated; my test truck ran around 11 mpg during mostly in-town driving.

Loaded with a long list of amenities, including power door locks that also lock the tailgate and RamBox, the Power Wagon prices out at $55,455 with delivery after a base of $49,145. The truck earned government safety ratings of four stars for overall vehicle safety, four for frontal crash (driver and passenger), five for side crash (front and rear seat) and three for rollover (obvious demerits due to its high stance). Added to this are a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 3/36K basic warranty and 5/100K roadside assistance.

The only other item I’d add to this handsomely outfitted truck is a winch in the bed to pull a deer, bear or antelope into the 40-inch-high cargo bed. Otherwise, the Power Wagon is the ultimate hunting companion.

Technical Specifications:

• Powertrain: 6.4L Hemi V-8 w/410 hp, 429 lb.-ft. torque; 6-speed automatic transmission; 2-speed transfer case w/2.64:1 low range; front/rear electronic locking differentials; solid axles, 4:10 rear
• Suspension: front Ram Articulink w/electronically detachable anti-roll bars; rear 5-link coil; 2" lift
• Brakes: 4-wheel anti-lock discs; trailer brake control
• Dimensions/Capacities: overall length 237.3"; wheelbase 149.3"; width 79.1"; height 81"; ground clearance 14.5"; step-in 29"; GCWR 18,500 lbs.; GVWR 8,510 lbs.; curb weight 6,700 lbs.; payload up to 1,490 lbs.; towing up to 10,810 lbs.
• Price as Tested: $55,455 (base $49,145; delivery $1,195)

Optional Packages

• UConnect: 8.4-inch touch-screen display; SXM satellite radio w/1-year traffic alert and 1-year subscription; premium navigation; media hubs; 1-year trial period ($1,005)
• ParkSense rear-park assist system ($250)
• ParkView rear backup camera ($200)
• RamBox ($1,295)
• Spray-in bedliner ($475)
• Cloth 40/20/40 front seat, 60/40 back seat ($900)
• Luxury Group: automatic-dimming exterior passenger mirror; auto-dimming exterior mirrors; 7-inch multi-view cluster; leather-wrapped steering wheel; overhead console w/garage door opener; power folding/heated mirrors; steering-wheel-mounted audio controls; visors w/illuminated mirrors ($595)



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2015 Ram Power Wagon Named

America’s Most Off-road Capable Pickup, 2015 Ram Power Wagon Named Four Wheeler 'Pickup Truck of the Year'

2015 Ram Power Wagon beats the competition in a series of in-depth on- and off-road tests

2015 Ram Power Wagon is the most off-road-capable pickup truck with electric-locking front and rear differentials, electronic disconnecting sway bar, Bilstein shocks, 33-inch off-road tires, underbody skid plate
protection, 4.10 axle ratio and a custom-built Warn® 12,000-pound winch

Power Wagon now available in three distinct trim models—Tradesman, SLT and Laramie


March 2, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -



The editors of Four Wheeler have named the Ram Power Wagon “2015 Pickup Truck of the Year.”

2015 Ram Power Wagon named Four Wheeler Magazine's Pickup Truck of the Year: (Left to right) Rick Pewe, Content Director for the Four Wheeler Network and Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO of Ram Truck Brand.

“Factory-built and engineered, our Power Wagon is, by far, the most capable off-road pickup available in production,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO of Ram Truck Brand — FCA Group LLC. “The Four Wheeler magazine staff is loaded with off-road expertise. We’re honored that they have again named the Ram Power Wagon with their Pickup Truck of the Year award.”

To qualify for the competition, a vehicle must have been entirely new or have substantial mechanical revisions from a previous model year. The award winning Ram Power Wagon features a 6.4-liter HEMI with best-in-class 410 horsepower and 428 lb.-ft. of torque. A class-exclusive 5-link rear suspension system was added and the front suspension is uniquely modified with Ram’s “Articulink” to allow additional axle flex and traction.

“The 2015 Ram Power Wagon is simply everything you want a real pickup to be,” said Christian Hazel, Editor of Four Wheeler. “Plenty of power and load-carrying capability for hauling and towing, well-appointed interior comfort and convenience features, great on-road ride and handling, and jaw-dropping capability in virtually any off-road terrain. The Ram Power Wagon didn’t just win Four Wheeler’s 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year, it blew the competition away.”

The 2015 Ram Power Wagon is based on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab, but features a number of off-road-specific engineering enhancements, which give the truck a significant advantage over all production pickups.

Vehicles participating in the annual Four Wheeler Pickup Truck of the Year competition were subjected to a week of rigorous testing in five key areas: Trail Performance, Empirical Data, On-Pavement Performance, Interior, and Exterior. Visit FourWheeler.com to learn more about the 2015 Four Wheeler Pickup Truck of the Year competition.

POWERTRAIN
Compelling numbers tell the best-in-class story of the standard 6.4-liter HEMI 16-valve V-8 engine: 410 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•m) at 4,000 rpm. The engine calibration is unique to Power Wagon in order to enhance its off-road maneuverability and finesse. When driving in four-wheel-drive "Low," the throttle response softens and the idle speed increases by 100 rpm (from 650 to 750 rpm) — providing added control when ascending and descending off-road obstacles at slow speeds.

The 2015 Ram Power Wagon is equipped with Fuel Saver technology, delivering more power yet better fuel efficiency than previous generations. When conditions allow, as in highway cruising, the Fuel Saver system seamlessly shuts down four cylinders to conserve fuel.

The engine also features an active dual-runner-length intake manifold optimized specifically for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup. The result is improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-end power.

The 6.4-liter HEMI is offered with the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission and connects to a part-time, manual-engagement BorgWarner BW 44-47 transfer case.

Built by American Axle Manufacturing, the axles measure 9.25 inches in the front and 11.5 inches in the rear (increase from 10.5 inches), delivering power via a 4.10:1 ring and pinion ratio. Robust rear axle shafts are upgraded to 38 mm, providing rotating force directly to the 33-inch tire/wheel combination. Both axles include electronic locking differentials driven by electro-magnetic actuators. All Ram Heavy Duty trucks incorporate a segment-exclusive front axle disconnect system to reduce parasitic loss and improve overall efficiency.

Additional axle data:

FRONT REAR
9.25 AAM 11.5 AAM
Front Pinion: 98.3 mm Rear Pinion: 121.3 mm
Front Ring Gear: 235 mm (9.25 inches) Rear Ring Gear: 292 mm (11.5 inches)
Front Axle Shaft Diameter: 35 mm Rear Axle Shaft Diameter: 38 mm

SUSPENSION
The Ram Heavy Duty features a unique suspension system, some of which was specifically engineered for the Power Wagon, including Bilstein shocks at all four corners, control arms, spring rates and more than two inches of lift.

In the front, the entire Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. The Ram Power Wagon packages a unique-to-model design of the standard three-link suspension system. The Ram Articulink design incorporates high movement joints at the control-arm-to-axle mount, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation. Additional suspension flex is achieved via the class-exclusive electronic disconnecting sway bar, which allows the front axle to move more independently of the truck’s frame.

Heavy Duty trucks generally have rear suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This usually leads to a harsher ride when unloaded. All Ram 2500 Heavy Duty trucks, including the Power Wagon, feature an exclusive five-link coil design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system. The robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling heavy payloads. Although the 2015 Ram Power Wagon is loaded with off-road components, owners appreciate payload up to 1,490 pounds and towing capacity up to 10,810 pounds.

The 2015 Ram Power Wagon's combined axle and suspension package adds to greater suspension articulation, a determining factor when negotiating extreme obstacles. With Smart Bar engaged, the Ram Power Wagon reaches a Ramp Travel Index (RTI - a measurement of a vehicle's suspension articulation) of 510 (26-inch vertical height).

GROUND CLEARANCE AND PROTECTION
Providing optimal balance between on-road civility and off-road capability are 33-inch tires, which feature a beefy tread pattern to help grab ledges along the trail and deliver optimum traction through sand, mud and snow. Larger tires and a suspension lift contribute to the Power Wagon’s 14.5-inch ground clearance, compared to 12 inches on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty. The truck’s approach angle is boosted to 34 degrees, the departure angle is increased to 23.5 degrees and the breakover angle is enhanced to 25.5 degrees. This gives the Ram Power Wagon significant clearance for navigating a variety of severe inclines and declines as well as providing up to 30-inches of water-fording capability.

Underneath the Ram Power Wagon are generous underbody protection components. Fore-aft bars bring together the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, resulting in armor that minimizes underside damage and rock wedging.

Ultimate truck capability is now available in three trim levels: Tradesman, SLT and Laramie. The Ram Power Wagon Tradesman offers off-road enthusiasts all of the Power Wagon’s legendary capability in a value-oriented package. The Power Wagon SLT provides a mix of comfort with off-road components and the Power Wagon Laramie offers more comfort and luxury features. Each of the three Ram Power Wagon models has its own distinctive look.

The Power Wagon nameplate was produced from 1945 through 1980. Early trucks were based on the Weapons Carrier (WC) series of Dodge ¾-ton military-use trucks built during World War II. The Power Wagon went on to become a well-known civilian vehicle and continued the lineage of Dodge four-wheel-drive trucks from the 1930s, proving basic four-wheel-drive design concepts and representing a significant predecessor to the many four-wheel-drive trucks in modern use today. The iconic truck was reintroduced in 2005 and now exists as an independent model under Ram Truck Brand.

About FOUR WHEELER
Whether you're looking for the scoop on the latest off-road-capable vehicles straight from the factory floor, want to see what others have done to their rides, read up on the latest tech, or keep up with emerging trends from across the off-road world, FOUR WHEELER will bring it to you. FOUR WHEELER gives out two annual awards – Four Wheeler of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year, and hosts a signature event, the annual Top Truck Challenge. The Four Wheeler Network features off road and 4x4 content from JP, PETERSEN’S 4-WHEEL & OFF-ROAD, DIRT SPORTS+OFF ROAD, 4WHEEL DRIVE & SPORT UTILITY, MUD LIFE, and FOUR WHEELER.

About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world’s premier network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD, and GRINDTV. With more than 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, 1,000 branded products, the world’s largest automotive VOD channel, and the world’s largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit enthusiastnetwork.com.

About Ram Truck Brand
Since its launch as a stand-alone division in 2009, the Ram Truck Brand has steadily emerged as an industry leader with one goal: to build the best pickup trucks and commercial vehicles in the industry.

Creating a distinct identity for Ram Trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on core customers and features they find valuable. Whether focusing on a family that uses a Ram 1500 day in and day out, a hard-working Ram 3500 Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its Ram ProMaster commercial van every day for deliveries, Ram has the truck market covered.

In order to be the best, it takes a commitment to innovation, capability, efficiency and durability. Ram Truck invests substantially in its products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and exclusive features that further enhance their capabilities.

Moving into the 2015 model year, Ram continues to beat the competition in the two most sought-after titles, fuel economy and towing capacity:

Best-in-class fuel economy with exclusive EcoDiesel – 29 mpg with Ram 1500
Best-in-class towing capability – 30,000 pounds with Ram 3500
Best-in-class payload – 7,390 pounds with Ram 3500
Best-in-class torque – 865 lb.-ft. with Ram 3500 equipped with Cummins


Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.
 

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2015 Ram Tradesman 2500 Review

2015 Ram Tradesman 2500 Review

Sep. 10, 2015



When we tested Ram’s 6.7-liter Cummins diesel-powered Laramie Longhorn Edition 2500 4x4, we praised it as a rugged 3/4-ton beast that was capable of pulling almost anything short of a freight train while pampering its occupants in a luxurious interior with a Pandora’s box of interior technology. At the same time, we realized that its $67,875 asking price was a stumbling block that could put it out of reach of the average truck guy. If only there was a Ram 2500 that integrated that sweet Cummins engine in a more affordable package…

Well, there is, so long as you’re willing to trade some luxury and a little torque for the opportunity to enjoy the Ram’s class-leading 17,870-pound towing capacity and 3970-poung cargo capacity. It’s called the Ram 2500 Tradesman (a popular Mopar model name that graced Dodge’s vans for decades), and it can be yours, reasonably equipped, at a price that lops nearly 20 grand off the fully-optioned Longhorn’s MSRP.

The basic platforms are the same, although our Tradesman test unit’s powertrain did away with the standard six-speed automatic transmission for the optional G56 manual six-speed transmission. Going the clutch-and-stickshift route also necessitates a change to the 6.7-liter (408 cubic-inch), turbocharged, intercooled, direct fuel-injected, 24-valve Cummins inline six-cylinder diesel engine. Both versions of the 6.7 are rated at 370 peak horsepower, but the manual transmission version’s torque is pulled back from its stout 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1600 rpm to 660 lb.-ft.—still more than adequate to tow or haul vast quantities of “stuff” while safeguarding the G56 transmission. The G56 is also mated to a manual shift-on-the-fly transfer case rather than.......


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