The editors of Four Wheeler have named the Ram Power Wagon “2015 Pickup Truck of the Year.”
“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 4×4 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.
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 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
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 which 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.