Ram updates off-road offerings with freshened Power Wagon

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CHICAGO — Ram is updating back-country, heavy-duty offerings for 2017 with a freshened Power Wagon trim and expanded off-road packages across its three-quarter-ton pickup lineup.

The new off-road packages will be available across the Ram 2500 lineup and include a number of options to improve the pickup’s performance in rough terrain, such as hill-descent control, which allows the driver to automatically and safely descend steep terrain without using the brake. The feature had been available only on the heavy-duty’s traditional off-roader, the Power Wagon.

“We’ve had customers ask us for an off-road truck in our heavy-duty series, but we’re not going to limit it. We’re going to have it available with every single cab, with every single powertrain, in all the trims and with all the colors,” said Ram brand head Bob Hegbloom.

The off-road packages, available beginning in the third quarter, will feature all-terrain tires and larger fender flares, underbody protection devices, limited-slip differentials, improved shock absorbers and special badging. Pricing was not announced.

For the first time, the Power Wagon will have an interior that is unavailable in other Ram pickups.

Power Wagon

The freshened Power Wagon features an updated grille that trades the current model’s chrome and crosshairs for a blacked-out version similar to that used on the Ram Rebel 1500.

Also making the leap from the Rebel 1500 is badging that trades the traditional ram’s head logo for the brand’s name in bold block lettering on the grille and tailgate. New Power Wagon graphics on the rear quarter panels complete the look and evoke an image of the off-road pickup’s 1979 version.

The Dodge Power Wagon was the first mass-produced 4×4 civilian pickup in 1945 and was a favorite workhorse for soldiers returning to the farm after World War II. It was reintroduced into the brand’s pickup lineup in 2005.

For the 2017 model, designers freshened the exterior and interior of the Power Wagon, with a new hood featuring a large gloss-black graphic.

For the first time, the Power Wagon will have an interior that is unavailable in other Ram pickups. Inside the cabin, designers picked up cues from the Rebel, including embossing the pickup’s off-road tire pattern into the seat backs. The Power Wagon will offer an optional backup camera in its tailgate, along with a second optional camera high on the center-mounted stoplight that allows the driver to monitor the pickup’s bed from its 8.4-inch infotainment display.

The Power Wagon retains its 410-hp 6.4-liter V-8 and eight-speed transmission, which delivers 429 pounds-feet of torque. The 2017 Power Wagon is rated at up to 1,510 pounds of payload, with towing capacity of up to 10,030 pounds.

The Power Wagon will continue to be manufactured in Saltillo, Mexico, and the 2017 version is expected in U.S. dealerships in the fourth quarter.

You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at lvellequette@crain.com.


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