The big reveal involved an actual demo of it crawling down a flight of stairs to show off its extreme suspension.
The other big news is how it looks. It’s still a monster of a truck, but now it’s a more stylish monster of a truck.
Ram went all out to make the 2500-based Power Wagon look tougher than it did in 2016. Ram says the new colors, lighting, wheels, grilles and legacy graphic takes cues from 1979-80 “Macho Power Wagon”.
One big thing you notice right away is that designers did away with all the chrome you saw in 2016, except the Ram badge on the nose, of course. They replaced the chrome with menacing black trim to make it look rougher and tougher than it did last year. (We reviewed the 2016 model.)
A new super-sized grille inspired from the 1500 Rebel gets your attention right away, too. All-new and unique to Power Wagon, the 17-inch forged, multi-surface aluminum wheels with Silver outer and Matte Black inner feature exposed lug nuts with a small center cap. The blacked-out theme continues on the flanks, where wheel-arch moldings, badges, mirrors and lower body panels create a distinctive appearance.
Inside, Ram upped the style factor with new upholstery with inserts that feature tire tread marks. There are also Ram logos on the headrests. Overhead, a new Black headliner and matching upper pillars also update the interior. Shell out for the premium trim model and you get special ambient lighting.
As far as technology goes, a 7-inch center cluster uses “Power Wagon” startup graphics, which complement the 8.4-inch Uconnect backdrop screen featuring an off-road theme. Both a backup tailgate camera and a cargo-view camera are optional.
Of course, what really makes the Power Wagon a Power Wagon is what is under the hood, and Ram knew not to mess with what works. The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 still delivers 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. It’s also still matched with a 66RFE six-speed automatic and a manually-shifted transfer case. It will tow up to 10,030 pounds, ford up to 30 inches of water, and has a standard 12,000-pound Warn electric winch at the front.
As for that impressive suspension we mentioned earlier, that would be Ram’s “Articulink” front suspension system that incorporates high movement joints and sway-bar disconnecting system, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation.
The Power Wagon, introduced in 1945, was the first mass-production 4×4 pickup.