There is no getting a ‘glance’ of the 2018 Ram Power Wagon. By its sheer presence, it demands to be viewed with 100% of your attention. It looks like something that should be able to go wherever it wants – and basically, it can – and will.
On the outside, bold, impactful decals appear on the hood and tailgate, while red and black trim on the hood and sides help distinguish it from the standard heavy-duty Ram 2500. I don’t know why, but I really love the idea of a winch on an off-roader, even if it never gets off the pavement. It’s one of those touches that fit the role perfectly and the Power Wagon shows off with a 12,000-pound capable winch.
According to Ram engineers, they redesigned the Power Wagon’s ladder frame with high-strength 50 KSI steel, adding hydro-formed main rails and fully boxed rear rails. Add to that eight sturdy separate cross-members and you have a stronger, more efficient platform for digging in, hauling and towing.
The four-wheel-drive Power Wagon delivers a max towing capacity of 10,030 lbs, while the bed has a 1,510-lb payload.
What is really impressive about the recent chassis revisions that prop up roll stiffness and deliver better handling is that Ram has equipped the Power Wagon with a new 5-link rear axle and rear coil springs. Up front, a modified 3-link setup provides enhanced axle articulation, which is better for handling and secure maneuvers with heavy loads.
The 2018 heavy-duty Power Wagon is equipped with myriad features that provide confidence and security while plugging along on trails, gravel or other inhospitable surfaces.
Impressive approach and departure angles, 34 and 23.5 degrees, make getting in, out, up and down easier and less intimidating.
With ground clearance at 14.5 inches, it’s even harder not to be in awe of the 32-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires that anchor the Power Wagon to the ground. Keeping suspension travel in check is an electronically disconnecting sway bar. It all works together really well – especially when you consider the size of the 2500 with the added heft for the Power Wagon treatment.
Unlike the 2500
Unlike in the standard 2500, there are solid axles at both ends for improved wheel articulation, and rugged Bilstein shock absorbers are also part of the package. My Power Wagon featured several skid plates in all the right locations to protect key components, like the front and rear electronically locking differentials.
For those who need extra stowage space can spec the Power Wagon with the Ram Box storage bins capable of being locked and unlocked remotely.
The 2018 Power Wagon is available exclusively with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8. Mated to a 6-speed automatic and delivering 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, this big pickup does offer a bit of conservative manners with a Multiple-Displacement System (MDS) that shuts off four cylinders under light load conditions to conserve fuel.
Depending on the trim level chosen, Ram’s gauge cluster features a standard 3.5- or 7-inch information screen that is easy to see and access information. A Sprint-powered wireless system is available for buyers who need to remain connected. The Power Wagon is also available with Chrysler’s intuitive Uconnect Access infotainment system. I like this system and it fits nicely in the large Ram cabin space.
With a base price of $52,295, this is a massive pickup capable of all-season secure driving, towing, hauling and just about anything else – while it never worries about competing with something claiming to be, or claiming to do, more. It’s the bar in big heavy-duty style.