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New Ram Power Wagon: Powerfully awesome return for 2014

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Ram Truck brand is bringing their renowned Ram Power Wagon 4x4 back in 2014 with the most power, performance and durability ever – according to a Ram announcement on April 9 saying it will debut at the New York Auto Show next week.

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Based on the 2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab – Ram says the new 2014 Ram Power Wagon is a credit to its iconic heritage through advanced performance engineering that is designed to reduce the toughest of off-road challenges to a ‘walk-in-the-park’.

Robust Power Train

Starting with the power plant, the new Ram Power Wagon is powered by the standard 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine with 410 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm.

For maximum performance, Ram says the engine is calibrated uniquely for the Power Wagon in order to enhance its off-road maneuverability and finesse. An example of which would be that, 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.

Another of the engine’s performance features is the active dual-runner-length intake manifold that has been optimized specifically to deliver improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-end power.

Mated to the heavy duty 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission and connected to a part-time, manual-engagement Borg Warner BW 44-47 transfer case – the new Power Wagon is capable of payloads up 1,490 pounds and tow capacity of 10,810 pounds.

Axles are the key to durability and often the Achilles heels for vehicles tackling the most challenging of off-road terrain.

No problem according to Ram, as they have equipped the Power Wagon’s with axles from American Axle Manufacturing that 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 to the 4x4 drive wheels.

Both axles include electronic locking differentials driven by electro-magnetic actuators and include a new segment-exclusive front axle disconnect system which, when conditions warrant, disconnects front drivetrain components to reduce parasitic loss and improve overall fuel efficiency.

Flexible and Strong Suspension

Ram says the 2014 Ram Power Wagon sports a new suspension designed for performance and vehicle durability equal to the off-road challenges it is designed to overcome.

A hydraulic steering system features recirculating ball steering gear, which delivers precise on-center feel despite the vehicles immense towing and payload capacities.

Up front, the Ram Power Wagon has a unique-to-model design of the new Ram HD standard three-link suspension system with Bilstein monotube shocks. A Ram Articulink design incorporates high movement joints at the control-arm-to-axle mount, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation, according to Ram.

They say further that additional suspension flex comes from the class-exclusive electronic disconnecting sway bar, which allows the front axle to move more independently of the truck’s frame. A driver-actuated "Smart Bar" disengagement is possible in both four-wheel drive "High" or four-wheel drive "Low" at speeds below 18 miles per hour.

The Power Wagon will deliver a good ride and handling using a new exclusive five-link coil design (adapted from the Ram 1500 and the new Ram HD) to provide provide better articulation over obstacles when compared to standard leaf spring systems. As a result of a design that incorporates support at all major points of force, the five-link coil system functionally resists unwanted axle rotation. Because of the unique five-link axle control and natural rotation, U-joints in the driveshaft run smoothly and with less vibration through the suspension’s range of motion.

The rear suspension also includes Bilstein monotube shocks, and on some models, a Bilstein dampener links the top of the rear axle to the frame, providing additional control, bringing the Ram 2500 far beyond what competitors offer for axle control says Ram.

Off-Road Tough Frame

The new Ram Power Wagon frames feature the same high-strength 50,000 psi steel as all Ram HD trucks that include eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Wide front frame rails enable front suspension springs to be positioned slightly outboard – an enabler for generating positive roll stiffness. Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and offers a factory-installed rear axle cross-member.

Trail Capable Wheels and Tires

Goodyear is providing 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires designed to optimize balance between on-road civility and off-road capability. Mounted on polished aluminum 17-inch wheels, they feature a beefy tread pattern to help grab ledges along the trail and deliver optimum traction through sand, mud and snow.

The 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. Approach angle is boosted to 34 degrees, the departure angle is increased to 23.5 degrees and the break over angle is enhanced to 25.5 degrees. This enhanced capability gives the Ram Power Wagon clearance for navigating a variety of severe inclines and declines as well as providing up to 30-inches of water-fording capability.

The Power Wagon is solidly protected underneath with skid plates under all key power train components using special fore-aft bars to bring together the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, resulting in armor that minimizes underside damage and rock wedging in the most severe conditions.

Power Wagon Looks Good Too

There are three trim levels with unique exterior treatments for each.

Power Wagon Tradesman features a monotone exterior color. Grille-surround and inserts are colored black as are the headlamp filler panels and wheel flares and a Power Wagon decal spreads across the bottom of the tailgate.

Power Wagon SLT stands out with a crosshair grille divided into four quadrants. Depending on color selected, (Bright White, Flame Red, Black, Bright Silver and Granite Crystal), the SLT-trimmed Power Wagon receives special red billets in the four quadrants providing quick identification of the Power Wagon package.

Also included are Bi-functional halogen projector headlamps underlined with an LED array, two-tone paint with Tri-color Carbide Blade graphics matched to the Power Wagon colors. A large Power Wagon decal covers the bottom of both side doors. The LED trend is carried to the rear tail lamps and a theme-matched Power Wagon graphic adorns the base of the tailgate.

Power Wagon Laramie is the more reserved of the trio. Laramie features an all chrome grille and bi-functional halogen headlamps set into a chrome background. The monotone painted body and wheel flares combine with polished wheels and a unique Power Wagon chrome tailgate badge, giving the Laramie Power Wagon a sleeper appearance considering its capability. As with all Laramie trim level Ram trucks, the interior is top notch with leather seating surfaces, premium materials and soft touch points.

For 2014 Ram Power Wagon offers 12 different colors depending on model: True Blue, Maximum Steel, Deep Cherry Red, Blue Streak, Black Gold, Western Brown, Prairie, Flame Red, Bright White, Black (monotone), Bright Silver and Granite Crystal.

Just In Case – But Not Likely

Lastly, just in case a driver manages to find a place or situation that the new 2014 Ram Power Wagon cannot get out of, there is a standard Warn 12,000-lb. winch tucked neatly behind the bold chrome front bumper with a heavy gauge steel cable and pronounced hook that can be used.

But it should be noted that Ram expects that 2014 Ram Power Wagon owners will probably be more likely to use the Warn cable and hook to pull competitor trucks out of trouble instead of their own.

Source: Fiat Chrysler Ram Brand

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