While the 1500 TRX has certainly captured desert runners’ attention, it’s not the only off-road-ready Ram truck available. Ram also offers the Power Wagon, based on the heavy-duty 2500 pickup. 2021 marks the ‘Power Wagon’ nameplate’s 75th anniversary. And to help celebrate the occasion, Ram’s giving it a touch of the TRX.
From Dodge to Ram: how the Power Wagon has evolved over 75 years
The 1946 Dodge Power Wagon wasn’t the first American pickup truck; that honor belongs to the Reo Speedwagon. But it was the first civilian production truck with four-wheel drive, Hemmings reports. Prior to that, 4WD pickups were military vehicles—which is where the civilian Power Wagon comes from.
Dodge produced the original Power Wagon from 1946-1968, Hagerty reports, though export models remained in production until 1978. Today, several companies produce Power Wagon restomods with updated powertrains and other components. But the original models offered a variety of six-cylinder engines, albeit upgraded for off-road duty, Allpar reports. The truck also came with power takeoffs so they could run saws, winches, pumps, or similar equipment.
The original Dodge Power Wagon’s biggest change came in 1957 when it received new styling, an updated interior, and optional power steering and brakes. But after 1978, the nameplate remained dormant until 2005, when it reappeared as a Dodge Ram trim level. And when Ram split from Dodge in 2010, it took the Power Wagon name with it, Car and Driver reports.
Since then, the Power Wagon name has been exclusively reserved for Ram 2500 models. And it has the off-road features to live up to its legacy, Car and Driver reports. The latest model has front and rear locking differentials, taller springs, upgraded suspension and axles, an electronically-disconnecting front sway bar, off-road tires, and a bumper-mounted 12,000-lb winch. It also has a 360° camera system to make obstacle-spotting easier.
The 2021 Ram Power Wagon 75th Anniversary Edition, though, comes with a few 1500 TRX-inspired goodies.
The 2021 Ram Power Wagon 75th Anniversary Edition has some 1500 TRX parts
Sadly, the 2021 Ram Power Wagon 75th Anniversary Edition doesn’t have the 1500 TRX’s 702-hp Hellcat V8. Like the standard Power Wagon, it has a 410-hp 6.4-liter V8, Motor1 reports. But it does have some formerly TRX-exclusive off-road parts, Car and Driver reports.
Firstly, the 2021 Ram Power Wagon 75th Anniversary has beadlock-capable wheels, albeit 17” ones rather than the 1500 TRX’s 18” ones. These wheels maintain their grip on the tires even when there’s little to no air pressure remaining. Off-roaders often have to air-down their tires for better grip, which can lead to the tires slipping around or off their wheels. Beadlock-capable tires prevent this.
While the wheels are merely ‘inspired’ by the Ram 1500 TRX, the 2021 Power Wagon 75th Anniversary Edition does have a genuine TRX feature. The heavy-duty truck’s infotainment includes the TRX’s Off-Road Pages, Road & Track reports. This function displays information like ride height, transfer case position, as well as the Power Wagon’s pitch and roll angles.
Besides the standard Power Wagon features, the 75th Anniversary Edition comes with an upgraded brown-leather interior, blacked-out trim, and some exterior decals.
It also bundles many of the truck’s optional extras, such as heated seats and steering wheel, a 12” touchscreen, power-adjustable pedals, remote start, automatic high beams, and a 115V auxiliary power outlet. Plus, it has a new blacked-out grille with vertical slats like the original, The Drive reports, and a 17-speaker Harman-Kardon audio system.
Pricing and availability
The 2021 Ram Power Wagon 75th Anniversary Edition is scheduled to hit dealers by Q4 2020, Motor Trend reports.
The standard version starts at $53,735. In contrast, the 75th Anniversary Edition starts at $65,250. That’s actually a pretty good deal, considering a standard model equipped to the 75th Anniversary Edition’s level would cost just $840 less. But it wouldn’t have the Ram 1500 TRX’s Off-Road Pages, and nor the brown leather interior, which is a 75th Anniversary Edition exclusive.
So, happy 75th birthday, Ram Power Wagon—now go pound some sand.
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