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Built to beat on

More than two decades ago, Dodge's Ram Power Wagon was as popular with farmers as it was with extreme off-road enthusiasts. Now, after a 25-year hiatus, the Power Wagon returns as one of the most capable off-road pickup trucks ever created.

The 2005 Power Wagon is based on the Dodge Ram 2500 platform and is available in either regular or Quad Cab body styles. Standard features include electric-locking front and rear differentials, a disconnecting sway bar, a 345-hp, 5.7-l HEMI engine, 33-in. BF Goodrich All Terrain tires, and a custom-built Warn 12,000-lb. winch.

The truck has a running height of 14.5 in., compared to 12 in. on the Ram 2500. The vehicle's approach angle is boosted to 35°, the departure angle is increased to 26.5° and the break-over angle is enhanced to 25.5°. This provides significant clearance for navigating a variety of off-road conditions.

On the underside, a steering damper skid plate and fore-aft bars bring together the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, resulting in armor that minimizes underside damage and rock wedging. Reducing the risk of vehicle body damage from the most severe off-road terrain are 3-in., heavy-gauge, tubular steel rock rails, which are available from Mopar.

An electronic disconnecting stabilizer bar, called a “smart bar,” delivers additional wheel travel for traversing tough terrain. The driver-actuated stabilizer bar disengagement is possible in both 4-wd “high” or 4-wd “low” at speeds below 18 mph. As a safety feature, the smart bar reengages at speeds above 18 mph.

Front and rear electronic axle lockers provide low-speed maneuvering when climbing boulders and ascending steep inclines by evenly splitting torque between both wheels, forcing them to turn in unison for extra traction. Bilstein monotube, high-pressure gas shock absorbers keep all four wheels firmly planted, and 4.56 gearing assures immediate takeoff when stepping on the gas.

The Power Wagon’s gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is 17,000 lbs., and the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 8,510 lbs.

Price: $36,660. For more information, see your Dodge dealer or visit

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