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Mopar Underground 2010 Ram Powerwagon Concept

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 1, 2012
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Photographers: Sean P. Holman

When Dodge resurrected the Power Wagon name in 2005, it was clear the company was dead serious about offering the industry’s most off-road-capable fullsize pickup. Dodge based the Power Wagon on the solid axle ¾-ton Ram truck, and it was fitted with front and rear locking differentials; a switch-operated disconnecting front sway bar to improve suspension flex; lots of beefy underbody protection; a simple lever-shift transfer case; stout Warn 12,000-pound winch; quality Bilstein shocks; large 33-inch tires; and strong 17-inch forged aluminum wheels. It doesn’t get much better than that. Or does it?

There’s no debating that the Powerwagon has a muscular stance befitting its name. That look is enhanced by an exterior paint scheme that is a nod to that found on the Power Wagon in the ’70s. All of the colors are custom, the main color is white, and it has black highlights and a green accent. The truck rolls on 40-inch-tall BFG Mud-Terrain tires that are 14½ inches wide. They’re inflated around the factory 17x8 forged aluminum Power Wagon wheels that have been powdercoated black (the rig is shod with 17x8.5 Hutchinson Rock Monster beadlock wheels on the cover of this month’s issue). All of the fenders were radiused to create ample room for the big tires to travel without contacting sheetmetal. The truck has a generous 25¼ inches of front bumper-to-ground clearance and an impressive approach angle of 45 degrees. Out back, it has 32 ½ inches of rear tow hook-to-ground clearance and a notable departure angle of 39 degrees. The lowest point under body, other than the axles, is the exhaust xover pipe at 19 3/4 inches.

To gauge consumer reaction, Chrysler’s Mopar Under Ground created a radical, short wheelbase version of the ’10 Power Wagon that integrates Power Wagon features in a regular cab truck with a trick, custom bed. The result is a rig that is over 32 inches shorter in overall length and has a 29-inch shorter wheelbase than the current Power Wagon Quad Cab. Not only does this configuration look smokin’ hot, it translates to improved maneuverability both on- and off-road.

Here’s one of the trucks surprises, a one-of-a-kind cargo bed that was custom made for the Powerwagon. Mopar Under Ground grafted a pair of ’10 Ram dualie bedsides onto a narrowed and lengthened inner box section from a 5-foot 7-inch RamBox cargo bed. The cargo bed was then lined with protective bedliner material and a Mopar Accessories fuel door was added to the driver-side bedside. The result is a brawny looking unit that retains its functionality.

So how did Mopar Under Ground create what they simply call “Powerwagon,” and what are its features? Read on, there are some surprises.

Out back there’s a custom tube bumper welded to the rear framerails and it’s made from 4-inch-diameter steel tube. A spare tire and wheel are bolted securely to the cargo bed floor via a custom mount. Bolted to each framerail is a heavy-duty towhook.

The Details
Owner/Hometown: Chrysler LLC/Auburn Hills, Michigan
Vehicle/Model: 2010 Ram Powerwagon
Estimated value: N/A
Type: Chrysler 5.7L Hemi V-8
Aspiration: Fuel injection
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 383/375
Transmission: Chrysler 545RFE 5-spd auto
Transfer case: NV271
Front: Superlift 4-in-lift coil springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks
Rear: Superlift 4-in-lift coil springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks
Front: AAM 9.25-in/TracRite
Rear: AAM 10.5-in/TracRite
Ring and pinion: 4.56:1
Wheels: 17x8 factory forged aluminum, powdercoated (17x8.5 Hutchinson Rock Monster beadlock’s on the cover image)
Tires: 40x14.50R17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain

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