Charles from Casper Wyoming asked us,
“Why don’t RAM put their best engine (the Cummins) in their best looking truck, the Power Wagon?”
A very valid question, thanks to Charles for submitting. It’s a common question, believe it or not, that has been floating around for years now. There are gas and diesel options on just about every other RAM truck, now including the 1500’s with the EcoDiesel. So why isn’ there a diesel option on the RAM Power Wagon?
Quick overview of the Power Wagon
The name Power RAM/Power Wagon name has been around since the 1940’s with the Dodge Power Wagon. Back then it was a nameplate and the truck was not a dedicated off-road truck (other than maybe moonshining?). A Cummins turbo diesel engine was available as an option from 1989-1993. Around 2005 is about the time the truck became more of an off-road vehicle. The only pickup that comes with a winch from factory. A 12,000lb WARN winch. (Check out our funny video on how to use the Power Wagon Winch) Today, the Power Wagon is an off-road beast with locking front and rear diffs, disconnecting sway bars and of course the winch. It has the 6.4L Hemi V-8 with a 4.10 axle ratio, Bilstein shocks, steel bumpers and a factory lift to mention just some of the features.
Why no Cummins option
The reason the Power Wagon does not have a Cummins option is that just about everything that makes it a Power Wagon is not very compatible with the Cummins engine. The V-8 gas Hemi engine takes up less room than the inline 6 Cummins. Road and Track mentioned the fact that there would not be room for the winch if there was a Cummins in it. Another reason is that the Cummins engine is also much heavier than the 6.4L Hemi. The Cummins is 1050-1150 lbs dry, whilst the 6.4L HEMI is around 500lbs. Probably not a great idea to have a nose heavy off-road truck. Better throttle response from a gas engine might just be what you need as you’re trying to negotiate a rock.
Sure, RAM could probably find a way to overcome these factors but a lot of engineering would have to be done. The real question is, is it financially viable for the company to completely redesign and engineer a truck that is about to be replaced. The answer is no. Perhaps in the future when the truck is redesigned we could see a diesel-powered Power Wagon, but don’t hold your breath.
Still want a diesel heavy-duty off-road truck?
If you’d rather replace the winch with a Cummins engine, there is always the option of a RAM 2500 with the off-road package. The package includes Bilstein shocks, off-road decals, tow hooks, transfer case skid plate and Hill Descent Control.
Would you like to submit a reader question?
Send your question to email@example.com and don’t worry, if you want to remain anonymous, we can do that too!
Bowman, Zach. “Ram Had 3 Diesel Options for the Power Wagon, Chose None.” Road & Track, Road & Track, 6 Oct. 2017,
Parks, Seth. “Making the Case for a Diesel Ram Power Wagon.” The Truth About Cars, 22 June 2017,
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. She has driven hundreds of vehicles, not only new cars but beaters without heaters, fast cars on fire, slow cars in snow, off-road trucks in the mucks, and old pickups with pups. She’s driven heaps of Jeeps, miles in muscle and once took her gran in a car from Japan.