How Does the 2016 Ram Power Wagon Do at an Extreme Towing Test? [Ike Gauntlet]

2016 ram power wagon
2016 Ram Power Wagon

The Power Wagon is known for off-road hardware and prowess. It’s a heavy duty truck with the tires, ground clearance, axles, and a 4×4 system to conquer some difficult terrain. Any pickup truck, even an off-road rig like this, needs to be able to tow. This is why we took the 2016 Power Wagon, hitched up a 9,000 lbs trailer, and went towing to over 11,158 feet above sea level to see its towing skills. If it can handle the Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test, then it should handle most towing jobs with ease.

The truck has a big 6.4-liter HEMI V8 that’s good for 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. The 6-speed automatic transmission sends the power to the 4.10 rear axle (we run all Ike tests in 2WD). The truck has what it takes to tow.

Watch the Ram Power Wagon run down and up the mountain here. [Spoiler Alert: the results are in the table below the video.]


2016 Ram Power Wagon
Model Crew Cab 4WD
As-Tested Price $57,480
Engine 6.4-liter V8
Transmission 6-speed Auto
Power (hp / lb-ft) 410 / 429
Payload Rating  1,444 lbs
Tow Rating 10,300 lbs
 GCWR 18,500 lbs
Test Load (trailer + ppl) 9,500 lbs
Down: Transmission Temp normal
 Down: # of Brake Events  2
Up: Time  10:00
Up: MPG 3.0
Up: Transmission Temp normal
 Ike Gauntlet Rating 54 out of 100

All specifications are for the as-tested configuration.

We are implementing the following scoring system to rate the trucks’ performance on the Ike Gauntlet.

There is a maximum of 100 points, with 25 points given in each of the following categories:

  • Downhill Braking: 1 point is subtracted for each brake application required to keep a truck below the desired speed limit of 60 mph. Brakes are applied to decrease speed to 50 mph then released.
  • Uphill Time: The 8-mile uphill run should be completed in 8:00 minutes at 60 mph. Trucks are deducted 1 point for each 5 second interval (or portion thereof) over 8:00 minutes required to complete the run.
  • Uphill MPG: Based on previous years’ tests, a baseline of 6.0 mpg was established. Trucks are deducted 1 point for each 0.2 mpg (as calculated by the vehicle’s trip computer) under 6.0 mpg. Trucks will be awarded points for mpg scores over 6.0 mpg using the same 0.2 mpg rule.
  • Subjective Review: Inevitably, there are aspects to any truck that cannot be captured by a category, except this one. Each truck will have the drivers give their subjective scoring based on driving impressions and features that detract from or add to a truck’s Ike Gauntlet performance. With a max of 25 points given by each reviewer, the scores are averaged.

The 2016 Ram Power Wagon with the 6.4L V8 score breaks down as follows:

  • 23 points for Downhill Braking,
  •  1 point for Uphill Time,
  • 10 points for Uphill MPG,
  • 20 points as the average of the subjective scores from Nathan (20 points) and MrTruck (20 points)

The total is a 54 out of 100 rating.