Smart BarOne of the technical achievements of the Power Wagon is the use of an electronically disconnecting sway bar. The sway bar works by resisting lateral weight transfer in corners, making the handling more predictable and stable. However, while stabilizer bars are excellent on the road, they have the distinct disadvantage of limiting suspension articulation, which hurts low-speed off-road performance. To get around this problem, many off-roaders add manual disconnects or remove their sway bars altogether, which can make for sketchy highway handling. With the Power Wagon, Dodge engineers tackled the problem and have come up with a solution in the form of the Electronic Disconnecting Stabilizer Bar, or Smart Bar in Dodge parlance.
The Smart bar works with the touch of a dash-mounted switch and can be disengaged by the driver in 4-Hi or 4-Lo at speeds below 18 mph. In case the driver forgets the sway bar is disengaged it automatically re-engages at speeds above 18 mph and will automatically disengage at speeds below 14 mph when selected. In case of failure, the system has a safe mode that returns the bar to the engaged setting.
As the pictures above illustrate, the suspension is at its most effective when the sway bar is disconnected. With the sway bar connected, the Power Wagon is capable of a 460 score on the Ramp Travel Index, or RTI, which gives a maximum score of 1,000. With the bar disengaged, the Power Wagon is capable of an impressive score of 655 on the RTI.
SpecsYear/Make/Model: '05 Dodge Power WagonVehicle Type: Four-door pickupBase Price: TBAEngine: 5.7L pushrod V-8Power: 345 hp at 5,400 rpmTorque: 375 lb-ft at 4,200 rpmTransmission: Five-speed automatic or six-speed manual (late availability)Wheelbase (in): 140Length (in): 227.7Width (in): 79.8Height (in): 80.6Curb Weight (lb): 5,890Payload (lb): 2,620Max Tow Rating (lb): 11,000