Amid all the glitz and glamour that the Paris Motor Show provided this week, an unveiling at the Texas State Fair by Ram almost flew under the radar. However the brand’s Rebel TRX concept truck could signal that Ram is finally getting serious about unveiling a future Raptor fighting model.
While some folks might have assumed that the RAM 1500 Rebel was the solution to this dilemma prior to its NAIAS debut last year, it turned out to be more adept at navigating backwoods trails versus being an outright sand assault vehicle. The TRX on the other hand completely flips the script, and makes its intentions boldly known.
This is apparent when you look at what’s lurking underneath the hood. Like the Jeep Trailcat Concept that debuted at Jeeps annual Easter Safari event, the TRX is packing the potent 6.2 liter supercharged Hellcat V8. But unlike its street oriented brand mates the SRT Challenger and Charger, power here has been dialed back (perhaps reluctantly) from 707 horsepower to a still potent 575 horses. Ram claims that the decrease was needed to help the engine cope with minor calibration changes that engineers needed to do to help it work better off road. We’re not complaining, especially since it still has 125 more horsepower, and two more cylinders than its Blue Oval counterpart.
These figures also allow this potent rig to hit speeds just over 100 mph when it is in full off road mode. All of this grunt is channeled to all four wheels through an eight speed automatic transmission that has also been beefed up for off road duties despite it giving a two cog lead to the Raptor’s 10-speed unit.
The rear of the Rebel TRX has an electronically operated locking differential and the truck also features a new updated version of Ram’s 4×4 Performance Control System. In addition to the carryover Normal, Wet/Snow, and Off Road modes, the concept also has an all new Baja mode and it is this particular setting that allows the truck to blast through the sand at triple digit speeds.
In addition to its impressive list of equipment, the chassis has also been reworked for off road excursions. While the standard Ram 1500 frame remains unchanged, Ram engineers have equipped the truck with custom front control arms, internal bypass shocks, and new springs the end result is 13 inches of suspension travel as well as room for the massive 37 x 13.5 inch off road tires. Ram engineers also gave it beefier brakes with 15 inch discs up front and 14 inch discs in the rear. Six piston brake calipers help provide the sufficient clamping force needed to bring the Rebel TRX down from any speed.
Rounding out the package is a new wrapper with the Rebel TRX concept boasting revised exterior and interior styling. The body of the Rebel TRX is six inches wider than a standard Ram 1500 and incorporates larger composite fenders to help protect the bigger off road tires. The truck also comes equipped with a vented and scooped hood which not only helps keep the Hellcat engine cool, but also provided the necessary clearance needed to make the supercharger fit into the car. A beefy sport bar was also grafted into the bed and has the equipment needed to haul a pair of spare tires as well as a separated LED light bar. An integrated side exit exhaust system and a front mounted steel skid plate round out the package and further enhance the bold presence generated by this concept.
The interior of the truck also sees its fair share of upgrades and is swathed in acres of leather suede and carbon fiber trim. The front seats have also been equipped with racing harnesses that are hooked up to a specially constructed harness bar that covers the entire B-pillar. Ram engineers also took a page from the Porsche playbook of interior design and have replaced the traditional door handles with nylon release straps.
While this particular concept is not quite ready to become a true threat to the Raptor, Ram did reveal that it is openly looking at the market to see if a truck like the Rebel TRX is a good idea and whether it can offer it to customers. A production Rebel TRX would also add some meat to Ram’s goal of greatly expanding its off road vehicle lineup which would further cement Ram’s chances of competing against the Raptor as well as Toyota and its expanding lineup of TRD off-road products.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.