It’s not too impressive in 2016 to claim your vehicle can do 100 miles per hour – unless, that is, you’re promising that 100 mph is achievable off-road. That’s the big claim of the Ram Rebel TRX concept, a hugely powerful “extreme performance” truck that looks ready to bring the fight to the Ford F-150 Raptor.
The basis for the TRX is a regular Ram 1500 Rebel, but with everything turned up to 12. A new vented hood allows extra cooling air for a 575-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine (yes, essentially a de-tuned Hellcat engine). It directs waste gases through five-inch, side-exit exhausts integrated with the side rock rails. The eight-speed automatic transmission has specific programming for fast off-roading, while the rear axle uses an electronically locking Dynatrac Pro 60 differential. The front axles have been modified, too, to accommodate new suspension and a wider track.
Up front, custom suspension control arms help provide more than 13 inches of suspension travel, versus 9 inches on a regular Ram Rebel, with adjustable coil-over shocks with external reservoirs providing damping. In back, Ram hasn’t modified any of the multilink suspension mounting points, but still managed to increase wheel travel from 9.25 to 13 inches, thanks in part to 2.5-inch thick bypass shocks and performance springs. Baer six-piston calipers grab 15-inch brake rotors in front and 14-inch rotors in the rear.
Suspension upgrades won’t do anything without an appropriate tire, so the Ram Rebel TRX concept rolls on special 37-inch off-road rubber wrapped around bead-lock wheels; the concept comes with two spare wheels and tires mounted in a special carrier in the bed, with tools and a jack stored in a lockable bed compartment. Who needs an AAA membership?
Most of the truck’s visual upgrades are functional. The new grille, for instance, provides more breathing capacity for the engine; the composite flared fenders were necessitated by the six-inch increase in the truck’s track width; auxiliary LED lighting helps with night visibility; the taller hood from a Ram Heavy Duty was needed to fit over the engine’s supercharger; a steel front skid plate helps protect the truck on trails. And both rows of seats benefit from six-point harnesses to keep occupants in place during wild jumps and whoops off the beaten track.
Other interior tweaks include the fitment of the steering wheel from a Viper, various new red accents, a GoPro action-camera mount near the rear-view mirror, and nylon “Release” straps instead of traditional door handles.
So, will you see the Rebel TRX at your local dealership? It’s too soon to say, but Ram does promise that launching this concept is intended to judge customer interest and the engineering feasibility of “an extreme performance half-ton pickup truck.” With cross-town rivals Ford launching a new F-150 Raptor, it seems like the time is right for Ram to get in on the high-speed off-roading action.
Gallery: Ram Rebel TRX Concept
Ram, America’s off-road truck leader, today introduced the Ram Rebel TRX concept. Rebel TRX is a 100-mph off-road machine with 575 horsepower – the most powerful half-ton truck the company has ever built. Ripping over pavement at speeds greater than 100 mph is an experience, but the Ram Rebel TRX concept hits triple digits in an off-road environment with the help of a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® V-8.
“Ram Truck heads to the 2016 State Fair of Texas with a host of product news plus a new concept that pickup fans will truly appreciate – the Ram Rebel TRX concept was built specifically for this event and solidifies Ram Truck’s position as the off-road pickup leader,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “With 575 supercharged horsepower and a suspension system built to withstand an all-day hammering, the Rebel TRX concept can devour the roughest terrain at more than 100 miles per hour and never look back.”
The rapidly beating heart of the Ram Rebel TRX concept is a powertrain marvel. A 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI with 575 horsepower, the most powerful Ram 1500 the company has ever built, lays the groundwork of expectation.
Mated to the TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission, new calibrations were used for the engine, transmission and drivetrain to optimize the expected high-speed off-road driving cycle.
The Ram Rebel TRX concept uses Ram’s 4x4 Performance Control System with a BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case. The system employs different modes of operation: Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road and Baja.
The Ram Rebel TRX concept uses a standard Ram 1500 front axle with an open differential and custom CV half-shafts to handle the wider track dimension. The spindles are moved forward to make room within the fender wells for the aggressive 37-inch tires.
In the rear, a Dynatrac Pro 60 axle spools power through an electric, selectable locker to 35-spline, 1.5-inch axle shafts. The locker is available in all modes and commits both rear wheels to traction at the same speed, spreads the torque load and maximizes the tractive effort (power put to the ground) in full-throttle maneuvers.
The Ram Rebel TRX has an exterior design that radiates focused aggression, which is only trumped by what lies under its skin. The concept was built around suspension and frame prerequisites. Equally important was adapting as many systems from the standard Ram 1500 as possible to ensure durability and proper function.
The high-strength steel frame structure of the Ram Rebel TRX is virtually unchanged when compared to a standard Ram 1500. The frame uses low-torsion attributes that increase durability, stability and handling precision.
A 40 percent increase in suspension travel and 37-inch tires contribute to incredible ground clearance. This combination allows the TRX concept to overcome surface obstacles at high speed
The front suspension incorporates custom-built upper and lower A-arms with special attention to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. Overall, front- and rear-wheel travel is increased to more than 13 inches from the standard 9 inches. The front load is managed by a state-of-the-art, adjustable, performance coil-over shock with internal bypass. The result is a smooth ride over smaller bumps, and when the bumps become mounds, the reaction speed and heat dissipation is unbeatable, softening the impact on occupants and maintaining the tire-to-ground contact.
The Ram 1500 uses an exclusive, best-in-class link coil rear suspension system that shares basic architecture with the fastest off-road trucks in desert racing. The frame’s hard points for the five-link suspension system are unchanged and allow the rear axle travel to span up to 13 inches, while standard rear-wheel travel on the Ram 1500 is 9.25 inches. New 2.5-inch bypass shocks use factory upper and lower shock mounts. The standard rear coils are swapped for performance springs located in the factory-spec positions.
To provide incredible stopping power, the factory hydraulic-boost compensation unit enhances brake pedal feel and performance during emergency stop events. Baer brakes six-piston monoblock calipers mounted to 15-inch rotors equip the front. The rear uses six-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors
High-speed off-road truck racing teams commonly use a 37-inch tire for its height and durability. Tires with 37 inches of height, 13.5 inches of width, aggressive treads and 10-ply design are assigned the task for Rebel TRX. The Rebel TRX concept also features custom beadlock wheels from Mopar. Beadlock wheels provide additional tire-holding strength by pinching the outside of the tire to the rim. The Rebel TRX carries two complete spare tire and wheel packages. Tools and jack are located in custom, lockable storage between the wheels in the bed.
Although it is clear that the line and color combinations are borrowed from the popular Rebel and Power Wagon models, the Ram Rebel TRX has a much more chiseled look.
Three letters burst clear of a Power Wagon-inspired grille spelling “RAM” in body-matching black and red. Out of necessity, the bold, scooped grille allows a fire-breathing supercharged engine to cool with additional air flow. Composite flares help compensate for a six-inch increase in track width and gave designers another location to mark their signature. A lower brush guard is forged in steel and up to the “rock knock” test.
To clear the roots-style blower mounted atop the HEMI engine, the Rebel TRX uses a hood based on the taller Ram Heavy Duty design. The raised fender height matches shoulders to chest. A drone’s-eye view exposes bright LED clearance lighting and the acute hour-glass body lines as they dive back into the doors only to pop back out in the back, enabling rear tires to firmly tuck into the wells.
The side of the Rebel TRX leads your eye to enormous five-inch, side-exit exhaust ports integrated within a full-length rock rail for added body/sill protection.
Closing out the rear of the truck, a large “Ram” badge in Matte Black is borrowed from the Rebel and covers the tailgate. A custom rear steel bumper with integrated skid plate and tow hooks matches capability features on the front of the truck.
When traversing rough terrain at high speeds, seating is important. The interior design team chose suede with accent mesh cloth inserts to cover the rear bench and front buckets. The suede inserts provide tremendous grip to clothing. The front seats integrate lateral support upper bolsters with embroidered logos. All four seats are strapped with six-point harnesses, further fixing occupants to their proper locations.
An open upper glove box with elastic straps holds a sturdy TRX-labeled bag with color matched tools. A seven-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) display cluster features muddy tracks and TRX badge graphics. The same graphics fill the screen on an 8.4 Uconnect. To record TRX’s accomplishments, a custom camera mount is located at the rear-view mirror.
The center console matches efforts on the instrument panel and includes a new polystable shifter trimmed in black suede and Header Red stitching. Designers re-trimmed the Rebel TRX armrests with solid Header Red accent stitching and wrapped the upper bolster in suede to keep arms in place. Nylon-strap door pulls are embroidered with “Release.”
A sport bar covered in black anodized paint provides anchor points dedicated to the six-point harnesses and spans from B-pillar to B-pillar – formed to allow maximum possible seat travel.
The Rebel TRX interior floor trades carpet for black rubberized coating. Black all-weather mats from Mopar reduce foot slip when foot-to-pedal placement is crucial.
One look at the Ram Rebel TRX concept and its intentions are clear — a 575-horsepower off-road machine with the ability to clear miles of desert in the blink of an eye.