Attention is focused on the Raptor-fighting Rebel TRX off-roader, but never say never.
As full-size pickup trucks continue to become bigger, more comfortable, and ever-more-capable, it would seem we’re living in a golden age for the segment. Yet there is a glaring, gaping, gigantic hole in the space: street performance models.
No doubt, trucks like the Ford F-150 Raptor are impressively quick whether running on sand or street, but it hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from missing the F-150 Lightning. The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison can’t replace the Chevrolet Silverado SS, and the Ram SRT-10 with its Viper-sourced V-10 and 4.9-second 0-60 time is a distantly fond memory. Could that be changing?
"I think enthusiasm, trucks and performance is always a connection. Americans love that kind of stuff," Ram Brand boss Jim Morrison told us when we asked if performance trucks like the SRT-10 would ever come back. It wasn't a yes, but it certainly wasn't a flat-out denial, either. At the very least, it’s a signal of recognizing market demand. At most, something fast might be coming with an open bed, a Ram badge, and an appetite for tarmac.
For its part, Ram openly confirms the Rebel TRX (featured above in spy photos) and aims to appease performance enthusiasts with it, as well as to bite a chunk out of Ford's F-150 Raptor sales. It’s expected to enter the fray with a supercharged Hellcat V8 compared to the Raptor’s turbo six, and we've heard engineers are targeting stable off-road speeds of around 100 miles per hour. That’s great, if you like sand and dirt. For street performance, and drag racing (which the people at FCA seem to love), a different kind of mousetrap would be required. That's where an SRT-10 successor could come in.
For now, Morrison would like to focus on what’s been made public.
"We've got the TRX on the horizon, and we’re looking forward to that," he said.
FCA continues to demonstrate a deep understanding of automotive Americana – the stuff that is both fun, and quintessentially USA. Look at the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the Dodge Durango SRT, Ram Rebel, the Challenger and Charger Hellcat brothers, and of course the SRT Demon as current examples. We have little doubt that the company recognizes the growing hunger for a street performance truck – an appetite that hasn’t been fully satiated in almost 20 years.