Short wheelbase with IRS and SRT-10 wheels? This could get interesting.
Motor1.com received some very interesting spy photos from a reader today. These four shots come from Arizona and feature a small fleet of full-size Ram 1500 trucks swathed in camo wrap. We’ll cut right to the good part – these could be test vehicles for a new high-performance street truck. Can you say Ram SRT Hellcat? We love the sound of that.
These photos offer some compelling evidence to back that up. For starters, the trucks clearly aren’t outfitted for off-road action. The ride height looks a bit lower than a stock two-wheel-drive 1500, and the tires are light-duty Bridgestones designed for street use. The plot really thickens from there, as these trucks appear to be Quad-Cab models with the 5’7” box. Ram doesn’t offer that combo, and with no single cab trucks available, this would be the smallest full-size Ram truck you could get. For a high-performance street truck, that would be the best platform. But wait, there’s more.
Here’s where it gets really interesting. Take a close look at the rear axle of the prototype in the above photo. Unless those lower arms are there for special bracing, that looks suspiciously like an independent rear suspension setup. The photo at the top of the article is even more intriguing, because it features wheels last seen on the gone-but-not-forgotten, Viper-powered Dodge Ram SRT-10. So yeah, this is a very interesting sighting indeed.
Beyond that, the Ram 1500 is already getting a Hellcat V8 in the TRX so the power is already there. The TRX is decidedly an off-road vehicle though, built on a larger platform. The big support beams running from the cab to the rear of the bed could be for evaluation purposes, seeing how the shorter, lighter truck handles the Hellcat's prodigious torque.
There's a notable catch in this theory though. We recently reported that Ram sees the TRX as catering to buyers wanting both off-road and on-road performance. In fact, that report went so far as to say the automaker wasn’t currently looking at a hardcore street truck. And yet, we have these photos.
Gallery: Ram 1500 SRT Street Truck Prototype Spy Photos
Obviously, we have many questions at this point but Ram isn’t talking. It’s possible we’re simply looking at test mules exercising different suspension setups and cab/bed combinations for next-generation trucks. These could also be performance testbeds for racing applications, or they could be testing components for entirely different production models in the FCA lineup.
If these are just mules, why cover the bodies in camouflage wrap? And why in the world would Ram choose to slap easily recognizable SRT-10 wheels on a prototype? Our spider sense tells us Ram is at least considering an SRT model at this point. Moreover, the automaker doesn't seem too keen on hiding it.
With manufacturers focusing on high-performance off-road trucks, pulling an end-around with a dedicated tarmac scorching pickup could be a big win for Ram. There seems to be an endless supply of Mopar fans hungry for Hellcat power, and such a machine could enjoy a segment of the truck market where there’s no competition. We will certainly be watching Ram very closely going forward for more on this.
Special thanks to Motor1.com reader Ben for sending us these awesome photos.