It was only fitting at the Texas State Fair today that Ram reveal its most powerful ½-ton pickup yet—the Rebel TRX concept truck.
The ultimate high-speed, off-road truck according to Jim Morrison, head of Ram Brand, FCA North America, is equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 that delivers an impressive 575 horsepower.
Engineered to travel off-road at speeds in excess of 100mph, the Rebel TRX is six inches wider than a standard Ram 1500 and features 37-inch Toyo tires housed in cavernous fender wells that have room for up to 13 inches of wheel travel.
“I know that some of you guys know what that mean and that means that this can go fast and keep the power to the ground,” Morrison told reporters during this morning’s reveal.
Mated to the TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission, new calibrations were used for the engine, transmission and drivetrain to optimize high-speed, off-road driving.
The Ram Rebel TRX concept uses Ram’s 4×4 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 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 exterior of the Ram Rebel TRX features an hour-glass design. The concept was built around suspension and frame prerequisites. Equally important, Ram reports, 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 impressive 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 increased 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 in the bed. 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.