Ram Rebel TRX: 7 Things To Know About The Hellcat-Engined High-Speed Off-Road Concept Truck

RK Motors Jun 05 2018

Ram's Raptor fighter gets the green light to combine Hellcat performance with Baja style

 

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

Ram executives officially confirmed last week that the Rebel TRX concept, seen in 2016 at the State Fair of Texas, will see production, delighting Mopar and truck fans alike. The Hellcat-engined formula will stay, along with high-speed off-road capability, but we're likely to see even greater performance than the 2016 concept previewed.

Here's what the concept promised, and what you can start saving for this very day.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

1. The Powertrain

Powering the Ram Rebel TRX concept is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 producing 575 hp, which makes it the most powerful half-ton truck that Ram (or Dodge) has ever built. If 6.2 liters and a supercharger sounds familiar, that's because this is a version of the Hellcat engine, dialed down from 707 hp and optimized for high-speed off-road driving. The transmission is TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed automatic.

"In the rear, a Dynatrac Pro 60 axle spools power through an electric, selectable locker to 35-spline, 1.5-inch axle shafts," Ram says. "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’s 4x4 Performance Control System features a BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case, and the system offers four different driving modes: normal, wet/snow, off-road and Baja.

It's possible that Ram will dial the horsepower output back up for the production version, or versions, of the TRX; Two flavors are rumored with the beefier version likely to offer well in excess of 575 hp, closer to the Hellcat's 707-hp output. 575 hp. in other words, may be just the starting point for the production truck.

2. The Suspension

While the high-strength steel frame structure of the Rebel TRX concept is almost identical to that of a Ram 1500, the suspension is a different story. Ram increased the suspension travel by 40 percent, going from 9 inches to 13 inches in the back, and utilized custom-built upper and lower A-arms. Adjustable coil-over shocks with internal bypass sort out the front load, while the back features a best-in-class link coil rear suspension system with hardware borrowed from the fastest desert-racing trucks.

"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," Ram says.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

3. The Design

This is more than just making a beefed-up Ram: The automaker's design studio restyled the off-road truck for traveling over very rough terrain at speeds in excess of 100 mph. This means that design elements were created with function in mind. Composite wheelarch flares were added for the increased suspension travel and tire size, while the grille was redesigned to permit greater airflow to the supercharger. The hood itself is based on the Ram Heavy Duty model -- also a necessity given the hardware underhood. LED foglights were also added to help the truck navigate in low visibility environments, while oversized tow hooks were integrated into the powder-coated steel front bumper.

“The Rebel TRX concept gave us the opportunity to examine what a Ram 1500 would look like in the high-speed off-road world,” said Joe Dehner, Head of Ram Exterior Design — FCA North America. “The tolerances are extreme and features are far different from what most customers expect from their pickup, but that’s what makes it rousing and fun.”

When it comes to appearance, the concept was painted in Header Red, with black accents on the hood, body and roof.

4. The Bed

Even though this is a concept truck meant go go fast over rough terrain, it can still make runs to hardware stores to get sod and fertilizer.

"New bed rails equipped with tie-downs outline two matched spare tire and wheel combinations mounted vertically in the bed on a custom rack," the automaker says. "Utilizing the built-in storage capacity of the Ram 1500, a lockable unit between the wheel wells packs a jack, tow strap and makes room for larger tool storage."

A large "Ram" badge in Matte Black on the tailgate was also borrowed from the Rebel for the 2016 concept. Two full-size spares were seen in the concept version but we wouldn't bet on seeing them in a production version -- weight savings is still a priority for everyday use.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

5. Wheels and Tires

Two very important elements of the Rebel TRX concept are ones that permit the truck to travel over rough terrain at speeds greater than 100 mph, and these two elements require a lot of testing. The TRX concept uses custom beadlock wheels from Mopar and wears 37-inch tires with 13.5 inches of width, featuring a 10-ply design and treads optimized for off-road travel.

The beadlock wheels are designed to pinch the outside of the tire to the rim -- crucial for rough terrain. The jack and related tools are stowed in the lockable storage compartments in the bed.

6. The Interior

The concept's designers went heavy on suede for better grip on all surfaces, from the seats to the steering wheel, while also striving to eliminate hard points from the cabin.

"The interior design team chose materials to help the occupants stay planted and in control," Ram says. "Suede with accent mesh cloth inserts cover the rear bench and front buckets. The suede inserts provide tremendous grip to clothing. The front seats integrate sport-sanctioned lateral support upper bolsters with embroidered logos. All four seats are strapped with six-point harnesses, further fixing occupants to their proper locations."

In place of the carpet is black rubberized coating, along with black all-weather mats from Mopar, while the glove box contains a TRX-labeled pouch with tools.

"The center console matches efforts on the instrument panel and includes a new polystable shifter trimmed in black suede and Header Red stitching," Ram adds. "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."

7. When

In a recent presentation FCA said that the TRX would be produced "by 2022," but industry observers expect the truck to land well before that point in time, most likely in early to mid 2020 as a 2021 model. This means we're likely to see the production version debut in the metal late in 2019, perhaps at the LA Auto Show, or early in 2020 after the new Ram Heavy Duty debuts at the 2019 Detroit auto show.

Take this timing with a little grain of locally sourced salt, but not too much salt: Ram can't afford to wait longer than 2020 to start selling these, given the fact that the concept debuted in 2016 on a previous-gen model.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

Ram debuted its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powered Rebel TRX concept at the State Fair of Texas.

SOURCE: AUTOWEEK

AUTHOR: Jay Ramey

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