The Ford Raptor has clearly gained the attention of other truck makers in the last year. The latest indicator is Ram Rebel TRX Concept truck that shows the brand has all the muscle needed and then some to compete face to face with the Raptor.
Called a “consumer-interest study”, the remarkably production intent looking Ram Rebel TRX takes the popular Rebel off-road truck and rips its muscles from styling to powertrain, chassis and suspension.
Styling adds some huge swole to the Rebel’s established DNA with wider front fenders that accommodate its six-inch wider track. The face is familiar but details are beefier, as is the hood which is taken from the Power Wagon and modded just a bit.
Fenders have slick looking vent elements and you’ll notice side exhaust outlets integrated into lower rock rails – nice. They die back into rear bed side panels buffed up equally to the front fenders to wrap around the truck’s 37-inch tires and bead-lock style wheels.
As it’s a concept there’s also a lot of SEMA type accessories and details to amp up the presentation. The bed is loaded with an integrated roll-bar and spare tire mount. There’s also hooks and anodized details all around.
Looks are a good place to start, but what makes this thing blast across the rough earth at 100 mph is the point. Under the hood is a 575 horsepower supercharged 6.2 liter HEMI V8. Essentially, this is a de-tuned Hellcat.
It’s bolted to a heavy duty eight-speed automatic and BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case. It’s managed by a mode selector tied to its 4×4 Performance Control System with Normal, Wet-Snow, Off-road and Baja modes.
A custom-built suspension with the help of Dirt King gives it a healthy 13-inches of wheel travel all around. The Rebel’s air suspension is ditched for coil springs with fully adjustable internal bypass shocks.
Beefed up A-Arms and axles front and rear address the extra horsepower and brutal beatings that high speed off-road can bring. Huge Baer brakes with six-piston monoblock calipers clamp 15-inch rotors at the front and 14-inch rotors at the rear.
Lastly, it would not be an off-road toy without an interior makeover. Here we get all the expected juice like suede trims and red accents on the controls to point them out. In the concept, six-point racing harnessed are found at all four seats.
The big deal is the console shifter instead of a rotary dash knob and the addition of steering wheel paddle-shifters. And yes there are more TRX logos and embroidered touches than you can shake a stick at.
Unveiling the Rebel TRX Concept at the Texas State Fair at the same time Ford announced its comparably meager 450 horsepower figure for their F-150 Raptor was a shot across their bow. That’s good showmanship, but will they build it?
Whether or not the RAM Rebel TRX comes to a showroom, I think we can bet on seeing this truck version of the 6.2 liter supercharged HEMI V8 at some point. My bet is we’ll see the Rebel TRX as well as a limited edition sport truck tailored more for street flogging.