RAM Got Caught Pushing the Hellcat-Powered Rebel TRX Across Sand Dunes
Is there any other surface left for these new-aged pickup trucks to conquer?by Sidd Dhimaan, on
Ram was one of the first automakers to venture into the performance pick-up truck niche. Back when trucks were used for hauling cargo and were meant solely for utility, Ram decided to do something different and create a segment that perhaps didn’t even exist. Nevertheless, it intrigued the minds of enthusiasts, which in turn created an avenue for other automakers to throw in their hat and see how they fared. Fast-forward to 2019, and we can see Ram pushing its Rebel TRX through the sand dunes in this video.
Ram Is The Pioneer Of The Segment
We are seeing not just tuners, but also automakers creating monsters that are not just powerful, but mighty fast as well. Ram started the trend 15 years back when it launched the Ram SRT-10. This truck was powered by Dodge Viper’s V-10 mill. However, the market was not mature enough to handle it, thus sending it off the production line within three years of its inception. But this laid the foundation of the niche segment which saw many automakers developing hardcore performance trucks. First came the Ford Raptor in 2010, later the Chevy Colorado ZR2, and they were fairly successful in those days. Ram decided to re-enter the segment with Dodge Hellcat Charger’s engine under the Rebel’s hood that produces 707 horses! Is there anything you can’t do with so much power available at your disposal?
The Ram Rebel TRX will feature Dodge's Hellcat engine under the hood.
This is a 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 mill unit that produces an astonishing 707 horses and 650 pound-feet of torque. It will be mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The drivetrain allegedly includes ARB Air Lockers on both the front and the rear axle. The TRX Concept that was showcased in 2016 used the same mill, albeit in a detuned state to produce 525 horses.
Ram Will Give The Landcruisers A Run For Their Money
The video is seen on bmw325num99’s YouTube channel. The event took place at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan, and there are around 10 FCA vehicles in attendance. The video recording seems to be from a camera attached to the front of the truck. There are a few close-up shots as well that show the trucks pretty clearly. The Ram Rebel TRX is seen in camouflage, while the other Ram crew-cab prototypes come with fender extensions, Laramie Black front ends, half roll cages, and beadlock-looking wheels. The trucks have been lifted, but it’s hard to tell how much off the ground. The focal point is the set of trucks trying to tackle the biggest dune there, wherein some of them are able to pass it, while the others reach quite close.
There are two things in the video that intrigued me the most. One is the sound of the Hellcat engine, and the other is the presence of the Ford Raptor. The Raptor has been the thorn in Ram’s garden of roses for nearly a decade now. So, pitting it against the Ram Rebel TRX and using it as a benchmark is not the worst idea. But we know that Ford is on the brink of delivering a Raptor V-8 soon. It looks highly unlikely that Ford will spend millions of dollars to build another V-8 engine when it has one in the family already. So, it could probably source the one found under the hood of the Mustang GT500. For all we know, Ford could plonk the 5.2-liter, V-8 supercharged mill into the Raptor. If not this, then Ford could use the new 7.3-liter, V-8 gasoline engine that’s all set to join the Super Duty lineup. But for now, the Raptor comes with the EcoBoost engine that makes 450 horses. So, why is Ram comparing its 707-horsepower beast against Ford’s 450-horses truck? Perhaps to compare the ride quality, handling, and other dimensions, to name a few reasons.
The Upcoming Raptor Will Be A Real Threat To The Rebel TRX
Coming back to the F-150 Raptor, Ford has built this model to near perfection. The 2019 Raptor is built using high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body that shaves 500 pounds as compared to the previous iteration.
The present Ford F-150 Raptor comes with a 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine that produces 450 horses and 510 pound-feet of torque.
It is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, thus making the whole driving experience a delight. Just because this is an off-roader at core, don’t mistake it to be a slouch. Thanks to the turbos, the truck has enough power available from the word go. According to Ford, the Raptor sprints from naught to 60 mph in six seconds. Although there is a lot of body roll, the dynamics, otherwise, are well-sorted, and handling does not feel messy or sloppy at any point. Perhaps, that is why Ram is using it as benchmark even under extreme conditions.
The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX is all set to come with the mighty engine by 2022. With 707 horses on the tap, there is no point questioning its capabilities. But Ram is taking all precautions so that it does not capitulate to the Ford Raptor. Although the Ram’s figures look impressive, will it be able to sell more than its Ford counterpart? Share your thoughts on this ’battle of the beasts’ in the comments section below.
Read our full review on the 2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept.