Ever Wonder Why it Took 5 Years for the Ram Rebel to Morph Into the Ram 1500 TRX?

The Ram Rebel TRX was probably the most important – or at the very least most memorable – concept of the last decade. A Ram 1500 with a 500-horsepower Hellcat engine and all the off-road goods to put Jeep to shame – it was a recipe that blended desire with hope. That hope, by the way, was reinforced by the fact that the Rebel TRX Concept looked like it was ready to hit the production line. And, it really was ready, but Ram decided to hold back, and we didn’t get the production model – which we now know as the Ram 1500 TRX – for five years. Now we know why Ram waited to introduce the production model, and we’re damn glad it did.

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Had to Be the Best Ram Pickup Possible

2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 690433

I suppose that you could argue that waiting for the Ram 1500 TRX meant getting proper Hellcat power – 702 horses and 650 pound-feet of torque. Those figures also mean the Ram TRX can jolt to 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds and 118 mph – the former figure makes it faster than any other truck on the market today. I’m here to tell you, however, that the 702-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 is only a small part of the equation that figured a 2021 launch for the 2016 Rebel TRX Concept.

The Ram 1500 TRX Was Worth the Wait, and Now We Know Why Exterior
- image 929317

As I said before, the Rebel TRX Concept was pretty much ready for production; only it really wasn’t because it was based on the Ram 1500 that was on sale at the time. As you know now, Ram was in the process of designing the next-gen 1500, which is now sold alongside the last-gen version, which goes by the Ram Classic nomenclature. In an interview from Muscle Cars & Trucks, Ram Senior Brand Manage, Carl Lally, explained that the company simply wanted to get it right.

“Back in ‘16 it was a concept, and we wanted to see exactly what the appetite was for a truck like this. Obviously, it was very positive. We were in the midst of developing the all-new (DT) Ram 1500 for the 2019 model year already at that point in time. Rather than rush to market and drop an engine in a truck, we wanted to take our time to make sure we get it right, from top to bottom.”
The Ram 1500 TRX Was Worth the Wait, and Now We Know Why Exterior
- image 929323

And, that’s why we had to wait. Ram didn’t want to apply a game-changing formula to a truck that was, well, old. And, as a result, the truck doesn’t only have more power, but it also has a level of luxury comparable to that of the range-topping Limited trim in the lineup. It’s such a game-changer, in fact, that Ford has quickly responded by starting to test the Shelby GT500’s V-8 in the next-gen F-150 Raptor. If nothing else sets it in your mind that Ram made the right move, just take that into consideration: Ford had to rethink the next-gen Raptor, just so it could compete.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX specifications
Type and Description 90-degree V-type, liquid-cooled
Displacement 376 cu. in. (6,166 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 4.09 x 3.58 (103.9 x 90.9)
Valve System Pushrod-operated overhead valves, 16 valves with sodium-filled exhaust valves and hollow stem intake valves, 16 conventional hydraulic lifters, all with roller tips
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Deep-skirt cast-iron block with cross-bolted main bearing caps, aluminum-alloy heads with hemispherical combustion chambers
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Power (SAE J2723) 702 hp (523 kW) @ 6,100 rpm
Torque (SAE J2723) 650 lb.-ft. (882 Nm) @ 4,800 rpm
Max. Engine Speed 6,200 rpm (electronically limited)
0-60 Mph 4.5 Seconds
Top Speed 118 MPH

Source: Muscle Cars & Trucks

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
About the author

Related Articles

2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition

2021 The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Arrives To Take The Title Of The Most Powerful Mass-Produced Truck in the World

2021 2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Quick Facts and Photo Gallery

2021 2021 Ram Rebel TRX - Everything You Need to Know

2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: