The Raptor-fighter Ram NEEDS to build

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Ram definitely stole the show at the 2016 Texas State Fair with its Ram Rebel TRX Concept. Other truck brands were out in force, but it was Ram and its Hellcat-powered Rebel 1500 that drew crowds. Yep, you read that right – this truck is powered by the 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 most commonly called the Hellcat V-8. Okay, so Ram powertrain engineers had to dial back the power and torque to more manageable level to keep from breaking axles and whatnot, but this beast still puts down 575 horsepower to all four wheels.

Oh, and speaking of wheels, this truck features massive, 37-inch Toyo Open Country MT tires wrapping 18-inch beadlock wheels. Hidden behind is a custom off-road racing suspension from King with remote reservoir shocks, a six-inch wider track, and beefy control arms.

There’s a ton more stuff that makes up the 2017 Ram Rebel TRX Concept, so let’s dig into it.

Continue reading for the full run-down.


2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The truck’s mechanicals are accentuated by its looks – that intimidating look. The truck started life as a Rebel 1500 but was given a full makeover by Ram designers. The hood features a clever Ram air induction system (which Ram would be dumb not to capitalize on in the future) widened fenders with vents and cool graphics, and a custom-built spare tire carrier in the bed that doubles as a light bar for the LED off-road lights and as rollover protection.

Custom bumpers front and rear give the truck both a mean stance and functionality. The bumpers come complete with red-painted tow hooks for vehicle recovery and skid plates for off-road protection.

Painted a candy-apple red, the Ram Rebel TRX Concept shines brightly in the daylight while its matt-black accents give it a more sinister appearance.

Painted a candy-apple red, the Ram Rebel TRX Concept shines brightly in the daylight while its matt-black accents give it a more sinister appearance. The widened fenders also have flares that help protect the paint work from flying off-road debris like rocks and mud. The driver side rear fender also features the fuel fill port. It gets a custom treatment with a racing-style aluminum cap with red anodized aluminum trim.

A custom bedrail cap system provides tie-down spots for cargo in the bed. They horizontal hoops also look awesome. The custom tire carrier also has a built-in spot for a jack, giving the driver an easy solution for quick mid-race tire changes. Those tires also match the Toyo mud tires on the truck and the six-spoke beaklock wheels.

Custom graphics and badging further helps distinguish this truck from anything else ever produced. The TRX logo rides boldy on the rear quarter panels while the massive R-A-M logo on the tailgate gets a red and black treatment. A badge reading REBEL TRX resides opposite a 4x4 badge lower down on the tailgate.

Up front, the stock Rebel grille gets anodized aluminum accents on the RAM logo, along with matching accents around the tow hooks and LED fog lights. Those vents integrated into the widened fenders also hide side marker lights since the truck is more than 80 inches wide. Even this B.A. truck can’t break federal law.

The hood features even more goodies, including a ram air scoop that feeds the supercharged V-8. Heat extractors along the sides of the hood, as well as along the windshield, help relieve the engine bay of power-robbing temperatures.

Last but certainly not least, side pipes dump exhaust just ahead of the rear tire. The pipes also double as rock sliders that protect the body from off-road damage. All tol, the Ram Rebel TRX Concept is an awesome looking beast that Ram should strongly consider taking into production. Sure, there’ll be things that can make it past the bean counters or safety regulations, but man, this truck deserves to see showrooms. It would also give the Ford F-150 Raptor a run for its money.


2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Interior
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2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Interior
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2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Interior
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Inside the Ram Rebel TRX Concept, Ram designers had fun going all-out with details and little signature items that make this thing a one-off piece of work. The same anodized aluminum that trims the exterior is brought inside. It can be found on the gear shifter, dash-mounted knobs, and other spots around the cab.

Ram designers knew the truck would be used for off-roading, so they removed the carpet, replacing it with spray-on bedliner material for durability and sound deadening.

First off, the truck now sports an Alcantara-covered steering wheel stolen from the Dodge Viper. Its red contrast stitching is seen throughout the cabin, including the suede seats, shifter boot, and door pull grabs. Speaking of that shifter, Ram designers dumped the conventional dash-mounted rotary shifter in favor of a more traditional console shifter. Not only does this look awesome, but it frees up space for Ram’s new terrain mode selector switch, riding where the gear knob normally sits. The shifter sports those red anodized aluminum accents and allows control of the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Large paddle shifters on the steering wheel further allow driver control of the automatic.

The seats are also custom, allowing for full six-point racing harnesses in all four seating positions. The racing theme continues with the addition of pull-strap door handles that replace the normal chrome units. Auxiliary rocker switches reside just below the HVAC controls. They operate things like the LED light bar. There’s even a custom tool kit pouch that rides perfectly inside the passenger side dashboard compartment.

Ram designers knew the truck would be used for off-roading, so they removed the carpet, replacing it with spray-on bedliner material for durability and sound deadening. Nevertheless, original Ram features can be seen, like the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment screen, automatic dual-zone climate control, seven-inch FTF gauge cluster display and analog gauges for the driver.


2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Of course, part of the biggest news is the truck’s drivetrain. As I mentioned before, the Ram Rebel’s conventional powertrain is swapped for the infamous 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat Hemi V-8. Engineers had to pull power and torque levels down from 707 horses and 650 pound-feet to more modest levels. This keeps things like the custom-length front half shafts, longer rear axle, and BorgWarner transfer case from blowing up under hard acceleration. Ram says the truck now makes 575 horsepower. Torque levels weren’t announced, but we figure it’ll be around 550 pound-feet. That’ll still be more than enough power for moving the Rebel TRX Concept past any Raptor in the desert.

The Ram Rebel’s conventional powertrain is swapped for the infamous 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat Hemi V-8.

Mated to the V-8 is the familiar ZF eight-speed automatic, otherwise known as the TorqueFlite 8HP70. Engineers included paddle shifters to give the driver more control over manual shifting. Mated behind that is BorgWarner’s 44-45 two-speed transfer case.

Controlling the engine, transmission, traction and stability control systems, and anti-lock brakes is Ram’s first-ever terrain mode selector system. The dash-mounted rotary dial, which lives where the gear selector dial normally resides, gives the driver the choice between Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-Road, and Baja modes. Each change the way the ECU and traction system deliver power and how aggressive the ABS system works. We fully expect to see this type of system make production in a future Ram product.

Suspension wise, the truck features a wider track by six inches. This gives the Rebel a better stance for high-speed maneuvers on unpaved surfaces. All the suspension components are beefed up with high-strength parts built to take a beating. The 2.5-inch diameter shock absorbers are from King and feature an external reservoir cylinder to help keep oil temperatures down. Ram engineers retained the truck’s independent front suspension design and live rear axle with its multi-link coil spring setup.

And of course, those tires. They measure 37 inches in diameter and mount on exclusive 18-inch beadlock wheels. The beadlock design allows the driver to lower tire pressures without fear of the tire slipping off the wheel. The tires themselves are Toyo Open Country MT and offer an aggressive tread design without a compromised on-road driving experience.

Last but not least is the electronic locking rear differential. With the push of a button, the rear diff locks the axle together, allowing for no variation in wheel speed from side to side. While making turns on pavement extremely unpleasant, it affords a tremendous advantage in low-traction environments like mud and sand.

Performance numbers should be fairly impressive. The sprint to 60 mph will likely happen in the 5.5 to 6.5 second range and top speed is undoubtedly well over 100 mph. Ram even calls the Rebel TRX Concept a 100-mph truck.


2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Ram has done an amazing job at attracting attention with this concept. From the candy apple paint and custom body work to the Hellcat-derived powertrain and 37-inch tires, the Rebel TRX Concept is a bold step in the direction so many Ram enthusiasts hope to see the brand pursue. Ram is undoubtedly using this truck to gauge consumer interest in such a high-end product. In customers and fans – YOU GUYS – make enough commotion about this truck, Ram could see a business case in building such a rig.

Let’s hope Ram does because this sucker would definitely give the Ford Raptor a run for its money. Chevy is probably getting nervous, too, since it’s just on the verge of debuting its Colorado ZR2 pickup – the hard-core off-road version of its mid-size offering. Man, it’s a fantastic time to be a truck enthusiast.

  • Leave it
    • Only a concept
    • Hellcat V-8 detuned from normal output
    • Would be expensive if it makes production
Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Photo Credit: Ram

Ram, America’s off-road truck leader, today introduced the Ram Rebel TRX concept. Rebel TRX is a 100-mph off-road machine with 575 horsepower – the most powerful half-ton truck the company has ever built. Ripping over pavement at speeds greater than 100 mph is an experience, but the Ram Rebel TRX concept hits triple digits in an off-road environment with the help of a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® V-8.

“Ram Truck heads to the 2016 State Fair of Texas with a host of product news plus a new concept that pickup fans will truly appreciate – the Ram Rebel TRX concept was built specifically for this event and solidifies Ram Truck’s position as the off-road pickup leader,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “With 575 supercharged horsepower and a suspension system built to withstand an all-day hammering, the Rebel TRX concept can devour the roughest terrain at more than 100 miles per hour and never look back.”

2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The rapidly beating heart of the Ram Rebel TRX concept is a powertrain marvel. A 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI with 575 horsepower, the most powerful Ram 1500 the company has ever built, lays the groundwork of expectation.

Mated to the TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission, new calibrations were used for the engine, transmission and drivetrain to optimize the expected high-speed off-road driving cycle.

The Ram Rebel TRX concept uses Ram’s 4x4 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 Ram 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.

2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The Ram Rebel TRX has an exterior design that radiates focused aggression, which is only trumped by what lies under its skin. The concept was built around suspension and frame prerequisites. Equally important 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 incredible 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 incredible 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. Tools and jack are located in custom, lockable storage between the wheels in the bed.

2016 Ram Rebel TRX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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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.

One look at the Ram Rebel TRX concept and its intentions are clear — a 575-horsepower off-road machine with the ability to clear miles of desert in the blink of an eye.

About Ram Truck Brand
Since its launch as a stand-alone division in 2009, the Ram Truck brand has steadily emerged as an industry leader with America’s longest-lasting line of pickups.

Creating a distinct identity for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on core customers and features they find valuable. Whether focusing on a family that uses a Ram 1500 day-in and day-out, a hard-working Ram 3500 Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its Ram ProMaster commercial van every day for deliveries, Ram has the truck market covered.

In order to be the best, it takes a commitment to innovation, capability, efficiency and durability. Ram Truck invests substantially in its products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and exclusive features that further enhance their capabilities.

Ram continues to beat the competition in the most sought-after titles:

Longest-lasting line of pickups
Best-in-class fuel economy and longest range with exclusive EcoDiesel – 29 mpg and 754 miles with Ram 1500
Best-in-class towing capability – 31,210 pounds with Ram 3500
Best-in-class payload – 7,390 pounds with Ram 3500
Best-in-class torque – 900 lb.-ft. with Ram 3500 Cummins Turbo Diesel

Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

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