2017 RAM 1500 SRT Hellcat
Ram CEO Bob Hegbloom may have dampened our flaming hope for a Hellcat-powered Ram truck back in October, but embers still burn on the possibility. Remember Hegbloom only said, “At this time, I would say no.” Those first three words are the imperative part. Sure, it is more likely the Jeep Grand Cherokee will be the next Chrysler product to get the Hellcat powerplant as we reported, but that doesn’t mean the Ram isn’t somewhere down the line.
To that end, we’ve created a rendering of what a 707-horsepower Ram truck might look like. It shares many cues from the 2015 Challenger Hellcat and its 2015 Charger Hellcat sibling, including the specific bodywork that denotes the engine. Badging similar to the coupe and sedan also adorns the Ram. Of course bodywork is only skin deep and the Hellcat would necessitate a host of upgrades for a platform that’s only used to a max of 395 horsepower.
This wouldn’t be the first time Ram — or Dodge at that time — has put a ridiculous powerplant behind that crosshair grille. Between 2004 and 2006, Dodge produced the Ram SRT-10 fitted with the same 8.3-liter V-10 that came in the Viper. With 500 horses, 525 pound-feet of torque, and a manual transmission, the SRT-10 was anything but conventional.
So will Ram bite the bullet? Only time will tell, but there sure seems to be a solid case for an SRT-10 successor. After all, Challenger Hellcat owners need something stout to trailer their track car.
Click past the jump to read our speculative look at the RAM 1500 SRT Hellcat.
2017 RAM 1500 SRT Hellcat
Horsepower @ RPM:707
Torque @ RPM:650
0-60 time:4.0 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
There are plenty of changes to the exterior of the Ram Hellcat, not the least of which is the familiar scooped hood. Further helping denote the truck’s hellish internals are the “supercharged” and “SRT’ badges on the front fender and grille. The Challenger cues continue with a reshaped front bumper with updated fog lights and center accents.
The standard wheels and tires are swapped for something with more meat. Likely sized in 22 to 24 inches, the wheels take after the other SRT products. Large Brembo brakes peak from behind the amber spokes. The Ram’s A-pillars are also treated to a color update, getting the same matte finish as the B-pillars currently on production trucks. Expect a bed cover to come standard. Overall the truck is lowered, dropping the center of gravity and giving it a more menacing appearance.
Things inside will surely be updated as well. Expect heavily bolstered seats with Alcantara inserts, an SRT-branded gauge cluster, and perhaps some carbon-fiber accents. The steering wheel will likely get the flat-bottom treatment with either leather or Alcantara coverings. The ZF eight-speed rotary shifter will still be present on the dash, but expect an “S,” or Sport setting after the PRND.
Ram will also include plenty of upper trim-level equipment like the 8.4-inch Uconnect system as standard, along with an upgraded stereo — perhaps the 900-watt Harmon Kardon unit from the Charger.
There isn’t much need for speculation here. If Ram throws the Hellcat bone into its half-ton truck, it will get the same supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 as the Challenger and Charger. That means 707 horsepower, 650 pound-feet of torque, and enough exhaust rumble to wake up the neighboring county.
We do have to speculate on what this means for the Ram’s performance. If the 500-horsepowr SRT-10 hit 60 mph in “just under five seconds” as claimed by SRT, then we could expect a roughly four-second run to 60 from the Hellcat-powered pickup. That would be impressive.
Ram will have to include paddle shifters for the TorqueFlite transmission, allowing more control over the unit’s eight speeds. Perhaps even a launch-control setting will be added. While its most likely the Ram Hellcat would only come in rear-wheel drive, Chrysler could drop in the all-wheel-drive system from the (unconfirmed) upcoming 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. That would help the Ram hook up, especially considering how light pickup trucks are out back.
What’s really exciting is the thought of a manual transmission being added to the mix. We know the only reason the Charger is auto-only is because of an unfortunate underbody design. The Ram on the other hand, already offers a manual transmission in the Heavy Duty segment with the Cummins turbo-diesel.
Merely dropping a 707-horsepower engine into a truck is a recipe for going nowhere fast. Ram will have to modify the truck’s suspension to keep up with its power. Expect the front to get all-new bushings, a much thicker anti-roll bar, and sportier coil-over shocks. Thanks to the Ram’s latest update, the old-school leaf springs are ditched in favor of a five-link setup with coil springs. This will make tuning the Ram’s rear end much easier. Expect the same stiffened bushings, a thicker sway bar, and some much thicker axles linkages to handle the extra power.
All things considered, the Hellcat versions of the Challenger and Charger carry roughly a $15,000 premium over their next best SRT versions. Continuing in that logic — though the Ram doesn’t currently have an SRT trim — would suggest a starting price of $55,000, using the 5.7-liter HEMI-powered Ram 1500 Sport as the springboard. That puts the Ram Hellcat at around $4,000 cheaper than the Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Imagine the Camaro Z/28 in pickup form, that’s what the Cheyenne was. The concept truck made its debut at the 2013 SEMA show and sported a ton of carbon-fiber body panels, Z/28-spec Brembo brakes, tires, and wheels. A lowered ride height compounded with larger anti-sway bars meant decent handling from this pickup.
Under the hood was a 6.2-liter V-8 rocking a high-flow Borla exhaust system. The engine put out more than 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission. Sadly, Chevy hasn’t given any hints as to making the Cheyenne concept a reality.
Ford takes the route opposite of “No replacement for displacement” by throwing in its 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 into a single-cab truck. The result isn’t bad. The engine kicks out its usual 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. A 4.10 gear ratio helps get the truck moving off the line and to 60 mph in six seconds. That’s not overly quick, but the V-6 also has 5,123 pounds to push.
The truck is no longer available, so finding a used example is the only bet. Ford offered the Tremor package in two- and four-wheel drive at a starting cost of $42,500.
It’s hard to imagine Chrysler actually giving this truck the green light, but then again, the same could have been said about the Hellcat Challenger and Charger. If it happens, the Ram SRT Hellcat will be the baddest, most ‘Murican vehicle ever built. If the green light happens, don’t expect Ram to sell too many of these. We’d guess it would max out at around 9,000 units over a two- or three-year lifespan, much like the Ram SRT-10.
It’s amazing to consider just how good petrol heads have it today. This sort of horsepower and performance was unheard of in the glory days of muscle, the 1960s. Let’s just hope this isn’t the grand finally before the CAFÉ standards choke all the high-horsepower, gasoline-fed fun.