From what we know about it so far, it seems like one of the most wholesome packages that we’ve seen in recent times

The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX is one of the most anticipated vehicles this year. Unlike most of the other exciting launches lately– like the Gladiator, or the mid-engined Corvette, or even the upcoming Bronco, for that matter – the Rebel TRX doesn’t have any nostalgia or preconceived expectations attached. This isn’t a moniker that is being revived after decades or a trim of a vehicle that an automaker has denied to offer for a very long time to the enthusiasts. People like the 2021 Rebel TRX for what they’ve seen so far and all the hype is just based on how good the product is shaping out to be.

Fun fact – Did you know that TRX stands for Tyrannosaurus Rex? It is also a bigger dinosaur than the Raptor. Mind games there, Ram?

Overview

2004 Dodge Ram SRT10
- image 66962
dodge ram str10

Ram was one of the first automakers to venture into the performance pickup truck niche. It started the trend almost 15 years back when it launched the Ram SRT-10 with the 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 from its inception. But, this laid the foundation of the niche segment which saw many automakers develop hardcore performance trucks. First came the Ford Raptor in 2010, later the Chevy Colorado ZR2, and they were fairly successful in those days. Now, Ram has decided to give it another shot and re-enter the market with the Rebel TRX.

Back in September 2016, Ram released the Rebel TRX Concept at the State Fair of Texas. The concept was based on the Ram 1500 Rebel and came with a ton of off-roading equipment, a wide body, and a powerful mill under the hood.

The automaker claimed that it came with the same supercharged HEMI V-8 mill that is found in the Dodge Charger and Challenger, but detuned to make 575 ponies.
2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
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Even a drive mode selector was seen here beside the steering wheel.

Post this concept reveal, there wasn’t a lot of hustle from Ram until the 2019 Ram 1500’s reveal where there was an Easter egg in the official press photos. The touchscreen system of the 1500 Rebel showed the time ‘7:07’ which indicated that the upcoming TRX will not be a detuned version of the Hellcat mill. Then, a couple of years later, the truck was seen dune bashing at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan, along with 10 FCA vehicles and a Ford Raptor in attendance. Since then, the truck has been spied several times in camouflage and even new information has surfaced on the internet. From what it’s worth, it’s looking exciting and may very well pose to be a threat to the F-150 Raptor.

What Will The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX Look Like On The Outside?

  • Special Rebel Grille
  • Headlights From The 1500 Limited Black Appearance Package
  • Ram-Air Hood Scoop
  • Wide Front Fenders With Air Vents
  • 18-inch Wheels Wrapped In Off-Road Tires
  • Blacked-Out Dual Exhaust Tips
  • All-LED Center-High Mounted Brake Light
  • Bed-Mounted Spare Tires
2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
- image 690433
We are yet to see the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX in all its glory. However, the truck could be very similar to the concept.

The concept was not very loud and didn’t look out of place when compared to the other off-road trucks available in the market. The final version could be slightly less pronounced, but it won’t be radically different from the concept.

Up front, it will feature a special Rebel grille. The one on the concept was a honeycomb mesh grille that featured RAM lettering and had a bull-bar mimicking element in it. It is said that the truck will feature the same headlights as the ones seen on the 1500 Limited Black Appearance Package. They look hot, don’t they?

2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
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At the bottom, there could be a skid plate to provide better protection. The automaker will equip a huge Ram-Air hood scoop as well. Since this is a wide truck, federal laws dictate that trucks with a wide stance need to incorporate amber marker lights on the face. While the F-150 Raptor has them on the grille, Ram will put them at the edge of the hood scoops.

The side profile looks as intimidating as the front.

The Rebel TRX will feature wide front fenders with air vents. This will allow the automaker to install larger tires and also give the truck a sporty, muscular stance. The concept came with 18-inch wheels wrapped around 37-inch off-road tires. The production-spec could instead ride on the same-sized Beadlock wheels and 35-inch tires, but 37-inch rollers could be offered as an option. Ram doesn’t feature telescopic mirrors like Ford does, but the Rebel TRX could feature Trailer Tow mirrors that can be flipped into portrait orientation for wider reach. Other than this, you could except some flashy graphics and stickers on the side of the truck bed and some badges on the fenders.

2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
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At the back, the Rebel TRX will come with the typical stuff you can expect from an off-roader. From what we know, it will feature two tow hooks near the exhaust pipes. The truck will also come with blacked-out dual exhaust tips.

At the top of the cab, there could be an all-LED center-high mounted brake light. While the sporty appearance will be the highlight, it needs to be seen if Ram will equip the MultiFunction tailgate or not. This is a 60:40 split-type door gate that can open like a regular door, or be flipped down like a conventional tailgate. However, it doesn’t feature a deployable stopper, which will be necessary to access this raised truck. You can also expect a bed-mounted spare tire here. This certainly adds to the off-road quotient and is practical at the same time. All-in-all, the truck will be an absolute looker unless Ram decided to mild it down. I hope the changes aren’t so subtle that it ends up looking like a 1500 Rebel with a special appearance kit of sorts.

How Will The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX Be On The Inside?

  • Suede Seats
  • Optional Alcantara And Black Leather Upholstery
  • Traditional Center Console Mounted Gear Shifter
  • Aluminum Paddle Shifters
  • Control Panel Beside The Steering Wheel
  • TRX-specific Pages In The Instrument Cluster
  • Launch Mode And TRX Mode Buttons
  • 12-inch UConnect Touchscreen Infotainment System
2019 Ram 1500 Interior
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The cabin, in terms of space, will not be a lot different from the other Ram 1500s.

The concept came with suede-wrapped over cloth seats, but the production-spec could see Alcantara and black leather on the upholstery. However, to keep the costs in check, the suede could be standard and the leather optional. I’d prefer suede since it offers a better grip when off-roading. The concept also featured six-point racing harness which will likely be replaced with conventional seatbelts in the real deal. You can expect some cubby holes and generous storage space all around the cabin. Given how much social media has intervened in our lives, it would also make sense to have camera mounts in and around so that all the off-roading can be recorded.

Ram Brings Back The Center Console Gear Shifter

2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Interior
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The biggest highlight is that the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX will feature the good old center console-mounted gear shifter with aluminum paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

The rotary dial gear shifter that is seen on the current Rams does clear up a lot of space on the center console and looks slick, but it doesn’t give the same feel as moving a gear lever would. So, that’s a big positive for enthusiasts. Some reports also suggest that the paddle shifters are a tad bit longer for better grip when you’re ‘wobbling’ in off-road conditions.

The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX Could Have Multiple Drive Modes And A Console-Mounted Gear Shifter
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A recently leaked image also showed a new control panel. You can see the regular buttons like the traction control off, 4WD High and Low, 4WD Auto, Axle Lock, and the likes. However, there is no 2WD switch, which means the rebel will be a four-wheel-drive truck only. It makes sense because you don’t want all 700-plus horses on just two wheels. Apart from this, there is a Launch Mode button on the extreme right and a TRX Mode button at the top that suggest that the truck will not just be a strong off-roader, but also a spirited straight-line performer.

Since the truck will go up against the F-150 Raptor, Ram will try to match it up in all ways possible. The F-150 Raptor comes with drive modes like Rock Crawl, Mud/Sand, Baja, Snow/Wet, and Tow/Haul modes that are branched out of the three main drive modes – Normal, Sport, Off-Road. Although we didn’t see anything specific in the Rebel TRX yet, there is a ‘TRX Mode’ which suggests that the truck could have many different drive modes.

The Instrument Cluster Will Display Plethora Of Data

The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX Could Have Multiple Drive Modes And A Console-Mounted Gear Shifter
- image 896162

The instrument cluster of the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX will be highly detailed. First things first, the truck, fortunately, features analog gauges for the speedometer and the tachometer. The former tops out at 120 mph, which is line with the news that TRX’s top speed will be limited to just a notch above 100 mph.

The tachometer redlines at about 5,700 rpm. This is the same as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. So, if any of you had any qualms about this truck featuring a 6.2-liter, V-8 mill under the hood, this should convince you.

Other than this, there is a MID screen in between the two gauges which will make all the difference. As seen in an image leaked earlier, the screen mentions “Drag Timers” which means the truck could have the exhaustive performance and TRX-specific pages in the system that give out the namesake data.

There is a scroll-down type ‘menu’ list as well and you can see some interesting things here. For starters, there is a truck symbol, and right under it is a sign that looks to be for the suspension settings. Also, the Rebel TRX will come with a 12-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system. There won’t be anything very different here other than a few customized pages, perhaps.

What Powers The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX?

  • A 6.2-liter, Supercharged, V-8 HEMI Hellcat Engine
  • 707 Horsepower
  • 650 Pound-feet of Torque
  • Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • Heavy-Duty Four-Wheel-Drive System
  • No Two-Wheel-Drive Mode
  • An Adjustable Suspension And Steering System
  • Borg Warner-sourced Transfer Case
2021 Ram Rebel TRX
- image 898881
The 2021 Ram Rebel will feature the Dodge Charger’s 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 Hellcat engine under the hood. This mill churns out 707 ponies and 650 pound-feet of twist.
Dodge Charger Hellcat specifications
Type 6.2-liter HEMI V-8
Horsepower 707 HP
Torque 650 LB-FT
Quarter mile time 11.0 seconds
Top speed 204 mph
0-100-0 mph under 13 seconds

It will most likely be mated to an updated eight-speed automatic ZF transmission. A manual transmission would’ve pleased the purists, but it doesn’t look like the TRX will feature one. A heavy-duty four-wheel-drive system will also be in place. Like we mentioned earlier, the Ram Rebel TRX is not expected to come with a two-wheel-drive mode. The transfer case will be sourced from Borg Warner. Since not a lot of details are known about the other components, here’s a list of stuff from the concept to give you an idea of what to expect in the production-spec TRX:

  • Six-piston caliper brakes with 15-inch rotors at the front and 14-inch at the rear
  • Dynatrac Pro 60 rear axle with electronic axle locker
  • 2.5-inch King Racing shocks
  • 13-inch suspension travel range

Suspension System – Air Suspension or Electric Dampers?

Coming to the suspension, the Rebel TRX will feature an adjustable suspension system. Ram has two options now – either equip the air suspension, which is a $1,700 option on the Ram 2500 HD, or equip it with electric dampers. The advantage with the former is more psychological and a selling point that an optional accessory on other Ram products is standard here.

Also, air suspension can be controlled via buttons on the key fob or the button on the center console on the cabin and it’ll be helpful when you have to lower the truck to load stuff into the truck bed.

However, electric dampers make more sense as they would offer a greater range and higher peak level of performance. And, since the suspension setting is present in the instrument cluster, we have a hunch it will feature electric dampers similar to the Hellcat and Trackhawk models.

2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
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The Ram Rebel TRX could also feature electric power steering with a variety of modes. You could control the stiffness and level of feedback with this to suit your needs. While electric steering makes life easier, it would be great to have a hydraulic setup. The feeling of a hard hydraulic steering setup suits the demeanor of a hardcore truck more than an electric unit.

How Fast Will The TRX Be?

2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
- image 690437

Coming to the performance specs, the TRX will be a quick truck despite its off-road personality and build. I mean, you need to put those 707 horses to good use, right? If we were to estimate the 0-60 mph, it would be under five seconds. Reason? Competition. The F-150 Raptor takes 5.1 seconds with its V-6, 450-horsepower mill. The TRX also comes with a launch control button, so Ram has paid attention to this aspect.

How Much Will The 2021 Ram Rebel Cost?

2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
- image 690425

In terms of pricing, the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX will compete against a fully-spec’d, loaded-to-the-gills F-150 Raptor. The F-150 Raptor starts at $53,455. An optional luxury package would add $11,000 to the sticker price, thus bringing the total close to $70,000. This is exactly how much the Rebel TRX is expected to cost. For the stuff on offer, the price is justified. Also, you can’t expect bang-for-the-buck propositions in this niche. Forget about the other stuff; the Hellcat engine itself justifies the premium over the Raptor.

What Will The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX Go Up Against?

2020 Ford F-150 Raptor

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
- image 610255

The Ram Rebel TRX is already touted as the Raptor-killer, so it’s a no-brainer that this truck will be its biggest rival. The 2020 F-150 Raptor is built using a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body that shaves 500 pounds as compared to the previous iteration. The truck features a 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine that makes 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. The truck comes with other stuff such as:

  • Trail Control
  • Off-road FOX Racing shocks
  • Long-travel suspension
  • Terrain-management system
  • 4.10 front Axle with Torsen Differential
  • Torque-On-Demand Transfer Case
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
- image 610258

Just because this is an off-roader at the core, don’t mistake it to be a slouch – 0-60 mph comes in 5.1 seconds. And, thanks to the turbos, the truck has enough power available from the go. 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.

Read our full review on the 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor

How Can We Expect Ford To Counter?

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
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Ford will have to up the ante and introduce new features to counter this attack from Ram. For starters, it needs to plonk a V-8 under the hood. Although there were rumors of the Mustang’s V-8 being given the duties, the Godzilla engine could also be used here. The Godzilla engine made its debut in the Ford’s Super Duty pickup truck series. The 7.3-liter V-8 gasoline engine develops 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. However, Whipple is working on building a supercharger for this mill that could help it churn out 700 horses and 750 pound-feet of torque.

When Can We Expect The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX To Debut?

2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
- image 690427

The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX was supposed to debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. But, following the cancellation of the show, the truck is expected to debut at FCA’s What’s New event at the FCA Chelsea Proving Grounds in June. The production of the Rebel TRX is also pushed by five weeks for now. Initially, the truck was going to hit the production on September 8, but is now expected to begin around October 12, 2020.

Final Thoughts

2021 Ram Rebel TRX High Resolution Exterior
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The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX is looking all the more exciting with every new information that comes to light. Stuff like 700+ horsepower, adjustable steering and suspension, intricate MID screen that includes performance-spec pages, conventional gearshift lever, etc, have already made this a drool-worthy prospect.

It’ll be interesting to see what other stuff Ram could throw in to make it a Raptor-killer. On the flip side, a lot is expected from this truck and the benchmark is set high. So, any major deflection from what we already know about the truck, like the elimination of a feature, or cost-cutting, or a higher sticker price instead, could lead to generating a negative feeling in the minds of enthusiasts. Let’s wait and watch how this product turns out to be.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

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