Patrick Rall's picture

The Ram Rebel Brings New Off-Road Performance to Detroit

For many moons, Dodge Ram truck fans have been calling for a factory off-road Ram1 500 and with the 2015 Ram Rebel, those calls have been answered with a very good looking, off-road ready half ton pickup that serves as a great complement to the Ram 2500 Power Wagon.

First off, this truck has been criticized a bit early on for not being a proper competitor for the Ford SVT Raptor F150, but I don’t think that the folks behind the Ram Rebel expected this new trimline to compete with the Raptor. Instead, the team wanted to build a Ram 1500 that would be more off-road capable than any other factory truck in the recent history of the brand, while still maintaining complete daily driving capabilities.

They have succeeded, as the Ram Rebel looks awesome inside and out, while some new functional components help this half ton pickup handle rough terrain better than any non-Power Wagon in recent history.

The Face of the Ram Rebel
The most prominent feature of the 2015 Ram Rebel is the front end, which receives a revised front bumper and a new grille – one which does away with the familiar crosshair design that has been a Dodge and Ram truck mainstay for decades now. Instead of the Ram’s head logo that is found on the grille of the rest of the Ram 1500 pickups, the Rebel has “RAM” running across the middle of the uniquely designed grille, all of which is finished in matte black. The Ram Rebel also comes with HID headlights with black bezels to bolster the sporty face of this new trimline.

ram rebel low front

Along the sides, the Ram Rebel has wheel flares similar to ones used on the Ram 2500 Power Wagon that are painted black to match the lower portion of the two-tone body. The Ram 1500 and Hemi badges are matte black and the package specific wheels have a silver face with black pockets. Out back, RAM is sprawled across the tailgate and the bumper is painted matte black to match the rest of the lower body.

The body changes aren’t extensive, but the simple changes combined with the striking two tone paint scheme gives the Ram Rebel a very sporty look. The grille has gotten some mixed reviews, but as a Ram owner who likes the crosshair grille design, I like the unique grille on this package.

A Sporty, High End Cabin
The 2015 Ram Rebel has a standard interior layout that has a sporty, high end look. This begins with the unique seats that have microfiber center sections with the tire print of the Toyo Off-Road tires that come with the package. On the bolsters, there is white leather with the Rebel logo and on the sides and rear of the seats is Radar Red trim. The interior is predominantly black, with red and silver trim throughout, while the big UConnect infotainment system and the adjustable gauge cluster bring in some of the top technology in the industry.

ram rebel dash

The Working Components
The 2015 Ram Rebel is available with either the 3.6L Pentastar V6 or the 5.7L Hemi V8 along with either rear- or four-wheel drive – although I would imagine that the rear drive Rebels will be less popular than the models that drive all four wheels since a rear-wheel drive off-road truck doesn’t make a whole lotta sense. Regardless of the engine or drive configuration chosen, the Rebel comes with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission that helps improve acceleration and fuel economy when compared to 6-speed transmissions.

ram rebel side

Where the Ram Rebel differs from the rest of the current Ram 1500 lineup is in the suspension setup. The Rebel comes with a similar air ride system to that found in the rest of the lineup, but the Rebel’s air suspension has been adjusted to lift the truck an inch higher than other current Ram trucks while Bilstein off-road performance shock absorbers provide support on the worst trails possible. Wrapped around the unique 17 inch wheels are 33 inch Toyo Open Country A/T all-terrain tires that will help dig through the sloppiest footing, but Ram engineers promise that these tires are still surprisingly smooth and quiet on the highway.

The air suspension setup of the Ram Rebel has been adjusted so that the truck sits 1 inch higher than your average Ram 1500, but like the rest of the lineup, there are still other models that make the truck better off road, more aerodynamic and easier to load (not all at the same time, of course). Off-Road mode lifts the truck a bit more, but has a limit of 25 miles per hour. The Park mode drops the truck 3 inches for easier loading or unloading in the bed or cab, and Aero mode automatically engages when the truck is cruising at speeds over 60 miles per hour.

ram rebel rear

The Ram Rebel will arrive sometime this summer and while pricing has not been announced, we can expect that it will be towards the upper end of the Ram 1500 lineup in terms of pricing, due to the long list of standard features.


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Comments

So this "Raptor killer" is 95% trim and 5% performance. Sounds like a Subaru killer--maybe--but that kind of prissiness isn't going to be slaying Raptors any time soon, especially in the shadow of the truly innovative, seismic announcement of the new Raptor. Maybe Fiat needs to stop trying.
did you even read the article ? "First off, this truck has been criticized a bit early on for not being a proper competitor for the Ford SVT Raptor F150, but I don’t think that the folks behind the Ram Rebel expected this new trimline to compete with the Raptor. Instead, the team wanted to build a Ram 1500 that would be more off-road capable than any other factory truck in the recent history of the brand, while still maintaining complete daily driving capabilities. "
Wow. Pretty original thinking on the grill design there guys. When you can't improve, you just copy. Sad.