A Ram Rebel Hellcat Concept is Finally Here
Since the Hellcat Hemi was introduced for the 2015 Dodge Challenger and Charger, Mopar fans have been calling for a few other vehicles to receive the supercharged engine. Most notably, Jeep fans wanted to see a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee SRT model and Ram truck fans wanted to see a Hellcat-powered Ram 1500. Jeep has already confirmed that the Hellcat Grand Cherokee is on the way and while the Ram Rebel TRX Concept is just a concept right now – it shows that FCA is at least considering stuffing the most powerful American production engine of all time into their popular half ton truck.
Why a Hellcat Ram?
Before getting into the specifics of the Ram Rebel TRX Concept, a quick look at why there is so much demand for a half ton pickup with the Hellcat Hemi. It surely seems ridiculous to some people to have a truck with huge power, but I should remind those who have forgotten that back in 2004, Dodge offered up a half ton truck with the powerplant from the Dodge Viper. Back then, the Viper V10 was the most powerful engine ever offered by the Chrysler Group and with 500 horsepower and 525lb-ft of torque making the Ram 1500 SRT10 the quickest, the fastest and the most powerful production truck ever.
The Ram SRT10 with Viper power proved to be very popular over the three years of production, but since 2006, Ram hasn’t offered a proper performance truck. There have been plenty of Ram 1500 packages with the 5.7L Hemi which offer great performance, but there hasn’t been a true high performance truck since Ram became its own brand in 2009.
However, that could all change, as the new Ram Rebel TRX Concept follows the powertrain trend from the 2006 SRT10 Ram, packing the most powerful engine in the corporate lineup into a half ton truck. However, this time around, the high performance Ram truck is built to tear up the offroad tracks with the supercharged Hellcat Hemi where the V10 Ram was all about on-road performance.
“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.”
The Ram Rebel TRX Concept (with a Hellcat Hemi)
The Ram 1500 Rebel is the most capable factory half ton truck ever offered by the Ram brand in terms of offroading, but the TRX Concept takes the Rebel and beefs up literally every aspect of the truck.
Most importantly, the standard 5.7L Hemi of the Ram Rebel has been removed and in its place is the supercharged 6.2L Hemi that we all know as the Hellcat. In the new Ram concept, this supercharged V8 “only” produces 575 horsepower, but if this truck saw production, that would make the Hellcat-powered Ram the most powerful American truck ever sold to the public. Throughout the press release announcing the Ram TRX Concept, the company doesn’t actually use the word Hellcat – presumably because it has been detuned for off-road truck use – but it is most certainly the same supercharged mill from the Challenger and Charger.
That supercharged Hemi power is sent to all four wheels via the heavy duty 8-speed TorqueFlite transmission, a Borg Warner 45-45 heavy duty transfer case, a standard Ram 1500 front axle and a Dynatrac Pro differential out back. Ram’s 4x4 Performance Control System in the TRX Concept includes four modes - Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road and Baja – and each of those modes include varying levels of traction control, throttle input and transmission shift stiffness.
Next, the Ram Rebel TRX Concept has a fully revamped suspension system with huge internal bypass dampers and unique springs at all four corners. As a result, the Rebel TRX Concept has 40% more wheel travel than the standard production Rebel pickup and, more importantly, this suspension setup allows this Hellcat-powered pickup to blast through the roughest terrain at speeds over 100 miles per hour with the help of the 37 inch off-road tires on beadlock wheels.
After the Ram engineers had taken care of the drivetrain, the suspension and the wheels, they turned their attention to the braking system, which features 15 inch rotors up front and 14 inch rotors in the rear. The company didn’t say that these were the brakes from the Hellcat cars, but they share the dimensions with the Hellcat brakes.
Finally, the Ram Rebel TRX Concept features an elaborately upgraded body, with huge flares around all four wheels giving the truck a much wider stance while also offering plenty of space for those big mud tires to move up and down with the changes in the terrain. The Hellcat Hemi exhausts through side pipes which are integrated into the rock rails and to make room in the engine bay, the Rebel TRX Concept has a unique hood to accommodate the Hellcat Hemi. There is also a detailed decal package which works nicely with the deep metallic red paint with a splash of black and the package is wrapped up by off-road racing style tire carrier system in the bed, complete with overhead lighting
On the inside, the Ram Rebel TRX Concept sports six point harnesses up front, red accents throughout the cabin and unique “release” tabs rather than the normal door handles, but the cabin is the least-modified aspect of this awesome concept truck. That is ok, though, as the rest of the truck is just about perfect.
Could This Truck See Production?
When you look at the modifications to the body, the suspension, the brakes and the body of the Ram Rebel TRX Concept, the changes aren’t all that different from what Ford does to transform the regular F150 into the new Raptor. The Raptor has a unique engine, a unique 4WD system, unique suspension bits, unique wheels/tires and package-specific body panels, so the Ram Rebel TRX Concept is no more outlandish than the first new Raptor Concept.
Of course, the most significant aspect of the Ram Rebel TRX Concept is the Hellcat Hemi packed under the hood, but it looks like Ram has all of the parts lined up to build a truck that would absolutely destroy the Ford F150 Raptor.
Now, they just need to figure out how to bring it to production.