I feel so guilty…we covered Ram trucks last week, but couldn’t resist this one: a 430Kw (that’s 576hp!) off roader.

The only problem: New Zealand only gets the diesel.


PRESS RELEASE: Ram reveals new Rebel TRX concept: a supercharged 430 kw super ute that does 160 kmh – off road!

  • RAM Rebel TRX concept is an engineering, design and consumer-interest study for an extreme performance Ute based on the RAM 2500 and 3500 now on sale in New Zealand
  • Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® V-8 delivers 430 kW, the most powerful factory-engineered Ute ever
  • TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission is integrated with a powerful supercharged engine, 4×4 Performance Control System and paddle-shifters
  • Front and rear axles feature severe-duty components to handle the high kW and off-road rigors
  • More than 13 inches of wheel travel at all four corners, an increase of more than 40 percent
  • Front and rear bypass performance shocks added for improved response and damping
  • Unique RAM front grille and steel bumpers provide additional air flow to cool the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine
  • Reaching six inches wider than a standard RAM 2500, the acute hour-glass body design and huge fender wells clear aggressive 37-inch tires
  • Rebel TRX concept interior takes style signals from the RAM 2500, but adds unique features, materials and colours, including carbon fibre, luxury leather/suede and six-point harnesses

RAM, America’s off-road Ute leader, has revealed the RAM Rebel TRX concept, a 160 kmh off-road machine with 430 kW – the most powerful Ute the company has ever built.

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“Ripping over pavement at speeds greater than 160 kmh is an experience, but the RAM Rebel TRX concept hits triple digits off-road and that takes the excitement to whole new level,” says David Smitherman, Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Chrysler New Zealand. “But what this remarkable concept Ute also reveals is the depth and breadth of the engineering built into every RAM Ute that has made this concept Ute possible.”

ram_rebel_trx_concept_0015 “The RAM Rebel TRX concept solidifies RAM’s position an off-road Ute leader. With 430 supercharged kW and a suspension system built to withstand an all-day hammering, the Rebel TRX concept can devour the roughest terrain at more than 160 kmh and never look back!”

Powertrain
The rapidly beating heart of the RAM Rebel TRX concept is a powertrain marvel. A 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI with 430 kW, the most powerful RAM 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.

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The RAM Rebel TRX concept uses RAM’s 4×4 Performance Control System with a BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case. The system employs different modes of operation: Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road and Baja, named after one of the toughest, roughest motorsport events in the world, the Baja 1000.

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.

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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 manoeuvres.

Engineering
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 2500 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 2500. The frame uses low-torsion attributes that increase durability, stability and handling precision.

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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.

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The RAM Ute 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.

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Design
Although it is clear that the line and color combinations are borrowed from the most popular RAM 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.

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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.”

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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 430 kW off-road machine with the ability to clear miles of desert in the blink of an eye.

RAM in New Zealand

Here in New Zealand, the RAM 2500 and 3500 are powered by a 6.7 litre Cummins turbo diesel engine producing 276 kW and a staggering 1084 Nm of torque, a RAM Truck can carry or tow an astounding amount. Depending on the type of towing arrangement utilised, RAM Trucks feature an enormous towing capacity of up to 6989 kg for the RAM 2500 and an impressive 6170 kg for the RAM 3500. Payload is 913 kg for the RAM 2500 and 1713 kg for the RAM 3500.

All that power and weight is fed to the road via a 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission, which includes driver-adaptive shifting and three multiple clutch packs, dual filters on a dual stage pump and an independent lubrication cooler that delivers ample pressures under all loads and driving conditions.

RAM engineers had the toughest of jobs in mind when they developed the RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 heavy-duty, 50-KSI steel frame, providing for more structural support than ever. Eight separate cross members, hydro formed frame rails and fully boxed rear rails help add strength and stability, giving the 2500 and 3500 the support to tow bigger and work harder.

The RAM 2500 front suspension features a unique three-link coil spring arrangement. The rear suspension boasts a class exclusive five link coil spring suspension featuring unique multi-rate coil springs and heavy duty fixed displacement twin tube shock absorbers, both of which are placed in an outboard position that optimises performance and minimises noise and vibration.

The RAM 3500 is even tougher with Hotchkiss rear leaf spring suspension that delivers mighty towing and payload capability. A significantly larger stabiliser bar generates higher roll stiffness than past models and gives RAM 3500 Heavy Duty trucks more stability on the road—and off. The advanced three-link front suspension on RAM 3500 increases roll stiffness and supports its increased towing capacity.

The transfer case in the RAM is exactly what you need for an ultra-tough 4×4 capability. The BorgWarner BW 44-46 transfer case features responsive electronic shift on the fly engineering with three operating ranges plus neutral. This impressive unit offers a low range reduction ratio of 2.64:1 – an ideal ratio when off road in a slow rock climbing situation or when using your RAM 4×4 on challenging terrain or steep grades.

Sophisticated comfort meets work ready durability in a RAM Truck cabin jam packed with features. Start with leather trimmed seats, heated and ventilated in the front with 10-way power adjustment for the driver and six way adjustment for the front passenger. Then there’s a heated, leather bound steering wheel with integrated audio controls to turn the power steering, dual zone climate control, tinted power windows, a 20 cm touchscreen display, a 17 cm multi-view cluster, a nine speaker sound system with subwoofer, ports for mobile devices and a media hub, Bluetooth and the list goes on, and on and on…

RAM trucks are also big on safety and security featuring advanced, multi-stage front airbags, front and rear seat curtain airbags, electronic stability control, rear park assist and rear view camera, an eye level brake light with cargo camera, a tyre pressure monitoring system and remote keyless entry.

The RAM 2500 and 3500 are remanufactured by a venture combining the resources of Australasia’s largest independent automotive importer and distributor, the New Zealand owned Ateco Automotive, with the legendary Walkinshaw Automotive Group. RAM is the fastest growing truck brand in the United States. Since its launch as a stand-alone division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in 2009, the RAM Truck brand has steadily emerged as an industry leader with US sales of more than 40,000 trucks per month.

The Walkinshaw remanufactured RAM trucks are produced with Australian full volume import approval, meaning they are fully compliant with Australian Design Rules. The RAM trucks are imported to Australia direct from the factory in left hand drive. The Walkinshaw Automotive Group then completely remanufacture the RAM vehicles to right hand drive on a purpose built production line in Melbourne.

Right-hand drive RAM trucks engineered by American Special Vehicles are covered by a comprehensive three year, 100,000 km warranty along with full parts and service support.

Further information in regard to model range, specification, pricing and the RAM dealer network is available atwww.ramtrucks.co.nz

*Press Releases are direct from the Manufacturer, and not edited in any way.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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