2021 Ram 1500 Rebel TRX Steps Out for Testing, 707-HP Hellcat V-8 and All
We can't wait for Ram's F-150 Raptor–fighting monster.
We've known about the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX for some time now, and ever since it debuted in concept form at the 2016 State Fair of Texas, we've lusted after the prospect of a long-travel off-roader powered by a supercharged Hellcat 6.2-liter V-8. Confirmed for production last year, the Rebel TRX has just been spotted in the wild, giving us a look (and a listen) at the Ford F-150 Raptor rival. We won't bury the lede any longer: Expect the Hellcat's full 707 horsepower to make the jump to the Ram, if our photographer's reports are to be believed.
2021 Ram Rebel TRX: Bespoke Suspension and Hot Rod Engine
The 2021 Ram Rebel TRX will get a significantly upgraded suspension relative to the conventional 1500 Rebel. The spy photos, particularly closeups of the rear suspension, betray either forged or billet control arms and suspension links. The front control arms are obviously larger, providing a wider track for better stability in high-speed off-roading. Billet shock-absorber mounts are also visible in the photos, boding well for durability in more technical, low-speed situations.
Larger rear suspension links match the front track neatly, and squinting at the underbody reveals the same extensive skid-plate package as the entry-level Ram Rebel. The TRX test truck was wearing Goodyear Wrangler Territory mud-terrain tires, which we expect measure about 35 inches, or up 2 inches over the regular Reb. Larger tires contribute to additional ground clearance under the truck, but rest assured, there will be significant suspension updates as well.
We've heard talk of taller springs and long-travel shocks (possibly electronically actuated), and we wouldn't be surprised if the Ram Rebel TRX features as much as 14 inches of suspension travel. What remains to be seen is if the high-performance pickup will be able to resist shock-absorber degradation as well as the stellar F-150 Raptor.
Our photographer was able to audibly confirm the existence of a supercharger, whining noticeably as the Ram Rebel TRX sped off to minimize exposure. The truck also ran like a bat out of hell—expect the Hellcat's full 707 horses and 650 lb-ft to blow the doors off the 450-hp, 510-lb-ft Ford F-150 Raptor. There has also been talk of a 7.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8 codenamed Banshee that may also exceed the Raptor's output, albeit to a lesser extent.
When the 2019 Ram 1500 was first shown at the North American International Auto Show in 2018, some of us were somewhat disappointed with its handsome but decidedly less aggressive styling. It doesn't look like we'll have much to complain about when the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX arrives. Covering its wider track are wider fenders, and we hope the Coke-bottle styling of the 2016 concept makes the jump to the production truck, wide hips and all.
Helping the truck cast an aggressive mien will be an updated front clip. Visible on the spy truck are additional vents to provide cooling for the massive supercharged V-8. A bulging hood likely boasts an air intake or heat extractors—the former would help off-road performance by increasing wading depth. Those aforementioned 35-inch tires (which likely will be Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs or BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2s) likewise butch up the appearance and stance significantly.
While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles hasn't committed to either a timeline or pricing structure for the Ram Rebel TRX, we expect it to be unveiled this summer and arrive in dealerships in the first quarter of next year. Pricing should mirror that of the F-150 Raptor, starting at $55,000 for the base truck with the naturally aspirated V-8 and $65,000 or so for a Hellcat.