Posted: December 02, 2016
First Look: Ram’s Rebel TRX Concept
Ram Builds A Concept Truck That's Tough Enough To Handle BajaBy Dan Sanchez
According to Ram engineers, the Ram Rebel TRX concept was created using both off-road racing and consumer enthusiast input, to build a true 100 mph off-road pickup. “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.”
A Powerful HD Drivetrain
The Rebel TRX gets its power from a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 that can put down 575 horsepower that’s backed by a paddle-shifted, eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
The drivetrain features a Ram 4x4 Performance Control System that works through a BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case. This offers the driver four modes of operation: Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road, and Baja. The front differential is a standard Ram 1500 unit 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 larger tires.
In the rear, a Dynatrac Pro 60 axle features an electric rear locker with 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 maneuvers.
Baja Worthy Suspension
The Ram Rebel TRX has a suspension system that is definitely inspired by off-road racing. It features 13+ inches of wheel travel and uses Toyo M/T 37-inch diameter tires that are mounted to a set of Mopar bead-lock wheels. The extra suspension travel was achieved by using King 2.5-inch coil-over, internal bypass shocks in front, with new King 2.5-inch adjustable bypass shocks and performance coil springs at the rear. In addition, traction is improved with a six-inch wider track (than the standard Rebel) from the custom-built upper and lower A-arms.
While off-road speed is the goal for the Rebel TRX, engineers realized it had to have stopping power too. So they upgraded the OE Ram Rebel brake system with a set of Baer six-piston monoblock calipers that are mounted to 15-inch diameter rotors in front, and 14-inch diameter rotors at the rear.
An Exterior That Means Business
Wider front fenders give the Ram TRX an even more aggressive appearance. Rock rails were also added to the bottom of the truck’s door sills for added body/sill protection, and include integrated five-inch, side-exit exhaust ports.
Ram Rebel grille is designed to provide more airflow to the engine, while a power-bulge hood taken from the Ram Heavy-Duty, provides enough height for the supercharged engine. A large “Ram” badge on the tailgate continues the truck’s aggressive look and includes a custom rear steel bumper with integrated skid plate and tow hooks that match the front.
A Swanky Interior
The Rebel TRX’s interior combines carbon fiber, leather, and suede for a custom appearance, but it’s the six-point harness however, that tells you this won’t be an ordinary drive to the grocery store. 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.
An open upper glove box with elastic straps that hold a sturdy TRX-labeled bag with color matched tools. To provide drivers with all of the necessary information, 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 U-connect. In addition to the large screen, drivers can record their drive with a custom camera mount that is located at the rear-view mirror.
One nice interior touch is the Nylon-strap door pulls embroidered with “Release.” Knowing how dirty and dusty a real off-road performance truck can get, Ram engineers opted for using black rubberized coating instead of carpeting, along with back all-weather mats from Mopar to reduce foot slip when foot-to-pedal placement is crucial.
It’s easy to see that Ram took the creation of the Rebel TRX seriously. They didn’t just add larger tires and a bigger engine. They learned what types of components and modifications are necessary to build a real high-speed off-road truck, and incorporated it into an existing platform that is completely “legit,” but doesn’t stray away too much from the truck’s original design.