Ram unveils Rebel TRX: 575-hp, high-speed off-road concept is its most powerful half-ton ever

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Updated Oct 8, 2016

It was only fitting that at the Texas State Fair this week Ram would reveal its most powerful half-ton pickup yet—the Rebel TRX concept truck.

Jim Morrison, head of the Ram Brand for FCA North America, called the TRX the ultimate high-speed, off-road truck. And it certainly has the specs to back that up.

The Rebel TRX is equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 that delivers an impressive 575 horsepower. Engineered to travel off-road at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, the Rebel TRX is six inches wider than a standard Ram 1500 and features 37-inch Toyo tires housed in cavernous fender wells that have room for up to 13 inches of wheel travel.

“I know that some of you guys know what that mean and that means that this can go fast and keep the power to the ground,” Morrison told reporters during this morning’s reveal.

For this concept truck, Ram says new calibrations were used on the HEMI engine and the TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed transmission to optimize high-speed off-roading. The truck 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.

The 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.

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 maneuvers.

Ram Rebel TRX ConceptRam Rebel TRX Concept

Design and engineering

Though the frame structure of the Rebel TRX is virtually unchanged from the standard Ram 1500 (Ram says engineers wanted to adapt as many systems from the 1500 as possible to ensure durability and proper function), the exterior of the truck has a different hour-glass design Ram says gives the truck a “more chiseled look.”

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Ram says the truck’s 40-percent increase in suspension travel and 37-inch tires allow it to traverse obstacles at high speeds, noting that 37s are commonly used by off-road truck racing teams.

The TRX front suspension incorporates custom-built upper and lower A-arms with special attention to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. The front load is managed by an adjustable, performance coil-over shock with internal bypass. Ram says this results in “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.”

The link coil rear suspension is carried over from the standard Ram 1500. Ram says 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 increased 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.

The grille of the TRX is inspired by the Power Wagon and sits below a scooped grille. The truck also features composite flares to help compensate for the TRX’s 6 inches of additional track width.

The higher hood of the truck accommodates a roots-style blower mounted atop the HEMI. Ram designers had to raise the fender height of the truck to meet this taller hood which is similar to those found on the brand’s HD trucks.

Inside the truck you’ll find two bucket seats up front and a rear bench covered in suede with accent mesh cloth. All four seats in the truck are equipped with six-point harnesses. The floor of the truck is covered with black rubberized coating and black all-weather mats.