When it comes to keeping an eye on current auto news, we all have our favorite headlines we look for and follow as they progress. For me, it’s no real surprise that my attention has stayed true to my MOPAR roots in 2018, focused primarily on Dodge’s intoxicating Hellcat, ground-shaking Redeye and (of course) RAM’s Rebel TRX concept first introduced to crowds back in 2016. And with RAM execs confirmation earlier this summer that the concept would see production, we turn our eyes forward to 2021, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the epic offering to come. So, watch out Raptors, because in just a few years the TRX (aka ’T-REX’) is coming for you. Here, take a look at the original concept video.
And here are some additional close-ups along with run footage…
Like the Raptor before it, the TRX aims to silence anyone who claims that it’s simply a beefed up version of its more traditional stablemate (such as the F-150 or 1500). Aggressive badging and accents aside, a huge portion of proving the point is to create design enhancers that exist with a purpose. For example, the bold flares found around the wheel arch accommodate the increase in suspension travel and larger tire size achieved through the design. LED headlights were added to improve visibility in extreme off-road conditions and oversized tow hooks were incorporated for obvious reasons.
Of course, the TRX is still a 1500 at its core, but it’s clearly designed to be something both different and unique to itself. And in that sense, we feel that it couldn’t have been more successful.
Wheels and Tires
As much a component of aesthetics as they are function, the wheels and tires of the TRX must be designed to accommodate rough terrain at speeds over 100mph. As such it features MOPAR wheels with a custom beadlock, covered by 10-ply 37-inch off-road tires measuring 13.5-inches in width.
And while the bed of any truck is far from being its aesthetic core, the fact is that the TRX’s bed features a number of tie down and cargo storage options designed for both everyday use and the unique demands of adventure. This means building upon the existing strengths of the 1500 (ie: lockable storage behind the wheel wells) and taking a long introspective look at what else could be added to make the TRX as adaptable and functional as possible.
Under the hood of the TRX you’ll find a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 paired to a TorqueFlite 8JP70 eight-speed automatic transmission. That’s right superfans, its the same engine as the Hellcat, albeit with a reduction in horsepower rating from the Hellcat’s 707 to the TRX’s 575 hp. Whether or not RAM opts to re-inject horsepower back into the TRX over time remains to be seen. Regardless, 575hp is nothing to shake a stick at, especially considering that the TRX overall engineering is designed to optimize high-speed off-road driving.
With its 4×4 Performance Control System, the TRX offers four primary driving modes, to accommodate (i) normal on-road driving (ii) snowy and/or wet conditions (iii) light off-off-road and (iv) extreme off-road versatility.
Like the RAM 1500 before it, the TRX is built with a high-strength steel frame. But unlike the 1500, the TRX boasts a heavily-modified suspension designed with off-roading in mind. With a 40% increase in suspension travel, the custom-built upper and lower A-arms bump travel from 9-inches to 13-inches. The front load is managed by adjustable coil-over shocks, equipped with internal bypass; while RAM’s industry-leading link coil rear suspension supports the rear, resulting in a ride quality that is truly adaptive to whatever you throw at it.
As with any concept vehicle it will be interesting to see which features make it through as ‘standard’ on the production model, and which ones weed themselves out. It will also be interesting to see when the TRX makes its debut. While the official timeline hops back and forth between a 2021 and 2022 model year release we expect to be seeing a lot of the RAM Rebel TRX in the years and months to come. And that is just fine with us.