Ram kicks the dirt up with 575-hp Rebel TRX concept pickup

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Ram's most powerful half-ton pickup to date, the Rebel TRX concept

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While "electric" is the word over in Paris, things are a bit different in Texas, where automakers have put the focus on "dirt" and "rock" at the State Fair. Ram went so far as to debut an impressive, all-new pickup truck concept. The Rebel TRX debuts as an off-road-hungry truck ready to fly over dirt and rocks at 100 mph (161 km/h).

All of a sudden, the future of off-roading is looking pretty damn good. A Wrangler pickup is in the works. It appears Ford is building a Bronco. There's a new, lighter F-150 Raptor flying about. Chevy is sending this beast out on a military testing tour. Fiat Chrysler is playing with the idea of a Hellcat-powered Ram Rebel on its way to a Hellcat Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. You don't need a crystal ball to see an awful lot of fun in the dirt coming our way.

The Ram Rebel TRX concept debuted last Thursday, the same day Ford announced power and torque specs for the 2017 F-150 Raptor (450 hp and 510 lb.ft). Ram steps the game up even higher with the Rebel TRX, putting a 575-hp 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 engine to work. That's the 707-hp Hellcat engine detuned and optimized for off-road driving, and it makes the TRX concept the most powerful half-ton truck the company has ever put out. It handily tops the regular 1500 Rebel, which runs a 395-hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8 in its top spec.

Ram makes clear that the Rebel TRX is designed to hit a top speed upwards of 100 mph (161 km/h) not only on perfectly smooth, obstacle-free pavement, but also off-road. Helping it achieve that performance, the upgraded suspension system uses its 13 inches of front and rear travel (an added 40 percent over stock) to eat up obstacles at speed. The 37-in tires around the custom Mopar beadlock wheels assist by heightening ground clearance and gripping into loose ground. Front and rear bypass shocks improve response and damping.

The Rebel TRX distributes torque and power through a TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission and 4x4 Performance Control System with BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case. The 4WD system offers four modes: normal, wet/snow, off-road and Baja. Reinforcements at the axles help handle the extra output, and the Dynatrac Pro 60 rear axle includes an electric selectable locker. Six-piston calipers with 15-in front and 14-in rear rotors help all that truck grind to a stop.

In terms of aesthetics, the Rebel TRX definitely looks bigger and bolder than the standard Ram 1500 or 1500 Rebel, and it's not just the oversized tires. The bulging scooped hood lets the supercharged engine breathe and a burly brush guard adds protection down under the "RAM" tattooed grille. Up top, LED off-road lighting lends to the modified look.

Moving back around the sides, composite fender flares help contain the widened tracks, and full-length rock rails incorporate side exhaust pipes. Out back, bold "RAM" lettering and a steel bumper with integrated skid plate and tow hooks finish the package off.

On the other side of the doors, six-point harnesses keep the driver and three passengers steady during fast-paced off-road maneuvering, and suede seat trim helps out by better gripping clothing. A custom camera mount on the rear-view mirror makes for easy action cam sessions, and the open upper glove box holds a TRX-badged tool bag.

Other additions include muddy tracks/TRX badging around the 7-in TFT display cluster and on the screen of the 8.4-in Uconnect infotainment system, Mopar all-weather floor mats, rubberized flooring in place of carpeting, additional suede trim, and red accent stitching.

Ram calls the Rebel TRX an "engineering, design and consumer-interest study for an extreme performance half-ton pickup," so if you like it, let Ram know and cross your fingers.

The video below gives you a closer tour:

View gallery - 24 images

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