September 29, 2016,
Auburn Hills, Mich.
When creating an extreme use vehicle, certain aspects of a vehicle’s exterior and interior design must give way to a functional goal. The Ram Rebel TRX concept is an example of molding design around a chassis engineered to take on rough terrain at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour (mph).
“The Rebel TRX concept gave us the opportunity to examine what a Ram 1500 would look like in the high-speed off-road world,” said Joe Dehner, Head of Ram Exterior Design — FCA North America. “The tolerances are extreme and features are far different from what most customers expect from their pickup, but that’s what makes it rousing and fun.”
The Rebel TRX’s mug shot is not a friendly face welcomed in the rearview mirror. Although it is clear the line and color combinations are borrowed from the popular Rebel and Power Wagon models, the Rebel TRX has a much more chiseled look.
Header Red paint rules the exterior skin. Select locations on the hood roof and lower body are covered in black. Three letters burst clear of a Power Wagon-inspired grille spelling “RAM” in body-matching black and red. Out of necessity, the bold, scooped grille allows a fire-breathing supercharged engine to cool with additional air flow. Oversized tow hooks reach through huge red-painted openings in the black powder-coated steel front bumper. Composite flares help compensate for a six-inch increase in track width and gave designers another location to mark their signature. A lower brush guard is forged in steel and up to the “rock knock” test. New LED fog lamps provide additional light to help the TRX navigate in reduced visibility conditions.
In order to clear the roots-style blower mounted atop the HEMI® engine, the Rebel TRX uses a hood based on the taller Ram Heavy Duty design, using two exhaust vents to assist in heat removal. The raised fender height matches shoulders to chest. This aggressive, “no-neck” appearance is an example of building around necessity. A profile view reveals wide-open fender wells lined with unique flares, allowing 37-inch tires to fill the gap at full jounce. Compensating for a six-inch overall increase in track width, the fenders reach out like wings to prevent material caught in traction from reaching the side of the truck. A drone’s-eye view exposes bright LED clearance lighting and the acute hour-glass body lines as they dive back into the doors only to pop back out in the back, enabling rear tires to firmly tuck into the wells.
The side of the TRX leads your eye to enormous five-inch, side-exit exhaust ports integrated within a full-length rock rail for added body/sill protection. The 37-inch tires are wrapped around custom Mopar 18-inch bead-lock wheels with body color-matched rings bolted in place.
The bed becomes partially dedicated to self-preservation while traveling in the desert abyss. New bed rails equipped with tie-downs outline two matched spare tire and wheel combinations mounted vertically in the bed on a custom rack. Utilizing the built-in storage capacity of the Ram 1500, a lockable unit between the wheel wells packs a jack, tow strap and makes room for larger tool storage.
Closing out the rear of the truck, a large “Ram” badge in Matte Black is borrowed from the Rebel and covers the tailgate. A custom rear bumper with integrated skid plate and tow hooks matches capability features on the front of the truck.
Not all of the TRX’s features are functional. Some are deserved. Bodyside and tailgate graphics adorn both sides and unique badging located on the rear fenders identify Ram’s newest concept.
When traversing rough terrain at ludicrous speeds, seating is important. Sliding around like a towel across a freshly waxed hood is not ideal. The interior design team chose materials to help the occupants stay planted and in control. Suede with accent mesh cloth inserts cover the rear bench and front buckets. The suede inserts provide tremendous grip to clothing. The front seats integrate sport-sanctioned lateral support upper bolsters with embroidered logos. All four seats are strapped with six-point harnesses, further fixing occupants to their proper locations.
The TRX’s black anodized steering wheel is trimmed with black suede and Header Red accent stitching. New paddle shifters stretch above and below the steering wheel centerline and allow the driver to maintain transmission control with fingertips. Ram’s 4x4 Performance Control System is engaged with a cog-shaped rotary dial for different modes of operation, indicated by a Rebel TRX pictogram for different environments: Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road and Baja.
In an effort to remove hard points inside the cockpit, the TRX instrument panel (IP) is padded and features Header Red accent stitching. An open upper glove box with elastic straps holds a sturdy TRX-labeled bag with color matched tools. When limit driving, the operator’s front cluster can often provide a lifeline to the truck’s situation. A seven-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) cluster borrowed from the Rebel features muddy tracks and TRX badge graphics with reconfigurable gauges. The same graphics fill the screen on an 8.4 Uconnect. Center stack detail includes carbon fiber and red metal inlays with anodized parts replacing knobs and controls. To record TRX’s accomplishments, a custom camera mount is located at the rearview mirror.
The center console matches efforts on the IP and includes a concept polystable shifter trimmed in black suede and Header Red stitching. The soft console lid features Header Red accent stitching and elastic straps, creating additional secured storage.
Designers re-trimmed the Rebel armrests with solid Header Red accent stitching and wrapped the upper bolster in suede to keep arms in place. Trim rings are covered in black anodized paint and red metal-inlayed carbon fiber spears point to nylon strap door pulls embroidered with ”Release.”
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, formed to allow maximum possible seat travel. Suede-wrapped headliner and visors give a premium feel, but not overzealous. A- and B-pillar grab handles are covered in vinyl with Header Red stitching.
The Rebel TRX interior floor trades carpet for black rubberized coating. Black all-weather mats from Mopar reduce foot slip when foot-to-pedal placement is crucial.
Ram Truck Brand
In 2009, the Ram Truck brand launched as a stand-alone division, focused on meeting the demands of truck buyers and delivering benchmark-quality vehicles. With a full lineup of trucks, the Ram 1500, 2500/3500 Heavy Duty, 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cab, ProMaster and ProMaster City, the Ram brand builds trucks that get the hard work done and families where they need to go.
Ram continues to outperform the competition and sets the benchmarks for:
- 1,075 lb.-ft. of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
- Towing capacity of 37,100 lbs. with Ram 3500
- Segment first 1,000 lb.-ft of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
- Payload of 7,680 lbs. with Ram 3500
- Most luxurious: Ram Limited with real wood, real leather and 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen
- Best ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions
- Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab
- Most capable full-size off-road pickup – Ram Power Wagon
- Most awarded light-duty truck in America
- Highest owner loyalty of any half-ton pickup
- Over the last 30 years, Ram has the highest percentage of pickups still on the road
Ram is part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis. For more information regarding Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), please visit www.stellantis.com
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