Ram has posted a video (advertisement-style) of the Ram Rebel in motion, building excitement for a truck that might be coming around June 2015 and whose pricing has not yet been announced, but will likely start in the mid-$30,000s — attractive, given the interior and standard eight-speed automatic.
The video is fairly brief, and seems to feature a dedicated off-road vehicle more than the Rebel itself; Rebel is pictured going over smooth dirt roads, while the other vehicle rushes through dirt and water.
Rebel competes mainly with trucks such as Ford FX4 and “home modded” pickups, with a one inch lift, special off-road tires, tow hooks, apparently-optional skid plates, and other features. See our full Rebel coverage.
Ram Rebel’s lift comes mainly from retuning the air suspension, while preserving tire life and safety through suspension and stability control retuning. However, Chrysler has not released photos of the suspension; Patrick Rall filled that gap, showing the Bilstein shocks unique to it, as part of his walkaround with chief engineer Mike Cairns (which we hope to provide on video tomorrow).
The stock ride height of the Rebel is similar to standard Ram 1500s in Off-Road I mode. Its off-road setting is similar in height to normal Off-Road II modes, and can be used at speeds up to 25 mph. On the highway, it automatically goes into Aero mode at 60 mph, dropping the height; and there is a parking mode which brings it down another three inches for easier loading.
According to Mr. Cairns, the 33-inch Toyo tires are suitable for daily driving, without the noise or vibration of most serious off-road tires. The unusual tread is designed to deal with snow, water, and mud.
Long-time Ram owner Patrick Rall got together with the brand’s chief engineer, Mike Cairns, for a greater perspective on the new pickup. We expect a video to be available tomorrow, but in the meantime, Patrick’s photos — including shots of the suspension and rear seat, which were not in the press kit — have been posted to our Ram 1500 Rebel First Look page.
If 28 miles per gallon (mpg) from a full size pickup was not enough, Ram has the answer: 29 mpg.
This number, which beats the highway fuel economy of many sedans, comes courtesy of work on aerodynamics, parasitic losses, an eight speed automatic, and a VM diesel imported from Italy. (Chrysler’s relationship with VM extends back to before the company was acquired before Daimler, but it only used VM diesels outside of North America.)
The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE will deliver the highest fuel economy of any full size truck, as the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel did. The city mileage is 21, and combined mileage is 24 — also beating all pickups.
“Fuel efficiency is at the top of truck buyers’ priorities, and Ram is the recognized benchmark for the industry,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand. “Twenty-nine miles per gallon cuts through the clutter. Ram invested in powertrain technologies and those are paying real dividends in the wallets of our customers.”
The fuel economy king, to go on sale late in this quarter, has a unique trim package on the Ram 1500 Tradesman Quad Cab four-door body, with a 6-ft. 4-in. bed and 20-inch wheels. The Ram EcoDiesel also is available with a body-colored fascia from the Ram Express model, not available on other diesel Ram 1500s. Wheel-to-wheel side steps and a tri-fold tonneau cover offer add functionality and help to create best-in-class aerodynamics.
Using a historic Chrysler and AMC nameplate, along with the Ram 1500’s air suspension, the new Ram 1500 Rebel is both a lifted pickup and, possibly, the shape of the 2016 refresh.
The Rebel is not one-for-one with Ford Raptor, but does match or beat Ford FX4 and Chevrolet Silverado Z71; the main goal was to provide a safe factory alternative to common dealer and owner modifications. The one inch lift goes along with suspension and program changes, so it does not cause excess tire and suspension wear — or void the warranty, as even dealer “upgrades” do.
There are numerous clever touches for those who do use the Ram Rebel off-road, beyond the wide-ranging eight-speed automatic (standard on both six and eight cylinder engines), such as powder-coated front and rear bumpers (for extra scratch resistance) and black lower panels (for easier touch up).
The appearance is new for Ram, and may presage styling themes of the 2016 models. As Ford has imitated Ram styling, this Ram uses large brand names in the grille and on the tailgate.