Record sale and increasing market share makes companies try things they normally wouldn’t. Ram continues to spin off special editions of its full size pickup to try to grab more of the market. The 10th model based on Ram’s 1500 series is the Rebel. It’s designed for the lifestyle outdoorsman, or in real world parlance people who want to look like they go off road but in reality only go to the mall or at best the park to walk the dog.
Ram already makes the Outdoorsman for the the hunt/fish/camp crowd. The Rebel’s aggressive grill strikes out in a different direction in search of extreme sports fans. These customers have dirt bikes, side-by-sides, jet-skis and other powersports toys. “It’s not an extreme, desert-racer off-road type product,” says Ram boss Bob Hegbloom. Meaning not a direct Raptor fighter but probably more friendly and as useful for simple off road driving if you were inclined. Think Toyota Tundra TRD competitor.
The Rebel’s most distinctive feature has to be its radical new grille. It does away with Ram’s longstanding crosshair in favor of an interlocking design that intentionally won’t be for everyone. There are lighting changes with black-bucket headlamps featuring LED accents and matching LED fog lights. Non-functional twin-snorkel hood, tonneau cover with stamped logo, blacked-out taillamps and unique badges are some other touches. Frankly this truck will not let you miss that it is a RAM with the lettering emblazoned everywhere and in very large font.
The Rebel makes use of Ram’s air suspension system to raise the ride height by an inch. This allows which an inch-longer suspension travel and helping clear the 33-inch (LT285/70R17E) Toyo Open Country A/T tires. Flares from the 2500 Power Wagon keep the wider rubber mounted on a Rebel-exclusive 17-inch wheels. Further modifications include a shorter steel front bumper that offers an improved approach angle as well as tow hooks and replaceable center skid plate.
Ram officials assure us the Rebel’s suspension has been tweaked to handle the higher ride height and better off road capability by including among other items some new Bilstein shocks. Steering and stability control have also been altered through programming to match the larger tires and taller suspension.
Interior changes are gaudy and special edition-y, as well. Radar Red seatbacks and sides are faced by vinyl surfaces displaying an embossed tread-pattern motif designed to look like the toy tread pattern. Contrast stitching, badges galore and of course matching dash trim, unique gauge faces and beefy all-weather floor mats with removable carpets are other Rebel specific item. A revised center console with better cupholders and a holder for smartphones tablets et al. I’m not hating but someday someone will be original with a special edition package.
The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engines will be offered with either a 3.55 or 3.92 rear end. No 3.0-liter EcoDiesel will be available. Probably the biggest reason not to buy this truck. It screams for the diesel.
Crew cab only configuration with a 5’7″ bed the and available in both 4×2 and 4×4. Pricing has yet to be released, but bet on an MSRP somewhere north of the $30,000.