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There’s a new fastest Ram truck in town. The 2025 Ram 1500 RHO will be a 540 horsepower off-road beast with long-travel suspension and a ton of premium features. But it isn’t a supercharged V8–i.e. Hellcat–it’s a straight six. And that will trigger serious nostalgia for longtime Dodge truck fans.

I’m thinking of two historic Dodge engines. But the truth is that the I6 was a very popular entry-level configuration for decades. It is simpler and easier to work on than a V8. But it fits well in a front-engine, RWD powertrain engineered for a V8. Dodge’s final I6 engine was the slant-six, and overbuilt 225 cubic-inch mill that had a bulletproof reputation. It was the entry-level engine in Ram pickup trucks until 1987.

By 1989, both Ford and General Motors were offering diesel V8s in their pickup trucks. To catch up, Dodge went to Cummins and bought the 5.9-liter “6BT” I6. This industrial-grade diesel made history as an early turbocharged, then inter-cooled engine available in a regular pickup truck. The Cummins I6s are still a popular choice for heavy-duty Ram trucks.

Silver Ram truck parked off road
2025 Ram 1500 RHO | Stellantis

You might assume that American pickup truck buyers only want V8s. But classic Ram fans especially understand the power of an I6. These engines are making a comeback for several reasons. As engines grow more efficient, you simply don’t need as much displacement to produce the same power. An I6 only has one head, which means many fewer moving parts than a V8 or V6. It has room for longer piston travel, which means more torque. The configuration also leaves room in the engine bay for turbochargers.

Ram’s parent company, Stellantis, leveraged all of these features to engineer its new turbocharged 3.0-liter “Hurricane” I6 family. The standard output Hurricane engine makes 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. It’s been available in Jeep’s full-size Grand Wagoneer SUVs for years. In 2025, it will replace the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 in Ram 1500 trucks. I also fully expect to see it in the next generation of Dodge Chargers.

But that’s not all. The High Output trim of this I6 makes 26 psi of boost with its quick-spooling, twin turbochargers. The result is 540 horsepower and 521 lb-ft of torque. The Ram 1500 with the high output engine (the RHO) will rocket to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and do the 1/4 mile in 13.1 seconds.

Ram claims a top speed of 118 mph. But with long travel suspension and big off-roading tires, I’m not sure how many Ram truck owners will be lining up at Daytona to test that.

The automaker is very clear that this is not a TRX replacement. I suspect that will be a 1,000 horsepower electric truck, similar to the Hummer EV. But in the meantime, the RHO should go on sale in the third quarter of 2024. And its $69,000 MSRP may seem steep, but it is far cheaper than the TRX ($98,335) and half the V8 Ford F-150 Raptor ($111,550). In fact, its $129.60/horsepower price is the best deal you’ll get in factory off-road trucks. So, how bad do your really need a supercharger?

Next, check out the Hurricane I6 by the numbers, or see the Ram 1500 RHO reveal video below: