Take a quick look at the new Ram 1500 Rebel and the immense differences in styling jump at you immediately. Gone is the crosshair grille theme; gone is the Ram badge; gone is any sort of friendly demeanor the stock truck might have possessed.
In their places, Ram has outfitted a slew of upgrades on the latest derivative-edition model of the popular truck. Fueled by a torrid sales pace throughout last year, Ram is keen on developing some niche vehicles that will allow the brand to appeal to certain demographics, and the Rebel is the latest.
There’s new air suspension in order to offer increased ride height that’s exclusive to the Rebel. And while it sits higher and rides better when not on pavement, this isn’t a competitor for Ford’s F-150-based Raptor. It’s more of a casual outdoor enthusiast’s whip than a hardcore trail-hitting, Baja-bound sport truck, Ram CEO Bob Hegbloom told Autoblog. “It’s not an extreme, desert-racer off-road type product,” he said.
“Offering an off-road-style package on the Ram 1500 has been on our to-do list for some time, but the right combination didn’t present itself until now,” Hegbloom added in the press release. “The Rebel drops right into a core segment of the truck market with unique design cues and can-do attitude backed by Ram Truck engineering.”
The Rebel took a cue from Toyota, and in place of the badge put “RAM” in large letters across the grille (and also on the tailgate). It’s in the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro that the Rebel finds its greatest adversary; it offers numerous perks for more rough and rowdy driving like the factory lift, skid plates, and tow hooks, but doesn’t fully commit to the extent that the Ford does.
The two-tone paint scheme won’t be for everyone, but Ram has gone ahead and blacked out numerous details, like the headlamp housings, the names and emblems, and notably, the grille, rims, windows, and hood slats. That color scheme follows inside, where the black and chrome bits are accented with the loud red from the exterior.
Larger, chunkier Toyo tires — spanning 33 inches — are stowed under the fender flares that were taken from the 2500 Power Wagon, which are needed for the wider 17-inch rims that the truck sits on. The truck is available with one of Ram’s engine options, the 3.6 liter V6 or the 5.7 liter Hemi V8, though the 3.0 liter EcoDiesel isn’t applicable to this setup.
Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but on Ram’s website, the Rebel is slotted between the Outdoorsman ($38,430) and the Sport (which starts at $35,455). Our best bet is putting the starting MSRP in the ballpark of $39,000-$42,000, though 4X4, the 5.7, and other options will likely push that up to closer to $50,000.
The Rebel will likely find it’s crowd — but true to its name, it won’t be with the mainstream truck buyers. The Rebel is more a statement than about buying the most capable work truck or off-roader; it’s every bit as much about the aggressive front end as it is actually slogging through mud or snow.