If it weren’t for the Ford GT and the Acura NSX, 2015 could easily have been called the year of the truck at the North American International Auto Show. Ram joined in the fun by introducing a Rebel version of the popular Ram 1500, which visually at least appears to be targeting the Ford Raptor.
The Rebel moniker is one that the Chrysler folks have had tucked away since taking possession of AMC in 1987. The last time the name was used was for a mid-sized sedan and coupe in 1970, the most interesting of which was known as the Rebel Machine. The elapsed time means that most of today’s consumers have never heard of the Rebel before, so there is little irony to applying it to a truck rather than a family car.
I first spotted the Rebel from atop the Nissan show stand, half way across the show hall in Detroit, a bright red beast lighting up a black stage. Approaching from the front, the Rebel certainly looks like a Raptor fighter, from its aggressive front grille to its menacing stance, standing an inch taller than the base 1500 4×4 and on off road rubber. At the aft end, the tailgate is emblazoned with the word RAM in massive black letters. One thing is certain, coming or going, there will never be any question what brand of truck you are driving.
Unlike the Raptor, which now will only offer a more powerful turbo V6, the Rebel can be optioned with a 3.6L V6 or a 5.7L HEMI V8. Ford has not releases horsepower figures for the Raptor’s new mill yet, just saying that it produces more than the current V8’s 411 ponies. That isn’t good for the Rebel, which generates 305 HP or 395 HP respectively.
Ram product planners have taken a page from the Raptor’s book when it comes to suspension however. Unlike the flashy, outwardly visible Fox Racing shocks used on the Raptor, the Rebel sports Bilstein shocks, which have a reputation for offering superior ride quality in off road situations. While the glitz may be cool, having a relaxed spine after a day off road is a very real benefit. Score one for Ram here.
Ram press release
Chrysler Canada – New 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel Makes a Statement
· New front grille design a significant styling departure for Ram Truck brand
· New interior colours and materials, including Radar Red and Black seats with tire tread-matching pattern
· Standard 33-inch tires provide capability and rugged looks
· Equipped with factory lift, skid plates, tow hooks and other off-road-ready features
· 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel takes advantage of the class-exclusive air suspension in order to offer increased ride height
· First time 3.92 axle ratio available on 3.6-litre Pentastar™ V6 engine
January 13, 2015 , Windsor, Ontario – The new 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel brings a one-of-a-kind off-road design to the full-size truck segment.
“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,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, FCA US LLC. “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.”
New exterior design highlights
Rebel features an all-new grille with prominent billet silver “RAM” letter badge. Departing from the brand’s iconic “cross-hair” designs, the blacked-out Rebel grille tops a completely new black off-road front bumper design with a durable powder-coated surface, which incorporates a powder coated, billet silver skid plate, new front tow hooks and new LED fog lamps. Black bezel bi-functional projector headlamps with LED marker lights lie beneath an aluminum, twin-snorkel sport hood.
Rebel’s blacked-out front-end continues on the flanks, where black Power Wagon wheel-arch mouldings, flat-black badge, mirrors and lower body panels create a distinctive trail-ready presence. The new trim features a two-tone paint scheme with black as a constant on the lower body, front to rear.
The Ram 1500 Rebel features an all-new 17-inch aluminum wheel. Among the most elaborate designs found in mass production, the new one-piece wheel incorporates matte black painted accent pockets and multi-angled surfaces linked to the Rebel’s off-road bias.
Continuing around to the rearview is a bold new “RAM” stamped tailgate with blacked-out lettering. The “Rebel” and “4X4” badge emphasize the truck’s uniqueness. The rear bumper is also treated with durable black powder coating with flared cutouts around dual chrome-tipped exhausts. Tail lamps incorporate black bezels to match forward lighting.
Rebel includes an optional backup camera, providing a better field of vision when manoeuvering. A new tri-fold tonneau cover is embossed with the Ram logo.
The Ram 1500 Rebel will be available in five colours, including: Granite Crystal Metallic, Bright Silver Metallic, Flame Red, Bright White and Brilliant Black. Both monotone and two-tone paint options are offered.
Unique interior detailing
Inside, Rebel is every bit as brawny and rugged as it is outside, featuring dramatic, industry-exclusive seating elements.
High-durability technical grain vinyl seats are finished in Radar Red and Black with Sedoso fabric inserts embossed with the Toyo tire tread pattern, matching the Rebel’s actual footprint. Standard heated front seats feature Light Diesel Grey accent stitching, Radar Red Ram’s head embroidery on the headrests and Black with Light Diesel Grey Rebel nameplate embroidered on upper seat bolsters.
The all-black instrument panel, door armrests and logo-embossed centre console armrest cover are topped with two-tone Radar Red and Light Grey accent stitching. The centre stack and console are finished in Iron Grey Metallic paint giving a cast-iron appearance. An all-new centre console bin incorporates a cellular phone/tablet holder with moulded insert allowing for various-sized devices. Radar Red anodized vent rings, door accent rings, door trim spears and centre console trim ring add colour detail to the interior. The Rebel’s heated steering wheel is wrapped with semi-perforated black leather, accented with Radar Red X-stitches.
The upper glove box door is finished with a Rebel nameplate badge.
Deep all-weather rubber floor mats with contrasting Radar Red Ram’s head help contain dirt, snow and debris.
The interior is finished off with a new black headliner and matching upper pillars.
The Rebel’s trail-running capability gets a boost with one-inch raised ride height for improved off-road approach, departure and breakover angles.
Bilstein® supplies front and rear shocks with unique tuning and a new steering calibration is matched to the Rebel’s increased ride height. A softer rear stabilizer bar provides improved dynamics.
Beefy 33-inch (LT285/70R17) Toyo Open Country A/T all-terrain tires are mounted to the all-new 17-inch silver and black cast aluminum wheels.
A new tire offering for Ram trucks, the Open Country A/Ts are versatile all-terrain tires designed for rugged good looks, all-season handling and a comfortable ride. Their aggressive tread pattern offers good traction in bad conditions, on pavement or off. They feature a special wavy sipe arrangement for a comfortable ride and improved snow traction; groove bottom siping for more biting edges for increased traction in the snow and an open shoulder that maximizes water evacuation for excellent all-terrain traction and stability.
The Rebel takes advantage of Ram’s exclusive air suspension system with a one-inch factory suspension lift, which not only helps to clear the 33-inch tires but also contributes to additional ground clearance. A modified alignment of the independent front suspension appropriately adjusts tire angle and aluminum lower A-arms absorb the load. The combination of larger tires and a suspension lift yield best-in-class ground clearance of 10.3 inches, and a new stability program calibration takes Rebel’s modifications into consideration.
Rebel is available exclusively as a Crew Cab model with 5-ft.-by-7-inch bed length. Both 3.6-litre Pentastar™ V6 and 5.7-litre HEMI® powertrains are offered, as is a choice of either 4X2 (HEMI only) or 4X4 configurations. RamBox® is optional.
Ram Rebel is the 10th member of the Ram truck lineup, which includes ST, SXT, SLT, Outdoorsman, Big Horn ,Sport, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Laramie Limited.
Rebel goes on sale early in the second half of 2015.
The 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine (Ward’s 10 Best Engines Award winner three years in a row) with variable-valve timing (VVT) offers 305 horsepower, 269 lb.-ft. of torque and impressive fuel economy.
The legendary 5.7-litre HEMI® V8 with fuel-saving cylinder shut-off and VVT provide 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque.
HEMI-powered Ram 1500 Rebel trucks are available in 4×2 or 4×4 powertrains with 3.92 or 3.21 gear ratios. When equipped with the 3.6-litre Pentastar™ V6 engine, Rebel is available in 4×4 only with a 3.92 gear ratio, allowing the engine to leverage its power and torque.
Both the 3.6-litre V6 and 5.7-litre HEMI V8 engines are available with a rear anti-spin differential, which turns both rear wheels in tandem when increased torque is applied – helpful in off-road driving conditions. The design automatically unlocks the differential for normal on-road driving, allowing the wheels to spin independently for improved drivability.
The class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite 8) – standard equipment with the Rebel’s 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar and 5.7-litre HEMI V8 engines, which improves drivability and enhances fuel efficiency.
Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 kms
The 2015 Ram 1500 is backed with a five-year /100,000-kms Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable, allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage onto the new owner.
The standard three-year / 60,000-kms Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram 1500, from the body to the electrical system.
The 2015 Ram 1500’s quality is scrutinized at the company’s Chrysler Technology Centre’s state-of-the-art scientific labs in Auburn Hills, Michigan, including the Noise/Vibration/Harshness Lab, Electromagnetic Compatibility Facility, Wind Tunnel and the Road Test Simulator (RTS).
For example, the RTS recreates the abuse a truck endures at the hands of a 95th percentile driver – meaning someone who drives the vehicle in more severe conditions than 95 percent of all customers. The RTS can put a lifetime of wear and tear on a truck in about one month’s time. The Ram development team is committed to finding and fixing any issues before the customer does.
The 2015 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Michigan), which has built more than 12.5 million trucks since it started operations in 1938, and the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.