At a time when some question the overall value of big auto show media previews, car companies continue to look for new ways to reveal new product and concepts.
The domestic car manufacturers have long had large displays set up near the huge annual Woodward Dream Cruise, held every year in mid-August. At this year’s Dream Cruise, held this past Saturday, for the first time one of them decided to use the event to show off a new concept vehicle the Ram Rumble Bee truck.
Not only is the Rumble Bee the first concept vehicle revealed at the Dream Cruise, it’s also most likely the first concept vehicle to use an insect as interior trim. The knob that selects the 8-speed transmission’s gear has a real bumble bee embedded in amber (Chrysler says it’s a bumble bee, but it looks more like a common honey bee to me).
The Rumble Bee concept hearkens back to two previous high performance vehicles, the original Dodge Super Bee muscle car, circa 1968-71, and the limited edition Ram 1500 Rumble Bee pickup from 2003.
Based on a two-door standard cab Ram 1500 R/T, the Rumble Bee has a custom matte pearl yellow paint job with black stripes and decals. The Ram badges are blacked out. The pickup’s cargo bed is covered with a body color tonneau that incorporate a spoiler at its back edge. The hood has scoops and the front fascia has an integrated splitter.
Inside the truck is black leather and yellow detail stitching. The seat backs are embroidered with Rumble Bee and the seating surfaces are a yellow/black honeycomb fabric. Under the hood is the corporate 5.7-liter, 395-horsepower Hemi V-8 coupled to ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The truck sits fairly high on its 24″ wheels, also in black. True to the Rumble Bee’s name, there’s an exhaust bypass that can be activated by a button on the dashboard.