By on September 29, 2016

Ram Rebel TRX concept

It looks like the media attention heaped on Ford’s newly improved 2017 F-150 Raptor has made Fiat Chrysler Automobiles a little jealous.

The automaker unveiled a brash off-road truck concept at the Texas State Fair today, testing the waters for a possible production version. Think of the Ram Rebel TRX as a Hellcat 1500.

From a distance, the pickup resembles a Ram Rebel or Power Wagon, as the concept steals both of those models’ appearance cues. Draw closer, and it’s clear this pickup has put on some girth.

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To accommodate a set of massive 37-inch tires, FCA widened the Ram’s body by six inches. Wheel travel grows to 13 inches on each corner, an increase of 40 percent. Underneath, heavy-duty axle components and an upgraded suspension awaits punishment not only from uneven ground, but from the vehicle’s boosted engine power.

Compared to its would-be rival, the Rebel TRX beats Ford by 125 horsepower, thanks to a 575 hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8. If the description sounds familiar, you might want to look under the hood of a Dodge Challenger (or Charger) Hellcat, where the same displacement makes 707 hp.

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An eight-speed Torqueflight automatic with recalibrated shift points put the power to the wheels. For those off-road jaunts — and FCA does envision this thing galloping across the desert at 100 miles per hour — Ram’s 4×4 Performance Control System (and BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case) offers four driving modes, including “Baja.”

FCA describes the vehicle as an “engineering, design and consumer-interest study for an extreme performance half-ton pickup,” giving many hope that a Raptor-challenging production version could be just over the horizon. If fans show enough enthusiasm for the Rebel TRX concept, the desert could get a lot louder.

[Images: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars]

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