Fiat Chrysler Automobiles today announced that its Ram Trucks brand will officially put the enthusiast-pleasing Ram Rebel TRX into production, cashing in on what it calls the “Raptor Effect,” which is named after Ford’s own rugged, off-road performance pickup: the F-150 Raptor. The Raptor Effect, according to FCA’s Investor Day presentation in Italy earlier today, is this: high-performance off-roaders like the F-150 Raptor attract relatively young buyers with twice the median income. This has led to an average transaction price for the new F-150 Raptor of about $71k – $28k above the broader Ford average.
There’s no reason to suspect that the Ram Rebel TRX wouldn’t be a similar financial success for FCA.
So far, the Ram Rebel TRX exists only as a concept vehicle, unveiled at the 2016 Texas State Fair packing the same supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 that powers Dodge’s Hellcat twins, only in a different state of tune to produce “just” 575 horsepower instead of the usual 707. The loss of 130 horses was made up for with its massive Baer brakes, beadlock-capable wheels, custom transfer case, massaged eight-speed automatic, and a 40-percent increase in suspension travel.
As we reported back in April, the Ram Rebel TRX is listed as “upcoming” on the Ram Trucks website, although no anticipated date of arrival is noted. FCA today said only that the truck will arrive by 2022.
Along with the Rebel TRX, FCA will also reenter the midsize truck segment with an all-new Ram-branded midsize pickup. That vehicle will compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and the just-revealed Ford Ranger, and we suspect Fiat Chrysler could see fit to bring back the “Dakota” nameplate, which was retired around the same time as Ford’s “Ranger” badge earlier in the decade.