Is Ram about to uncage the most powerful factory-built half ton pickup ever?

Ram Rebel TRX Concept
The supercharged Hellcat engine stuffed between the Dodge Challenger’s front fenders opens up a world of high-performance opportunities for the brand’s sister companies. Jeep has confirmed it will introduce a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee named Trackhawk next month in New York, and a recent report claims Ram will use the big V8 to build a Ford F-150 Raptor-killing machine.

The Hellcat-powered truck won’t deviate too far from the TRX Concept (pictured) introduced last year, according to Car And Driver. Based on the entry-level 1500, the yet-unnamed model will offer a copious amount of ground clearance and more than a foot of wheel travel thanks to extensive suspension modifications. A complete wheel and tire package will further boost the truck’s off-road prowess, while a rugged-looking body kit that puts an equal emphasis on form and function will complement the new hardware.

Ram‘s most extreme pickup to date is sure to turn heads, but you’ll hear it coming well before you see it. Power will come from the mighty Hellcat’s supercharged, 6.2-liter V8 engine bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission. With that kind of artillery, the Mojave Desert is a smash of the skinny pedal away from turning into Germany’s Autobahn.

How much power the Hellcat engine can generate in a four-wheel drive car is a big topic of debate. Last year, Jeep executives hinted the V8 wouldn’t make the full 707 horsepower when bolted in the Grand Cherokee’s engine bay because the four-wheel drive system can’t handle that much grunt. The Ram 1500 uses a different setup, but it will presumably run into the same issue.

Engineers could reinforce the four-wheel drive system to build a pickup with supercar-like power — or the Ram could receive a dialed-down variant of the Hellcat. The Raptor gets by with 450 horses on tap, so even a 500-horsepower engine would give Ram the bragging rights it’s after. However, a glance at the TRX Concept’s specs sheet suggests the final output will lie in the vicinity of 575.

Car And Driver reports the Ram Rebel TRX will make its debut before the end of the year. If that’s accurate, we’ll learn more about what could become the most powerful factory-developed half-ton pickup truck ever in the coming months. Consider yourself on notice, Ford. In response to an inquiry, however, FCA informed Digital Trends the company has no plans to introduce the Rebel TRX Concept in 2018.

Update: FCA told Digital Trends there are no plans to offer the Rebel TRX Concept for sale in 2018. We updated the article to include that news.

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