RAM 1500 REBEL COMING TO OZ
HEMI V8-POWERED RAM 1500 REBEL TO HIT LOCAL TRAILS IN 2018.
THE RAM 1500 Rebel ute is coming to Oz in 2018. RAM Trucks Australia is pinning the Rebel’s potential market appeal on the fact it’s a more ‘compact’ dual-cab ute in comparison to its larger 2500 and 3500 stablemates (with a 1.7m tray length, the RAM 1500 Rebel is 5817mm long and 2018mm wide), with IFS front/live axle rear, and that it will be powered by a 5.7-litre HEMI V8 petrol. This engine produces a lofty 291kw and 555Nm and, in US markets, is backed by the choice of a six- or eight-speed auto transmission. There’s no word from RAM Trucks Australia on which gearbox option it will go for, but the Hemi-powered Rebel has a towing capacity of between 3624kg and 4599kg, depending on the auto/final drive ratio option ticked.
The appeal of the V8 aside, what we’d like to see in the Oz-bound Rebel is the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 already available in the US market. Combine this 179kw/569nm oiler (backed by a ZF Torqueflite eight-speeder) and its vastly superior fuel economy with a dual-cab ute that’s only slightly wider and larger than an Amarok or Ranger, and you’d have a brilliant off-roader.
The Rebel 1500 has two tray lengths in North America (1.7m or 1.9m), with corresponding overall lengths of 5817mm or 6043mm. There’s no word from RAM Trucks Australia at this point as to whether Oz buyers will have the choice of both tray lengths, but considering these vehicles are imported to Australia in LHD format – with conversion done locally by American Special Vehicles on a purpose-built Melbourne-based production line – this may be a buyer option.
RAM Trucks Australia cited early 2018 as the announcement date for final engine options and model variants that may lob Down Under. What the company did say is it expects the Rebel 1500, with HEMI V8, to be cheaper than the 2500/3500 models. This combination of smaller size, big V8 and unique styling cues (the Rebel features a blacked-out grill and other design tweaks) sees RAM Trucks Australia confident the Rebel 1500 will be popular with the dual-cab-ute-loving Aussie market.
“That new grille, the powerhouse that is the HEMI V8 and a range of changes to the trim and equipment make it clear that this RAM is charging after a very different customer group than the 2500 and the 3500,” Alex Stewart, General Manager of RAM in Australia, said. “The RAM 1500 Rebel has captured the hearts of American truck buyers, winning awards and new owners alike, and we believe it will do the same here in Australia.”