4 x 4 Australia - - 4 Cast -

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.”

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