Car show season is well underway, the red carpets already sporting the marks of several well-loved events. This year has already played host to unprecedented technological and stylistic advancements, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the season will bring. Simply ask any mechanic in Fort Collins — you’ll be sure to find one whose eyes will light up just talking about the newest 4×4 parts and trucks that have hit the auto shows already.
Many of the major car manufacturers have cranked up the bass this year on their off-road-capable vehicles, squeezing even more muscle into the trucks and SUVs that have their sights set on the mountain trails. American staples like Ford and Jeep have continued to slather on the 4×4 accessories, much to the outdoorsman’s delight, but this year has brought a new serious player into the off-road game.
Nobody expected the play-it-safe people at Dodge to unveil the beefcake that is the new Ram 1500 Rebel truck, designed to rival the popular Ford Raptor series. It showcases a brand new sporty grill and a lifted frame, making for one decidedly intimidating presence. Dodge definitely dropped their customary cowboy aesthetic for one of youthful athleticism, trying to gain a new crop of followers in presumably 18-30 year old outdoorsy bros. The designers definitely have “broken the mold, and set the tone” on this one, as their website teaser states.
The Rebel’s exterior is something that is sure to turn heads, with its slick onyx powder-coated bumpers and skid plates, sculpted Mopar sport hood, and wide flared wheel rims. Two-tone color styling has always screamed young and hip, and Dodge banks on that consumer taste with its lineup of nine color choices with matte black accenting. Even without peeking at the 4×4 parts under the hood, you can tell that this truck is destined for glory from the mountains to the deserts. This one is sure to make your mechanic in Fort Collins go green with envy.
Whenever a truck or SUV hits the market with this handsome of an exterior, some people automatically assume it’s hiding a weak interior — the “sticker package” that is bare-bones and wouldn’t stand a chance off the city streets. But Dodge puts those rumors to bed with the impressive list of the Rebel’s 4×4 accessories and capabilities. To start, they jacked up the frame, tethered by Bilstein shocks and an air suspension system, ending up with the highest in-class ground clearance of 10.3 inches. Then they sweetened the deal with meaty all-terrain tires, featuring an aggressive tread pattern that could actually pop you out of a rocky squeeze.
Off-road driving often requires big bursts of power, and the famous Hemi V8 engine (an optional upgrade) is a great trail partner to have, along with the 3.92 axle ratio. If you have any doubts about the towing or cargo capacity, all you need to do is look at the Rebel’s well-loved ancestors. Dodge has been making tough trucks that have loyally served many a farmer, contractor, and service member; they’ve simply translated all that brawn into a cooler and more agile package.
Upon first opening the cab door, you’ll be struck with the sheer stylishness of the interior. A meticulously sculpted dash, state of the art technology, and a remarkably intelligent use of space all add to the Rebel’s appeal. Burly eye-candy takes the form of embossed high-tech vinyl seat inserts (mimicking the tires’ tread pattern), red anodized accents, and molded console bin for your smart phone and other gadgets. Guide your 4×4 parts with confidence using the new molded and heated steering wheel, and never miss a beat with the integrated GPS, internet relay, and satellite radio.
The stunning Ram 1500 Rebel isn’t expected to hit the production line until the end of this year, but you and every mechanic in Fort Collins will be counting down the days. For the chance to get behind the wheel of this highly capable (and flat out awesome-looking) vehicle, there’s no shame in trolling the Dodge website for more news. Once this powerful truck lands on the showroom floor, you can bet that seasoned drivers will be snatching them up all over the country. With the laundry list of built-in 4×4 parts and sprinkling of 4×4 accessories, the Rebel is sure to please the off-road enthusiast.
If you simply must be the first to know any update about this strapping off-road rig, you can sign up for the email list, available on the Dodge Ram web page. And you too can get ready to “break the mold and set the tone” on all your local trails in 2016!