As Ram’s rivals invested billions of dollars into the development of EV pickups, FCA’s truck brand boldly chose to go in the other direction, with the automaker recently unveiling the 702-horsepower Ram Rebel TRX.
The TRX was created to slay the F-150 Raptor, and puts being the center of attention and impressive off-road capability far ahead of more trivial things like fuel economy and mileage. But while critics will point out that the Hellcat is a thirsty beacon of excess, Ram revealed it was only going by what its fan base told it to do.
In an interview with the folks at Muscle Cars & Trucks, Ram 1500 Brand Manager Carl Lally revealed Ram’s customers are more excited about and receptive of V-8-powered trucks than an all-electric rig. Lally revealed the brand is open to the idea of including electrified powertrains in their products (which largely echo similar statements by FCA CEO Mike Manley) and is even ready to develop a battery-powered pickup if necessary. But Ram revealed market research discovered there is simply not enough interest among Ram customers to justify such an effort.
“It’s fundamental to us that it’s not about chasing the [EV] trend, but about chasing what the customer really wants and providing it to them. That changes over time, but today it’s a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 that has them most excited,” Lally said.
We don’t blame them — especially when you consider just how much of a splash the TRX made with its debut earlier this month, as well as all 702 Launch Edition models selling out in only a couple of hours despite a hefty base price of $92K. The regular TRX on the other hand will not be subject to limited production, and it will also offer a cheaper $71,790 base price, which should please some off-road truck enthusiasts.
As for Ford, the undisputed market leader of the pickup segment is aiming to try and appeal to both sides of the pickup market. The company has confirmed it’s working on an all-electric version of the F-150, and separate reports suggest the Dearborn automaker is not taking the TRX’s challenge lightly, with the company allegedly working on finding a way to fit the GT500’s 760-horsepower V-8 into the next-generation Raptor.
With the battle lines being drawn between Ram and Ford, what about Chevrolet? It appears while the bulk of development is being centered around sister brand GMC and the upcoming Hummer EV, the Bowtie brigade is preferring to bide its time in regards to the off-road market. It’s known that a ZRX version of the Silverado is being planned, but with the way things are going, it looks like it will be a late entry into what’s shaping up to be a rapidly escalating war of attrition on the nation’s off-road trails and sand dunes.