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2023 Ram 2500 Rebel First Drive: Heavy duty than rock crawlers


PIONEERTOWN, Calif. – A collection of Ram’s vocals truck Enthusiasts have long loved a particular combination: an electric wagon with a Cummins diesel turbine. Well, they haven’t received it yet. But Ram 2023 2500 Rebel is considered the next best thing, as it really delivers the long-desired turbo diesel, while adding and subtracting in some places to make something more. Heavy trucks and the crawler is less rocky.

First, what Rebel shares with Power Wagon. The only body choice is the Crew Cabin and the 6-foot-4 bed, with a choice of seating for five and six passengers. Buyers can choose between the same BorgWarner part-time shift case, with the choice of electronically operated or manual transmission regardless of engine. It includes 4Hi and 4Lo (2.64:1 crawl ratio), then asks you to switch to Neutral. At the rear, the Rebel inherits the same electronic lock and electronic limited-slip differential. The 20-inch wheels are wrapped in 33-inch all-terrain rubber. The same package of skid plates is shared, as well as the same general appearance apart from a slightly different grille and 20-inch wheel designs. Basically, aside from the lack of a POWER WAGON sticker on the side of the bed, it would be difficult to tell the two apart.

Standard on the Rebel is the Power Wagon’s only engine option: a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. A ZF-derived eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.

Now, what Rebel doesn’t get. Up front, there’s no front electronic lock, as well as a disconnecting swingarm and additional rear suspension that allows for the Power Wagon’s ridiculous suspension articulation. To that end, the Power Wagon has softer springs in the rear than the other 2500 Rams, but the balance for all joints like crawling on that rock is significantly lower. drag Rated 10,590 pounds and payload 1,630 pounds.

The Rebel has stiffer rear springs, which reduce coupling, but allow for mass-upgraded heavy cargo. The towing rating increases to 16,870 pounds with 6.4 liters, while payload goes up to 3,140 pounds. The towing drops about 2,000 pounds with the Cummins because the engine is so much heavier. However, what you gain is almost twice the torque. The inline 6.7-liter engine produces 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission. Sorry, you can’t download the 1,075 lb-ft High Output version, but let’s not be picky, beggars.

You also can’t get the 12,000-pound Warn Zeon-12 winch with Cummins, as there’s basically not enough front space for both the winch and diesel oil to coexist. That’s a big reason the Power Wagon doesn’t offer a diesel engine. However, if you agree with the 6.4 liter capacity, a winch can be added to the Rebel.

On the road, the Rebel feels every bit of the heavy truck with the big honking diesel engine. The acceleration can immediately feel lethargic, and then the stump puller angry. The six-speed automatic transmission is harmless enough under normal conditions, but the climb several thousand meters high toward Big Bear Lake, California, shows a reluctance to downshift. It’s worth wondering if you’d like the 6.4-liter engine and its two extra gears while towing despite the lack of torque.

The all-terrain tires add ambiguity to the steering, but thankfully the hydraulics still provide just enough response to prevent any moments of terror while keeping the truck in a straight line. . However, the Ram HD doesn’t have a telescopic steering column, so for those sitting slightly behind, finding an ideal position can be difficult. Worse yet, your head could hit the B-pillar while off-road, ask me how I know.

While I didn’t get a chance to drive the Power Wagon and Rebel back and forth, the hardware differences and past experience would lead me to believe that the Rebel won’t drive comfortably on off-road or off-road. The stiffer springs and lack of disconnecting swingarm are the main culprits. This is definitely a solid truck and while it won’t beat you (OK, so if you’re driving on a rocky road it will beat you), there’s a price to be had. pay for the option for a heavier truck. This certainly applies when comparing the 2500 Rebel with the 1500 Rebel sibling: You’ll be a lot happier driving a 1500 everyday even if you can’t tow a tiny house.

That said, the 2500 Rebel still has rear coil springs with the added option of air suspension instead of the leaf springs found in Ford and GM heavy-duty pickups. This not only provides ride comfort but also improves trailer handling and control. Theoretically, the Rebel might not be as livable as the Power Wagon, but would be more tolerable than the Ford F-250 Tremor or the GMC Sierra 2500 AT4. Theoretically at least.

In terms of terrain, the Rebel may be less capable than the Power Wagon, but that’s the highest you can try to beat in the off-road truck arena. A gravel road with nasty cracks was laid out without much thought, believing that the truck’s ground clearance, articulation and huge off-road tires would all be reduced. For a much bigger challenge, some funny hill climbs with deep ramps were made by simply holding the accelerator steady and allowing the 4Lo, rear lock and Goodyear Wranglers to do their job. . Downhill control is included, but my right foot and brake enough work. If you’re looking for new Selec-Terrain-style terrain modes, you won’t find them here. This is an old fashioned off-road where hardware and drivers take precedence over the computer.

Now, it’s not like the off-road trails and “playgrounds” we tackled in Rebel could be anything special. A Wrangler driver would probably shrug and say “no big deal.” That is they can be loaded into a heavy truck that can tow three of those Wranglers to that trail.

If you try that, the Rebel offers the same range of trailer aids as the other 2500s. Chief among these are the various cameras, including a new rear-view camera mirror that not only shows the usual view from the rear doors, but also adds the option for a side view (the cameras are added to the pull-out mirror). other standard power extensions) extend your blind spot coverage. You can also plug an extra camera that attaches to the back of the trailer or even the inside of the trailer, if you want to keep an eye on horses or alpacas or those pesky kids you’ve dropped off in the trailer (don’t do it). this ).

There’s also a front-facing camera, which seems like a new addition to this old off-roader, but it’s also a huge old off-roader with a hood that’s taller than many. Seeing exactly what’s on that hilltop is harder than most, and without a spotter, good luck. With a camera, you always have it. The forward view will continue to work up to 12 mph and will return when you drop below 12 mph again.

Prices start at $68,940, including a hefty $1,895 destination fee. This is hardly lower than the 2023 Power Wagon, which had a price increase of $4,000 to $71,240 for ’23. Therefore, it is best to think of the Rebel as another off-road Ram 2500 rather than a lower version. Oh, and it’s a lot more expensive. There are optional packages that replace the fabric with leather, a blank panel with a camera, and an empty grille with a winch (among various luxuries). Exact option prices aren’t available at the time of writing, but the big ticket item, Cummins, is a $9,595 option on the 2022 Ram 2500. So all that torque doesn’t come cheap: One The diesel Rebel will be pushing $80,000 and will likely reach a grand 90 when loaded. That’s ultimately not outrageous in the world of heavy trucks, especially when you consider you’re getting a pickup that can tow, tow, and off-road very well.

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