2023 Ram 2500 Rebel First Drive: More heavy duty than rock crawler

PIONEERTOWN, Calif. — A vocal subset of Ram truck enthusiasts has long clamored for a unique mix: a Power Wagon with a Cummins turbodiesel. Perfectly, they even now aren’t having one. But the 2023 Ram 2500 Rebel is intended to be the future-greatest thing, as it does without a doubt give that long-coveted turbodiesel, whilst including and subtracting in a few sites to generate a little something which is a lot more large-duty truck and a lot less rock crawler.

Very first, what the Rebel shares with the Electric power Wagon. The only system choice is a Crew Cab and 6-foot-4 mattress, with a option of 5- and six-passenger seating. Customers can select involving the identical BorgWarner section-time transfer circumstance, with a alternative of electronic or handbook shift operation regardless of motor. It incorporates 4Hi and 4Lo (crawl ratio of 2.64:1), with the latter requiring you change into Neutral. At the rear, the Rebel inherits the same electronic locker and digital constrained-slip differential. The 20-inch wheels are wrapped in 33-inch all-terrain rubber. The very same skid plate bundle is shared, as is the exact same typical glimpse apart from a a little distinct grille mesh and 20-inch wheel style and design. Essentially, apart from the lack of Electric power WAGON sticker on the bed facet, it would be awfully challenging to tell the two aside.

Standard on the Rebel is the Electricity Wagon’s only engine alternative: the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 fantastic for 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. A ZF-sourced 8-pace automated is regular.

Now, what the Rebel does not get. Up entrance, there’s no electronic front locker, nor the disconnecting sway bar and excess rear suspension joint that enables for the Power Wagon’s absurd suspension articulation. To that same conclude, the Electric power Wagon has softer springs at the rear than other 2500 Rams, but the tradeoff for all that rock-crawling articulation is a noticeably reduced tow score of 10,590 lbs and payload of 1,630 kilos.

The Rebel will get firmer rear springs, which zaps articulation, but makes it possible for for massively upgraded heavy-duty trucking. The tow ranking jumps to 16,870 lbs with the 6.4-liter, while the payload goes up to 3,140 lbs .. Towing goes down by about 2,000 pounds with the Cummins considering the fact that the engine weighs so substantially far more. What you acquire, though, is nearly two times the torque. The 6.7-liter inline-six sends 370 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque by means of a six-pace automatic. Sorry, you can’t get the 1,075-lb-ft Significant Output version, but let’s not be choosers, beggars.

You also just can’t get the 12,000-pound Alert Zeon-12 winch when you choose for the Cummins, considering that there is in essence not more than enough space up front for both winch and diesel to coexist. That is a significant rationale the Electric power Wagon doesn’t offer you the diesel. If you are Okay with the 6.4-liter, although, the winch can be additional to the Rebel.

Out on the road, the Rebel feels every bit the major-responsibility truck with a major-honking diesel motor. Acceleration can at after truly feel lethargic, and then complete-on indignant stump puller. The six-speed automated is innocuous adequate less than ordinary circumstances, but climbing quite a few thousand toes into the mountains toward Big Bear Lake, Calif., shown a reluctance to downshift. It is truly worth asking yourself whether you’d want the 6.4-liter and its more two gears though towing irrespective of the torque deficit.  

The all-terrain tires include vagueness to the steering, but the hydraulic method luckily nevertheless manages to present just adequate response to stop any spooky moments whilst preserving the truck in a straight line. The Ram High definition does not have a telescoping steering column, nevertheless, so for individuals who sit a little bit rearward, finding an perfect posture may perhaps be tricky. Worse, your head could possibly slam into the B pillar when off-roading, request me how I know.

Whilst I didn’t get a likelihood to push the Ability Wagon and Rebel again-to-back again, the hardware discrepancies and past experience would direct me to imagine that the Rebel won’t ride as comfortably on- or off-highway. The firmer springs and lack of the disconnecting sway bar remaining the major culprits. This is surely a firm-driving truck, and despite the fact that it won’t defeat you up (Ok, so if you are driving about a rock-strewn trail, it is likely to beat you up), there is a selling price to fork out for opting for a heavier-responsibility truck. This definitely applies when comparing the 2500 Rebel to its 1500 Rebel sibling: You are likely to be a lot happier driving the 1500 on a day-to-day basis even if you just can’t tow a compact residence.

That explained, the 2500 Rebel however has rear coil-above springs with the included choice of air suspension compared to the leaf springs found in Ford and GM’s hefty-obligation pickups. This not only final results in exceptional experience consolation, but enhanced handling and trailer control. Theoretically, the Rebel may possibly not be as livable as a Power Wagon, but must be far more nice than a Ford F-250 Tremor or GMC Sierra 2500 AT4. Theoretically at the very least.

Off-road, the Rebel may well be much less capable than the Power Wagon, but that is very significantly the best bar you can attempt to obvious in the off-roading truck realm. A rock-strewn trail with horrible ruts was dispensed without the need of a second assumed, self-assured that the truck’s ground clearance, articulation and big all-terrain tires would shrug it all off. For a much increased challenge, a number of comically steep hill climbs with deep ruts were dispatched by simply holding the accelerator continuous and allowing the 4Lo, rear locker and Goodyear Wranglers do their matter. Hill-descent regulate is bundled, but my correct leg and the brake pedal operate capably plenty of. If you are searching for newfangled Selec-Terrain-style off-highway modes, you will not obtain them in this article. This is previous-fashioned off-roading where the hardware and the driver acquire priority about the desktops.

Now, it’s not like the trails and off-road “playground” we tackled in the Rebel are likely nearly anything specific. A Wrangler driver would likely shrug and say “no significant deal.” It’s that they can be tackled in a significant-obligation truck that could tow a few of all those Wranglers to that path.

Should you test that, the Rebel presents the same array of trailering aids as other 2500s. Main among these are many cameras, which includes a new rearview camera mirror that not only shows the typical check out from the tailgate, but adds the choice for a break up facet check out (the cameras are included to the in any other case normal energy-extending tow mirrors) that expands your blind-spot coverage. You can also plug in an accent digicam that mounts to the back again of a trailer, or even inside of the trailer, must you want to retain an eye on horses or alpacas or troublesome small children you’ve relegated to the toy hauler (do not do this).

There’s also a forward digital camera, which may possibly appear like a newfangled further in this previous-college off-roader, but this is also an tremendous outdated-university off-roader with a hood that stands taller than lots of people today. Looking at precisely what’s over that hill crest is more durable than most, and devoid of a spotter, good luck. With the digital camera, you constantly have that spotter. The forward watch will continue to be active up to 12 mph and will return to it when you dip underneath 12 mph all over again.  

Pricing starts off at $68,940, like the hefty $1,895 place cost. Which is hardly less than the 2023 Power Wagon, which experienced its priced hiked up by $4,000 to $71,240 for ’23. It is thus ideal to imagine of the Rebel as a unique variety of off-roading Ram 2500 rather than a lesser model. Oh, and it will get a lot pricier. There are multiple choices deals that switch cloth with leather-based, blank panels with cameras, and an vacant grille with a winch (among the many luxuries). Precise choices pricing wasn’t readily available at the time of producing, but the significant-ticket merchandise, the Cummins, was a $9,595 alternative on the 2022 Ram 2500. So yeah, all that torque does not arrive inexpensive: A diesel Rebel will be pushing $80,000 and almost certainly will technique 90 huge when loaded. That is finally not that outrageous in the heavy-obligation truck globe in particular when you look at you are obtaining a pickup that can pull off extraordinary towing, hauling and off-roading.