Fiat Chrysler Drops Possible Hint About a Hellcat-Powered, 707-HP Ram Rebel Pickup
An Easter egg in a press photo could suggest a Raptor-fighting off-road übertruck might be en route from Ram.
Revealed in Detroit earlier this week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles's fresh-faced, next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 pickup promises a boatload of new technology, increased capabilities, an optional mild hybrid system—and if a new report is to be believed, maybe some good old fashioned Hellcat power to boot.
Buried in the blizzard of manufacturer photos accompanying the new truck's press release lies a potential Easter egg for the ages. First noticed by the sleuths over at allpar.com, the clock on the infotainment unit in the 2019 Ram Rebel model—the company's Ford Raptor-fighting, off-road trim—is set to 7:07, which happens to be the exact horsepower count of the famed Hellcat engine.
None of the other infotainment units pictured bear the 7:07 timestamp, but if you want something other than chronometric evidence, look no further than the Hellcat-powered Ram Rebel TRX concept truck the company revealed back in 2016. With that 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (rated at 575 horsepower in this application), 13 inches of wheel travel, and standard 5-point safety harnesses, the Rebel TRX was designed to dominate the back country at 100 miles per hour.
The automotive press and public went nutso for the concept at the time, but with the next-generation Ram trucks only a few years away, Fiat Chrysler apparently decided against developing what they called "the most powerful factory-engineered half-ton pickup ever." Now that the new model is here, is it possible the company revisiting the idea?
A Fiat Chrysler spokesman told The Drive the company "cannot, will not comment on speculation," but there are a couple reasons why this development is more likely than not. As Allpar points out, there's already buzz about the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor being equipped with a thunderous V8 engine once again. If Ram wants to truly differentiate their own off-road basher, it will need a similarly potent powerplant.
Then there's FCA's continued quest to Hellcat all the things, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk leading the charge. The business case for a track-ready, full-size SUV is even smaller than the one for an uber-capable, supercharged pickup truck, yet Fiat Chrysler still went ahead and built it. Not only that, but they managed to transport all 707 horses despite rumors that the Jeep's power count would come in below that number, for safety and reliability reasons.
So, take one truck manufacturer who's looking for an edge in the rough-and-tumble pickup market, add in a parent company with a willingness to stuff their insane engine in places it should not go (and a love for dropping cryptic hints about future product), and multiply by a country who can't seem to get enough off-road toys. Does all that result in a Hellcat-powered, Raptor-fighting Ram pickup? We'll be watching.