Dodge or RAM as it is called now, has been playing around with the idea of an ultimate off-road truck for quite a while now. Back in 97 Dodge played around with the idea of a 6x6 Ram 2500 called the T-Rex. Nothing really ever materialized from the project from Dodge, but it did set the aftermarket world ablaze. As soon after T-Rex conversions were being completed by coachbuild and aftermarket companies. But even with that much fanfare, the T-Rex was never put into production.
Skip forward a few years and one again it seems that the aftermarket world is still interested in the idea. Brabus and AMG being the company that wants this market takes the G-Class to the next level with a beefed up 6x6 version. This model is enough to for the parent company to expand into this uncharted marketplace and Mercedes-Benz gives us our first production 6X6 truck. Funny as it is that the model this 6X6 was built off of wasn’t even a truck to begin with either. This action soon moves the aftermarket into a frenzy of 6x6 works and pushes the envelope of what can be done with any body-on-frame vehicle.
During the time this was all going on, Ford decided to move on from the speed race of the Lightning and SRT RAM and over into the world of Baja inspired vehicles. They begin work on a new F150 model which is set to shakeup the aftermarket and truck world. This new model becomes a hit for Ford and soon becomes the envy of everyone within the truck world. But again, Dodge or by this time RAM still doesn’t take notice and simply adds a few Mopar dealer modifications onto their RAM 1500 model. This model dubbed the RAM Runner is no real contender for the Raptor, as it is an aftermarket modification and not a factory backed model. Sure, the RAM Runner was better in the off-road category than the Raptor, but anyone can build an aftermarket model to beat the Raptor.
As the Raptor now has gained worldwide attention it still seems that RAM still doesn’t want to play ball. Even when the 2nd generation Raptor arrives in China the RAM brand sits quiet. So, by this time it seems that no one will ever challenge the likes of the Raptor as its sales climb without a competitor.
Fast forward to 2016 and the Detroit Auto Show and you will find yourself the envy of every truck owner as your take a selfie with the new Nissan Warrior concept. This looks like Nissan may want a piece of the Raptor pie, but those dreams soon die off as we find out it was just a design study to gauge the public's opinion. Apparently, it wasn’t enough to warrant a Raptor competitor. Again, our dreams of a Raptor competitor are gone and we feel that it may never happen. But all those dreams will finally be realized at the Texas State Fair in 2016
2016 was a great year for the Texas State Fair, but one product stood out better than any other. That model was the all new RAM Rebel TRX concept and it was about to set the Raptor marketplace on fire. This fire was lit by the fact that RAM stated that the new TRX model, which was powered by the Hellcat motor, would become an actual model. Well that is great news, but unfortunately for us they didn’t tell us when it would become a model. But that would all change in 2018.
During the 2018 auto show season we got to meet the all new 2019 RAM Rebel and with it the hope that the TRX would live on. Sure, RAM hasn’t stated that the new TRX is a definite go, but when their five-year plan was released, a new performance model showed up on the list. This could be the long awaited TRX model or it could just be the next Power Wagon.
Now as the Detroit Auto Show comes to an end, we find ourselves again wondering where our TRX model is. Maybe at SEMA or again at the Texas State Fair will RAM unveil this long-awaited model or they might just leave us with the all new Power Wagon. Whatever it is, we still don’t think the Rebel, RAM Runner or Power Wagon is a true competitor to the F150 Raptor. Even if it doesn’t come with a V8 anymore, the Raptor still is the true Baja inspired truck which eludes the competition.
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