With the available Cummins diesel and several suspension upgrades, this sturdy pickup can go almost anywhere.
It's been an extremely busy week for Detroit's big three - Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram - and their Super Duty truck lineups. Ford has already taken the covers off its all-new Super Duty and Chevy has updated its Silverado HD, too. Although Ram's own rival hasn't been upgraded from the ground up, the new 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel has just debuted at the State Fair of Texas.
This new trim will be positioned between the existing Laramie and Power Wagon derivatives. Building on the success of the Ram 1500 Rebel, the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel comes with several off-road features straight from the factory.
Outside, the Rebel announces its superior capability with special badging and a sport performance hood supplied by Mopar. It rides on 20-inch wheels with rugged 33-inch off-road tires, although 18-inch wheels will be available at a later stage.
The transfer case and gas tank are protected with skid plates, and cargo tie-downs make the bed area as practical as possible. Optionally, customers can add a spray-in bedliner, a bed step, and LED bed lighting. A 12,000-pound WARN winch can also be specified as an extra.
A brawny appearance is one thing, but the Rebel's most impressive upgrades are found under the skin. Already, Ram is known for having one of the most comfortable suspension setups in the segment, but the Rebel also comes with an electronic rear locker and rear limited-slip differential for superior traction. This setup is complemented by a pair of powerful engines.
The standard 6.4-liter Hemi V8 delivers 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, while the available 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel produces 370 hp and 850 lb-ft. Whereas the Hemi comes with an eight-speed automatic, the diesel sticks with a six-speed option.
The 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel can tow a maximum of 16,870 pounds and a payload of up to 3,140 lbs. Ford hasn't yet published the specs for its new F-250, but we know that the latest Chevy 2500HD has a better conventional towing capacity of up to 20,000 lbs with its diesel engine.
Available as a Crew Cab only, the Rebel has a six-foot four-inch box. Head inside, and you can choose between three seating options: cloth for a bench seat or bucket seats, Bristol leather for a bench or bucket seats, or full Natura Plus leather but only with the bucket seats.
A 360-degree camera system is useful in a truck of this size, especially when it comes to the dangerous blind spots found in large trucks - and we found the smaller 1500 Rebel was already a challenge to park. The display is also useful for towing since a view is provided of either side of the trailer. A 12-inch frameless digital gauge cluster is available, and customers can add adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring as options.
"Ram Heavy Duty Rebel buyers will enjoy that the newest addition to our versatile lineup offers a combination of off-road performance without having to sacrifice capability," said Mike Koval Jr., Ram brand CEO - Stellantis.
With the high demand for off-road focused SUVs and pickups in recent years, as well as the roaring success of the Power Wagon, we expect the new 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel to sell strongly.
Expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2022, Ram's new pickup will start at $67,045 ($3,285 more than the 2022 Power Wagon) but expect to pay closer to $75,000 for the diesel. That price excludes a destination charge of $1,895.
As good as the Ram is, though, its chief rival from the Blue Oval is now a generation ahead, so the 2500 has its work cut out for it.