Speculation

Here's everything we know about the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

The Ram Rebel TRX Concept was first shown in 2017, it hinted that a Ford Raptor-fighter was on the way.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Raptor-fighting Ram 1500 TRX is almost ready to go on sale, if the latest photo leaks are any indication. The Fast Lane Truck (TFL) was the first outlet to show the pictures.

The 2022 Ram 1500 TRX was allegedly set to be shown in the flesh for the first time at this year's North America International Auto Show, originally set for the first week of June in Detroit. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed that auto show to 2021, the truck's debut date is less certain.

2017 Ram Rebel TRX Concept The prototype model featured a number of elements that will likely translate to the new truck.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

TFL got the photos via an anonymous message. Two of them show the exterior and four show the interior. Combined with camouflaged prototype photos that were distributed last week, we end up with a pretty good idea of what to expect from the model.

Here's what we know.

The Ram Rebel TRX and Ford Raptor will be about the same size.

Media and enthusiasts have dubbed the truck a Raptor-flghter. This starts with the base of the model. The Raptor is based on the Ford F-150. Similarly, the Ram Rebel TRX is based on the Ram 1500. The two trucks are likely to be nearly the same size.

It will likely be powered by FCA's Hellcat engine.

Traditionally tuned, the powerful 6.2-liter V8 boasts over 700 horsepower and nearly 700 pound-feet of torque and is currently featured under the hood of select Dodge Challenger and Charger models, which more than what you'll find offered in most Ferraris and Lamborghinis. In the Dodge Challenger Demon, the same engine was tuned to get 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque. In the Challenger Demon, the model could sprint nearly as quick as a Bugatti Veyron.

The truck probably won't be fuel efficient.

According to EPA estimates, the 6.2-liter V8 in the Challenger delivers 16 mpg combined. In the Charger, it gets 15 mpg combined and in the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk just 13 mpg combined. That being said, expect the Rebel TRX to be thirsty.

It's worth noting that the 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor's turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 is nearly as inefficient, getting an EPA-estimated 16 mpg combined.

It's called the Rebel TRX for a reason and that has some equipment and features implications.

As is, the Ram 1500 Rebel is a mid-grade model in the truck's lineup. It comes standard with a long list of equipment and available features including an electronic-locking differential, 3.92 axle ratio, 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, Bluetooth, satellite radio, 8-speaker sound system, and a rearview camera with gridlines. It's pretty safe to assume that the Rebel TRX will come standard with most of the equipment listed for the Rebel, possibly offering many of the elements only available as part of add-on packages like keyless entry and power-adjustable pedals as standard.

Expect it to have Ram Power Wagon-like parts.

If the Rebel TRX is to be a true Raptor-fighter, it needs to be incredibly proficient off-road. Having the type of equipment on its body that comes with the Ram Power Wagon would be a big step in the right direction.

The Power Wagon comes standard with a unique Articulink suspension, front/rear Bilstein shocks (Power Wagon tuned), hill-descent control, Tru-Lok front/rear axles, tow hooks, fuel tank skid plate, transfer case skid plate, front electronic 12,000-pound winch, fog lamps, front disconnecting stabilizer bar, and rear wheel well liners.

The truck will have a factory lift. 

Almost all the spy photos released so far have the truck shown with a lift, similar to how the Ram Power Wagon is lifted. It appears to ride on wheels less than 18-inches.

There will be Easter eggs.

FCA is notorious for hiding unique design elements inside and outside their vehicle. These hidden elements make for a bit of fun for enthusiasts but Ram might have the most fun yet. According to the leaked photos, there's the image of a truck alongside two dinosaurs, a tynansaurus rex chasing a velociraptor. While that sneaky nudge in Ford's direction offers a bit of fun, it also shows what appears to be a crew cab, 5'7" box model of the Ram truck model. In the words of Dr. Watson, "A clue!" It possibly is.

The interior of the truck is pretty luxe.

The leaked photos show that the interior of the truck is well-appointed, not that we'd expect anything less from a modern Ram 1500 model. The seats appear to be two-tone leather (black and red, in keeping with Ram 1500 Rebel heritage) with perforated inserts.

There's a traditional shifter with a leather boot instead of the rotary shifter that FCA has become so fond of having. The photo shows that the shifter has manual shifting capability, which off-roading enthusiasts would find particularly helpful.

On the center stack there's two USB and two USB-C ports as well as an AUX outlet. There are also auxiliary control buttons.

The Ram Rebel TRX will have trailering capability.

The leaked photos reveal trailer brake controls and a trailer steering control on the center stack. The towing capacity of the Ram 1500 is 6,280 to 7,730 pounds. The Rebel TRX will likely not have less capability than that.

Pricing

Pricing for the Ram Rebel TRX has not yet been released, and it likely won't be until right before the truck goes on sale. If it's a 2022 model year truck, expect sales to start in early to mid-2021.

You can see TFL's video featuring the leaked photos here:

LEAKED: See Under The Hood and Inside the Ram 1500 TRX in These New Images! www.youtube.com

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Walter P. Chrysler stands next to his1924 Chrysler Six, the first car bearing the Chrysler name.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It's been nearly 100 years since Walter P. Chrysler formed the Chrysler Corporation. In that time, the company has been merged, spilt, sold, and reborn in a variety of forms, but its roots still remain in Michigan where it is known as one of the Big Three automakers alongside General Motors and Ford.

Let's take a look back at the history of the company from its highest highs to its lowest lows, and everything in between.

The beginning

1925 Chrysler B70

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Walter Chrysler formed his namesake automotive company in 1925, when his employer, Maxwell Motor Company, was reorganized. A little over a year earlier, Chrysler's first production car, the Chrysler 70 (above), was released and featured several forward-looking innovations. The car came with a high-compression engine that had full-pressure lubrication, an oil filter, and a carburetor air filter.

An early pioneer

Early on, Chrysler pioneered several other automotive features that would eventually take over the entire industry. Four-wheel hydraulic brakes, rubber engine mounts, and more were all Chrysler's inventions. The company also developed a ridged rim for its car's wheels, which was designed to prevent a deflated tire from flying off the rim at speed. It was eventually picked up by the entire global automotive industry.

Introducing ... Plymouth

Plymouth Hotel Algonquin 1935 taxi cab

Photo by Martin Forstenzer/Getty Images

In 1928, Chrysler Corporation introduced the Plymouth brand, which was intended to be a lower-priced alternative. Early Plymouth models were rebadged Chrysler cars with small four-cylinder engines. In the photo above, a Plymouth taxicab is parked in front of the Hotel Algonquin in New York City in 1935.

DeSoto was also unveiled at this time as a mid-range model line for the group. Not long after, Chrysler snapped up the Dodge Brothers auto and truck company.

Hello, Mopar

In a stroke of genius that remains a large part of the automotive world today, Chrysler coined the MoPar brand in the 1930s. As a combination of the words "motor parts," the name is still used to describe vehicles and parts in the Chrysler-Dodge world today.

Imperial, Valiant, DeSoto

By the mid-1950s, Chrysler had spun up more nameplates to join its empire. In 1955, Imperial became a brand of its own after a run as the range-topping Chrysler model, and in 1960 the Valiant brand name came to be. In 1961, Chrysler discontinued the DeSoto line.

Chrysler in space

Saturn 1B Kennedy apollo picture

Photo by MPI/Getty Images

The automaker had a hand in the space program, too. In the late 1950s, NASA contracted Chrysler to build the first booster stage of the Saturn I and Saturn IB vehicles. The Saturn 1B is pictured above on January 22, 1968 launching Apollo 5 from Cape Kennedy, Florida, to complete the first flight test of an unmanned lunar module.

The company built the pieces for the Apollo Program at the Michoud Assembly Facility in East New Orleans, which was one of the largest manufacturing facilities on Earth at the time.

The future is now

1963 Plymouth Valiant

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Chrysler's forward thinking operations continued into the 1960s, when the automaker became the only of Detroit's Big Three to use a unibody design in its vehicles. Today, most passenger vehicles are unibody designs, but it was a novel idea at the time. Around the same time, the Valiant brand was moved back as a subsidiary of the Plymouth brand (a 1963 Plymouth Valiant is shown above), and became the first production car with an alternator.

Ooh, Barracuda

1965 Plymouth Barracuda

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

In 1964, the Plymouth Barracuda was introduced (shown above as a 1965 model), almost two weeks before the unveiling of the Ford Mustang. Despite being first, the 'Cuda was outsold by the Mustang ten-to-one in its first year on the market. Chrysler had also set its sights on Europe by this time, and took a majority stake in the British Rootes Group in 1964. The venture was short-lived, however, as financial difficulties in the British company forced Chrysler to sell to PSA Peugeot Citroen in 1978.

Stiff competition, disastrous results

The 1970s proved to be a difficult time for Chrysler, as it was for all American car companies. Cheaper, smaller Japanese and European cars flooded the markets, as the oil crisis drove prices through the roof and made large, heavy cars almost immediately obsolete. Later in the decade, a rush to push new models to market led to massive warranty and repair costs for Chrysler, as its Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare were hurried to market with poor construction and an even worse design.

Mr. Iacocca

1984 Plymouth Voyager

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

In 1978, Lee Iacocca joined Chrysler as CEO after having been fired from Ford. Because of its missteps with the Aspen and Volare models, Chrysler was hemorrhaging cash at the time. Iacocca started retooling the automaker from scratch, which included many layoffs, the sale of European assets to Peugeot, and the creation of the project that would ultimately lead to the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager (1984 model shown above). The project was driven by former Ford executives after Henry Ford II denied its forward progress under his watch.

Iacocca realized that the company would not be able to survive without a significant influx of cash to turn its fortunes around. In September 1979, he asked Congress for a $1.5 billion loan, which led to the Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979. The military later purchased thousands of Dodge trucks from the company, which helped it recover and avoid bankruptcy.

The K-Car and the minivan

1982 Chrysler LeBaron

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

In 1981, Chrysler released the first K-Car platform model - another rejected Ford project. The platform would go on to form the basis of several models throughout the decade (1982 Chrysler LeBaron shown above). In 1983, the first minivan was introduced, the success of which helped Chrysler repay the federal government the same year.

American Motors Corporation

The late 1980s were a consequential time for Chrysler. In 1987, the automaker was the subject of an investigation over its practice of disconnecting odometers during test drives before being shipped to dealers. The company settled out of court, but suffered a massive public relation hit. The same year, Iacocca led the acquisition of American Motors Corporation (AMC), which brought Jeep into the Chrysler fold for the first time. The Eagle brand was also created at this time.

Chrysler and Fiat Part I

In 1988, Chrysler and Fiat reached an agreement for the American automaker to be the exclusive distributed or Alfa Romeo in the United States, which lasted until Alfas were phased out in 1995. The early 1990s also saw Chrysler making a return to the streets of Europe, first with select Jeep models and then others.

DaimlerChrysler Motors Company

In 1998, Chrysler formed a 50-50 partnership with Daimler-Benz, and the automaker was renamed DaimlerChrysler Motors Company. Though it was supposed to be an even merger, Daimler-Benz was in the driver's seat. Plymouth was phased out in 2001, and the remaining auto brands went on to share platforms and technologies in vehicles that are still seen today. The marriage came to an end in 2007, when DaimlerChrysler AG sold the majority of its stake in Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management. That sale led to a shuffle in management and a new logo.

Economic downturn

A Jeep sits in front of the empty showroom at Premier Chrysler June 8, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The dealership is 1 of the 789 Chrysler dealerships nationwide that are scheduled to close tomorrow. Today the Supreme Court delayed Chrysler\ufffds sale of most of its assets to a group led by Italy\ufffds Fiat. (

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The financial crisis of 2008 cut deep into Chrysler's operations and stability. Late in that year, the company announced a 25 percent reduction in its salaried and contract workforce. Sales fell drastically for all automakers at that time, but Chrysler was particularly vulnerable after having been passed around through mergers and acquisitions over the years. In December 2008, President George W. Bush announced a rescue loan for the auto industry, which included Chrysler.

As part of a reorganization, Chrysler LLC and Fiat announced plans to form a global alliance. The agreement gave Fiat a large stake in Chrysler and led to several months of restructuring. By mid-2009, Fiat had taken a majority stake in Chrysler, and by 2014, the company we all know today had taken shape. In December of that year, Chrysler Group LLC's name was officially changed to FCA US LLC, or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Stellantis

New Stellantis company logo revealed ahead of Groupe PSA-Fiat Chrysler merger

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The next chapter of Chrysler is already written. The company will become part of Stellantis, a megacorporation that brings together the holdings of FCA with those of PSA Groupe. The deal closes in January 2021.

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Snake Pass is one of England's most beloved driving roads.

Britain's Snake Pass takes you though some of England's most scenic topography, curving in and out of the Derbyshire region of the Peak District. The weather there isn't always favorable - it's frequently closed due to snow or flooding - but when it's open, and you have the right car, it's a driver's dream.

The road has a rich history. It was opened as a toll road in the early 1800s and remained as such until the 1870s. It was the primary route between Sheffield and Manchester until the 1980s.

Porsche recently traced the route using its free-to-download Roads by Porsche app, which gives drivers the means of finding the best roads to travel. The route was recently voted onto the app by fans of the roadway.

Snake Pass Porche Cayman 718 Porsche recently test drove the road, which was added to its Roads app by fans.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The preferred route starts east of Glossop, a town just outside of Manchester. All 11 miles of the path are in a national park. Fro Glossop, the roadway climbs into the Pennine Hills reaching 1,680 feet above sea level at the point the route passes Pennine Way. A public house, the Snake Pass Inn, sits nearby. The road passes just north of Kinder Scout, the highest point in England, and through the towns of Knowsley, St. Helens, and Warrington.

The winding scenic roads naturally draws comparisons to Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, which runs along the Oregon and Idaho boarder. The U.S. route offers some of the most breathtaking views roadway views you can get in the country, and provides plenty of technical driving opportunities.

Traversing Snake Pass is technically tough. There are plenty of hazardous bends and blind summits. Fog rolls in quickly at times. Cyclists, professional and far from it, compete for roadway.

Porsche Cayman 718 at Snake Pass

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

On the flip side, the road offers perhaps the best views of the Manchester area you'll ever see. The scenery goes from moorland to forest to flatland as well.

But, you won't be able to look long because of the road's perils.

Once through the forest, the road opens up again as you near Sheffield. Drystone walls feature while sheep politely munch their lunch nearby. The route draws to a close at Ladybower Reservoir at Ashopton but there's the option to continue. The A57 carries drivers on to Sheffield, dispersing them to the cities near and far via any number of more major motorways.

Or, you could turn around and traverse it once again. It's only 11 miles, after all.

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