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Future models - Ram - 1500 - Rebel

Petrol V8 1500 to expand Ram line-up

Rebel yell: The Ram 1500 Rebel is set to bring the number of Ram pick-ups offered in Australia to three by next year.

Ram 1500 Rebel likely to open American pick-up range in 2018

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Ram logo2 Aug 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

AMERICAN pick-up specialist Ram looks set to introduce the smaller, cheaper 5.7-litre Hemi V8-powered 1500 Rebel to its range as early as next year, after confirming that it will be shown later this month at the National 4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo.

Slotting into the range alongside the 6.7-litre inline six-cylinder Cummins turbo-diesel engine in the larger 2500 and 3500, the 1500’s Hemi V8 pumps out 291kW to give the smallest Ram model a sportier bent than its larger load-hauling siblings.

The 1500 will mark the most affordable point of entry to the Ram range if it comes in 2018, which currently sits at a considerable $139,500 plus on-roads for the 2500 Laramie.

Bringing in the 1500 has been a point of contention for right-hand-drive conversion specialists and Australian Ram importers American Special Vehicles (ASV) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia, with both companies expressing interest in offering the Hemi-powered 1500.

Given Ateco Automotive, which handles ASV’s sales and marketing, has announced its intention to import the 1500, it appears ASV has won the rights to import the pick-up.

However industry sources suggest the approval to convert and import the 1500 has had to come from the top of FCA’s hierarchy, namely FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

ASV is a joint venture between Ateco and Walkinshaw Automotive Group which handles the engineering and manufacturing side of the conversion business.

The 1500 is distinguished from the 2500 and 3500 by replacing the cross-hair grille with a new snout replete with black cladding, while the Ram badge has been eschewed in favour of a silver nameplate emblazoned with the word ‘Ram’.

Ram Australia general manager Alex Stewart said the 1500 would help broaden the customer base for the American brand.

“That new grille, the powerhouse that is the Hemi V8 and a range of changes to the trim and equipment make it clear that this Ram is charging after a very different customer group than the 2500 and the 3500,” he said.

“Not only will the Ram 1500 Rebel provide the unique Hemi V8 powered experience, it also provides a whole new level of ability whether its towing a boat, climbing a mountain or sharing that unique experience in comfort for up to six people.”

Speaking to GoAuto in July last year, then ASV joint COO Peter McGeown said there was the possibility to expand the Ram range in the future to include the Durango SUV.

“There are model opportunities out of the States,” he said at the time. “There might be an opportunity for an SUV from FCA.”

The Durango comes with a high-performance R/T variant, which uses the same Hemi engine as the 1500 and pumps out 296kW/560Nm.

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