Last year, we broke the news about a new 7.0-liter (426 cubic-inch) HEMI V8 that was rumored to be making its way into a budget based version of the upcoming Ram 1500 Rebel TRX, rumored to be called the TR. Since then our sources from inside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have told us that the project has been shelved. Instead, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI HELLCAT V8 will be the only engine powering a performance off-road variant of the Ram 1500 (DT).
We wonder though if there is another option for a budget based performance off-road machine. Since HELLCAT-powered vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, push the $100,000 (USD) mark, Ram enthusiasts are dying to know about what could be a cheap alternative to the Rebel TRX.
It is commonly known, that FCA has been working on a new lineup of forced-induction inline-six engines. Codenamed GME-T6, the new inline-six engine is very different than the current GME-T4 or “Hurricane” motor that underpins vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee. While we don’t know a lot of details about the engine itself, we do know it will feature FCA’s new eBooster technology, which is for turbocharged engines and uses electronics to assist in building up boost pressure with zero turbo lag.
Our sources say that the new GME-T6 motors will be featured in many new FCA products and should first debut in the upcoming all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL). They have also said there will be several versions of the engine, including a High-Output version with power over 500 horsepower. That number would put the GME-T6 right around the performance numbers of the 7.0-liter HEMI V8. So could this be a good option?
While there isn’t any proof of the engine powering an off-road variant of the Ram 1500, there are rumors stating that a variant of the GME-T6 engine could be coming to the other configurations of the DT platform in the 2022 model year.
The GME-T6 architecture is an inline-six configuration, inline-six engines are usually cheaper to build than a six-cylinder in a vee setup. Inline engines also use fewer parts than six-cylinder vee configuration engines, and we think that a turbocharged inline-six could be the perfect powerplant to propel a budget based TRX and give the Ram 1500 a true offering to battle Ford’s F-150 Raptor.
All we know is, we get e-mails regularly, asking when a budget based Raptor fighter will be coming for the Ram brand. While we don’t know all the details, we hope that Ram is listening to its consumer market.