The off-road Rebel trim moves up from the RAM 1500 light-duty to the 2500 HD pickup for 2023, with big towing and from-the-factory off-road gear.
RAM is bringing its Rebel trim level to the 2500 HD version of the truck for the first time. A sort of Power Wagon lite, the RAM Rebel 2500 HD gets Rebel-specific exterior styling with more attitude than the standard truck. It’s far from all cosmetic, though, getting aggressive rubber, an electronic rear locker, skid plates, and a Warn winch.
Positioned Between Laramie & Power Wagon
The Rebel trim was first launched on the RAM 1500 back in 2015. The truck introduced the popular Rebel grille with big and bold RAM lettering. Functionally, it introduced a one-inch lift via RAM’s air suspension, Bilstein shocks, and 33-inch Toyo Open Country tires. The cabin got special vinyl seats with an insert that matched the tread of the Toyos.
Like the light-duty Rebel, the Rebel HD gets a special grille. More like the Power Wagon‘s grille than the 1500’s, it’s still unique to the Rebel truck and has the Rebel horseshoe inset.
Setting off the look, the RAM Rebel 2500 gets a sport-performance hood from Mopar. A massive air inlet in the hood looks mean. It probably lets in some extra cooling air as well.
RAM Rebel HD: Big Wheels, Chunky Rubber
Twenty-inch wheels and off-road tires are standard. As an option, 18-inch units that add more sidewall will arrive later in the year. While RAM didn’t specify what rubber the Rebel HD would be wearing, the photos show it equipped with Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires.
RAM did announce that the tires will be 33 inches tall, calling them “off-road tires.” That’s not that big by modern off-road truck package standards, but they should still offer plenty of useful capability off-road and for load carrying with this HD truck.
Suspension & Diff Upgrades
The truck gets RAM 2500’s standard suspension, not the upgraded one you’ll find in the Power Wagon. Still, the five-link coil spring setup at the rear offers plenty of articulation, while rear air suspension will be offered. RAM called it a “unique off-road suspension” without getting into any details. Typically, that means upgraded springs and different shock tuning that works better with rocks and ruts than the standard truck.
Useful off-road hardware upgrades include an electronic locking differential in the rear. That ensures that power is sent to both rear tires, regardless of available traction. When you don’t need the absoluteness of a rear locker (or the hit to handling that comes with engaging it), the rear differential is a limited-slip unit. No one tire spinning in gravel here.
Skid plates underneath protect the fuel tank and the transfer case, but it’s on the front bumper where the RAM Rebel HD really stands out. The Warn Zeon-12 winch is rated at 12,000 pounds. The factory-installed winch comes with a special to RAM fairlead and fairlead retainer as well as a synthetic line.
RAM is offering the winch only on gas models of the 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel. That engine makes 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Why isn’t it offered on the 6.7L Cummins inline-six diesel? The engine’s 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque combined with a six-speed automatic might be the answer. That’s a lot of muscle, requiring plenty of cooling airflow the winch could block.
It could also be related to the heft of the winch. The Cummins diesel puts a lot of weight on the front axle as is, with the winch adding plenty more. Either of those, of course, is just our speculation.
Rebel HD Can Still Tow Off-Pavement
Unlike the Power Wagon and its special rear suspension, the 2023 RAM 2500 Rebel HD keeps its heavy-duty payload and tow ratings. Up to 3,140 pounds in the bed, and the truck can tow up to 16,870 pounds.
A cloth bench interior is standard, for those who like their pickups old-fashioned. Bristol leather is offered with the bench or buckets, and there are Natura Plus leather buckets on the options list.
RAM’s 360-degree surround view camera with forward view grid lines is standard, with RAM’s 12-inch digital dash an option. Other driver assistance add-ons include adaptive cruise, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist.
The 2023 RAM 2500 HD Rebel is set to go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. Find out more at RAMTrucks.com. The MSRP will start from $67,045 before destination.