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Although they’ve been trailing behind some other major automakers when it comes to their EV rollout, in recent months the North American arm of Stellantis has been making up for lost time.
Last August they unveiled the Dodge Charger Daytona EV concept, a high-performance coupe that seeks to reinvent the notion of a muscle car by way of electric proposition coupled with a shiftable transmission and a futuristic powertrain soundtrack. And today, at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, the automaker took the wraps off of its next intended entry in the battery-powered realm, the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept.
The automaker says that the 1500 Revolution BEV Concept’s exterior design represents the future of Ram trucks. We expect to see various elements of it throughout the brand’s forthcoming lineup.
Like the Charger concept, the Ram 1500 Revolution isn’t headed for production just yet, so some of the specifics about its performance, efficiency, and capability remain unknown. What the company has revealed, however, is a holistic reinvention of its class-leading 1500, and it offers substantial insight into the technology and design that we can expect to see from the brand in the years to come.
Even at a glance, it’s clear that this is a comprehensive re-think of the Ram 1500 design. Described by the automaker as “brutiful” – a portmanteau of brutal and beautiful – it showcases a much more streamlined and futuristic interpretation of the brand’s light-duty truck as well as a stronger effort to reduce aerodynamic drag.
Skid plates, 24-inch wheels and a high beltline give the pickup a decidedly muscular look, but elements like the hourglass body shape, flush-mounted door handles, tuning fork-style LED highlights, and the elimination of the B-pillar – the latter of which yields a sleeker profile – make it clear that Ram intends to push its exterior design into new territory.
The concept’s rear “suicide” doors and lack of a B-pillar provide a wide berth for passengers and cargo.
The concept’s proportions come courtesy of the STLA Frame EV platform, an all-new architecture that’s expected to underpin an array of different trucks and SUVs in the Stellantis portfolio going forward. The company says that new safety systems and the use of compact electric motors allowed the design team to shift the pickup’s cabin forward and increase its length by four inches versus the cabin in the 1500 that’s on sale today. Those changes should translate to more interior space and increased comfort, and the additional length also yielded enough room to add removable third-row jump seats.
The concept’s interior features the “Ram Track,” a floor-mounted rail attachment system which provides cabin modularity in regards to the seating configuration and storage options, as well as usable tie downs. Like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV, the Ram Revolution features a “frunk,” or front-trunk, and the Ram Track system is integrated into this storage area, too. Both the mid-gate and frunk also feature pass-throughs – used in conjunction, the concept truck can swallow up objects that are up to 18 feet long with the tailgate closed.
28-inches of screen real estate are provided by two separate touch displays. The lower screen offers three different positions depending on the task at hand – minimal view, extended view and full screen view – and is removable, while the upper screen can slide on the Ram Track rail attachment system.
Technology has been a core focus for Ram in recent years, but this concept takes things to a new level. Along with the digital side-view mirrors, which use cameras in lieu of traditional mirrors to reduce aerodynamic drag, the Revolution features a powered charge-port door, power multifunction tailgate, power mid-gate, and an active rear diffuser, among other automated exterior features.
Inside, a pair of touchscreens on the center console offer 28-inches of display real estate in total. The lower screen is removable and can used in different areas of the truck, while the upper screen has the ability to slide on the aforementioned rail attachment system. A digital rear-view mirror is on-board for enhanced visibility versus a traditional design, and it can communicate with biometric cameras that observe the truck's environment as it approaches objects (and when objects approach the truck).
The opaqueness of the electro-chromatic panels on concept’s glass roof can be adjusted via overhead console controls in the cabin.
Meanwhile, an augmented reality heads-up display not only provides real-time information about things like vehicle speed and navigation, it can also use camera and sensor technology to allow the driver to see objects on its display that would normally be outside of their view. Ram also touts “Level 3+” autonomous driving capability for the concept, which would take over enough of the driving operations to allow the steering wheel to retract to provide the driver with additional room, but the automaker didn’t go into detail about the technology that it would use in order to put this level of autonomy on America’s roads.
To maintain its class-leading ride quality without compromising capability, the Revolution concept uses an adjustable air suspension with different ride heights for ingress and egress, aerodynamics, and off-roading. It also features a rear steering system with up to 15 degrees of articulation to improve low-speed maneuverability and enhance steering response at higher speeds.
Specifics about the concept’s powertrain are a bit scarce, though Ram did point out that it utilizes a dual-motor, all-wheel drive configuration. Based on the information that Stellantis provided in its EV Day announcement back in 2021 (which included information about its upcoming EV powertrains and the platforms that would support them) there’s a distinct possibility that the production version of the Revolution will make in excess of 850 horsepower in top-spec form. The “EDM 3” drive module specification outlined in that announcement can be tuned to deliver as much as 330kW, or 443hp, per motor.
Like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV, the Ram 1500 Revolution EV Concept has a frunk that provides additional secured storage.
The automaker has also noted that the SLTA Frame EV platform uses an 800V electrical architecture that’s capable of adding 100 miles of range to the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept in just ten minutes on a DC fast-charging system. But perhaps the most Jetsons-like feature they announced at CES was Ram Charger, robotic inductive charger that’s designed to detect the presence of the vehicle nearby and assess its charging needs, then automatically move into position under the vehicle to begin the charging process wirelessly. The helpful robot can even be programmed to hold off on juicing up the truck until off-peak hours to minimize energy costs and strain on the electrical grid.
While options, pricing, and the availability of the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept weren’t provided – it is a concept, after all – there’s no doubt that Ram has every intention of building an EV pickup that’s heavily influenced by it in the near future. We’ll bring you additional information as it’s revealed.
When using a 350 kW DC fast charger, the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept’s 800-volt electrical architecture can add up to 100 miles of range in about 10 minutes.