The day before the Chicago Auto Show’s media days begin, they hold a “concept & technology garage.” It’s an opportunity for greedy, greasy-fingered journos like me to drive things like a 707 hp Dodge Challenger inside McCormick Place. Or launch the new Mustang Mach-E from a standstill to 60mph inside McCormick Place. This year there wasn’t much to drive, but Stellantis (Chrysler, Fiat, Peugot, Citroen) brought along a few concept vehicles and one happened to be the Ram REV. We’d seen photos of it from it’s debut at CES this winter but this was the first chance we had to get intimate with it.
We had always wondered if pickups would get an updated design for the EV age. Well, the REV seems to indicate that they will but that the changes will be relatively minor. It’s a sharp looking truck. It’s certainly more aerodynamic, more windswept. The sharp edges and gaps are reduced, if not outright eliminated. It’s still big, like a pickup generally needs to be in order to be useful.
Inside is a revelation. There are two doors per side, as is common in more and more pickups, only the doors open opposite each other – the front door in a traditional manner and the rear door a suicide door. This makes one HUGE opening to climb into and out of the cabin. There are two captains chairs in the front and two in the back. Seats on the driver’s side share a track and seats on the passenger’s side share a track for infinitely adjustable legroom. Furthermore, there is a track between the seats so more seats could be added or the center console could possibly slide back and forth from the front of the cabin to the rear. Or another console could be easily added. The layout is infinitely configurable. The dash and console all are touchscreen operated, as expected. The roof is clear but electrochromatically adjustable.
Out back, the bed doesn’t look very large but looks can be deceiving. The tailgates can fold down or open up and the bed floor can slide further back. Once slid back, aero tailgates fold out of the tailgate to keep cargo within the bed of the truck.
The Ram REV also drives home further possibilities of the electric pickup. Open the hood and there’s more storage room available. The engine bay becomes a trunk. The ram also showcases a passthrough system that allows the REV to carry 20’ 2×4’s within the confines of the truck. There’s a passthrough from the front trunk into the cabin and out the back of the cabin to the bed of the truck, which can extend rearward for extra cargo capacity. A full 20’ 2×4 (or 100 can fit in this space without hanging over the bed of the truck. An impressive feat.
The actual production Ram REV 1500 will be coming to market in approximately 2024 and will differ from the REV EV concept somewhat, though the basic shape will likely be very close. How many features the production truck will offer remains to be seen. Also yet to be determined is how the interior will look. Does the REV offer a realistic representation of the production truck or will it be more like a current RAM 1500?
Being a larger vehicle, it will likely utilize Stellantis larger battery platform and use electric motors to drive all four wheels. There’s no word on range or power yet, but it needs to be good enough that traditional IC motor truck buyers will consider switching. There may be a IC generator engine to charge batteries in some versions. Ram intends to continue to build internal combustion 1500’s alongside the EV version for a few years until people have accepted EV’s as superior. (Fingers crossed).
Note: As this was going to press, Ram revealed the REV 1500 production model. It looks like a traditional Ram 1500 but with the REV’s headlights and wheels. The front end is much cleaner looking. Will we see more of the REV concept in the next redesign?