The Ram Rumble Bee carries quite a sting – and not necessarily from its 395-horsepower Hemi V-8.
The shift knob of the new concept truck, it turns out, contains a bumblebee encased in amber – a warning, perhaps, for Ford which recently launched its new performance pickup, the Tremor?
For now, Chrysler’s truck division isn’t ready to say whether it will produce the new concept vehicle but the Ram Rumble Bee clearly set up some buzz when it was unveiled during the weekend’s Woodward Dream Cruise, an homage to the days of the muscle car.
The first concept vehicle ever to be launched during the annual Dream Cruise, the Rumble Bee could suggest Ram is ready to revive the performance truck it offered as part of a limited run in 2003 – the original Rumble Bee itself paying tribute to the classic Dodge Super Bee muscle car Chrysler produced from 1968 to 1971.
“The Ram 1500 Rumble Bee continues to have a strong fan base and what better place to celebrate its 10-year anniversary than Woodward Dream Cruise,” Reid Bigland, president and CEO of the Ram truck brand, said during a preview at a display Chrysler set up along the Cruise route. “There’s a lot of energy surrounding concept trucks and buzz models, and the Ram Design Team revels in creating something that is unique for our customers to enjoy.”
The Rumble Bee concept is a two-door regular cab version of the full-size Ram 1500 R/T, here decked out in a distinctive yellow paint job with black accents. The interior picks up on that color scheme and adds the amber-encased bee in its shifter knob. The rotary shifter lights up to reveal a honeycomb background pattern.
Below the knob are two buttons that control exhaust cutouts that amp up the burbling sound of the V-8.
(Ford adds new F-150 Tremor sport truck. Click Here for a closer look.)
The 5.7-liter Hemi makes 395 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque punched through an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The V-8 gets some extra punch through a special Mopar cold-air intake system.
The Ram Rumble Bee’s suspension has been dropped two inches to both improve its handling and appearance. The truck rides on 24-inch gloss black wheels.
While Chrysler isn’t saying whether it will bring the Rumble Bee back to production it’s clearly keeping an eye on Ford which, in turn, is betting the Tremor will catch a wave of interest in performance trucks. Despite today’s high fuel prices, full-size pickups have become the market’s hottest automotive segment.
(Trucks add big momentum to U.S. auto market upturn. Click Herefor more.)
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