RAM 1500 Revolution BEV Concept: Detailed Concept Electric Truck With Gas-Powered Range Extender

 

Coming in at CES 2023 is Ram with the 1500 Revolution BEV Concept – a car so meticulously filled with detail it leaves us wondering why it isn’t some bank-breaking one-off concept car sold for racecar money. So strap in, it’s going to be a longer ride than its supposed range.

Chassis, Powertrain, Battery

 

While most pickup trucks are still body-on-frames, a monocoque structure is the no-brainer option for EVs. This, however, makes use of the latter, particularly the STLA Frame EV platform. It has a dual-motor setup, one on the front and back making up its all-wheel-drive, but Ram has not released any numbers. We do know that it can roll out 161 km within a 10 minute charge, thanks to its 800-volt DC fast charging. Included with it is the Ram Charger, an inductive robot charger for home use.

 

 

It has rear-wheel-steering, a recurring feature within electric trucks. Allowing for 15 degrees of left and right, the air suspension has three configurations, that being aero, ingress/egress, and off-road. While the aero setting presumably lowers the truck to the ground for better aerodynamics and onroad efficiency, we can’t help but think it’s a mode dedicated for small jumps. 35-inch tires wrap the large 24-inch wheels, with its illuminated center caps that stay level while the wheels roll, Rolls-Royce style.

A Complete Departure in Design

 

The exterior itself got the attention of the internet – owing to how it hasn’t a single cue of Ram’s (current) design in it. With illuminated “RAM” badges on the front, tailgate, and sides, the headlights flow and create what the marque calls a “tuning fork” design. Its slanted A-pillar is a rare sight in even the modern day pickup truck, as well as the nonexistent B-pillar – speaking of which, it has coach doors. It’s got flush door handles; not a first in automotive history, of course, but first on a truck. Well, a concept pickup, at least.

 

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares did say in a media interview that it remains a concept and not an approximate preview of an upcoming model, though he also stated that “you will see the technology and functionality in the next generation,” so those door handles and the camera wing mirrors could be a thing, though it’ll take some testing and research before the 3D-printed camera-for-mirrors may find themselves in commercial vehicles. As for the concept itself, perhaps Ram is testing the waters with it before adapting anything onto future products. If it weren’t for the RAM logos, I’d have mistaken it for a new Rivian, or an Isuzu – the front ends are reminiscent of their current vehicles.

Autonomous Driving Features

 

The Revolution has Level 3 autonomous driving, which allows for things like Shadow Mode, where the truck follows the driver as they proceed on foot. Said to be ideal and timesaving for short trips round a job site, it’s entertaining to think of it as walking a giant dog. Like another concept that debuted on the same event, the steering wheel is capable of retracting while the “interior lights, the AR HUD, smart seats, and the steering wheel work together to provide next-level situational awareness to the driver,” though we’d argue nothing tops the driver’s situational awareness than a steering wheel and perhaps, some electronic assists.

Extensive Exterior Configurations

 

Other than the side and rear steps, the tailgate and bed brings more configurations than you can find in an expensive massage chair. First off, the tailgate is capable of splitting and opening outwards, which can then connect with the extendable pull-out bed extensions for more bed space.

It also features a powered midgate, where third row jump seats can be installed. There aren’t any photos of the feature, but it should be close to the Subaru Brat’s seat placements. Other than that, the midgate also allows for a pass-through that extends all the way to the powered frunk, for objects that are up to 18-feet (5.48 meters) long. There is a phone app to go along with it, where you can measure and find out the optimal placement of the cargo.

Too Many (Interior) Configurations

 

The interior, like many other EVs, is made out of recycled, environmentally-friendly materials, with Greyslate Nanostone decorating several of the trim pieces. Recycled cork and rubber make up the floorings, while the “leather” seat covers are made out of apple production byproduct.

 

The highlight here is the “Ram Track,” which is a rail attachment system that allows for a myriad of seating and spacing configurations. The Ram Tracks can also be utilized as tie downs on the bed and frunk. The seats have their own seat belts, speakers and grab handles, and can be folded flat or removed entirely.

 

The interior itself carries the “tuning fork” theme with its orange ambient lighting. The Revolution’s steering wheel has built-in screens. The 28-inch touchscreen infotainment system (if the bottom screen is counted) packs many of the car’s features, like a voice-activated AI assistant, smart home management, and a 360-degree, panoramic reverse camera. AR head-up display and external projectors help with driving, and the latter could be used as a movie theater projector. The glass roof is capable of adjusting its opacity, possibly removing the need for tinted windows. The bottom screen has three modes: from minimal, to extended, and fullscreen. It is also detachable and can be used as a tablet, or a gaming peripheral. The main screen? It’s detachable as well, and can be mounted on the Ram Track, for whatever reason. 

 

Thanks to the Ram Track, the interior layout provides more than enough customizability. One button provides for preset cabin modes that adjusts the seats, window opacity, ambient lighting, and more, even down to the suspension. Center console taking up too much space? It’s detachable, and the armrests can be converted to a small table.

 

Reportedly, an ICE to help extend its range is also planned, which, if it were to be in a production vehicle, would be the first reverse-hybrid. Perhaps Mazda’s rotary range extender has brought some ideas to Stellantis. It’s funny to think that ICE would find its way back to relevance. Regardless, the Revolution BEV surely stole the show with only its appearance, and Ram could only hope they could do the same with their 2024 model(s), with more positivity in its reception.

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