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Ram 1500 Rebel Wins FOUR WHEELER’s 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year Award

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on January 19, 2016 Comment (0)
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LOS ANGELES January 19, 2016—FOUR WHEELER, the world’s leading 4x4 authority, has selected the Ram 1500 Rebel as the winner of its prestigious 27th annual Pickup Truck of the Year Award.

FOUR WHEELER’s Pickup Truck of the Year award program is an invitation-only shootout open to all-new or significantly revised pickup trucks for the upcoming model year. For 2016, the field of vehicles included four entries:

Chevy Colorado Z71, 2.8L I-4 turbodiesel
Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X, 5.0L V-8 turbodiesel
Ram 1500 Rebel, 5.7L V-8
Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road, 3.5L V-6

FOUR WHEELER’s highly experienced judging staff thoroughly evaluates each vehicle in a variety of terrain and conditions ranging from 0-60-mph and quarter-mile acceleration and 60-0-mph braking distance at the racetrack to real-world situations on the highway, down backroads, in traffic, and, of course, through every off-road terrain imaginable. Vehicles are judged on a wide range of criteria, including off-road performance and survivability, interior appointments and amenities, quality of construction, and the ability to perform in rigorous off-road environments.

The Rebel’s impressive list of model-specific features includes a powdercoated front bumper with powdercoated billet silver skidplate; new front towhooks; new LED foglamps; new 17-inch wheels; 33-inch Toyo Open Country A/T tires; Power Wagon wheel arch moldings; blacked-out trim; an aluminum twin-snorkel sport hood; special blacked-out grille; tire-tread-pattern-embossed seats with custom stitching and embroidery; deep, all-weather rubber floor mats; Bilstein shocks; and an air suspension that is 1 inch taller than a standard Ram 1500 at default ride height.

The heart of the Pickup Truck of the Year–winning Rebel was the optional 5.7L V-8 engine, which produced 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque and was mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination, along with the traction-enhancing optional Anti-Spin rear differential, helped the Rebel earn the fastest 0-60-mph time (7.5 seconds) and the fastest quarter-mile time (15.8 seconds) of the four contenders. Judges praised the Rebel’s performance with positive comments, saying it was a “rocket” in the city and on the highway and it propelled the truck with “conviction.” Even with that impressive power, the Rebel returned an impressive best tank of 24.4 mpg.

“If there’s one word to describe the Ram 1500 Rebel, it’s balanced,” says FOUR WHEELER Editor Christian Hazel. “It has admirable towing and payload capacity, good on-road handling, brisk acceleration and strong braking, a comfortable interior with convenient storage and amenities, a smooth ride, and huge off-road capability in all terrains. No matter what FOUR WHEELER threw at the Ram 1500 Rebel, it just flat-out worked with no drama, no excuses, and no compromises. And that’s why the Ram 1500 Rebel was the vehicle the FOUR WHEELER judges overwhelmingly chose not only as the 2016 Four Wheeler Pickup Truck of the Year, but the vehicle they’d most like to take home if they had the chance.”

The Ram 1500 Rebel won FOUR WHEELER’S 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year award only after completing a demanding weeklong test comprised of more than 1,000 miles of evaluation including performance testing; highway, backroad, and city traffic driving; fuel economy calculation; RTI chassis articulation; interior comfort and functionality; exterior off-road attributes and protection; and, of course, off-road capability in a wide range of terrain—all important disciplines in which truck owners expect their vehicle to be competent. In addition to these, interior and exterior styling, tire selection, and a host of other subjective categories are factored into the final tallies.

To thoroughly test each vehicle, the competition began at TEN’s facility, where empirical data collection began by measuring how far each vehicle could drive up a 20-degree ramp before a tire lifted off the ground. This measurement was divided into the vehicle’s wheelbase to determine its RTI, or Ramp Travel Index score. This indication of suspension flex and wheel travel loosely translates into a vehicle’s ability to retain tire contact patches when traversing uneven off-road terrain and is factored into our test vehicles’ overall empirical score.

At Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond, California, each vehicle was subjected to 0-60-mph and quarter-mile acceleration testing as well as 60-0-mph braking performance using a RaceLogic Performance Box for data acquisition. After empirical testing, judges were invited to take each vehicle on a hot lap over the course to safely test chassis dynamics, electronic stability, and ABS function. With the track testing complete, the vehicles are caravanned through the high deserts of California, stopping frequently for judge rotation, note taking, and scoring.

The rest of the weeklong test involves driving the vehicles all day, every day, over a series of on- and off-road trails to test as many different terrains as possible. Testing locations range from below sea level to more than 10,000 feet in elevation, and the vehicles are subjected to every form of off-road condition, including deep sand; rocky trails; off-camber, loose-dirt hill climbs; rockcrawling; steep descents; near-vertical climbs; snow; water fording; and more. FOUR WHEELER takes its position as the “world’s leading 4x4 authority” to heart, and when it puts the Pickup Truck of the Year stamp on a vehicle, you can rest assured it’s thoroughly tested to be off-road capable.

When all the testing is complete, the judges make their final notes and calculations, and then the numbers are tallied for the following categories: Trail Performance (30 percent), Empirical (25 percent), On Pavement (20 percent), Interior (15 percent), and Exterior (10 percent). For 2016, the Rebel dominated four of the five scoring categories to collect a generous point spread ahead of the Second-Place finisher. This outstanding performance earned the ’16 Ram 1500 Rebel the title of 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year.

About FOUR WHEELER
Whether you're looking for the scoop on the latest off-road-capable vehicles straight from the factory floor or want to see what others have done to their rides, read up on the latest tech, or keep up with emerging trends from across the off-road world, FOUR WHEELER will bring it to you. FOUR WHEELER gives out two annual awards—Four Wheeler of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year—and hosts a signature event, the annual Top Truck Challenge. The Four Wheeler Network features off-road and 4x4 content from JP, PETERSEN’S 4-WHEEL & OFF-ROAD, DIRT SPORTS & OFF ROAD, and FOUR WHEELER.

About Ram
Since its launch as a stand-alone division in 2009, the Ram Truck Brand has steadily emerged as an industry leader with one goal: to build the best pickup trucks and commercial vehicles in the industry. Creating a distinct identity for Ram Trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on core customers and features they find valuable. Whether focusing on a family that uses a Ram 1500 day in and day out, a hard-working Ram 3500 Heavy Duty owner, or a business that depends on its Ram ProMaster commercial van every day for deliveries, Ram has the truck market covered. In order to be the best, it takes a commitment to innovation, capability, efficiency, and durability. Ram Truck invests substantially in its products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines, and exclusive features that further enhance their capabilities. Truck customers, from ½-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package. For more information visit, ramtrucks.com.

About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world’s premier network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, and GRINDTV. With more than 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, 1,000 branded products, MOTOR TREND OnDemand subscription video on-demand service, and the world’s largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit enthusiastnetwork.com.

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