GM rival Stellantis is phasing out the (Small Block) Hemi V8 engine as part of its plan to reduce emissions across its North American fleet. The discontinuation involves elimination of the Hemi V8 from the company’s light-duty Ram pickup trucks, and as such, Stellantis announced late in August that the supercharged Ram TRX was headed for the door, with TRX production set to conclude by the end of the 2023 calendar year. Nevertheless, Stellantis is still leaving room for a new high-performance truck dubbed Ram RHO, and now, GM Authority spy photographers have spied an RHO prototype as it was testing, seen in the following images.
As we can see, this Ram RHO prototype bears quite a few similarities to the outgoing Ram TRX, with massively flared wheel arches, a prominent hood scoop, and chunky running gear. The wide body treatment leads to a tall and imposing stance.
The front end is obscured by black vinyl camouflage and a swirling black-and-white wrap, but we can still see the high clearance hood along with the prominent intake with three amber lights.
The side shows the high ground clearance along with the wheels and rugged off-road tires, though it’s tough to say what type of rubber is being used here.
The rear end is wrapped as well, with the rear fenders, tailgate, and rear bumper all presenting the expected black-and-white swirl wrap. The rear end also shows off a pair of round exhaust pipes. At the other end of those pipes, this Ram TRX replacement is expected to cradle the Hurricane H/O, a twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder throwing down 540 horsepower and 521 pound-feet of torque.
The new Ram 1500 RHO is expected to debut during the third quarter of the 2024 calendar year. When it does finally drop, the new Ram RHO will provide an indirect rival to GM off-roaders like the Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 and GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X. The most powerful engine in these is the naturally-aspirated 6.2L V8 L87, rated at 420 horses and 460 pound-feet of torque.
We should also note forget the all-electric GMC Hummer EV Pickup. Naturally, the Hummer EV will likely outperform the new Ram RHO in every category, both on and off the road, but it’s obviously missing the internal combustion engine sound.