Ram 1500 RHO Is a New 540-hp Raptor Rival

The 2025 Ram 1500 RHO takes on Ford’s off-road benchmark with turbocharged 6-cylinder power.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

April 26, 2024

6 Min Read
2025 Ram 150 RHO
2025 Ram 150 RHOStellantis

At a Glance

  • 540 horsepower
  • 521 lb.-ft.
  • 4.6 seconds 0-60 mph

Stellantis’s Ram truck brand has introduced a turbocharged 6-cylinder-powered off-road performance truck to replace its discontinued V-8-powered TRX pickup. This new contender is dubbed the Ram 1500 RHO, which starts at $71,990, including destination charges.

In its new guise, Ram’s hot-rod off-roader employs the company’s turbocharged, 540-horsepower, 521-lb.-ft. 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder Hurricane High Output engine, which motivates the RHO to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and through the quarter mile in 13.1 seconds. Top speed is 118 mph.

Unique, robust, long-travel suspension system with adaptive damping, inspired by desert off-road racers, incorporates high-strength forged aluminum front upper and lower control arms with special attention to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling

“The 2025 Ram 1500 RHO is the latest result of a relentless pursuit to engineer, design, and deliver a truck that charges into the segment head down and horn up,” said Tim Kuniskis, Ram brand CEO. “All that we’ve learned from developing every truck in Ram’s legendary lineup has led us to the most capable light-duty pick-up truck, offering the best value with more horsepower per dollar than any other off-road truck.”



That 6-cylinder engine could sound like an anathema for the truck brand of a company whose advertising tagline, “That thang got a Hemi innit?” once referred to the desirability of the company’s Hemi V8 engines. But this new inline 6-cylinder delivers better fuel economy and fewer emissions while generating more horsepower and torque than rivals’ naturally aspirated V-8s and boosted 6-cylinder engines in the light-duty pickup segment.

Related:Ram 1500 TRX Dethrones Raptor as Off-Road King

The engine is 150 lbs. lighter than the TRX’s V8, which improves the RHO’s agility. The RHO’s robust specifications include a maximum available towing capacity of 8,380 lbs., a maximum payload of 1,520 lbs., and as much as 32 inches of water fording depth.

The engine benefits from a high-flow air induction system with a hood-mounted intake duct that drains water and filters out debris from being ingested by the engine. This clean, cool air boosts engine power and is provided through a high-capacity radial air filter in an open-top air box that provides easy access for cleaning.

Downstream of the engine, the RHO features a low-restriction dual with true dual pipes running from the front to the back of the truck rather than the dual-exhaust-appearance single pipe that splits into two exhaust tips at the back.


The RHO’s 8-speed automatic transmission is matched to a BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case that enjoys upgraded internals for improved strength and durability. The transmission and transfer case combine to provide a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and the truck can be flat-towed while in neutral without damage.

Related:How to Build a Better Bilstein Shock Absorber


Bilstein Black Hawk Shocks

Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks are key to the RHO’s off-road capability. They boast precision-machined, single-piece aluminum construction. The shock bodies are coated for corrosion protection and have directional-machined cooling fins aligned with airflow for more effective cooling.

Inside, the Black Hawks have Dual Electronic Proportional Valves that continuously adjust damping forces for precise, independent control of both compression and rebound damping. The nitrogen-charged remote reservoir features a hot-formed, zero-leak tube closure with a stainless steel braided high-pressure hose to combat corrosion and abrasion for maximum durability during extreme on- and off-road driving.

There’s an internal three-stage progressive hydraulic Jounce Control (Jounce Cut-off) to prevent the suspension from bottoming out control during the most extreme compression events. Recognizing that this off-road bushwhacker will probably spend most of its miles on paved roads, the shocks are tuned for a balance between on-road handling and off-road capability.

Related:Behold the Mighty 700-HP Ford F-150 Raptor R

The company says that ride comfort, body roll control, and handling are bolstered by the proprietary Ram Active Terrain Dynamics suspension management system, new shock tuning, hard points, and body mount strategy. Ram says that the Black Hawks’ pressure-activated Triple Rod seal has been field-tested for long-lasting durability against contamination and leaks. The rod is protected by a rock shield that deflects incoming rubble with a custom-molded escape path for debris.

Dana 60 Axle

The Ram 1500 RHO sends power to the ground through a beefy Dana 60 rear axle with full-floating axle shafts. It includes a rear electronic locking differential and an axle-hop damper for better axle control and traction on rough surfaces.

Lift Kit

Up front, the RHO’s suspension uses unique longer front upper and lower control arms made of forged aluminum. Their geometry is designed to ensure consistent caster and camber angles during the full range of the RHO’s substantial suspension travel.

The rear suspension system also provides increased wheel travel compared to the regular Ram 1500, with a five-link coil-spring suspension that mounts to different hard points to allow rear axle travel of up to 14 inches. That's a more than 40 percent increase in rear wheel travel when compared to a standard Ram 1500. The RHO’s 11.8-inch ground clearance is a 2-inch increase over other Ram trucks. It is due in part to the truck’s use of larger-diameter 35-inch tires.


For on-road driving, Ram 1500 RHO offers Hands-free Driving Assist, the company’s name for its Level 2 automated driving capability. This is a hands-off driving and lane-centering system that works on approved roadways like Ford’s BlueCruise and General Motors’s Super Cruise. Like those systems, Hands-free Driving Assist predictively slows the RHO for curves. It can automatically resume control after the driver overrides control. It monitors the driver to ensure that they are paying attention to the road.


Big Screen

RAM RHO claims more than 50 inches of combined available digital display screens that include the largest reconfigurable touchscreen in its class with a 14.5-inch touchscreen central infotainment display.

On the passenger’s side, there’s a class-exclusive 10.25-inch passenger-only display screen with dynamic touchscreen control. Its three major functions are co-pilot (navigation, device management), entertainment (via HDMI), and the ability to view the vehicle's exterior cameras. It includes an HDMI plug so that occupants can connect their phone or tablet to mirror the device. That makes internet searches, music, and app use easier on the truck’s display.

These displays benefit from Stellantis’s new Atlantis electrical architecture that the company says provides operating speeds that are five times faster than the previous generation, giving response to touchscreen input in as little as .05 seconds. 
The non-touchscreen 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster shows more than 20 different menus, including driver-assist technologies such as adaptive cruise control, active driving assist, digital tachometer, drowsy driver detection, and speed limit traffic signs display. If those displays aren’t enough, there’s also a 10-inch Head-Up Display that can show a digital tachometer, Lane Departure, Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control, turn-by-turn navigation, current speed, current gear, and speed limit. All these HUD settings can be personalized and saved within the driver profiles.

Like all Ram 1500s the RHO is built at Stellantis’s Sterling Heights, Michigan plant. It is scheduled to arrive in dealerships in the third quarter of 2024. Hopefully, Design News will have a chance to drive one before then so we can report the effectiveness of all of this technology.

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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