Concept cars are shown for a variety of reasons—to test new functional ideas, to test looks, and to show that the company is working on new technologies. Past Chrysler concept cars have run the gamut from pre-production models to thoughts about what they might make in 20 years, and often the main idea being tested are quite different from what people think is being tested.
Which brings us to the 2023 Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept. What exactly are they testing? We have a number of options, including the styling, the design, the technologies, and the powertrain. If you get impatient, just scroll down—we know truck people want to know about towing, hauling, and range, and some people just want to know about tech, and others want to learn about STLA Large.
To answer the question: yes, this is a real work truck, though it doesn’t look like it. The bed looks small, but appearances can deceive; it’s apparently the same length as the current Ram pickup bed.
The feature that may have gotten the most attention and headlines is “follow me,” basically, where the driver can walk around with the truck following (and avoiding obstacles and people along the way), handy in construction sites, or for cleaning up debris, or perhaps for trying to follow the trail of Old West bank robbers. This is a clever variation on Tesla’s snazzy parking-lot “come out for me” tool, but presumably uses both cameras and radar to avoid hitting anything.
The rear view mirror includes a smart backup camera with 360-degree views (in Reverse), speakers, and receivers compatible with Alexa and Siri. The mirror also includes a backup flood lamp in Reverse for low light conditions; and communicates with biometric cameras that observe the truck’s environment as it approaches objects and as it’s being approached.
The steering wheel has a flat top and bottom and is collapsible, with enhanced hand grips, capacitive controls, digital screens, and a lit “RAM” badge. Occupants can use tactile swiping to configure the sun visors or the electro-chromatic roof.
The adjustable air suspension has ingress/egress, aero, and off-road modes (from lowest to highest).
Other technological gizmos include:
- Intelligent storage app – helps people see if they can fit things into the truck, using the product’s barcode or a camera-based tool; and shows how it can be positioned most effectively
- Exterior projector – built-in projectors visually communicate information to the user and can double as a mobile movie theatre
- Cabin Mode – “One button” settings to adjust multiple aspects of the cabin experience at once— Productivity Mode, Social Mode, Party Mode, Relax Mode, and user-created modes—changing interior lighting, seat position, window and skylight opacity, suspension, sound, and displays
- Advanced Augmented Reality Heads-up Display – combines cameras, sensors, and AI with “see-through vision,” projecting objects outside the driver’s normal view on the head-up display along with the usual information
- Personal Assistant – AI-powered virtual assistant with a 3D Ram avatar that answers voice commands, even from outside (such as close the windows, play music, take a picture, and “follow me”)
- My Day – Intelligent trip planning to provide suggestions at right time and place
- Smart Home Control – control smart home devices from the screen
- Camera and sensor system – cameras and sensors works together to provide 3D capture, biometric identity recognition, and 360° photo and video capture
- Autonomous capabilities – In Level 3+ autonomous mode the vehicle retracts the steering wheel to provide additional space for the driver. Interior lights, the head up display, smart seats, and the steering wheel work together to provide next-level situational awareness to the driver (it seems very unlikely to be in the 2024 production model)
Powertrain, charging, all wheel steering
The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept has all wheel drive, powered by two electric drive module (EDMs), on in front and one in rear. It can take larger-capacity EDMs, but the concept is currently set up with—an unreleased amount of power. It does have 800V DC fast charging up to 350 kW, allowing 100 miles of range to be added in around 10 minutes. So far no information on the concept’s range, acceleration, towing capacity, etc. has been released; STLA Frame was reportedly going to have battery packs with 159 to 200 kWh capacities.
The new and cleverly named Ram Charger takes cues from robotic vacuums to sneak underneath the vehicle when the truck is detected, align itself, and start charging; it can be programmed to only charge during off-peak hours for greater economy.
The four wheel steering allows for up to 15° of articulation for better cornering at low speed, e.g. for parking or tight trails. It also increases steering response at high speeds.
The charge port blinks while charging. An audible sound will signal it is plugged in and charging has begun. The charge port features level 1 and level 2 AC charging on the top half and DC fast charging on the bottom half of the charger.
Styling and design
The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept takes the “midgate” from the 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche and BEV engineering to provide for loads up to 18 feet (5 meters). The midgate in the concept is powered.
The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept attempts to be “brutiful – brutal yet beautiful.” An animated Ram badge includes an LED “tuning fork” logo. LED lights are integrated into the front bumper flares, with animated LED tail lamps and badging.
The doors, like those of too many concepts, are “suicide door” style, with the front door opening normally and the rear door opening the other way, to allow for a massive entry space (with no B-pillar). This is unlikely to make it to production. More useful is the integrated fascia with a skid plate and tow hooks that can pivot to sit flush.
The BEV design provides more space for storage; a powered “frunk” (front trunk) has extra weather-and-thief-protected storage, with a one-touch open/close function. The charge port door (on the driver’s side front quarter) is also powered, as is the tailgate, the door handles (which is why you don’t see them in photos), side steps, and rear step. The latter includes an active diffuser for aerodynamics. Which of these are likely to make it to production? Probably everything but the charge port door, unless they have already designed a manual override.
The side view “mirrors” are basically cameras, allowing them to be quite small; these may not yet be legal in the United States.
The RamBox is larger than in current Rams. A Dodge-like hourglass body design adds some muscle-like styling, while the concept allows for 35-inch tires (the wheels are 24 inches and have caps that light up and stay in place). The suspension has self-leveling capability.
These new proportions are achieved courtesy of the innovative STLA Frame EV platform on which the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept is built. New intelligent safety systems and smaller, more powerful electric motors afforded the design team the ability to shift the cabin forward and increase cabin length. The 1500 Revolution BEV Concept features a cabin that is 102 millimetres (four inches) longer than today’s production truck for increased room and comfort while the bed length remains the same.
The interior is designed as an empty space which can be configured—a “one space environment.” The new STLA Frame architecture provides a more spacious interior without changing the bed size. Ram Track, a rail attachment/floor track system, provides tie-downs and flexible seat and consoles; it’s also in the frunk and bed. This setup allows for third-row jump seats:
The powered mid-gate features mounted jump seats with a removable lower section for placement in the bed or outside the vehicle. The mid-gate with powered glass enables a pass-through (and into the frunk) that can fit objects up to 5.5 metres (18-ft.) long with the tailgate closed.
The center console can be removed entirely or converted to a workstation surface (an idea now credited to Ford, but originating with the 1994 Ram 1500’s oversized center consoles). The seats are light weight so they can be moved easily, and have integrated seatbelts, grab handles, and speakers; the seats can fold flat, with extended recline, work, and conference modes. The setup can be maximized for limousine-like space or to carry cargo.
The “tuning fork” design stretches the length of the dashboard and goes on to the mid-gate. A touchscreen display with dual screens provides up to 28 inches of screen space; the lower display has three different positions (minimal view, extended view, and full view) and can be detached and used in different parts of the truck. The upper screen can slide on the Ram rail attachment system.
Sustainability may not concern most pickup owners, but Ram still used a lightweight, resilient Grayslate Nanostone veneer and “Apple” leather, a bi-product from the apple industry, along with a textured floor composed of recycled rubber and cork particles.
The actual pickup is due in 2024, which may still be early enough to beat Tesla’s “Cybertruck.” Ford already has an electric pickup, and Chevrolet has shown its prosaically named Silverado BEV; Rivian is slowly producing critically acclaimed electric pickups (the R1T), and others are on the way. The chief engineer of Ram, Mike Koval, told Automotive News that the production model would be shown “in the next couple of months.” The concept, in contrast, is a “visionary road map.”
Other sites’ takes: Ars Technica • Automotive News
10 thoughts on “Ram Revolution 1500 BEV concept: high-tech, clever design testing the waters for the real thing”
It’s beautiful, I will say that for it. And very futuristic. Kudos to Ralph Gilles for a cool design that shows they really let the designers use their imaginations.
Wildly expensive, likely to be trouble in a crash (seriously? No B-pillar?) and impractical for real truck uses is my assumption about the prototype. I cannot see as much of it making it into production form as you think, Dave. This is for people who want a truck-shaped electric *car*, not for the people who actually buy and use trucks for tasks like construction, hauling scrap metal, fixing plumbing, or painting houses.
I always wish Stellantis success. I hope this thing contributes to that success. If it does, however, I think it will be because it’s creating a new market segment for pickup-shaped cars, rather than replacing the traditional pickup.
Hi, Geoff… I thought I was pretty clear about the suicide doors not making it to production and how some of this is a disguise….
Of course, being a concept vehicle, as you say not all of it will make it to production. But in an interview with Ralph Gilles on 5thgenrams, Gilles clearly states that even though not all features will make it to production, many will, although not all of them at initial introduction of the Ram REV in 2024 (I assume that will be a model-year 2025 vehicle?). The have to keep a few new things in the queue for mid-cycle refreshes.
The suicide doors with no B-pillar are likely not making it to production, but I predict most of the work-truck features like the pass-through all the way from nose to tail for carrying long, thin items, the multifunction tailgate with extender, updated Ram Box, the interior work areas (fold-out table), etc. may well make it to production.
I think if Ram pulls off a well-executed gas-electric, plug-in hybrid with onsite electrical power like Ford has, that will be a huge hit with MANY buyers of work trucks. Pre BEV work truck? Very unlikely for at least a number of years. But a plug-in gas-electric hybrid with onsite power for tools? Heck, yes, that will sell.
Typo correction for my reply above: “Pure BEV”, not “Pre BEV”.
Dave, are you aware that the upvote stars in each reply are not loading? At least not in the latest version of the Edge browser, nor Firefox.
Interesting. They show in Firefox. I’ll check the others. Usually if anything breaks, it’s in Safari!!
There is so much here to excite everyone and many interests. How much reaches production is debatable, but this certIanly put Ram a time the top of the electric truck crowd as well as the next generation Ram traditional crowd. Amazing would be an understatement.
I’m really going to end up sounding like an EV fan but I honestly LOVE what the Mopar brand is doing with these EVs. The truck is beautiful even as a concept. I love the front cargo pass-through (I hate that word Frunk) and the three row seating is awesome. I don’t like the follow mode thing as I’m not a fan of autonomy in vehicles. I’m honestly interested in seeing what the 800v system will put out as far as power wise. I think it will easily outdo Ford and I’m wondering how it will stack up to the GMC vehicles.
Dodge is really planning big things in the EV world. I also saw this little clip on YouTube yesterday showcasing more of the new EV Charger.
I think the brand is honestly going to knock this out of the park. Between them and General Motors, I think we are going to see another Golden Era of Performance vehicles that will be truly as exciting as the one we currently have and closer to that of the ’60’s & 70’s than ever before.
Ram should coin a new phrase instead of “Frunk”:
“Fargo” for “front cargo”, which is also in keeping with the legacy “Dodge Fargo” series of trucks.
Although this may sound gimmicky, but I truly hope the Ram EV has a Fratzonic sound chamber as well. I also don’t see the issue with the suicide doors as alot of pickup trucks already have them. To me, that design actually makes more sense on a truck, especially since this truck seems like it doesn’t require the front doors to open to allow the rear doors to operate. What I do hope to see is the return of some street performance trucks like the Ram Daytona or something like the Ram SRT10, because why not have a loud, beautiful 1,200hp street performance EV pickup truck to remind people just who Dodge is and always has been!
computer is being glitchy so hopefully this doesn’t end up on here 3 times
Ok, so anyone who has read any of my articles and or comments already knows I’m a huge fan of Mopar Performance, whether it’s ICE or BEV. As it stands at the moment, the Durango is one of the best American brand performance SUVs for its class, price range and all that it offers. The vehicle is currently on a unibody chassis which gives it a more car-like ride. There are more than several rumors going around that the Durango is moving to a body on frame platform after the current body style and is supposed to share its platform with the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer, which will ride on the STLA-Frame platform. The platform this new Ram 1500 concept currently rides on. During the Stellantis EV day presentation, it was said that the STLA Frame platform was going to carry the E/F segment SUVs and trucks for the upcoming generations. Now, I never knew what all of these segments were so I had to look them up. According to https://fiatgroupworld.com/2012/09/08/learning-about-cars-the-ef-suv-segment/, This segment, to my surprise, includes the Jeep Grand Cherokee (E-SUV segment) the current Durango, the Tahoe/Suburban, and, of course the Expedition and Explorer from the blue oval brigade. Now I would have assumed this would have included the big barns on wheels that we know as full size SUVs but I did not know the mid-size SUVs would fall under this segment. Now, if this current STLA-Frame platform can handle a Tri-Motor setup, which could see upwards of 1,000hp, this could mean we could still very well see some very capable performance SUVs under the Durango name from the Dodge brand. As it stands, the Elephantine Cadillac Escalade-V produces 682hp and 653lb-ft of torque. Even as mammoth as it is, it can accelerate its behemoth, overweight American @$$ through the quarter mile in 12.74 seconds at an impressive 110mph according to Motor Trend. As impressive as the Pachyderm might be, I don’t see the Dodge brand following in these same footsteps, For starters, the 3.0L Hurricane HO only manages to pump out 510hp/500lb-ft of torque. We already know that the next gen 8-speed transmission is set up for hybrid tech so just doing some guestimating here, there may very well be a performance oriented 4XE powertrain with this new 3.0L HO. Now I’m no good at math but just for example (I may have said this somehwere before) the regular jeep 2.0T produces around 270hp and 295lb-ft of torque while the 2.0T 4XE produces somewhere in the ball park of 375hp and 470lb-ft of torque. Now granted I suck at math but i think that’s like 1.39% greater Hp and 1.59% greater torque, so if plug in the HP/Torque of the 3.0L HO to that kind of equation I get somewhere in the ballpark of 708.9hp and 795lb-ft of torque. Now I know all kinds of things go into these kinds of things and actual ratings are based off of so many other things and all along with drivetrain losses and so many other things but adding hybrid technology to high HP 6-cylinder turbo engines definitely makes a difference and it has already been said that this technology is not only coming, but is already being used by the brand. Stellantis has also been talking about efficiency and weight savings with not only the new Hurricane engines vs the V8 engines, but with the new platforms that they’re using. Let’s just say for instance, this new STLA-Frame Durango has the kind of power mentioned above, a double wishbone suspension with a performance air or adaptive technology setup with technology borrowed and learned from the SRT portfolio, an SRT derived AWD drivetrain, Brembo or Akebono 10-piston front calipers and 8-piston rear calipers, drive modes, coke bottle shape, styling derived from vehicles like the Hornet, the TRX, the new Ram REV, the Banshee and the current gen Charger, torque vectoring, etc. A few street packages as well as a few performance off road packages like the Rebel and TRX, maybe a few Banshee full EV on and off road variants to throw in the mix as well as packages with the 2.0L 4Xe, the regular 3.0L Hurricane S.O powertrain and a regular 3.0L Hurricane H.O powertrain. Looking at the Ram REV, you can see alot of time was spent designing the aggressive aerodynamics the truck has with not only the body work, but the aggressive roof spoiler. Another Mopar concept that came with a huge spoiler was the Jeep Wagoneer S. It’s spoiler is integrated into the flying buttress style body work that give the SUV an aggressive appearance. a feature that could easily be worked into the street performance packages of this STLA-Frame rumored Durango. As far as the interior, the Ram REV has already debuted a 3-row design, something the Durango is known for. With the Durango being the “Charger of the SUV world” since 2011, I feel like the interior will get alot of styling from what we’ve seen in the Daytona Banshee concepts. With a bit of modularity for the optional 3rd Row. The Banshee and the new Ram REV both have glass roofs with this REV Ram 1500 having an electrochromatic roof, this is something I can see the new Durango having along with the rearward opening rear doors. Now the reason I can see the Durango having this is for one simple reason, I see the Durango having an interior very much styled after the Banshee with a center console between the first two rows for that performance feel. With the rearward opening rear doors, it would make accessing the optional third row alot easier. A Durango on this platform could also receive the all-wheel steer option, improving both low and high speed turning, adding to the performance aspect of the vehicle even more. While this vehicle may come in around the size of the Jeep Grand Cherokee L, I don’t see it being as tall and imposing as the Tahoe or Suburban. What I could see the Brand doing is having the SWB version being the Durango and a LWB version being the Dodge Ramcharger(even though Stellantis used the legendary name for a roto-vac charger, SMH!) Both vehicles could have high end Limited and Citadel-Limited versions along with the dual & tri-motor 800V EV variants, a TRX (3.0L HO Hybrid off-road), Rebel (3.0L HO Off Road), GLH-Daytona (3.0L HO Hybrid Street), GLH-Rumble Bee (3.0L HO street), R/T (3.0L S.0 Street)& GT/SXT (2.0L 4XE)variants. Along with all of ths, for the R/T through TRX packages, there needs to be a plethora of Direct Connection and Jailbreak options for these trim levels and powertrains as well.
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