Detroit Auto Show: Ram unveils 1500 Rebel off-road edition

Ram veered off-road Tuesday morning at the Detroit Auto Show, with the introduction of the Ram 1500 Rebel truck.

The new trim level on the popular pickup gives it added off-road prowess and will be available on both V-6 and V-8 models.

"Offering an off-road-style package on the Ram 1500 has been on our to-do list for some time but the right combination didn't present itself until now," Bob Hegbloom, CEO of Ram, said ahead of the announcement.

The Rebel gives Ram yet another weapon against Ford and General Motors. Sales of Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 models were up nearly 24% in 2014, which the company partially attributes to offering worthwhile V-6 and V-8 engines, along with a rare V-6 turbo diesel engine.

The changes start with a new grille, headlights, hood, and unique 17-inch wheels. The tailgate, rear bumper and taillights are also new. Inside, heated seats and a heated steering wheel are paired with tougher seat fabric and various trim upgrades throughout.

Mechanically, the 305-horsepower V-6 and the 395-horsepower V-8 remain unchanged, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. The four-door CrewCab is the only configuration available.

But the Rebel brings with it numerous suspension upgrades. It comes with Ram's optional air suspension, riding an inch higher than normal for 10.3 inches of total ground clearance. This height-adjustable system also comes with Bilstein front and rear shocks and 33-inch all-terrain tires. Skid plates and tow hooks round out the package.

Ram hasn't said how much the Rebel will cost. It will start hitting dealerships in early summer 2015.