Dodge is going after the Ford Raptor with a beast of its own

Look out Ford, Dodge is coming for you. Dodge’s Ram Rebel will be released later this year as a competitor to the Ford F-150 Raptor.

What It Is: Ram’s answer to the Ford F-150 Raptor.

Why It Matters: With the full Ram engineering overhaul postponed, FCA is eager to use what it has on the shelf to eat into Raptor sales. Ram can’t let Ford suck up every spendthrift interested in owning an airborne pickup.

Platform: Begins as the body and frame of the Ram 1500 but with appropriate durability upgrades required for flight.

Powertrain: FCA’s illustrious supercharged and intercooled 6.2-liter Hemi V-8, currently operating under the Hellcat alias, thunders underhood here, too. Backed up by an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, this engine was armed with 575 horsepower in the Rebel TRX concept presented at last year’s Texas State Fair, but we’re hoping for more power when it reaches production.

Competition: Ford F-150 Raptor or a ­thoroughbred yearling with Kentucky Derby aspirations.

What Might Go Wrong: If premium gas tops $4 per gallon, FCA could geld it.

Estimated Arrival and Price: Look for it at the end of the year with an opening price of $55,000.