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Dodge Ram T-Rex 6X6 
  
1997 Ram Concept truck

USA 6X6, similar to the T-Rex is now under
construction. See the details in gallery 12

T-REX front viewT-REX rear view
At this time Chrysler does not plan to put the T-Rex into production.

Leong C. Dong, manager of Chassis/Drivetrain for Chrysler's Advanced Vehicle Engineering Truck group, said of the T-REX: "This is the definitive example of what 'Dodge Ram Tough' is all about. Our intention was to develop a personal vehicle that could out-tow, out-off-road, out-maneuver, out-haul and out-run anything in its class -- or even close to its class -- and with a lot more driver and passenger comfort."

I don't know what the T-Rex cost to build, but cost of construction was not a (major) consideration for Chrysler. The engineers tried to maximize the use of off-the-shelf hardware.

The T-Rex concept truck was performance tested at Chrysler's Chelsea, Michigan Proving Grounds. These tests confirmed the performance features designed into the vehicle, a "rolling test bed' for many technological breakthroughs.

The unique six-wheel drive tandem axle with a computer-controlled adaptive air-suspension system provides significant improvements in vehicle traction handling and comfort. The tandem axle arrangement is a narrower track than dual-wheel vehicles and has a tighter turning circle (2 feet less) than dual-wheel vehicles with comparable wheel base - this means the truck is easier to park, garage and get through off-road trails.

Sue and I Check The T-Rex at the October '97 TDR rally in NV.
Photo taken by Vikki. Dodge (her real name!)
 

   The novel drivetrain for T-Rex, Chrysler's first-of-a-kind 6x6 sport truck, was made possible with the development of an innovative approach to powering the two rear axles. "Delivering power to tandem rear axles in a light truck with limited packaging space was probably the biggest challenge confronting us in developing the T-Rex," said Leong C. Dong, manager of Chassis/Drivetrain for Chrysler's Advanced Vehicle Engineering Truck group.

The answer was a unique externally mounted transfer case mated to a pair of off-the-shelf heavy-duty light truck axles. Until now, the only non-military-style vehicles with high-output engine and tandem rear drive axles were commercial heavy trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 30,000 pounds or more. The size of commercially available axles and differentials would have posed very difficult packaging problems, and their mass would have boosted the weight of T-Rex to unacceptable levels.

By using an extra rear transfer case, T-Rex designers were able to use currently available production axles. The rear case, based on a new design, delivers available torque equally to the two axles -- an output shaft powers the second axle and a chain-driven over-the-shoulder prop shaft delivers power to the third. A new front transfer case incorporates a differential lock-up feature, a 2.72:1 low range, and electric shift. When in six-wheel drive, power is delivered to the wheels from the front transfer case which sends 48 percent of the engine torque output to the front axle and 52 percent to the rear case.

 T-Rex Features:

T-Rex Advantages over a 3500 Dually:  T-Rex Specs:
 
Performance data
Cornering (max. lateral Gs) 0.74
Straight line acceleration 0-60 7.7 seconds
Standing 1/4 mile 16.1 seconds @ 88 mph
50-70 mph passing 4.5 seconds
 
Specifications 
GVW (lb.) 12,000
GAWR (lb.)
Front 4,850
Rear 8,000
Payload (lb.) 5,000
Towing Capacity - GCW (lb.)  26,000
Wheelbase 133 inches (Measured to center 2nd & 3rd axle)
Engine 8.0L Magnum V10 modified
Power 497 hp @ 5400 rpm
Torque  593 lb-ft torque @ 3700 rpm
Compression ratio 12:1
Transmission Chrysler 47RE automatic up rated and recalibrated controller
Frame  Modified RAM 3500 4 x 4 frame with new rear rails and cross members to accept air springs and trailing link suspension
Bed
Construction
Molded Kevlar-carbon fiber composite outer sides on the stretched cargo box.
Suspension Electronically controlled adaptive suspension Two air springs per axle, adjustable ride height Each axle located by 4 leading or trailing arms and track bar. Bi-state real time damping, comfort/firm driver selectable settings. 32mm front/22mm rear stabilizer bars. Rear transfer case damper (2nd axle)
Front Axle Solid live axle, 4.1:1 axle ratio
Rear Second Axle Solid live axle;  Carrier accepts rear transfer case;  4.10:1 axle ratio
Rear Third Axle Solid live axle;  Offset carrier driven by over-the-shoulder prop shaft; 4.10:1 axle ratio
Front Transfer Case  Two speed full time 4WD or 6WD with differential lockup 2.71:1 low range  
Dash-mounted 5 position electric shift
Rear Transfer Case  Single speed with 50/50 torque split planetary differential mated to the front of 2nd axle. Electromagnetic clutch provides the option of differential lockup between 2nd and 3rd axle
Brakes
Front 317.5 x 38mm rotor, 86 mm caliper.
Rear 330 x 64 mm drum fitted to both axles
Wheels/Tires 17 x 8 aluminum wheels LT285/65R17 tires
Exhaust System Tubular headers,  Dual catalytic converters, Single muffler and 2 rear outlets
Cargo Box 8'6" length Based on production 8' box.  Kevlar/carbon fiber outer side panels
 

Dodge T-REX info from the Buzz site

Popular Mechanics T-Rex info


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Last update: June 9, 1999