2025 Ram 1500 RHO Takes On All Comers

An updated Ram RHO stakes its claim in the growing off-roading performance truck market.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

April 26, 2024

5 Min Read
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If we go by the number of performance pickups with serious off-road chops being introduced these days, it’s getting pretty crowded out there on dry creek beds and the kinds of mountain passes Lewis and Clark traversed looking for the Northwest Passage.

In truth, though, the growing number of special-edition pickups rarely get that muddy or get their rock-rails scuffed. It’s all about the image and garage toys for many. Off-roading is typically a dirt road with a chance of mud on the way to the fishing stream or campsite.

Entering the fray is the new 2025 Ram 1500 RHO, an off-roading performance truck equipped to roll over just about any obstacle, including Ford and General Motors competitors.

Ram 1500 RHO expands Stellantis's Sport lineup that already includes Ram 155 Warlock, Rebel, Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel and Power Wagon.

Powering the RHO is the 3.0L Hurricane high-output straight-six turbo (SST) engine, producing 540 hp and 521 lb.-ft. (706 Nm) of torque. That powerplant is enough, the automaker says, to achieve 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.6 seconds, 0-100 mph (161 km/h) in 11.7 seconds and the quarter-mile in 13.1 seconds at 105 mph (169 km/h) with a top speed of 118 mph (190 km/h).

Stellantis says the new Hurricane, mated to an 8-speed auto transmission, is the most powerful 6-cyl. in the segment. The new powertrain is 150 lbs. (68 kg) lighter than the previous performance model and features a more balanced weight distribution, the company says.

Ram 1500 RHO starts shipping in Q3 2024 with pricing starting at $69,995.

“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,” says 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 pickup truck offering the best value with more horsepower per dollar than any other off-road truck.”

Off-roading chops are key to selling the RHO. To that end, the RHO is equipped with a BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case that enables passage “through any off-road obstruction or weather condition,” according to Ram.  RHO features a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and can be flat-towed while in neutral.

Other hardware enhancements include: an independent front suspension system with active performance damping, retuned spring rates, jounce bumper and damping control to provide enhanced performance and endurance; Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks; dual electronic proportional valves that continuously adjust damping forces for more precise, independent control of compression and rebound damping; a high-strength, lightweight rock shield that defends the piston rod against incoming rubble with a custom-molded escape path for debris; the Ram Active Terrain Dynamics suspension management system; and new shock tuning.

A Dana 60 rear axle with full floating axle shafts is standard, handling the rear electronic locking differential and 35-in. tires. A rear axle center section provides balanced performance and a locking differential for enhanced off-road performance.

Even with the improved off-roading hardware and software management, on-road manners are still important. Adaptive damping and a five-link coil system are meant to create a more comfortable ride no matter the road surface. The RHO’s frame’s hard points differ when compared to a standard-issue Ram 1500 allowing for rear axle travel of up to 14 ins. (35.5 cm) Indeed, the Ram 1500 RHO offers more than 40% additional rear wheel travel when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup.

The RHO has ground clearance of 11.8 ins. (29.9 cm) due in part to a 2-in. (5-cm) ride height increase when compared with the rest of the 1500 lineup, along with the 35-in. tires.

RHO features box outers made of steel and are wider than those of a traditional Ram 1500. Premium LED taillamps are standard on RHO and the bezels allow for the blindspot monitoring function to see around the extended box outers.

Of course, these special editions require some unique badging. A unique R-A-M badge, front grille, hood, skid plates and steel bumpers help RHO stand out in the crowd. The R-A-M badge is bigger when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup and features a “flow-through” design that assists with airflow. There are standard all-black LED headlamps, including twin bi-functional projector headlamps. LED clearance marker lights flank the front bumper and are nicely integrated in the hood scoop. And a unique animated lighting signature activates when approaching/departing the truck and when the remote start feature is engaged.

Customers can choose an optional full-length rock rail for added body/sill protection or traditional off-road powder-coated aluminum running boards. Optional body-side and hood graphics are available as a pair or separately. Oversized tow hooks at the front and rear of the truck and integrated 5-in. (127-mm) dual exhaust ports also make the RHO look unique in the lineup.

The Drive Mode selector has been integrated into the dashboard above the transfer case switches and offers different modes of operation: Auto, Tow, Mud/Sand, Rock, Snow, Sport, Baja and Custom as well as a Valet mode.

Ram RHO has the largest touchscreen in the fullsize pickup class with a 14.5-in. (37-cm) display that utilizes split-screen capability for dual application operation. There is also a class-exclusive 10.25-in. (26-cm) passenger screen offering three major functions: co-pilot (navigation, device management), entertainment (via HDMI) and the ability to view the exterior vehicle cameras. The front passenger screen features an HDMI plug, which lets occupants connect their phone or tablet, turning the touchscreen into a mirrored extension of their device, allowing internet searches, music and app use, etc.

The truck features a full-color head-up display that is configurable up to 10 ins. (25.4 cm) and features several different content areas at once, including a digital tachometer, lane departure, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, turn-by-turn navigation, current speed, current gear and speed limit.

Overall, the market for off-roading performance pickups is robust and continues to attract enthusiasts looking for vehicles that can handle challenging terrain while offering high levels of performance and customization options, as well as the image owners want to project to their friends and neighbors.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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