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Chrysler Seeks Dealer Reaction to Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept

Just the Facts:
  • Chrysler dealers are set to scrutinize the Ram 1500 Rumble Bee as the automaker determines whether or not to produce the concept pickup truck.
  • The concept is bound for dealer shows, Chrysler told Edmunds.
  • "We try to listen to the dealers," said Dave Sowers, head of Ram Truck's light- and heavy-duty marketing. "They know their marketplace."

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California — Chrysler Group is taking the next step to determine if the Ram 1500 Rumble Bee concept will turn into a production vehicle.

The Rumble Bee concept hogged the spotlight at the 2013 Woodward Dream Cruise in Michigan last month.

At the time, Chrysler said it would look at reaction to the truck at Dream Cruise and the comments afterwards. Now, the automaker is taking it to the next level.

The bright yellow Hemi-powered pickup draws inspiration from the Super Bee muscle car of the late 1960s. The concept is based on a two-wheel-drive 2013 Ram 1500 R/T pickup.

"We will take it to some dealer shows and talk to dealers," Ram's Dave Sowers told Edmunds. "We try to listen to the dealers. They know their marketplace."

Sowers is head of Ram Truck's light- and heavy-duty marketing. He was interviewed during a Ram event in California.

"It is something that we could execute," he said.

However, creating the exact same truck would be a challenge. It is likely that a production version of the truck would skip the Drone Yellow exterior paint with its flat finish. The real bee embedded in the shifter would be scratched as well.

"Some of the things that we put on the truck weren't volume production possible for us," Sowers said. "That flat yellow paint would be a little bit of a challenge in the plant and the actual bee in the shifter would be tough to execute."

The concept's body, bumpers, flares and ground effects kit are painted yellow and covered with a matte finish. An actual bee is encased in clear plastic and mounted to the rotary shift knob that controls the eight-speed automatic transmission. The knob is illuminated to expose a honeycomb background pattern.

"But the rest of it has potential so we are listening to the market right now," Sowers said.

The concept's power is provided by a 395-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The truck is lowered 2 inches, the suspension is modified to improve handling and 24-inch wheels are added.

The cabin gets leather sport mesh seats.

Edmunds says: The concept created such a buzz it will be surprising if Chrysler dealers don't green-light a production version.

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