The Ford F-150 Raptor is no longer alone in its class. This week, Ram finally lifted the veil on the much-anticipated 2021 Ram 1500 TRX model. Given what’s on its spec sheet, things are likely already in motion over at Ford HQ.
The Ram TRX concept was introduced in 2016. It's been a long wait, but from what we’re seeing here, it was worth it. The beast just presented will make for a lot of drooling by pickup fans. And the fun starts with what's under the hood.
As you would expect and hope, lurking beneath that hood is a supercharged 6.2L V8, a unit we know well as the Hellcat. Serving the Ram TRX will be a 702-hp mill - 5 less than the Dodge Challenger and Charger, due to a higher intake to account for the truck's ability to travel in 32 inches of deep water. Company engineers explain further that they used a deeper oil pan, and the exhaust manifold was designed to accommodate that as well.
According to Ram, the TRX will be able to speed from 0-160 km/h in about 10.5 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds, all at a top speed of 118 mph or 190 km/h. Ironically, that figure is limited by the size of the T-speed rated tires, which are 365/65R18. These must be able to operate on asphalt and off the beaten path.
In addition to its 702 hp, the Hellcat engine serves up 650 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission borrowed from the Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk and gets a two-speed transfer case.
The rear is equipped with an electronically locking differential (Dana 60) for off-road use. Rear springs are 23.6 inches high - the highest ever installed on a full-size pickup - and Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive nitrogen shocks with remote reservoirs are present for improved ride control.
Ram says the chassis it designed is made up of 75-percent new parts compared to the Ram 1500. The TRX has a ground clearance of 11.8 inches and approach, crossing and exit angles of 30.2, 21.9 and 23.5 degrees, respectively.
Compared to the normal Ram 1500, the 1500 TRX is 8 inches wider and its front axle has been raised by 0.8 inches to accommodate the large 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires. Like the Raptor, the TRX is wide enough to need clearance lights; Ram mounted them in the hood intake, which sucks in 50 percent of the air needed for the engine. The other half is supplied by the huge front grille, equipped with a RAM logo that lets air through to allow the engine to breathe.
If you have to pull stuff, the Ram TRX can tow up to 8,100 lb or carry up to 1,310 lb in its bed. According to Ram, the TRX version weighs 600 lb more than a Ram 1500 equipped with a 5.7L V8. This is in spite of the weight savings earned by including an aluminum hood, tailgate, skid plates and driveshaft.
Everything else has been reinforced for the violent off-road sessions that the model will definitely have to endure.
Inside, designers added thicker seats with 25 percent more support, as well as a 12-inch vertically oriented touchscreen on all TRX trims. A serialized nameplate on the centre console of each model bears the vehicle identification number and engine and compressor specifications.
All models are equipped with a new flat-bottomed steering wheel and shift paddles. A gear selector with handle replaces the Ram 1500's rotary knob and a new digital rear view mirror serves the TRX version. Cloth and vinyl seats are standard on the TRX TRX base trim, while leather seats are available in TR1 and TR2 versions. At the top of the hierarchy, a 900-watt harmon/kardon audio system with 19 speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer is in the mix.
Does all of that sound promising? Yup.
Of course, we'll have to drive this thing to know for sure, but Ram won’t have to twist our arms for us to do so. And the day we do, you'll be the first to know.