Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful
A few years ago, Ram Trucks debuted a show truck called the Rebel TRX that featured a supercharged V8 engine and bold styling to gauge consumer reaction for a possible megatruck. Apparently those who saw the Rebel TRX liked it a lot, and in the spirit of the phrase “give the people what they want,” Ram introduces the production version of the Ram 1500 TRX. Built for high-performance off-road driving, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is described as the quickest, fastest and most powerful mass-produced truck in the world. And it has Ford’s F-150 Raptor squarely in its sights.
Setting the Benchmark
“The all-new 2021 Ram TRX sets the benchmark for extreme performance pickup trucks and solidifies Ram Truck’s position as the off-road truck leader,” said Mike Koval, head of the Ram brand at FCA North America. “Ram has a strong history of high-performance trucks and TRX adds to that while expanding the light-duty lineup with the segment’s best combination of performance, capability, luxury and technology,” Koval noted.
Heart of the Beast
Under the bulging hood of the Ram 1500 TRX is the Hellcat 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 engine producing a massive 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Power gets managed via a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission designed to handle the high torque of this powerful engine. “The new 2021 Ram TRX demands an engine with specific abilities and robust power delivery to perform in the most extreme environments,” said Micky Bly, head of global propulsion systems at FCA. “The proven 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine moves the Ram TRX through punishing terrain at a ferocious pace,” Bly observed.
Usually the specs and stats associated with a truck are all about towing and hauling, and the Ram 1500 TRX is no slouch with the ability to tow up to 8,100 pounds or haul 1,310 pounds of cargo. But this is the Hellcat of pickup trucks, so it hauls in more ways than one. The full-size pickup sprints to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, reaching 100 mph in 10.5 seconds. It will also run the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph. Top speed is limited to 118 mph — restricted due to the truck’s off-road tires
Seven drive modes have been set up for the Ram TRX. On-pavement modes include Auto, Sport, Two and Snow, while off-road configurations include Mud / Sand, Rock and Baja. Perhaps the most unique of these modes, Baja reduces shift times to a mere 160 milliseconds; stability control and steering systems are set for desert performance; paddle shifters are enabled; the suspension gets set to full damping and the four-wheel-drive system uses a 25/75 percent torque split.
Keeping the Air Clean
To keep that big engine cool, the Ram 1500 TRX features a dual-path air induction system designed to keep air flowing while keeping dirt out. Air gets pulled in via a functional hood scoop as well as the upper part of the grille, and then directed into a 29-liter air box that filters out dirt and debris before being filtered again on its way to the engine.
More than simply a powerful Ram 1500, the TRX receives major upgrades under the skin. The frame is reinforced with thicker, strategically placed high-strength steel and the side rails are fully boxed. To better handle front suspension load, the front rails also use high-strength steel. When compared with the standard Ram 1500 underpinnings, about 75 percent of the chassis has been upgraded to create an extremely rigid chassis for the TRX.
Shocks and Suspension
The truck also features an all-new suspension system with active damping that allows more than 13 inches of wheel travel at each corner. Bilstein created 2.5-inch Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks exclusively for the Ram TRX, which are designed to provide quick reaction times when tackling rough terrain at high speeds.
Designing a tire that could handle high speeds both on- and off-road fell to Goodyear. Developed exclusively for the Ram TRX, the Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires should provide excellent traction as well as reduced road noise. The 35-inch tires are also available on 18-inch beadlock-ready wheels.
Thanks to the standard 35-inch off-road tires, the Ram 1500 TRX has 11.8 inches of ground clearance. To protect the big truck from damage when traversing large obstacles, the pickup has five skidplates that protect the front axle, transfer case, transmission pan and fuel tank. The fifth skidplate is located at the bottom of the front fascia for additional protection. Also available are heavy-duty steel rock sliders. When needed, the Ram TRX can also safely ford 32 inches of water.
Not your typical truck feature, the Ram TRX is equipped with Jump Detection. Utilizing sensors that measure wheel speed and ride height as well as accelerometers at each corner, the system can detect if the vehicle is airborne and will instantly adjust speed, torque, gear selection and other components to prevent damage to the driveline.
Clearly the TRX is more than simply another trim level of the Ram 1500, and one look confirms this. Standing a full 8 inches wider than the Ram 1500, the TRX features large composite wheel flares that help cover the 6-inch increase in track width. The front axle needed to be shifted 20 millimeters forward to accommodate the big 35-inch tires.
The Ram 1500 TRX will be easy to spot with its unique hood, skidplates, steel bumpers and front grille adorned with a larger RAM badge. The grille gets flanked by standard LED headlights with twin bi-functional projector beams. Bright LED clearance lights integrate with the large hood scoop and flank the front bumper, giving the TRX a unique look at night. All Ram 1500 TRXs come as 4-door crew cabs with 4-wheel drive.
At the rear of the Ram 1500 TRX sit LED taillights and another large RAM logo, similar to the one on the Ram 1500 Rebel. LED marker lights help set the truck further apart from standard Ram pickups, as do the dual 5-inch exhaust outlets.
The Ram TRX has an equipment level similar to the Ram Rebel, but adds a new SRT flat-bottom steering wheel with available suede and carbon-fiber accents, as well as aluminum paddle shifters. New front seats get extra upper-bolster support for the wild rides the Ram 1500 TRX promises, as well as a new center console that now houses the performance shifter. Buyers can opt for a TR1 or TR2 equipment group that adds another level of luxury to the cabin of this high-performance pickup.
To celebrate this latest edition to the Ram lineup, a special Ram TRX Launch Edition will be offered. This limited-edition truck will be painted exclusively in Anvil Gray and will come fully loaded with the TR2 equipment group plus carbon fiber interior trim, a head-up display, beadlock-capable wheels, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a 19-speaker Harmon Kardon premium sound system. A special red and brushed-aluminum center console badge identifies the truck as a limited-edition TRX. Only 702 Launch Edition TRXs will be sold, priced at $88,570.
Coming This Fall
Production of the new Ram 1500 TRX will start early in the fourth quarter of 2020 at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan. With a starting price of $69,995, the Ram 1500 TRX will be available to order starting August 18th, with deliveries expected to commence by the end of the year.