In 2016, Ram introduced the Rebel TRX Concept, a design exercise featuring the recently introduced Hellcat supercharged V8 and upgraded suspension. The company has refrained from confirming that it will build a rival of the concept-inspired Ford F-150 Raptor, but nonetheless here we are four years later watching the reveal of the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX.
Based on the company’s current half-ton pickup, the TRX gets a long list of mechanical and aesthetic upgrades that finally give Ram a legitimate high-speed rival to the hitherto undisputed Ford Raptor. Due in dealerships early next year, the TRX will start at $ 69,995, available in a Crew Cab / Short Box style.
Ram calls the 2021 TRX “the ultimate predator of the truck world,” and it’s hard to argue with that hyperbole given the tough aspects of the truck. FCA’s legendary 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 makes the leap to a body-on-chassis vehicle in the TRX, which develops 702 horsepower (523 kilowatts) and 650 pound-feet (881 Newton-meters) in this application. This makes it the least powerful member of the Hellcat family – Ram says the longer intake and exhaust paths somewhat undermine horsepower – but it’s still the meanest engine of any pickup ( except special tuners like the Hennessey Maximus).
Ram didn’t drop a Hellcat and called it a good one. Engineers also beefed up the standard 1500 pickup frame for the TRX, infusing it with higher strength steel and strategically thicker, heavier rails. The company claims that the frame is only 25% larger than the 1500 base, which gives the TRX greater rigidity and torsional strength. Ram wouldn’t bend to a specific number, but reps said he would be able to handle repeated jumps and off-road abuse without breaking “unlike some [the TRX’s] competitors, ”an apparent reference to viral videos of the Raptor’s frame slamming in the middle after inadvertently too high jumps.
A high-performance ZF eight-speed transmission, shared with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, routes the Hellcat’s power to all four wheels via a part-time four-wheel drive system. The transfer case gets an upgraded chain, sprocket, bearings, and clutches to cope with the prodigious torque, and a solid Dana 60 rear axle is fitted with an electronically-locked rear differential for grim power slips and good performance in the desert.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX will start at $ 69,995, plus a destination fee of $ 1,695. The company will also offer a limited series of 702 units of the TRX Launch Edition, which comes fully equipped with Beadlock compatible wheels, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, panoramic roof and unique Anvil paintwork. Gray – a bed-mounted sport bar and the spare tire you see here are likely Mopar accessories. The introductory edition will charge $ 90,315 plus destination, and it’s probably the most expensive Ram 1500 variant on offer.
For comparison, the Ford F-150 Raptor starts at $ 53,455 as a SuperCab or $ 56,440 for the SuperCrew. It’s a bit cheaper, although the 450 hp (336 kW) Ford uses considerably less horsepower.
Specifications and performance
In addition to the 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of the Hellcat V8, the Ram TRX has a two-way air intake, half going through a dynamic air intake in the grille and the other through a huge hood scoop. functional. The company claims its off-road monster can sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds and 100 mph in 10.5 seconds, with a quarter mile of 12.9 seconds and a top speed of 118 mph. And if you count, each of those numbers represents class superlatives. For a crazier pickup, you’ll have to head to the aftermarket.
A wider 6.0-inch track provides more stability at high speeds, with composite fenders increasing the overall width by 8.0 inches over the Ram 1500. A longer wheelbase of 0.8 inches makes more than Room for massive 325 / 65R18 tires which measure 35 inches in height.
These tires were developed exclusively for the Ram TRX. The Goodyear Wrangler Territory rubber that sits underneath the high-performance pickup delivers exceptional performance on wet, dusty and muddy terrain, in part thanks to sturdy side knobs in the tread. These 13-inch-wide tires should also provide plenty of flotation in sand and snow, helping the TRX stay above the dust rather than sink into it.
All four corners feature Bilstein Blackhawk E2 adaptive dampers, which can vary between 22 pounds and 1 ton of damping force. Remote reservoirs for nitrogen charged shocks help improve performance and reduce discoloration when high-speed driving in the desert or high-impact off-road driving. The rear suspension has been redesigned with hard mounts unique to the TRX to provide better handling and durability off-road without compromising bed space.
New front and rear springs join the shocks to provide 11.8 inches of ground clearance – in fact, the rear springs are the tallest of any non-commercial vehicle sold in the United States. Ram also says to plan for 13.0-inch front and 14.0-inch rear suspension travel, just off the 13.0-inch and 13.9-inch and 11.5-inch travel. ground clearance of the Raptor. Ford and Ram are expected to be able to withstand standing water depths of 32 inches without damaging vital components.
All in all, it all looks very promising. It must be said, however, that all of the suspension specs Ram promised compares very closely to the Ford Raptor and its Fox Live Valve adaptive shocks. When the exceptional power of the TRX is not a factor, it will have to stand out for its more solid frame and its intangibles not easily presented on a datasheet.
If you’re building the cab of a performance truck, there are few better places to start than the Ram 1500. The TRX improves on its base sibling with abundant contrast-colored stitching, several different trim sets and options. and a console mounted gear lever that replaces the dryer rotary dial. Our opinions on this last part are divided; the dial opens up a lot of storage space in the console, but the shifter should be more intuitive, and it suits the sporting intentions of the Ram TRX.
The base TR Equipment Package will pick up where the Ram 1500 Rebel left off, with cloth and vinyl seats with dark red accents. The TR1 and TR2 channel the Ram Limited with an all-leather and black suede upholstery, as well as ventilated front seats. Both come with gray stitching and metallic interior accents, though the TR2 offers red stitching and optional carbon fiber trim.
Like other upgraded SRT models, the Ram 1500 TRX features a flat-bottomed, thick-rimmed steering wheel, and large aluminum gearshift paddles make manual gear changes a breeze, even when the steering wheel is turned. . A heads-up display is available with the TR2 Equipment Group, a first for the Ram brand that could make its way to more-trimmed 1500 pickup trucks in the next model year.
In addition to the head-up display, the TRX offers an optional rear camera mirror. The 1500 family’s first transfer case mode selector also receives settings for Normal, Wet / Snow, Off-Road and Baja; launch control (on a Ram!) is also making its appearance. There are also ride modes for sand and rock, helping to provide ideal throttle response regardless of the terrain.
As you would expect from an off-road pickup fighting the Raptors, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX also features jump detection. Using wheel speed sensors, ride height sensors and accelerometers, the truck can know when it is in flight, avoiding harmful power spikes in the drivetrain and preparing for re-entry with optimized gear selection, torque distribution and damping rates. These variable shocks are probably invaluable here, as they allow for smoother and more stable landings.
If for any reason an obstacle exceeds the ground clearance or suspension travel limits of the TRX, five underbody skid plates protect the front axle, transfer case, fuel tank, and crankcase. transmission. Another skid plate in the front looks good and provides better protection for the belly of the truck.
Towing and payload
The TRX 2021 has a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds and can carry up to 1,310 pounds of payload. This compares well to the Ford F-150 Raptor, which can tow 8,000 pounds and 1,200 pounds.
The Ram 1500 TRX will also offer reverse control of the trailer. Unlike Ford’s similar Pro Trailer Backup Assistant, the Ram solution can automatically detect the length of the trailer, so the driver does not need to add an awesome sticker on the trailer boom or enter the lengths and profiles of the trailer. Ram says it will be a lot more user-friendly.
The Ram 1500 TRX hasn’t yet been rated by the EPA for fuel efficiency, but we’re not expecting much. We expect fuel consumption of 12 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg combined, using both the 2020 Ram 1500 Hemi and the 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat as benchmarks. .
Built at the Sterling Heights, Mich., Assembly plant, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX will appear on dealer orders starting August 18.
Photos of Ram TRX