By on August 17, 2020

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Fiat Chrysler pulled the wraps off its latest supercharged creation on Monday, revealing a full-size pickup the automaker dubs the “apex predator of the truck world.”

Fear FCA’s baby.

As Ram’s answer to the Ford F-150 Raptor, the TRX dons a wider track, extra suspension travel, and tosses the model’s naturally aspirated engines for a mill that’s more familiar to the Dodge crowd.

Yes, the Hellcat engine can be found here. Displacing 6.2 liters, the supercharged V8 makes 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque — five fewer ponies than in Dodge’s “base” SRT Hellcat models (or the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk). A beefed-up eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic handles shifting duties.

That output handily tops the Raptor’s 450 hp and 510 lb-ft.

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Looking like a Ram Rebel on steroids (which, essentially, it is), the TRX carries a reworked fascia complete with adaptive LED headlamps and a larger “RAM” badge, of course, as well as bulging fenders that add 8 inches of width to the burly pickup. A half-foot wider track and girthier rubber necessitates the added bodywork. Up front, a hood scoop provides half of the truck’s supply of fresh air.

Beneath this dune-hopper rests a new suspension setup, with forged aluminum upper and lower control arms up front mated to new coil springs and 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive dampers tuned for high-speed off-roading. Those shocks and springs show up out back, too. A (3.55) Dana 60 solid rear axle and electronically locking rear differential will help the TRX scramble over very rough terrain. When things get bouncy —  and they will — the TRX’s oversized rubber hoops will travel more than 13 inches at each corner, up from 9 inches in a stock 1500.

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Those wheels measure 18 inches in diameter and 9 inches in width, and come in two flavors: normal, and beadlock capable. Designed for this truck only, Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires fill out the rest of those gaping wheel wells. Front brakes are segment-beating 15-inchers.

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Compared to a stock Ram 1500, the TRX boasts an additional 2 inches of ground clearance (11.8 inches) and a top speed of 118 mph. Be warned: your highway mileage will suffer. Sprints to 60 mph should be completed in 4.5 seconds. And should buyers encounter a small river on their way home from the dealership, the TRX is said to be able to ford 32 inches of water.

Max towing is 8,100 pounds, with max payload coming in at 1,310 lbs.

Go figure, FCA bigwigs are already declaring segment supremacy.

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“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 in 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.”

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Starting production in the fourth-quarter of 2020, the TRX’s cabin features additional seat bolstering, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a range of drive modes (including Baja Mode for off-road excursions where the 4X4 system stands to see a workout), a leather-wrapped performance shifter, and Ram’s 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen — the latter feature capable of displaying drive mode and Performance Page info.

In addition to a range of safety and driver-assist features, buyers can add a 360-degree Surround View Camera or a 9.2-inch digital rear-view “mirror.”

One feature you won’t find on a normal 1500 is the TRX’s “Jump Detection” system, which senses whether or not the pickup is airborne in order to rein in the throttle during low-altitude flights. Play your commute right, and you’ll give thanks for this feature on a daily basis.

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Customers who want to be first in line had best act fast, as TRX production kicks off with the obligatory Launch Edition —  of which only 702 will be made. Finished in Anvil Grey, the Launch Edition (seen above) adds all the goodies, including premium audio, for a steep price.

The TRX experience starts at $71,690 after destination, but getting into a loaded Launch Edition will set you back $92,000. In comparison, a Ram 3500 Limited 4×4 Mega Cab with the high-output Cummins diesel starts just above $81,000.

While the TRX outclasses it in terms of power, the Raptor does have one big thing working in its favor: its price ($53,455).

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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30 Comments on “2021 Ram 1500 TRX: Unleash the Beast...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Love it, especially the novel jump detection system.

    “…an undisclosed but undoubtedly steep price”

    Worth every penny.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Neat truck but it is like $20K more than the current Raptor’s starting price.
    GM could respond by dumping the 6.2L into a ZR2, but knowing them they’ll decide to offer the Trailblazer’s 1.3L I3 instead.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      That is only because it’s technically possible to get an extended cab, cloth seat Raptor (though you never see them). Comparably equipped crew cabs are deep into the $70s as well.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        But you don’t have to get it “well equipped”.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          You don’t have to, but everyone does. Literally 99% of Raptors on cars.com are crew cabs. 90% of the crew cabs there sticker at over $65K.

          My point is just that the guy going in looking for a base Raptor is rare, and that anyone willing to pony up for the Ford is going to be able to afford this.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I expect the $15K+ price difference will maintain because the starting $72K TRX doesn’t appear to be “fullly loaded” either.

            Now do people buying a $60K truck say NDB to buying an $80K one? Maybe. A 30% jump still sounds like walking around money to me.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The Raptor “package” ($2,995 over similarly equipped) exists to help sell loaded F-150s, if you could buy it that way.

            The Raptor is known to outsell the Corvette, because it’s a decent value if you were going to get an expensive pickup anyway, except most normal F-150 rebates/incentives don’t apply.

            I can’t picture the TRX selling in similar (production) numbers (long term), but it sounds worthwhile regardless.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      Much like other SRT vehicles, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find some of the Rebel TRX kit trickling down to the lesser Rebel trims for a lower price (Think Charger/Challenger R/T Scat Packs and Durango Tow-n-Go). I think then you’ll be able to get into a Raptor-fighter for less cost, though to be fair such a truck would be spotting the Raptor about 55 ponies.

      I think a better comparison to the Rebel TRX will be the rumored V8 Raptor with new independent rear suspension. For now though the TRX is going to be feasting on Raptor on the regular in terms of performance.

  • avatar
    RSF

    This blows the Raptor away. Price won’t matter either.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      Price always matters. Ram is just betting that it won’t matter enough. Personally, I think they’d better get working on a cheaper 6.4L Hemi-powered version if they’re not already — especially if rumors of a GT500-powered Raptor prove to be accurate.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Now they need a Lil Red Express version for the street.

    • 0 avatar
      NigelShiftright

      “Now they need a Lil Red Express version for the street.”

      These are all for the street just as they are. They will be pampered carport and drive-thru queens.

      Who’s going to spend north of eighty large on a truck and then let it get a lot of icky dust and mud all over it?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Why is that different than anything else? You’re 1000X more likely to spot a 2020 Rubicon at the mall, Starbucks, and maybe the hiking trailhead than offroad earning its pay.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        Everybody always says crap like that (no one’s going to use it, to expensive to get dirty), but every time I go out to the BLM land I see new Rubicons and various other expensive new trucks out playing. I see 80-90k HD’s towing $100k toy haulers over heavily rutted dirt “roads” in the desert banging frames and getting muddy so they can set up camp and run their 30-40k polaris around with their boat speakers mounted on the roll bars blaring.

        I don’t know if people with these opinions simply never go where the 4 wheelers go, or if they think because THEY wouldn’t nobody else would.

        Just because you see a Raptor clean at the Piggly Wiggly when you go shopping doesnt mean it wasnt muddy last weekend. I think when people see a 4wd in a suburban setting, their confirmation bias sets in.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I like sticking the ICC lights in the hood scoop.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    Ford: We’re bringing out an awesome Bronco to take a bite out of FCA’s dominant Jeep market

    FCA: We’re bringing out an awesome TRX to take a bite out of Ford’s dominant Raptor market

    GM: Uh, we have a new 3-cyl FWD Trailblazer!

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      To be fair, at least GM’s halo car game is strong. Dodge killed the Viper and Ford kept the GT incredibly low volume before killing it after a couple years, while Chevy continues eating their lunch with the C7 and now the C8 Corvette.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Most automakers have backed away from the “Halo Car” concept, and those cars don’t bring much to the table, so to speak. Automakers can expect to take a loss on them, and they don’t really bring excitement to their core audience.

        So who are they building Halo Cars for?

        GM, along with Ford, FCA, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc, are Blue Collar type of vehicle suppliers, as opposed to Audi, Porsche, BMW, Land Rover, Jag, etc, that attract or seek professionals, physicians, snobs, etc.

        The Corvette is sort of out-of-place in the GM lineup.

        The cars that really “do it” for me, are the “halo” or Holy Grail of everyday cars. Like the Camaro ZL1, GT500, Boss 302, Lightning F-150, Hellcats and similar. You can call these the common car “heroes”.

        These are very cheap for automakers to do and get the most results, directly and indirectly.

        Typical Corvette buyers may have been past GM owners, but they seem to be fully divorced from regular GM vehicles. Their wife probably has a Mercedes SUV and the kids/grandkids probably all drive Hondas and Toyotas, plus the occasional Hyundai/Kia, if they don’t drive pickups.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Meh, I’d rather have the same engine in a Challenger.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    They’re gonna sell a ton of these.

    Even with a 6.4L they’d sell a ton. But with the Hellcat engine…biggest, baddest-assed truck you can buy is going to have a lot of pull.

    Gonna print cash with this one.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Good bye Raptor. I bet the frame on the Ram won’t break in half like the Raptors either

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Raptor sales could increase because of it. With more excitement in the niche, combined with the Raptor’s much lower price, more features, like front locker, and possibly a GT500 V8 option.

      Ford’s response won’t be limp. But you sound like a butthurt grade school fanboy. No Raptor frames ever broke in half. Knuckleheads hit a cattle grate at high speeds, but only after they removed leafs from the Raptor’s rear spring pack.

      Notice the frames bent “upward” when the rear end bottomed out (with stock Fox shocks not engineered for the “modded” softer leaf packs).

      That’s not how frames bend from jumping/landing a truck. It other words, the frame damage would have the bed and cab impact together, not pull away (gap), as in the isolated case involving damaged (wrecked) Raptors in that goofy truck club.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    I am disappointed that it does not have 1000 hp, 50 inch wheels, and able to jump over one story buildings.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Can’t wait to see one in my rear view mirror, inches from my bumper, until he cuts off a car to pass me on the right.

  • avatar
    Schurkey

    TRX? Damn thing needs piece-of-crap Michelin tires and wheels that no one in the aftermarket can service.j

    “TRX” is what I expect from Ford (again.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelin_TRX

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