2021 Ram 1500 TRX: Unleash the Beast

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2021 ram 1500 trx unleash the beast

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.

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.

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.

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.

“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.”

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.

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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  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.https://www.lhd.com.au/lhd-insights/australian-road-death-statistics/