QOTD: Power or Price?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd power or price

There’s no more secrets when it comes to the Ram 1500 TRX. The brand’s brawniest light-duty pickup appeared Monday with a Hellcat V8 nestled between its bulging fenders, ready to tackle high-speed runs across the desert (or Nebraska) for anyone with $71,790 burning a hole in their wallet.

Bragging rights sometimes fetch a steep price, and the TRX’s after-destination sticker only rises from there. Sure, it’s potent and contains all the goodies a sophisticated moonshine runner could want, but what about the truck it’s meant to challenge — and beat?

The Ford F-150 Raptor was happy playing King of the Hill, but its 450 hp and 510 lb-ft pales next to the 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of the TRX. The Ram nearly doubles the displacement of the Blue Oval offering, at least for 2020. Rumors abound about what awaits buyers for 2021. A V8 Raptor seems a possibility; and it’ll have to be, if Ford wants to give its crosstown rival a run for its money.

Power. Money.

One has to ask: in the niche segment of off-road full-size pickups, which is more important?

As of this writing, a gulf of $16,640 lies between the two models. No small gap, that — you could fit a Versa in there (with booze money left over). As they currently stack up, the Raptor and TRX are too far removed in both power and price to legitimately rival each other — unless capability rules all. Some buyers aren’t constrained by their available funds, but many are. And it’s for this reason that the match-up seems mismatched.

Any sizable increase in power would see the Raptor grow in price, narrowing both gaps, but 702 hp is a high bar. Is it worth challenging Ram on power if it means moving the Raptor out of the price range of a significant number of buyers?

If the same amount of cash flows into Ford’s coffers from a smaller pool of customers, perhaps. Yet there’s appeal in offering more then enough (albeit not segment-leading) thrust in a lower-priced pickup.

Put yourself in the shoes of The Two Jims. Which strategy wins out — beating the overly muscular Ram at its own game and claiming power supremacy, or creating a worthy rival that doesn’t beak the bank quite as much?

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford]

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  • FerrariLaFerrariFace FerrariLaFerrariFace on Aug 18, 2020

    "you could fit a Versa in there" Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.

  • Menar Fromarz Menar Fromarz on Aug 18, 2020

    Good for whoever buys it, and FCA. The real winners are dealers with all the ADM. ka ching.

  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.
  • Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.
  • Master Baiter This is horrible. Delaying this ban will raise the Earth's temperature by 0.00000001°C in the year 2100.
  • Alan Buy a Skoda Superb.