King of Trucks – the 2021 Ram TRX
As Ram Rebel, move over. Ford Raptor – meet your match. The Ram TRX is here and it is the ultimate bad-ass truck. Period. It’s absurdly big, it’s crazy powerful, it’s insanely expensive and it drinks fuel like there is no tomorrow. But it is the fastest truck ever made, proving that sometimes the best things in life are illogical.
Actually, the TRX should come as no surprise. Dodge already has the most powerful sedan in the Charger Hellcat Redeye and the most powerful SUV in the Durango Hellcat. So why not apply that same formula to the Ram?
The Ram TRX is basically a Hellcat-powered half-ton Ram 1500. But it doesn’t end there. The TRX also gets wide-body fenders, making it 8-inches wider than a regular Ram 1500, 35-inch tires, a specialized suspension, a reinforced frame and a 2-inch suspension lift, all for enhanced off-road high-speed performance. Also installed on this powerful Ram are upgraded brakes, a Dana 60 solid rear axle, an electronic locking differential and underbody skid plates. All TRXs are four-wheel drive and all use an eight-speed automatic transmission.
For the most part, the TRX looks like a Ram 1500 – just bigger. The hood is unique featuring a functional scoop and dual heat extracting vents. What is even more interesting about the hood is when it’s open and the airbox lid is removed, there is an engraving of a T. rex with a Raptor in its mouth – a subtle but clear shot at the TRX’s competition: the Ford F-150 Raptor.
First and foremost are the numbers, and they are impressive. The Hellcat V8 engine makes 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque from its supercharged 6.2 liters. The folks at Ram say that’s good enough to move the TRX from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds – nearly a second quicker than the Raptor. Others that have tested it say the TRX is even quicker, achieving 0-60 times of under 4 seconds. It cuts through the quarter mile in just 12.7 seconds at 106.3 mph and reaches a top-speed of 118 mph. The top speed is limited due to the off-road tires that the TRX wears. They are not high speed rated and are only rated for speeds up to 118 mph. The performance of the TRX not only beats the Raptor, but also it’s predecessor and previous record-holder of the quickest full-size pickup, the 2004 Viper-powered Dodge Ram SRT-10.
As expected, the TRX is incredibly fast to drive, but it’s also a good driving truck. My experience with the TRX has been on road, and I was surprised at how much the TRX feels like a GT car. The steering is accurate and has a solid feel and the suspension eliminates most of the trucks body roll and brake dive. Even the TRX’s ride is comfortable without being harsh.
When it’s time to have some fun, is when the TRX really shows its stuff. There are eight on- and off-road drive modes( Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow, Custom, Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja). In Auto mode, the TRX drives much like a normal Ram 1500, albeit one with a lot more power. But switch to Sport and the TRX really comes alive and the whole demeanor of the truck changes. Sport mode shuts off the traction control and unleashes all 702 horses – making acceleration a scary adventure. Stepping deep into the gas pedal in Sport mode means getting shoved back in the TRX’s big seats, while the whine of the supercharger and the deep exhaust can be heard by all those that are in eyesight of the big TRX.
Inside, the TRX benefits from the same cabin we have come to love in other Rams, although there are some small changes. The look and feel is high-quality with tons of storage space and a huge iPad size 12-inch touchscreen display, making it hard to leave once you’ve reached your destination. Unique to the TRX is a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters and surfaces that are covered in leather and microsuede along with carbon-fiber accents. Options a head-up display and heated and ventilated front seats.
As you might have already guessed, the TRX doesn’t come cheap. Prices start at $69,995 but toss in some options like the tester has, and you’ll be looking at an MSRP of $88,265 – and with a few more options, you can hit the $100,000.00 mark. And once you purchase it, the TRX continues to be expensive as it chugs gasoline at the rate of a gallon every 10 miles in town (that increases to 14 miles per gallon on the open road).
To the common person, the TRX makes no sense. It expensive, way too big and its loud. But it’s also stupid fast and carries the honor of being the world’s fastest pickup truck. And to some, that’s all that matters. In a truck world where Raptors once ruled, the TRX is here – and it’s proven it’s the new king.
– Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2021 Ram 1500 TRX Crew Cab 4×4
Base Price: $69,995.00
Price as Tested: $88,265.00
Layout: front-engine / four-wheel drive
Engine: 6.2 liter Supercharged V8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Horsepower: 702 horsepower
Torque: 650 ft/lbs
EPA Fuel Economy: 10 city / 14 highway mpg
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