A big moment in truck history came this week as Ram debuted the most powerful, factory-produced 1/2-ton pickup in the world.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX has a dirt-digging 702 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. torque thanks to a familiar and respected 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 that’s found in the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
And like the Hellcat and Trackhawk, TRX gets an 8-speed TorqueFlight automatic. However, the Tremec six-speed manual available on Hellcat, is not available on TRX. So much for a stick shift revival. Instead, manual mode paddle shifters on the steering wheel offer the ability to click through all eight gears.
For those keeping score—and who isn’t?—TRX offers 200 more horses over Ford’s 2020 F-150 Raptor and 140 more lb.-ft. torque. (I’d spring for a ticket to Glamis, Calif. to drive both of them there. No masks needed in the desert.)
TRX is meant to fly with a zero to 60mph time of 4.5 seconds; zero to 100mph in 10.5 seconds; quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108mph; and a top speed of 118mph.
Ram is calling TRX their most technologically advanced pickup yet. A new Baja drive mode calibrates four-wheel-drive and steering systems, stability control, paddle shifters and suspension for what Ram calls “ultimate desert performance delivering maximum capability on undulating, loose surfaces.”
TRX gets a new high-strength steel frame with a five-link coil suspension and new front and rear 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks that Ram says has “fast-reaction time, unbeatable damping and improved heat dissipation for traversing harsh terrain at speeds greater than 100 mph.” (Like I said, I’d buy the ticket for Glamis because a beast like this needs plenty of space to run.)
To keep that supercharged V8 stuffed with air, Ram created a new, dual path air intake: the hood scoop delivers half of the O2 while the other half enters through the grille where you’ll find flow-through lettering on the Ram badge to keep air moving.
While going fast is a blast, stopping power is just as important. To that end, TRX leads the way with segment-best 15-inch front disc brakes.
Wheel travel is greater than 13 inches at all four corners which is a 40 percent uptick over the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup. TRX ride height is two inches higher than the Ram 1500 enabling 11.8-inches of ground clearance. Water fording capability is up to 32 inches.
An all-new, unique suspension system with active damping draws inspiration from desert off-road racers and incorporates forged aluminum front upper and lower control arms with special attention to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling.
TRX uses a Dana 60 solid rear axle with a 3.55 ratio featuring full-floating hubs and axle-hop damper for improved traction and axle control on rough surfaces. An electronic locking rear differential is standard for increased performance off-road.
All-new 18 x 9-inch aluminum wheels are available in both standard and a beadlock-capable option and are wrapped in Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires developed exclusively for Ram TRX.
For that trip to the desert or other arena, Ram’s trophy truck will handle a maximum payload of 1,310 pounds and maximum trailer tow of 8,100 pounds. Backing up a trailer gets easier with Trailer Reverse Steer Control, an available standalone option on Ram TRX which uses a dial to point the trailer in the desired direction while the system controls the steering wheel.
New integrated composite fender flares add 8 inches of body width and features all-new steel box outers creating an hour-glass body look.
In addition to having the world’s most powerful factory-produced pickup, Ram’s TRX also has the most spacious interior in the segment with new, authentic premium materials, colors and textures and hand-wrapped leather instrument panels.
TRX features three interior options, including premium cloth and vinyl, premium-wrapped leather and suede or premium-wrapped leather and suede with available red and carbon fiber accents.
Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch touchscreen is standard equipment and includes SiriusXM 360L with Personalized Stations by Pandora that offers a customized listening experience through a 900-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
FCA’s all-new Head-up Display (HUD) unit makes its debut in TRX and can show up to five different content areas at once. TRX touts the first FCA application of drive modes and off-road pages with the Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch touchscreen.
TRX, which Ram is calling their most technologically advanced pickup ever, offers more than 100 available active and passive safety and security features, including ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and six air bags. Available features include: Blind-spot Monitoring, adaptive cruise control, Ready Alert Braking and Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is backed with a five-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. Pricing starts at $71,690. Roll-out begins later this year with 702 Launch Edition models.