The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Takes Aim at the Ford Raptor

The Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX is here. After a few concepts, a few auto shows and a few false starts the Ram TRX—it lost the Rebel name in transit—arrives in the fourth quarter of 2020.

a car driving down a dirt road: The Baja-inspired street truck market just doubled in size with the addition of the Ram 1500 TRX.

© Ram
The Baja-inspired street truck market just doubled in size with the addition of the Ram 1500 TRX.

As expected, the TRX will house a Hellcat 6.2-liter supercharged V8 under the hood. It will deliver 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Using an eight-speed automatic transmission, the TRX reach a top speed is 118 mph. Furthermore, 60 mph is just 4.5 seconds away with the help of launch control. Traveling a quarter-mile takes 12.9 seconds, reaching a speed of 108 mph. For reference, the Ford F-150 Raptor does the 0-60 mph sprint in 5.5 seconds.

Air traveling in to the combustion chamber to make the aforementioned power, must first get through the air box that filters out dust and water. That 29-liter box has a drain in the bottom to get rid of the water, even while driving. The air is then sucked in through twin heavy-duty air filters, which Ram notes has four times the dust trapping capacity compared to its closest competitor.

The Ram 1500 TRX is 8 inches wider than the basic Ram 1500.

© Ram
The Ram 1500 TRX is 8 inches wider than the basic Ram 1500.

The Ram TRX is eight inches wider than the Ram 1500, six of that is more track width, the other two is in fender flares. That covers the new 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 tires and bead lock wheels. The front axle is also shifted an inch or so forward.

It has a Dana 60 rear axle that uses an axle hop damper to improve traction and a BorgWarner 48-13 active transfer case. The TRX has a low-range ratio of 2.64:1 for rock crawling.

The Ram TRX has a ground clearance figure of 11.8 inches—its 2 inches higher than the rest of the 1500 lineup—and gets five skid plates to protect the important stuff. A new independent front suspension has active damping with longer aluminum control arms. In back, the Ram TRX continues with a five-link and coil springs. Those rear wheels now can travel up to 13 inches.

The TRX gets adaptive, 2.5-inch Bilstein shocks with dual electronic proportional valves “for precise, independent control of compression and rebound damping.” The system uses stainless steel braided high-pressure hose to stop corrosion and a lightweight rock shield protects the piston rods. It has a urethane jounce bumper, but also a jounce cut off that creates three zones for progressive bottom-out during big jumps. But all modes can reach peak compression damping.

a close up of a motorcycle: The Ram 1500 TRX gets new Bilstein shocks.

© Ram
The Ram 1500 TRX gets new Bilstein shocks.

The TRX has an approach angle of 30.2 degrees, departure angle of 23.5 degrees and a breakover angle of 21.9 degrees.

Speaking of jumps, the TRX has a system that senses the truck being airborne and “in milliseconds, modifies engine speed and torque, gear selection, transfer case torque split, damping rates and other powertrain and suspension components.”

The Ram TRX will feature five drive modes: auto, sport, tow, snow and custom, as well as three off-road modes including mud/sand, rock and Baja.

There are three interior options including a cloth/vinyl, leather and suede and premium leather and suede with red and carbon fiber accents. TR1 and TR2 equipment groups set the TRX up like a Limited trim with heated and cooled leather seats. Those groups also include Greystone stitching and graphite metallic accents. The TR2 offers red stitching and carbon fiber as options.

a motorcycle parked on the seat of a car: The top TRX interior will come with red accents and carbon fiber.

© Ram
The top TRX interior will come with red accents and carbon fiber.

Look for a flat-bottom steering wheel, embroidered seats and a console floor shifter, but we’re guessing paddle shifters will do most of the work in the desert. The drive mode selector is integrated above the transfer case switches.

On the tech front, buyers get a head-up display on TR2 models, a 12-inch Uconnect screen comes standard. There you’ll find performance and off-road pages with situation-relevant information. The Ram TRX can also be optioned with a 360-degree camera including a front facing one, which is crucial when cresting hills out in the wilderness. A standard digital rearview mirror shows what’s behind you regardless of cargo and payload.

Now, your loyalty to the TRX will probably depend on your loyalty to Dodge over its natural enemy, the Ford F-150 Raptor. If you don’t swear fealty to one or the other, it’s a good time to be in the market for a high-speed off-road pickup.

We’ll find out pricing closer to launch.

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