For a while there, Ford owned the off-road full-size truck market with absolutely no competition in sight, making the F-150 Raptor the only option for folks looking for a brand new mean-looking and desert-running oversized truck. That changes now with the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX.
Named after the T-Rex (because, you know, it’s going up against the Raptor), the vehicle is billed as “the apex predator of the truck world.” We know, that sounds corny as heck, but if you like big trucks that can run through backcountry trails and sand dunes even though you mostly drive it to buy groceries in the city, this sounds exactly like the kind of truck you’ll want waiting in the garage.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is powered by the Hellcat engine – yes, the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 engine that’s been tuned to put out 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a ZF eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission and a traction-enhancing launch-control system (which is awesomely activated via a big button on the dashboard), the powertrain can propel the truck from standstill to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, all while reaching top speeds of 118 mph. Yes, all that sounds absurdly fast for a pickup and, well, we guess that’s the whole point. Because it’s meant to run in rugged off-road conditions, it gets heavy duty filters for trapping four times as much dust as the competition before sending air to the engine, as well as raised inlets that give it a 32-inch water fording capacity, so the Hellcat rumbling under the hood can perform its best under any situation.
It uses thicker high-strength steel for the underlying frame, along with fully-boxed side rails and hydroformed frame sections, ensuring the whole thing will hold up to jumps, hard impacts, and all sorts of rough encounters. Bilstein Black Hawk adaptive shocks provide the necessary damping, which it continuously adjusts to best handle any terrain it encounters, while a five-link coil suspension on the rear and an independent front suspension help raise it 11.8 inches off the ground, complete with up to 13 inches of rear wheel travel. It boasts a 30.2-degree approach angle, 21.9-degree breakover angle, and 23.5-degree departure angle.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is eight inches wider than a standard Ram 1500, with a wider track, wider wheels, and large 35-inch tires. It has five total skid plates to protect all the parts underneath when it comes in contact with obstacles and debris during off-road excursions, as well as optional full-length rails in case you plan to take it rock crawling. Basically, it’s the biggest, baddest truck in the Ram fleet.
Inside, it looks equally as aggressive, with an SRT flat-bottom steering wheel, a digitized instrument panel, and a 12-inch infotainment system making it look more like a performance racer than an off-roading pickup. Oh yeah, there’s a specs plate on the center console that makes sure you never forget you’re driving a truck with 702 horsepower at its disposal.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX will start production in the fourth quarter. You can preorder now, with prices starting at $70,095.