The word ‘monster’ is often misused where it is used to describe things which are anything but that. But the new Ram 1500 TRX deserves that nickname for it is the quickest, fastest and the most powerful mass-produced pickup truck in the world.
Powered by a 6.2-litre supercharged HEMI V8, for this extreme machine, the motor cranks out 702 HP and nearly 880 Nm of colossal torque. Those numbers power this Yankee to a top speed of 118 mph. Combined with a high-torque-capacity TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, the Ram TRX dismisses 0-100 kph dash in 4.5 seconds and sprints a quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph. Impressive for something which can haul nearly 600 kilos of weight and tow 3.6-tonne of wheeled cargo.
The Ram TRX can wade through 2.6 feet of water and sits on 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory R18 All-Terrain tires. Unlike hood scoops you must’ve seen elsewhere, the one fitted here is responsible for 50 per cent of air entering the HEMI V-8 engine while the other 50 per cent enters through the grille. The Ram TRX uses two paths to draw in outside air and routes it to a large, 29-litre airbox that filters out dirt, sand, debris and water before getting anywhere near the engine. The innovative dual-path system pulls in outside air from a functional scoop in the hood and the upper edge of the grille. Air entering the grille flows to the bottom front of the air box, guided by tailored panels.
Launch Control is standard with the 2021 Ram TRX and manages tire slip while launching the vehicle to give the driver consistent straight-line acceleration. Wheel speed sensors watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and, in milliseconds, provide inputs to the powertrain control module to modify the engine torque to regain full grip. The Ram TRX is also equipped with Jump Detection, which uses wheel-speed and ride-height sensors and accelerometers at each corner to identify when the vehicle is airborne and acts to prevent driveline-damaging power spikes.
The 2021 Ram TRX uses performance-tuned software to pre-configure and distinguish five dynamic modes – Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow and Custom – enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. The drive modes separately control the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering. All modes use active slip control that prevents binding and excessive slip from front to rear. Custom mode allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance with selectable driving experience, offering a multitude of vehicle system combinations. Separately, the Ram TRX features three off-road modes – Mud/Sand, Rock and Baja – enabling drivers to choose a setting that best fits the terrain around them.
The Ram TRX is equipped with a new BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case that enables passage through any off-road obstruction or weather condition. This modified transfer case features upgraded internals for improved strength and durability. Ram TRX features a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and can be flat-towed while in neutral.
To protect critical components, including the front axle, transfer case, transmission pan and fuel tank, TRX employs five skid plates. A separate skid plate sits at the bottom of the front fascia, mitigating potential damage, and doubles as a belly pan. An all-new independent front suspension system with active damping uses high-strength aluminium to maintain overall strength and durability. The independent front suspension system includes new front upper and lower control arms made of forged aluminium with special attention paid to the caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. An approach angle of 30.2 degrees, breakover angle of 21.9 degrees, departure angle of 23.5 degrees and a ground clearance of 300mm allow the Ram TRX to go anywhere.
The 2021 Ram TRX uses an all-new rear suspension system with active damping and an exclusive five-link coil system. The frame’s hardpoints for the five-link suspension system differ when compared to a standard-issue Ram 1500 and allow the Dana 60 rear axle to travel up to 13 inches. The 2021 Ram TRX uses the proven five-link coil suspension configuration and provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf-spring system. At 600 millimetres in length, the robust rear springs are the largest ever applied on a non-commercial production vehicle. New 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks use precision-machined, single-piece construction comprised of rigid aluminium to reduce and dissipate heat and continuously adjust damping forces for optimal body control and terrain isolation. The adaptive performance shocks feature robust corrosion protection with a durable finish and directional-machined cooling fins aligned with airflow for more effective cooling.
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Inside, the 2021 Ram TRX is loaded with a fourth-generation Uconnect system and a 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen, a multifunction switch bank and the optional Trailer Reverse Steer Control. Redundant HVAC controls are located on both sides of the display. An audiophile-quality audio system is offered to immerse passengers in the ultimate sound experience, including a class-exclusive 900-watt premium Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers and 10-inch subwoofer. Ram TRX uses a 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) cluster that is exclusive to the model and features a lit TRX badge, unique TRX colours and graphics with reconfigurable gauges. The same graphics appear on the 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen, too.