There’s a new apex predator in town. The Ford Raptor’s newest nemesis, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX has debuted making its mark as the quickest, fastest, and most power mass-produced truck in the world.
From the terrain it can conquer to its performance stats, the new TRX is extreme. The full-size truck is built on a new frame that utilizes high-strength steel and hydroformed sections (this reduces the need for welds, which can weaken the frame) and is designed to take the rigors of life as a desert runner with ease.
The TRX is a variant of the Ram 1500 though it’s built on different architecture.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
Ram has made the TRX eight inches wider than the rest of the 1500 lineup. It has a six-inch wider track than those models and tires that are nine inches wide – one inch wider than those that come on the traditional 1500 models.
As part of the design, Ram’s engineers shifted the front axle forward 20 millimeters to accommodate the truck’s 35-inch tires, which are available with 18-inch beadlock-ready wheels with accent color-matched rings. The standard Goodyear Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain tires were exclusively developed for the model. Wheel travel is greater than 13 inches at all four corners – 40 percent more than the rest of Ram 1500 lineup.
At the front of the truck is a “RAM” badge, which sits inside a shapely black grille and has a flow-through design that assists with cooling. All-black LED headlights with bi-functional projector headlamps are standard. A functional air curtain sits just outboard of the headlamps.
A functional hood scoop supplies 50 percent of the airflow to the engine.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
There’s five skid plates and steel bumpers. At the sides of the bumper are LED clearance marker lights.
The truck has an aluminum hood that is specific to the model and features bright LED clearance lights that are integrated in the hood scoop. Fifty percent of the air that flows to the truck’s engine enters through the hood scoop while the other half comes through the grille. Twin heavy-duty air filters deliver 198.4 square inches of filter surface area – that’s four times the dust trapping capacity of the closest competitor.
Buyers can add full-length rock rails or off-road powder-coated aluminum running boards. Body-side and hood graphics are also available.
The box of the TRX has outers that are wider than the traditional Ram 1500. It is available with a bed-mounted spare tire carrier. A full-size spare tire that sits underneath the bed between the Dana 60 solid rear axle and trailer hitch.
A spare tire, mounted in the bed, is available.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
At the back are LED taillamps. Bezels on the taillamps allow for the truck’s blind spot monitoring technology to see around the extended box outers. A large “RAM” badge stretches across the center of the tailgate while center identification marker lights are tucked between the tailgate and rear bumper. Oversized tow hooks are found at the front and rear. Five-inch dual exhaust ports complete the backside.
Powering the truck is FCA’s beloved supercharged 6.2-liter V8 Hellcat engine, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated at 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. It propels the truck from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and to 100 mph in 10.5 seconds. The truck can go a quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph. The speedometer tops out at 118 mph.
A full-time active transfer case matches with the powertrain. An electronic locking rear differential and launch control are standard.
The Ram 1500 TRX comes standard with a host of equipment designed for driving on- and off-road with ease.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
The truck employs technology similar to what you’ll find in the Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock. The TRX’s Jump Detection technology uses wheel-speed and ride-height sensors and accelerometers at each corner to identify when the vehicle is airborne at launch and acts to prevent driveline-damaging power spikes. The tech can react in milliseconds and modifies engine speed and torque, gear selection, transfer case torque split, damping rates and other components to deliver optimum performance.
Ram has designed a new five-link coil suspension just for the TRX. It features an independent front suspension system with active damping. There are forged aluminum front upper and lower control arms. There are front and rear 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks that were designed just for the TRX.
The truck has 11.8 inches ground clearance thanks to a two-inch lift over the rest of the 1500 lineup. The model is capable of fording up to 32 inches of water and towing up to 8,100 pounds. It has a maximum payload capacity of 1,310 pounds.
The model has 32 inches of fording capability.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
It has an approach angle of 30.2 degrees, breakover angle of 21.9 degrees, and departure angle of 23.5 degrees.
Ram has given the TRX five on-road drive modes: Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow, and Custom. There’s also three off-road modes: Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja. The modes can separately control the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering. All on-road modes use active slip control. The truck’s drive mode selector and launch control button are integrated into the dashboard.
Stopping power comes from four-wheel disc brakes that has the feel of their power enhanced by a hydraulic compensation unit. In the front are two-piston monoblock calipers that are paired with 15-inch rotors. The rear features single piston calipers and the same size rotors.
Ram designed the truck to be a desert runner.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
Inside, the truck is well-appointed – just like the rest of the 1500 lineup. Upholstery options include premium cloth and vinyl, premium wrapped leather and suede, or premium wrapped leather and suede with available red and carbon fiber accents. Heated and ventilated seats are available. Front seats are freshly designed for the model and offer enhanced bolster support and embroidered logos.
Ram has given the model a new SRT-signature flat-bottom steering wheel that has its hand grips wrapped in leather with suede and available with suede ad carbon fiber accents. The wheel is accompanied by aluminum paddle shifters.
There’s no rotary shifter in TRX. The performance floor shifter has a cast metal main grip that is wrapped with semi-perforated leather.
The interior of the model is posh, especially in its highest grade.
Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
The truck takes FCA’s technology offerings to the max as well. Its infotainment system runs on the fourth generation of Uconnect, which is displayed on a 12-inch fully configurable touch screen. The new edition of Uconnect, Uconnnect 5, is beginning its rollout now but won’t make it to the TRX quite yet.
In front of the driver is a seven-inch information screen within the cluster that features unique TRX graphics and badging. Also in front of the driver is an available head-up display that can show five different content areas at once, including safety system information. This is the first FCA model to have a head-up display.
Like other models in the FCA lineup, the TRX gets performance pages. These can be viewed on the model’s infotainment screen or the driver information screen. The Off-Road Pages show ride height, the transfer case’s position, the pitch and roll of the vehicle and accessory gauges.
A seven-inch driver information screen is at the center of the instrument panel.
Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
The truck comes with a 19-speaker plus subwoofer Harman Kardon audio system. It’s the most powerful audio system available in a pickup.
A forward-facing camera is part of the available Surround View Camera system. It can be accessed through the Off-Road Pages. A digital rearview mirror is also available.
Additionally, the truck’s reimagined center console features a wireless charging dock and five USB ports (including Type A and C).
The truck comes with more than 100 available advanced safety and driver security features including blind spot monitoring, rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and electronic roll mitigation.
Mopar will offer more than 100 factory-engineered, quality-tested performance parts and accessories for the all-new 2021 Ram TRX and more than 600 across the entire 2021 Ram Truck brand lineup.
Mopar will sell over 100 accessories that can be added to the model.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
Ram is backing each new TRX with a five-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty as well as a three-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty.
Pricing for the 2021 Ram TRX starts at $69,995 plus $1,695 in destination and delivery charges. A Launch Edition of the model is available for $88,620 plus the destination fee, making the most expensive variant top $90,000 based on sticker price.
The 2021 Ram TRX will be built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan.