2021 Ram 1500 TRX first drive review: Yep, we got it airborne

    “Now as you come around to the ramps, you’ll want to be doing about 55, 60 miles per hour,” my co-driver shouts over the roar of the engine whereas rocks and grime blast the pickup’s undercarriage. “That’ll get you the best height and distance for the jumps and set you up to start braking for the next turn.”Yes, jumps. I’m behind the wheel of the 702-horsepower 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, some of the excessive and overbuilt efficiency vans Ram has ever produced. And because the wheels depart the bottom and the cacophony is changed with an eerie silence, I’m beginning to perceive simply how insane this apex predator actually is.

    Heart of a HellcatRam’s engineers adopted a well-known system: Take a well-liked Fiat-Chrysler product and dump the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 from the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats into the engine bay. Pat your self on the again; you have earned a beer.

    Of course, there’s a lot extra to it than that. In the Ram TRX, that engine breathes by way of a brand new dual-path induction system that mixes air drawn by way of its practical hood scoop and with consumption from the grille on the underside of a large 29-liter airbox. Ram tells me that this design helps to tumble the air contained in the field, shaking out sand and water earlier than it passes by way of twin 8×12-inch air filters. With a complete of 198.4 sq. inches of filter floor space, Ram claims that is the “largest air filter in the segment.” The TRX additionally contains a distinctive, high-flow exhaust with 5-inch resonators and exhaust suggestions.The modifications to the Hemi’s respiratory imply the TRX makes simply 702 horsepower (versus the Hellcats’ 717-plus) with 650 pound-feet of torque, which it sends although an eight-speed computerized transmission to a four-wheel-drive system. That’s greater than sufficient energy to launch the 6,350-pound TRX from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and onward to 100 mph in 10.5 seconds. The truck will even run the quarter-mile in simply 12.9 ticks. The TRX launches shortly and powerfully, instantly discovering traction, even on a mud runway.

    This huge boi is 8 inches wider than a regular Ram 1500.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    Suspension upgradesIn some ways, the suspension and chassis upgrades to the Ram 1500 TRX are much more spectacular than the powertrain as a result of they’re a lot extra intensive. The TRX’s body relies on that of a Ram 1500 Crew Cab, however is modified with over 70% new elements to enhance power and rigidity, and to utterly change the truck’s suspension geometry. The pickup’s flared physique is 8 inches wider than a regular Ram 1500, accommodating a 6-inch enhance in each the entrance and rear tracks.

    The TRX sits 2 inches taller than the usual 1500, boosting its floor clearance to 11.8 inches and its water fording depth to 32 inches. The entrance wheels are moved ahead by 0.6 inch, rising the wheelbase barely and releasing up room for beefier suspension parts and 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tires, mounted on 18×9-inch wheels (or optionally available beadlock-capable wheels of comparable spec that enable ultra-low tire strain for crawling).The TRX’s suspension and chassis upgrades are maybe extra thrilling than the 700-horsepower engine.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    You’ll discover an unbiased suspension up entrance and a stable rear axle with coil springs and cast aluminum parts throughout. At all 4 corners, you may additionally discover 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk E2 adaptive dampers with distant reservoirs controlling the motion of the suspension. Up entrance, the TRX has 13 inches of wheel journey, with 14 inches of journey on the rear axle. (You can test our spec comparability to learn — and watch — how the Ram 1500 TRX stacks up in opposition to the Ford F-150 Raptor.)On the streetOn paved roads, the TRX feels assured with, in fact, nice acceleration off the road and surprisingly easy shifts from its eight-speed computerized transmission. The rumble of the V8 exhaust is ever current, however by no means annoying. The journey continues to be body-on-frame truck-like, however it’s no extra floaty than the usual 1500, which already has fairly managed journey.The TRX contains a complete of eight drive modes, plus a valet setting. Highway miles are greatest spent toggling between the default and properly balanced Auto setting and Sport, which sharpens the steering, suspension, transmission and stability management. Ultimately, I discovered it greatest to create a Custom setting that blends the 2. There are additionally modes for Snow, Mud/Sand, Towing, Rocks and Baja.From the 12-inch contact show, drivers can customise their TRX’s efficiency for a variety of situations.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    You work together with the drive modes utilizing a mixture of bodily controls and the usual 12-inch Uconnect 4C infotainment system. Ram says that that is the primary implementation of its Performance Pages software program with the massive 12-incher, which additionally options menus for monitoring off-road metrics like wheel articulation, steering angle and axle locker standing. Of course, the infotainment software program nonetheless boasts the entire tech options that I like in the usual 1500, together with SiriusXM 360L integration, customary Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, Uconnect Apps and extra. You’ll additionally discover a ton of bodily charging choices for telephones and tech, together with a complete of 5 USB-A ports and 5 USB-C ports cut up between the entrance and rear rows, in addition to a wi-fi charging pad on the base of the dashboard.The pickup can be had with a contemporary suite of driver-assistance applied sciences, together with blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise management, ahead pre-collision warning with brake help and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping help. Keep checking bins so as to add a full-color head-up show and a rear digicam mirror.Drive modes and 4WD settings could be shortly toggled with these controls. Notice that there are not any 2WD modes.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    Off-road performancePlaying round at Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, Nevada, I’m capable of first check the Ram TRX’s crawling capacity over a reasonably steep rock hill climb overlooking the race course. Setting the drive mode to Rock, the switch case to its 2.64:1 4WD Low vary and locking the Dana 60 rear axle units the truck up for high-torque, slow-speed climbing. With assistance from Ram’s spotters and the TRX’s beneficiant method (30.2), departure (23.5) and breakover (21.9) angles, the TRX makes quick and comparatively simple work of the climb.While ready for my activate the observe, I’m capable of discover the rocky grounds surrounding the course, testing the Selec-Speed Control — a form of off-road cruise management inherited from the Jeep Wrangler — on one other low-speed climb up a unfastened grade. The TRX’s dampers do a unbelievable job of absorbing some enormous bumps at pace, jostling me round within the deeply bolstered driver’s seat fairly a bit, however nonetheless feeling nigh unstoppable over a two-track path. In the airSetting the TRX’s drive mode to Baja lets the 4WD, gearbox, steering, and stability management techniques know that it is time for enterprise. Meanwhile, Baja units the suspension for max journey and management wanted for high-speed grime driving. I enter the course on the high of an enormous hill. Then it is a stomach-churning drop right down to the entrance straight and instantly over a small hop. Then it is into the whoops, a washboard sequence of bumps that check the Bilstein suspension and Ram’s Active Terrain Dynamics software program, which may react each 20 milliseconds to maintain the truck balanced and managed.I used to be inspired to essentially check the bounds of the TRX’s superior suspension.
    Ram Trucks
    After a sweeping left-hander (that I used to be inspired to float), it is time for the massive bounce. Lining up for one more downhill method, I level the pickup on the grime ramp and mat the accelerator, reaching the really helpful 55-mph pace earlier than taking to the air.The TRX completely flies, and lands with such grace that I’m wondering if Ram ought to have as a substitute referred to as this tyrannosaurus a pteranodon. Looking again at my pictures, I estimate the massive bounce was a little bit over 60 toes (about three and a half truck lengths) from takeoff to touchdown, reaching a peak of about 24 inches. All 13 inches of suspension journey are used when touchdown, the dampers permitting for full compression whereas progressively firming close to the tip of journey with as much as one ton of damping power at every nook to stop bottoming out.Wheels again on the bottom, I let loose a whoop of my very own earlier than getting exhausting on the 15-inch, four-wheel disc brakes for a pointy left-hander. Kicking up an enormous rooster tail, I snake my method again up the hill to do all of it once more… 5 extra instances.Ram’s Truckasaurus shouldn’t be a sensible alternative, however it’s positively a ton of enjoyable.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    Availability and pricingStarting at $71,690 (together with a $1,695 vacation spot cost), the Ram 1500 TRX is considerably costlier than the $58,135 Ford F-150 Raptor TremendousCrew’s. Fully loaded, you are round $95Ok for the TR2 trim degree with all of the optionally available fixings. Plus, the T. rex’s 10 miles per gallon metropolis and 14 mpg freeway rankings are worse than the Raptor’s 15 metropolis and 18 freeway estimates, which means you may additionally pay extra on the pump.That stated, the TRX is an even bigger, extra highly effective predator than the Raptor with simply over 250 extra ponies at its beck and name. It’s additionally bought a extra superior suspension, notably on the rear axle the place the Raptor’s nonetheless rocking leaf springs. (Rumor has it that Ford might strike again with V8 energy and a coil spring setup of its personal for the next-generation Raptor.)The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX shouldn’t be a sensible truck, however it’s fairly probably probably the most enjoyable and most insane pickup you should buy at present.

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