2021 Ram 1500 TRX: The Wait for a Hellcat-Powered Truck Is Over
Ram's hot-rod off-road truck was officially unveiled on August 17.
The Ram TRX debuted as a concept at the 2016 State Fair of Texas as a too-good-to-be-true potential rival of the Ford F-150 Raptor. As the years passed, we feared the idea of a big-engine production TRX had fizzled, joining the collection of awesome concepts that could have—and would have—been cool if they hit the streets. However, Ram's assertion that the TRX is alive and well has been confirmed by the announcement of a specific day and time that we the people (not just we the media) will get to learn more about the Raptor fighter.
But is the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX actually going to be a go-fast, long-travel desert runner in the mold of the Raptor? Or will it be more of a baby Power Wagon, equipped with a winch, underbody protection, and all the necessary bits for optimal overlanding? Or will it combine the two?
A cryptic commercial teasing the Ram 1500 TRX states, "there are places you thought you could never could go, until now. " Here's the big question: What are these places? Desert? Rocks? Trails? Mountaintops, as the crow flies? Race tracks? Extended trips off the grid? For what kind of off-roading will the TRX be tailored? (To be fair, the only places we haven't really taken production pickup trucks are on the water or on the moon, and we really don't think the TRX is amphibious or spaceworthy.)
Ram describes the TRX as a performance-focused off-road pickup, perhaps alluding to the element that gives the TRX a leg up on its competition: engine performance. Apparently, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX will have a supercharged Hellcat 6.2-liter V-8 churning out as much as 710 horsepower—to which we say, hell yeah! That sounds too good to be true in a production pickup, but if so—and Dodge has done it with its Durango SUV—that would seem to be a direct shot at the gen-2 Ford Raptor's twin-turbo 450-hp, 510-lb-ft 3.5-liter V-6, which is the only engine option. Ram's 5.7-liter Hemi could be standard engine for the TRX. No matter what, if the TRX is in any way considered a Raptor fighter, it would be advantageous for it to have a V-8 that handily beats the Ford's output, and that's certainly what we expect. And if we may dare to dream, while there's no chance, wouldn't it be sweet if the TRX offered a manual transmission?
All our questions about the Ram TRX, the performance-focused off-road version of Truck Trend's 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year, should at last be answered.