Should You Order A TRX Now, Or Wait For The 2021 Raptor?
… Or Grab A 2020 Raptor Off The Lot?
The day has finally arrived, and we can now talk all about Ram's amazing new off-road machine, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. Equipped with a powerful 702-hp 6.2L V-8 engine, 35-inch tires, gobs of wheel travel, and loads of luxury, this is the truck that we've all been waiting for. Order banks open up today, August 18, 2020, with trucks being delivered by Christmas, according to Ram.
Front and center of all the hype surrounding TRX is how it compares to Ford's F-150 Raptor. It's a natural comparison, as Ford has had the performance off-road segment largely to itself for more than a decade. Although any comparison is purely anecdotal at this point, as the TRX won't hit dirt for a few more months, many are asking the question, "Should I order a TRX or wait for the upcoming 2021 Raptor?"
Nothing is official about the 2021 F-150 Raptor as of yet, but Ford has stated that an updated version of the truck will be introduced at some point this year. And given Ford's propensity for waiting just long enough to see what the competition is doing before making any big announcements, we'd expect to see the new 2021 Raptor soon.
From the mules we've seen running around, it would appear that the new truck will be equipped with a five-link rear suspension, much like the Ram TRX. We know the truck will also be loaded with the same new technology as announced in the standard 2021 F-150, which includes a 12-inch infotainment screen—that has been one of Ram's big talking points since introducing the current generation Ram 1500 in 2019). And we're plenty certain that Ford has more tricks up their sleeve for this presumed third generation of Raptor.
So, for those in the market for an off-road-focused factory pickup in 2020, what's the right move? There are a few questions that will help guide the decision, assuming there's no brand loyalty at play. First off, do you want a 702-hp supercharged V-8 engine? If the answer is yes, then hurry on down to the Ram dealer, and get your name on the list. We suspect that Ford's high-output EcoBoost V-6 isn't going away and would be surprised if a V-8 returned for 2021.
Second, is your purchase constrained by price? If you have about $75,000 to spend, we'd lean on the side of Raptor. For that price, you can have a fully loaded F-150 Raptor; however, that price will get you just the base TRX after destination charges. A fully loaded TRX with options will quickly push past $90,000. And this is assuming no dealer markup on both vehicles.
Do you like having the newest truck in the neighborhood? If so, then the TRX is for you! Ram states there will be no limits on how many TRX trucks are built, but we can say for sure the roll out will be slow and deliberate. Thus, ordering one of the first trucks will ensure that you have the only one in the neighborhood, at least for a while. Second-generation (2017-2020) Raptors fill the streets of SoCal near our headquarters, leading one to think that Ford is giving them away.
On the flip side, do you want proven technology? If there's no rush to be first, Ford has been building Raptors since 2010 and has had plenty of time to iron out the wrinkles. So, if you're more in the "wait and see" camp, then skipping the first generation of TRX and heading to the Ford dealer would be a solid move.
The moral of the story is this: either way you choose you'll be a winner. Both Raptor and TRX are a solid choice for those looking for a factory-backed performance off-road machine. We can also say with some certainty that interest will be very high for both trucks, so whichever you choose, be sure to get in line early. And be prepared to pay above asking price. We've seen it with halo vehicles in the past, and this time looks to be no different. We expect the initial batch of both to fetch between $10,000 and $30,000 over sticker. You've been warned.
But wait, I want a truck now! And there's no way I'm paying over MSRP for one. If this is you, then you're in luck. The 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor is still a fantastic choice, and dealers have a pretty solid inventory on lots. Best of all, they can be had for at—or a couple grand below—sticker price right now. The deals may get better closer to launch of the 2021, but the selection might get shorter as well. And if you desire an extended cab truck, you had better get one quick because if the rumors are true, Raptor is going crew-cab only for 2021, as well. Happy hunting!