Sep
09
Future Collectibles: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Collectible Automobile Magazine

Note: The following story was excerpted from the October 2021 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.

Over two generations, Ford’s F-150 Raptor has demonstrated there’s a market for high-performance trucks with serious off-road capability. As Ford prepared the third-generation Raptor, Ram introduced the 1500 TRX as a 2021 model, which it said was inspired by the idea of a powerful truck capable of off-road speeds over 100 mph. The company called TRX the “Apex Predator of the Truck World,” communicating Ram’s belief the Raptor has been big-footed by their meaner “Tyrannosaurus rex.” One-upmanship aside, this beast swooped into the craziness known as 2020 and we think it’s one of the year’s four-wheeled highlights.

Future Collectibles: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Ram offered the aggressively sporting TRX only as a four-door Crew Cab with a five foot, seven inch bed. TRXs sprout unique front fenders and bedsides, along with composite fender flares, which help make them eight inches wider than workaday Ram 1500s. These changes accommodate TRX’s six-inch-wider track and beefy 35-inch off-road rubber. Other unique exterior features include a hood with a functional air-intake scoop, a specific grille assembly, bumpers with integrated tow hooks, and—because of the truck’s width—federally mandated marker lights. 

Under the scooped hood there is a 702-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 backed by a beefy eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s the now-familiar powertrain first seen in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, though Ram doesn’t use the Hellcat moniker for it. The few TRX-specific tweaks include a relocated alternator that helps the truck ford water up to 32 inches deep and a new oil pan.

The blown Hemi bolts into a TRX-specific steel ladder frame that the company says is 74-percent different from the standard Ram 1500 foundation. The heavy-duty hardware is off-road centric and includes new front and rear suspensions. The front axle comes from ZF, and the rear is a Dana 60 with full-floating hubs and an electronically controlled locking differential. Each coil-sprung corner has an active Bilstein shock with remote reservoirs. There is 11.8 inches of ground clearance, critical hardware is protected by five skid plates, and the tires are TRX-specific 325/65R18 Goodyears. Other highlights include a Jump Detection system that can sense when the vehicle is airborne (it’s primarily a dune-runner after all) and protect the powertrain from damage upon landing.

We think any TRX is pretty special, but the sold-out Launch Edition was limited to only 702 copies. It was a $12,150 option package that included “Anvil” battleship gray exterior paint that wasn’t otherwise available on TRX.

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Pros: 

Traction and acceleration are jaw-dropping. According to Ram, zero to 60 mph takes 4.5 seconds, and 0-100 only 10.5. This 6350-pound truck can cover the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph, literally leaving a Raptor in its dust.

• Surprisingly comfortable, refined, and well behaved on road. Perhaps even less expected, an optioned-up TRX is legitimately luxurious inside.

Cons:

• Not a cheap date. Prices start at $71,690 and can approach six figures with aggressive use of the options list. Consumer Guide®’s test trucks stickered for $89,860 and $91,205.

• A big truck with a ground-pounding Hemi that only drinks premium means eye-popping bills at the gas pump. Combined city/highway fuel economy is an estimated 12 mpg. CG wasn’t able to break 11. Ouch.

Final Drive:

Of all the supercharged, Hemi-powered Mopars we’ve looked at for Future Collectibles, the Ram 1500 TRX might be the most impressive. While it looks and performs like a desert racer, TRX is also completely happy on the road. If any modern-day Ram 1500 has a shot at collectibility, it’s this one.

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 Future Collectibles: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX