The problem is that words can’t explain it adequately. Numbers do a better job.
- 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 that produces 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque
- TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission
- 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds; 0 to 100 mph in 10.5 seconds; quarter mile in 12.9 seconds (108 mph)
- Top speed: 118 mph
The Ram TRX. A truck that can eat rocks. (Images: FCA)
Let me stop there for a moment. Look at those speeds. The curb weight is 6,350 pounds. More than three tons. And the vehicle is massive. It is 232.9 inches long, with a 67-inch box. It is 80.9 inches high (and with an 11.8-inch ground clearance, it is a bit of a challenge hoisting oneself into the cab). The width is 88 inches (there are integrated composite fender flares that add 8 inches to the width) and the wheelbase is 145.1 inches.
The TRX is massive, like a, yes, T-Rex.
- Dana 60 solid rear axle with a 3.55 ratio
- 2.6-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks
- >13-inch wheel travel all around as the vehicle traverses those places where, well, people drive where most people don’t drive (and at high speeds, as those just-mentioned shocks are engineered to provide fast reaction times and superb heat dissipation at speeds in excess of 100 mph)
- 25-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 all-terrain tires are wrapped around 18-inch x 9-inch aluminum wheels
- Maximum payload of 1,310 pounds and a max trailer tow of 8,100 pounds
The point of rolling out with all of these numbers is simply to point out that this is a truck that is built to operate under the most trying of off-road conditions.
- Up to 32 inches of water fording
But an interesting thing is that the vehicle, despite the fact that in the mornings when you start it you’re going to frighten your neighbors each and every time, even though it has an air intake system that includes a 29-liter air box to filter out dirt, sand, debris, and water prior to reaching that burbling HEMI (not an issue when you start it up in your driveway, of course) can actually be driven, well, to wherever it is that you need to be going, even in cases that where you are going is to a grocery store that isn’t separated from you by a desert, tundra, mountain, glacier or other impediments.
Yes, it is a comfortable vehicle that one could use as a daily driver without needing to wear a kidney belt.
Comfortable, even if you aren’t crawling rocks or fording a river.
One of the ways to know whether the vehicle you’re driving is special is to note the reaction of other people. You would be surprised at how many people don’t seem all that interested in vehicles that are absolutely brand new and consequently rare. You might as well be driving a Ford Taurus or something.
A sign of authenticity.
But when turning into a subdivision there was a guy who was behind the wheel of his Ram 1500, I think it was a 2020 Rebel Black or Night Edition (it wasn’t a simple contractor’s version by any means).
As I swung by, I thought his neck was going to snap as he tracked the truck.
Some might look at that word crazy in the subheadline and think to themselves that that might be a bit extreme.
What I think is extreme—and mind you, I get that people will put these things to good use but it is something beyond my reasonable comprehension—are these:
- Jump Detection: Wheel-speed and ride-height sensors, in combination with the accelerometers at all four corners, determine when the TRX is in the air and modifies the engine speed and torque, gear selection, transfer case torque split, damping rates and other settings so that when it returns to Earth there aren’t driveline-damaging power spikes.
- Launch Control: This is the sort of setting that is found on products from the Dodge brand, but here it is on the TRX. Its purpose is to manage tire slip when mashing the gas pedal such that the vehicle goes straight, modifying the engine torque so there’s no wheel hop. Remember: this is a pickup truck.
The curb weight is 6,350 pounds. Yet, as you can see, it can fly.
When the truck was introduced, Mike Koval, head of Ram Brand, FCA—North America, said, “The all-new 2021 Ram TRX sets the benchmark for extreme performance pickup trucks and solidifies Ram Truck’s position as the off-road truck leader.”
And you’d expect the man who is running the operations to say that.
But you go back and look at those specs. And you realize he is not overstating anything.
One more number about the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Crew Cab 4x4:
That is the number, in dollars, on the window sticker.
The base price is $69,995. Then there is $1,695 for delivery. And the vehicle as driven had a few options, such as a dual-pane panoramic sunroof ($1,495), and 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio ($1,195), just to name two.
It is a lot of money.
But the TRX is a lot of truck.
The thing about the Wrangler Willys Wheeler: It is a toy for a grown-up boy.
The Mazda CX-5 first appeared on the scene in 2012, and for 2017, the vehicle has undergone some major transformations, to enhance what was already a notable small crossover.
The only back-seat driver in designing automotive seats and trim covers is PLM. That’s a good thing.