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

“Now when you come to the ramp, you will want to walk at a speed of about 55, 60 mph,” my co-driver shouted at the roar of the engine as the rocks and dirt explode the undercharge of the pickup. “This will give you the best height and distance for the jump and you have to start braking for the next turn.”

Yes, jumps. I’m behind the wheel of a 702-horsepower 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, One of the most extreme and extreme construction trucks Rama has ever built. And as the wheels leave the ground and the cacophony is replaced with a terrible silence, I am beginning to understand how crazy this top predator really is.

Heart of a hell

Ram’s engineers followed a familiar formula: take a popular Fiat-Chrysler product and dump the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi H8 Dodge Challenger And Charger SRT Hellcats In the engine bay. Pat yourself on the back; You have earned a beer.

Of course, there is much more to it. In the Ram TRX, this engine breathes through a new dual-path induction system that mixes the air drawn through its functional hood scoop and intake from the grille under a huge 29-liter airbox. Ram tells me that the design helps vent the air inside the box, shaking the sand and water before it passes through the twin 8×12-inch air filters. With a total of 198.4 square inches of filter surface area, Ram claims that it is the “largest air filter in the segment”. The TRX also features a unique, high-flow exhaust with a 5-inch resonator and exhaust tips.

A change in Hemi’s breath means that TRX makes In college 602 horsepower (as opposed to Hellcats K-1 plus-plus) with 750 pound-feet of torque, which sends it to a four-wheel-drive system with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is more than enough power to launch a TRX of 6,350 pounds at 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and 100 mph in 10.5 seconds. The truck will also run a quarter-mile in 12.9 ticks. The TRX launches quickly and powerfully, instantly detecting traction, even on a dirt runway.

This wide Boi is 8 inches wider than the standard Ram 1500.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

Suspension upgrade

In many ways, the RAM 1500 TRX’s suspension and chassis upgrades are more impressive than the powertrain because they are so much wider. The TRX’s frame is based on the Ram 1500 crew cab, but has been revised with more than 70% new parts to improve strength and rigidity and to completely change the suspension geometry of the truck. The flared body of the pickup is 8 inches wider than the standard Ram 1500, with an increase of 6 inches in both front and rear tracks.

The TRX sits 2 inches longer than the standard 1500, increasing its ground clearance to 11.8 inches and its water depth to 32 inches. The front wheels are 0.6 inch forward, slightly increased wheelbase for beefier suspension components and free-up room and 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tires, 18×9-inch wheels (or similar alternative-wheeldock-like) Allow ultra-low tire pressure for creep applied on wheels).

The TRX’s suspension and chassis upgrade is probably more exciting than the 700-horsepower engine.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

You’ll get an independent suspension up front and a solid rear axle with coil springs and forged aluminum components. On all four corners, you’ll find 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk E2 adaptive dampers, which control the suspension speed with remote reservoirs. The TRX has a 13-inch wheel travel, with 14-inch travel on the rear axle. (You can check our imagination to read – and see – how Ram 1500 TRX stacked against Ford F-150 Raptor.)

On the road

On paved roads, the TRX, of course, feels confident with great acceleration off the line and surprisingly smooth innings from its eight-speed automatic transmission. V8 exhaust rumble is sometimes present, but never annoying. The ride is still like a body-on-frame truck, but it is no more floaty than the standard 1500, which already has a very controlled ride.

The TRX has a total of eight drive modes, as well as a valet setting. Highway miles are toggled between the default and well-balanced auto setting and Sport, which accelerates steering, suspension, transmission and stability control. Ultimately I liked creating custom settings that blend the two. There are also modes of Snow, Mud / Sand, Towing, Rocks and Baja.

The 12-inch touch display allows drivers to customize the performance of their TRX for a wide range of situations.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

You interact with the drive mode using a combination of physical control and a standard 12-inch Uconnect 4C infotainment system. Ram says this is the first implementation of its display page software with a large 12-inch, which also has menus to monitor off-road metrics such as wheel-articulation, steering angle, and axle locker position.

Of course, infotainment software still boasts all the technical features that I like in the standard 1500, including SiriusXM 360L integration, standard Android Auto And Apple carplay Connectivity, connect apps more. You’ll also get a ton of physical charging options for phones and technology, including a total of five USB-A ports and five USB-C ports between the front and rear rows, as well as a wireless charging pad. Dashboard.

The pick-up can also feature a modern suite of driver-assist techniques, including blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward pre-collision warning with brake assist and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assistance. Keep checking the box to add a full-color head-up display and rear camera mirror.

Drive modes and 4WD settings can be toggled quickly with these controls. Note that there are no 2WD modes.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

Off-road performance

Playing around at Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, Nevada, I have been able to test the Ram TRX’s creep ability on a fairly steep rock hill climb to see the race course for the first time. Setting the drive mode to the Rock, its 2.64: 1 4WD low range transfer case and locking the Dana 60 rear axle sets the truck up for high-torque, slow-speed climbing. With the help of Ram’s Sports and TRX’s generous approach (30.2), departure (23.5) and breakover (21.9) angles, the TRX makes climbing small and relatively easy to operate.

While waiting for my turn on the track, I am able to explore the rocky grounds surrounding the course, testing celiac-speed control – another low-speed cruise control inherited from the Jeep Wrangler. Climb a loose grade. The TRX’s dampers do a great job of soaking up some big bumps at high speeds, which make me turn around on the driver’s seat with considerable depth, but still feel more unstable than a two-track mark.

In the air

Setting the TRX’s drive mode to the Baja tells the 4WD, gearbox, steering, and stability control systems that it’s business time. Meanwhile, Baja sets the suspension for maximum travel and control for high-speed dirt driving.

I enter the course at the top of a huge hill. Then it is a stomach-churn that falls straight on the front and immediately on a small part. Then it’s in whoops, a washboard series of bumps testing Bilstein Suspension and Ram’s Active Terrain Dynamics software, which can react every 20 milliseconds to keep the truck balanced and controlled.

I was encouraged Actually Test the limits of the TRX’s advanced suspension.

Ram truck

After doing a left-handed sweep (that I was encouraged to drift), it’s time for the big jump. Lining up for another downhill approach, I point the pickup at the dirt ramp and mat the accelerator, reaching the recommended 55-mph speed before taking in the air.

TRX flies off course, and lands with such grace that I wonder if Rama should call this atrocities a paranodon. Looking at your photos, I estimate that the big jump from takeoff to landing was a little over 60 feet (about three and a half truck lengths), reaching a height of about 24 inches. All 13-inch suspension travel is used during landing, with the damper traveling with a force of up to one ton while fully firming up during the end of the trip On each corner To stop down.

Wheels back on the ground, I made a hoop of myself before getting hard on 15-inch, four-wheel disc brakes for a fast left hand. Whipping a big cock tail, I do it all again to snake my way back up the hill… five times.

Ram’s Tropasaurus is not a practical option, but it is certainly fun.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

Availability and Pricing

Starting at $ 71,690 (including a $ 1,695 destination fee), the Ram 1500 TRX is significantly more expensive than the $ 1,2,35 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew. Fully loaded, you are looking at $ 95K for the TR2 trim level with all optional fixes. Also, t. The 10 miles per gallon city and 14 mpg highway ratings of the Rex are worse than the Raptor’s 15 city and 18 highway estimates, meaning you’ll pay even more at the pump.

That said, the TRX is a larger and more powerful predator than the Raptor, with just over 250 ponies on its dock and call. It has received more advanced suspension, especially on the rear axle where the Raptor still has leaf springs. (Rumor has it that Ford may return with V8 power And a Coil spring setup Our own for the next generation of raptors.)

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is not a practical truck, but it is probably the funniest and most insane pickup you can buy today.

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