Step Aside Raptor: The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Is Here To Take The Reign
As launches go, there has rarely been one more anticipated within the niche high-performance pick-up truck category. Taking a swipe at the Ford Raptor and other competitors, the Ram 1500 TRX has come out swinging, ready to take on all comers and aiming to convince even the most die-hard Ford enthusiasts to switch their allegiances.
Powerful, sleek, and packed to the roll bars with advanced features, this is one high-spec head-turner that will be category-defining. With 702 horsepower, the Ram 1500 TRX holds the crown as one of the most powerful trucks ever made - so will you be brave enough to handle it?
Enter The King Of Trucks
With that amount of horsepower under its belt, the Ram 1500 TRX is a serious contender for any truck enthusiast’s attention. An impressively bulky half-ton, powered by Hellcat, the Ram really has the potential to rule the roads - especially in contrast with its famous rival the Ford Raptor, as it boasts far more under the hood and has a much higher spec interior for drivers to enjoy.
The gauntlet has well and truly been thrown down to all other challengers. We’re looking at a seriously impressive machine here. The off-road capabilities of the truck have been notched up to the next level with the addition of some pretty major features - such as a reinforced high-strength frame and a finely-tuned suspension system to give a smoother experience.
In fact, driving experience is at the heart of this highly capable vehicle. Not only has a massive eight inches of width been added to the cabin over the standard regular Ram 1500, but driver comfort is further enhanced with a highly luxurious interior packed with all the technology any truck driver could wish for.
So has the Raptor been completely outclassed by this new competitor?
A Wealth Of Features
The Ram 1500 TRX is a truck that is wedged full of features, making it a real competitor if you’re looking to make a statement or splash the cash on a super-high performance truck that sacrifices nothing in terms of functionality, comfort or looks. This model absolutely takes no prisoners. Aside from the fact of the sheer power packed into this model, it boasts some market-leading features paired with a stylish, powerful look.
With its amped-up bodywork, body-colored wheels, a whole host of off-roading features, and a bed-mounted spare tire carrier, this is one stylish ride with an intimidating appearance to match its powerful capabilities.
Is The Ram 1500 TRX Worth It?
There’s no shying away from the fact that the Ram 1500 TRX is an expensive piece of kit - but boy, do you get a lot packed in there for your money. Starting just upward of $71,000 it's a considerable investment but it also delivers a lot - from the 700-plus horsepower capability alone to the sleek styling.
The base model is well equipped, but lacks some features as standard that you may expect at that price tag. Upgrade to the Level One package for around $4,000 more than the base model, and you get a host of additional features, including a heated steering wheel and front seats, cargo-box lighting, a stylish flat-bottom wheel in the cabin with a leather and microsuede wrap for ultimate grip, leather-trimmed seats, and a handy storage compartment under the rear seat.
In all, it's worth finding the few extra thousand bucks for the number of extra features you gain. Add on the Trailer-Tow package and you can really maximize the capabilities of the vehicle with enhanced pulling abilities. Bump it up to the Level Two package and you’re into the elite realms of trucks, with lane assist technology, adaptive cruise control, and a swanky digital rearview mirror - although you will be paying close to $80k for the privilege.
A Power Performance
As good as the Ram 1500 is when it comes to interior comforts, the real lure has to be the sheer power of the vehicle in action. The supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 sets this truck into a complete class of its own. You may have heard of this little wonder spoken of in hushed tones as the Hellcat engine. Couple that legendary 702 horsepower with 650 lb-ft of torque, and you have a seriously impressive zero-to-60-mph time of just 4.5 seconds.
The eight-speed auto transmission keeps things swift, even at that bulk. So you’re built for speed, but where the vehicle really excels is when used in its offroading dimension. Features such as the reinforced steel frame and a best-in-class suspension containing more than 13 inches of travel make this a dream for tackling rocks, sand, and dirt like the smoothest road. Huge 35-inch all-terrain tires mounted on 18-inch wheels give a remarkable 11.8 inches of ground clearance and can ford up to 32 inches of water. That gives some serious capability, no matter the setting.
There is also a huge towing and payload capacity at play too. It boasts a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds, which beats out the Ford Raptor’s 8,000, plus an ability to carry up to 1,310 pounds of payload - again, 120 pounds more than its rival.
A Better Driving Experience
Stacking up favorably against the Ford Raptor also is the positively luxurious cabin and driving experience of the Ram 1500 TRX. This truck really has been a game-changer in the sector but refusing to sacrifice driver comfort for functionality. Using a range of high-quality materials, it's a tactile experience to drive and also offers best-in-class noise insulation for a more comfortable ride.
The crew cab set-up with a short cargo bed has been refined to its maximum level. Again, it's worth an upgrade to the Level 1 or Level 2 package to get the most out of this. While the base model features cloth interiors when you upgrade you get sleek, leather-covered surfaces, microsuede wrapping, and carbon-fiber accents that wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury SUV.
Every TRX model comes with a dash-mounted 12-inch infotainment system as standard. With Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Sirius XM satellite radio, and a built-in navigation system, you really will have everything you need at your fingertips. One extremely handy feature is that the display can be divided into separate menus at a touch, allowing you to use multiple applications at the same time - one useful touch the rival Ford Raptor does not have. There are also control bezels mounted on the dash for more intuitive control on the road. Also, if you really care about your tunes while out on the road? The Ram 1500 TRX can be rigged up with a 900 watt Harman Kardon sound system boasting an insane 19 speakers.
So, How Does the Ram 1500 TRX Really Stack Up Against The Ford Raptor?
The challenge has well and truly been issued, and the TRX has come out of the gate swinging, but when all is said and done, how does it really stack up against its main competitor, the Ford Raptor? While neither truck is exactly what you’d call slow, the Ram 1500 TRX really does wipe the floor with the Raptor when it comes to speed. The supercharged Hellcat engine is quite simply the best in class offering currently available.
Although the Raptor is no slouch, this powerful addition gives the Ram model a nearly unbeatable advantage in the speed stakes, with its 702 hp stacking up against ‘just’ 450 hp for the Raptor. However, arguably the off-road spec is even more important in this type of truck. After all, it doesn’t much matter what is tucked under the hood if your truck can’t easily get up and over obstacles.
The suspension geometry between the Ram 1500 TRX and the Ford Raptor is pretty much neck-and-neck, with very similar ground clearance, approach, break-over and departure angles, and only a 1-inch difference in tire size. There really isn’t much in it when it comes to this category.
When it comes to the sheer scale, both these trucks are absolutely huge. But while the Raptor is available in SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations the 1500 TRX is only offered in the larger Crew Cab body style. Both trucks are so large, be prepared to experience issues with parking from time to time - these are vehicles designed with the desert in mind rather than suburban shopping districts! But this does mean impressive legroom, headroom and cargo space on both models?
Who Wins The Pickup War?
Taken overall, at the moment the 1500 TRX is definitely the superior competitor in the battle. It’s sleek styling, useful, and well-designed infotainment system and that class-leading horsepower give it the current edge.
If you want the pinnacle of off-road truck performance with no compromise on cab comfort, the 1500 TRX cannot be beaten. However, with a new Raptor promised to land soon, will it hold onto its crown? We can’t wait to see.
Let us know your thoughts below.