2021 Ram 1500 TRX evaluation: Superb overkill

Put 700 horsepower in absolutely anything, and also you’re certain to have a great time.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Again when the Dodge Hellcat lineup was first unveiled, I joked that it was solely a matter of time earlier than that hulking supercharged V8 made its method into each car its mother or father firm builds. Whereas my hopes of a Chrysler 200 Hellcat have been sorely dashed, that whining lump did ultimately discover a unusual bedfellow within the Ram 1500 pickup. The result’s the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, and whereas it defies frequent sense, I have been having method an excessive amount of enjoyable to note.

LikeGoes like spitOver-the-top aestheticsGreat cabin tech

Do not LikeStarts at $70,000Has a consuming drawback

Trendy pickup vans already appear to be they’re chiseled from stable blocks of testosterone, but by some means the TRX manages to amplify that even additional. The Ram is nearly 2 inches wider, about 2.5 inches taller and has zero.three inches extra floor clearance than the Blue Oval’s Baja big-boy, the F-150 Raptor. In my quaint, quiet neighborhood, the TRX looms giant on my driveway — properly, totally on my driveway, since it is so vast that the passenger-side tires bleed over onto my neighbor’s garden. Not that my neighbor would dare say something, as a result of the fats fenders and copious black accents make the truck appear to be it is able to beat you up only for taking a look at it the mistaken method.

Relating to functionality, the Raptor and TRX are fairly evenly matched, however the Ram squeaks forward by slim margins. The TRX can tow eight,100 kilos, a hundo greater than the Raptor can muster, and it will haul 1,310 kilos within the mattress, 110 greater than the Ford. Ram’s additionally bought the benefit in breakover and departure angles (21.9 and 23.5 levels, respectively) albeit by a couple of tenths of a level, whereas method angle is equally matched at 30.2 levels. Each vans additionally boast a foot or extra of suspension journey entrance and rear, which issues much less on the road than it does within the grime.

Although I do know this truck is loads succesful, as our personal Antuan Goodwin proved by really leaping the factor, odds are lots of them won’t ever see that kind of intense off-road motion. But it surely’s not just like the TRX would not shine as a storage queen, both. In truth, it is one of many dumbest and most grin-inducing experiences I’ve had in months, and it left me wanting extra each time.

Underneath the hood is identical 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 as each different Hellcat-based product on the market, and on this occasion, it is tuned to supply 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. After I jam my proper foot into the firewall, the usual four-wheel-drive system pushes me ahead with stunning haste — a four.5-second jaunt to 60 mph is not fast within the grand scheme of issues, however when it is in a crew cab pickup that weighs virtually 6,400 kilos, it rattling close to appears like I am rewriting mechanical physics. Mix that nearly unnatural feeling of pace with the loud supercharger whine and the basso profundo roar coming from the exhaust pipes out again, and it makes for fairly the partaking sensory expertise. The one method you will miss a niche in visitors is by overshooting it. The V8 can drone a bit at freeway speeds, however folks in it for the sound and the fury most likely will not care.

The experience high quality is… truck-ish. With as much as 14 inches of suspension journey and meaty 325/65R18 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires, issues are on the softer facet, with the standard body-on-frame actions which can be half and parcel with all pickups. However the TRX is much from a discombobulated mess, due to Bilstein adaptive dampers on every nook. In its commonplace Auto setting, the truck is fairly properly balanced, and throwing it into Sport provides some stiffness whereas boosting throttle response. Modes for snow, towing, rocks, mud and sand and Baja-style dune-blasting are all commonplace, too. Braking is surprisingly good, given the factor’s heft, but it surely’s onerous to not be keenly conscious of the momentum I am carrying always.

Simply be sure to’re good at staying in your lane, as a result of the TRX is roughly the dimensions of the lane, so there’s not numerous area for deviation.

The one factor that really sucks in regards to the TRX is its gasoline financial system, which, as you would possibly count on, is pathetic. The EPA could not do higher than 10 miles per gallon metropolis and 14 mpg freeway — and even reaching these numbers requires a lightness of foot that flies within the face of the Hemi mantra. After a pair hundred miles of city and freeway driving, I barely break into double digits. Yikes.

That Hemi is thirsty — and onerous to , contemplating how excessive off the bottom it is mounted.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The newest iteration of Ram 1500 boasts top-of-the-line and most luxurious interiors within the light-duty pickup section, particularly in comparison with the Raptor, which nonetheless makes use of Ford’s last-generation physique. My TRX tester is totally kitted out, due to a $7,920 tools package deal that features ventilated leather-based entrance seats, leather-based dashboard and door-panel trim, adjustable pedals, a heated steering wheel, the entire 9 yards. 

Whether or not it is for folks or for stuff, there’s a ton of area in right here. The rear seats are extraordinarily spacious, which helps for hauling issues that you don’t need within the mattress, whereas door and armrest pockets swallow up every part from purses to tablets and no matter different tchotchkes I convey alongside. The 12-volt outlet atop the dashboard is a pleasant little contact for followers of radar detectors, and there are ten USB ports (5 USB-A, 5 USB-C) scattered in regards to the inside, along with a wi-fi gadget charger slightly below the infotainment display.

Ram’s mother or father firm continues to enhance its already-great cabin tech, and the Ram TRX affords among the latest, flashiest package on provide. Commonplace tools features a honkin’ 12-inch portrait infotainment show operating the automaker’s Uconnect system, which boasts Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Efficiency Pages, which permit me to select and select settings for various components of the car, along with monitoring issues like wheel articulation and steering angle. I like that the display can present a number of corners of the system directly, whether or not it is audio, navigation or Sirius-based climate maps. The controls are giant and legible, making for straightforward use with minimal distraction. A big show within the gauge cluster is able to exhibiting nearly every part the primary display can, with dead-simple steering wheel controls to cycle by tire pressures, transmission temperatures and quite a lot of different info, all wrapped on this rugged-looking design that retains the beefy TRX theme alive.

UConnect suits like a glove on this portrait configuration. Then once more, when would not it?

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Some harder-core autos eschew the standard panoply of lively and passive security methods, however a lot of the good things is obtainable within the TRX. Along with commonplace forward-collision warning, my tester has a $995 package deal that provides emergency braking with pedestrian and bike owner detection, adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go capabilities and lane-keeping help. The $7,920 tools package deal additionally throws parking sensors into the combination, as a result of making an attempt to suit this factor right into a typical parking area takes just a little extra effort than standard.

Stellantis’ high-horsepower choices aren’t low cost, and the 2021 Ram TRX is not any exception. Its beginning worth of $71,690 (together with $1,695 for vacation spot) leapfrogs the Challenger and Charger Hellcat twins, and with a hearty dose of choices, my tester rings in at an eye-watering $87,370. You could possibly purchase an actual sports activities automotive for that a lot.

However there’s nothing fairly just like the Ram TRX. The Hellcat’s 6.2-liter V8 has at all times been one thing particular however throwing it right into a pickup truck leads to a car that exceeds the sum of its components, delivering equal doses of excessive efficiency and hilarity. It is a hoot.

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