Ram Trucks in the US has unveiled the world’s most powerful pick-up – the Ram 1500 TRX powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 – and it could be coming to Australia.
The monster truck rival to the Ford F-150 Raptor – which established the desert-racer segment of the pick-up class in the US – is powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre Hemi V8 with an astonishing output of 700 horsepower, which is more than one of Australia’s V8 Supercar racing cars.
In modern terms the supercharged 6.2-litre Hemi V8 (sorry, I just love seeing those words strung together) has an output of 523kW and 881Nm.
The Ram 1500 TRX is due to go into production in the company’s Michigan factory by the end of this year – and could be in local showrooms some time next year.
Ram Trucks Australia is already working on the full volume compliance for the new generation DT Series Ram 1500, and many of the engineering changes and crash-testing required for that model will apply to the TRX, which will help fast-track the remanufacturing process.
While it stopped short of confirming the Ram 1500 TRX, a statement from Ram Trucks Australia said: “We’re fully aware of the future product coming out of Ram in the US. We have a very good relationship with Ram Trucks and we’re talking closely with them about a number of future models.”
With a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 matched to an eight-speed auto, Ram claims the TRX does the 0 to 60mph (96kmh) dash in 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile (400m) run in 12.9 seconds at 108mph (174kmh).
Top speed is rated at 189kmh. Weighing more than 2.7-tonnes, nobody will be doing that for long. It would run out of fuel pretty quickly.
A statement from Ram Trucks USA claims the TRX “sets the benchmark for extreme performance pick-up trucks”.
The 2021 Ram TRX wading depth is rated to 812mm and can tow up to 3600kg. Just don’t put much in the back: it has a maximum payload of 594kg.
The tyres are 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrains.
“The Ram 1500 TRX is 8 inches wider when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup, and the composite flares help to compensate for a 6-inch increase in track width,” the media statement says.
“Normally, Ram 1500 features a wheel that is 8 inches wide, but the TRX design team had to accommodate a wheel that is 9 inches wide.”
The front axle was shifted 20 millimetres forward to accommodate the 35-inch Goodyear Territory All-Terrain tyres that were designed exclusively for TRX.
The 35-inch tyres are available with 18-inch “beadlock-ready” wheels (pictured above) with accent colour-matched rings.
LED clearance marker lights flank the front bumper. The bulging, aluminium bonnet has LED clearance lights that are integrated in the scoop.
Ram says the bonnet scoop is responsible for 50 percent of air entering the 6.2-litre supercharged V8’s lungs, while the other 50 percent enters through the grille.
Functional “air curtains” just outboard of the headlights are claimed to relieve high pressure zones at the front corners and allow air to pass through the fenders.
A bed-mounted spare tyre carrier is available in addition to the standard full-size spare tire that sits underneath the bed, between the rear axle and trailer hitch. LED tail-lights package blind-spot monitoring sensors.
The cabin gains sports seats faux carbon-fibre trim, a new SRT-signature flat-bottom steering wheel, and large aluminum paddle shifters. A heads-up display reflects vehicles speed and other data into the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight.
The automatic transmission shifter has moved from a dial on the dash to a lever on the centre console, just below the massive 12-inch infotainment screen.
A Performance Pages app provides real-time vehicle performance information, including timers (such as 0-100kmh acceleration times), g-force, gauges and engine performance.
“This data can be downloaded to a USB stick, allowing for easy sharing of your driving performance. Owners can also download data to the web,” says Ram.
Driving modes include normal, wet/snow, off-road and baja. There is also a launch control button.
The Ram 1500 TRX has a dual-path air induction system to make sure the supercharged V8 gets a steady supply of clean, cool air “regardless of inbound dirt and debris”.
The Ram 1500 TRX “uses two paths to draw in outside air and routes it to a large, 29-litre air box that filters out dirt, sand, debris and water before getting anywhere near the engine,” the company says.
“Air entering the grille flows to the bottom front of the air box, guided by tailored panels. The hood scoop ducts air to the bottom rear of the air box via ports that seal to the hood when it is closed. An air box support bar is precision-mounted in the engine compartment during vehicle assembly to ensure the hood intake seals to the air box ducts to prevent engine-heated air from entering the system.”
Ram says directing incoming air to the bottom of the air box “helps dirt and water settle out before the air reaches the filter elements”. A one-way drain in the bottom of the air box evacuates water even when the vehicle is moving.
“Intake air is drawn upward from the box through twin, heavy-duty air filters that provide … four times the dust trapping capacity when compared to the closest competitor, to remove any residual dust or sand before the air is ducted,” says Ram.
The Ram TRX has a claimed ground clearance of 11.8 inches (300mm) due in part to a 2-inch (51mm) ride height increase when compared with the rest of the 1500 lineup, along with 35-inch tyres.
The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminum doors, bonnet and tailgate “help reduce weight and boost fuel economy”, the company says. The Ram 1500 TRX “also uses aluminum engine mounts, front axle centre section, front suspension and transmission cross-members, front upper and lower control arms, front skid plate, transmission skid plate and steering system gear.”
An all-new independent front suspension system includes new front upper and lower control arms made of forged aluminum, “with special attention paid to the caster and camber angles during suspension (movement)”.
“The new, longer, substantially sized front upper and lower control arms are constructed of 80-ksi high-strength steel and designed with a focus on additional wheel travel and axle track width,” says Ram.
Rear-wheel travel is increased to more than 13 inches (330mm) from the standard 9 inches (228mm), or more than 40 percent when compared to the standard Ram 1500.
The Ram 1500 TRX uses a five-link coil suspension for better articulation than a leaf-spring system. At 600 millimetres in length, the rear springs are “the largest ever applied on a non-commercial production vehicle”.
New 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks use precision-machined, single-piece construction comprised of rigid aluminum “to reduce and dissipate heat and continuously adjust damping forces”.
“The adaptive performance shocks feature robust corrosion protection with a durable finish and directional-machined cooling fins aligned with air flow for more effective cooling,” says Ram.
The Dana 60 rear axle uses an “axle hop damper” to improve traction and axle control in rough terrain. “A new rear axle centre section provides balanced performance and a locking differential for increased off-road performance,” says Ram.
The Ram 1500 TRX is also equipped with a new BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case with a low range ratio of 2.64:1 for rock crawling – and can be flat-towed while in neutral.
Ram says the 1500 TRX has the biggest brakes in the segment: two-piston monoblock calipers clamping 15-inch (381mm) discs up front and single piston calipers clamping 15-inch (381mm) discs at the rear. It retains the electric park brake from the top-spec DT series Ram 1500 models.
Offroad approach (30.2 degrees), rampover (21.9 degrees) and departure (23.5 degrees) angles – and the ground clearance of 11.8 inches (300mm) – give the Ram 1500 TRX genuine go-anywhere ability.
Ram’s parts division Mopar says it will offer more than 100 factory-backed performance parts and accessories for the TRX, including off-road lights, beadlock-capable wheel rings, off-road rock rails, the RamBar, and a bed-mounted spare-tyre carrier.