When the 2021 RAM 1500 TRX made it to production we were surprised. Its concept precursor was show in 2016 and it seemed to good to be true, a monster 4×4 off-road toy with the 702 horsepower Hellcat engine. Who would really build this thing?
RAM did. Rolling up to our doorstep was a well optioned example of the new “apex predator” of the off-road truck world as RAM calls it in their marketing material. Well optioned means it rings in at $89,365, carrying about $20,000 in options.
What it comes standard with is amazing, a full-blown off-road truck it has 2-inches of lift over the stock RAM 1500, substantially upgraded suspension components front and rear, adaptive Bilstein Blackhawk remote reservoir shocks all around and 35-inch tires just to name a few things.
Wrapped around its 6-inch wider track is flared body work some 8-inches wider front and rear. A special hood features a functional air inlet to feed its massive 6.2-liter supercharged V8. The filter system has twin filter elements and also draws air from behind the grille.
The engine with its 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque drives all four wheels through a standard full-time four-wheel drive system and an 8-speed automatic transmission. A full suite of software programs like launch control and multiple drive modes serve to assure power can be delivered in almost any condition and for any purpose be it rock climbing or drag racing.
Result? Eye popping acceleration. RAM says it will hit 60 mph from a stand still in 4.5 seconds and cross the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds. We believe it yes. Full acceleration rockets this 6350 pound tank into a wild ride of floating and boating at speed that while alarming is much fun.
Its suspension tuned more toward off-roading than being a pavement star is soft and spongy at baseline, though the adaptive shocks do well to keep it stable at speed on the highway. Make no mistake however, this is not a corner carver by any stretch.
Off the pavement, it rocks. The 11.8-inch ground clearance at 13 plus inches of suspension travel absorb most any terrain you can throw at it. It rides generously compliant over the rough stuff and can roll along quickly with confidence off road to say the least.
We did find that compared to the Ford Raptor, the Bilstein shocks don’t seem to control unwanted body motions quite as well as the Fox Shox on the Ford. Furthermore, the additional weight of the big supercharged V8 up front is evident when they are driven back to back.
You will be very comfortable though. Its cabin is one of the best in the business when it comes to quality and feature content. With the Level 2 premium option group, we lavished in leather wrapped goodness all around, enjoyed heated and ventilated seating front and rear, and listened to some great sound both from its engine and the Harman Kardon audio system.
With options at near $90,000 it’s breathtakingly expensive to buy and to feed. In our week with it we achieved 10 mpg. The reality is that nobody buying this truck will care much about its fuel cost and its purchase price really doesn’t feel all that out of line.
We like it. We like it. It makes our Id Buy It list for 2021. So there.