Extreme off-roading, a.k.a. “overlanding,” has exploded in the last decade. Now, thanks to the latest coronavirus, even more people are looking to venture deep into the great outdoors. But, getting deep into the backcountry requires a worthy rig. For 2021, Ram wants you to know its all-new TRX is that rig. In fact, for hardcore pickup enthusiasts with deep pockets, it might be the only option.
Ram has long been synonymous with heavy-duty hauling, ice-cold Rocky Mountain beers, and Carhartt jackets. It’s the sort of brand Jason Momoa might endorse. The new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX (that’s “T-REX” as in “harder, better, faster, stronger than that other pesky dino-inspired pickup”) epitomizes that rugged, bulletproof image. It’s billed as “the most powerful production street-legal half-ton pickup ever produced.” The official website is full of words like “menacing,” “muscular,” and “imposing.” To put a finer point on it, Ram claims the TRX is “inspired by the competition’s nightmares.” Your move, Ford.
On paper, it’s clear the TRX has the chops to talk that much smack. Under the hood lies a 6.2L Hemi V8 with a twin-screw supercharger for near-instantaneous torque. The powerplant is capable of a maximum 14,600 rpm and boost pressure up to 11.0 psi. The cast-iron engine block features a forged-steel crankshaft and induction-hardened bearings strong enough to withstand a staggering 20,000 pounds of force. When the going gets dirty, the high-performance airbox also filters up to four times as much dust and debris as the Ford Raptor. All this automotive wizardry translates to best-in-class numbers of 702 horsepower and 650 ft-lbs of torque for an eye-popping 0-60 time of just 4.5 seconds.
The 2021 Ram TRX is designed to thrive off-road as well. The premium pickup touts exclusive Bilstein Black Hawk E2 shocks — an all-new system that Ram claims is the most sophisticated ever offered on a production pickup. They provide nearly a foot of ground clearance with 13 inches of front suspension travel and 14 inches at the rear. The TRX also features 18-inch, matte black aluminum wheels wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory All Terrain tires with beadlock-capable sidewalls. Dedicated dynamic drive modes, including Snow, Sport, Rock, and Mud/Sand, allow the truck to adapt instantly to changing terrain with the turn of a dial. Bottom line: If you can’t drive through it, simply drive over it.
Inside, Ram wants to ensure buyers are getting their money’s worth. The cabin is awash in premium hardware and the latest tech borrowed straight from the luxury car market. That includes a 19-speaker, 900-watt Harman Kardon Premium Audio system, a heads-up display, a six-button auxiliary switch bank, and a flat-bottom steering wheel with aluminum paddle shifters. If you’re a fancy man, leather-trimmed seating is even an option.
The desire to get far, far off-pavement isn’t a new concept, but the sky-high demand for it certainly is. Ford rewrote the playbook in 2009 with the debut of the Raptor. With its release, the company proved some people are more than happy to shell out $60K for a well-optioned, off-road-worthy pickup. Other American truck makers have since responded with affordable alternatives like the Jeep Gladiator and the Chevy Colorado ZR-2. Now, Ram wants a piece of the action, too.
Ram is banking on well-heeled truck lovers willing to pay even more. The sticker price for an entry-level 2021 Ram 1500 TRX tops $70,000. That’s already $10,000 more than a Ford Raptor before you even start ticking the option boxes. The kitted-out, flagship Launch Edition runs north of $90,000. But, with only 702 such models available, at least you’ll have bragging rights.
If even a premium stock truck isn’t sexy enough for you and money is no object, check out the world’s most extreme overland vehicles.
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