Thursday, February 22, 2024
Reviews 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Review: Wielding The Hellcat

2021 Ram 1500 TRX Review: Wielding The Hellcat

The new 2021 Ram TRX is the pickup truck lovers have fantasized about for years, and only FCA could build it

  • Base pricing for the Ram TRX starts at $94,395 in Canada, $70,095 in the US.

  • The TRX is the fastest most powerful production pickup ever.

  • It is also the most insane four-wheeled vehicle I’ve ever driven.

Yoda famously said: “Do or do not. There is no try.” I submit that FCA’s doesn’t even think, they only do. I mean this in this most respectable way possible. This is not the first time I make a similar comment – the Dodge Durango SRT and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk come to mind. And while these two high-performance trucks are hopelessly cool and appealing, the Ram TRX is ludicrous, and my second favorite.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Because Hellcat-all-the-things is the way

I will continue to be true to the Dodge Durango SRT 392 for all kinds of reasons, and then comes the TRX. Fact is though, if I had the money, there’d be one of each in my massive garage, parked alongside a Challenger Scat Pack 392 Widebody with Tremec and Shaker package. And this is a snapshot of FCA – they’re a mad bunch.

This group of Hellcat-wielding mad-people have once again built a vehicle that everyone knew they would. And although the Ram TRX was a given, and that expectations were going to be on a level nearing the impossible, FCA killed it.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The 2021 Ram TRX is all things beefed up to manage the massive power generated by the supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI V8, and the ensuing giant rooster tails of mud and sand. With 702 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, no frontier is off-limit. With its 8-speed automatic transmission, full-time active transfer case, and launch control, the TRX is the king of acceleration challenges. It is capable of covering the 0-60mph sprint in 4.5 seconds, hitting 100mph in 10.5 seconds, and crushing the ¼ in 12.9 seconds at 108mph. For the moment, it is unmatched, and the fastest full-size 1/2 ton truck ever.

It’s bi; it loves on- and off-road excursions

But being fast on pavement is not what the Ram TRX is about. The massive truck includes a wish-list of off-roading components including an electronic locking Dana 60 solid rear axle with full-floating hubs and axle-hop damper. Coupled to this are new front and rear 2.6-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks and a new high-strength steel frame that enable the TRX to survive the harshest punishment.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

While in my possession, I wandered through hard-packed and frozen snowmobile trails that demonstrated how quickly the dampers and the various suspension components read and responded to the surface changes. With up to 14 inches of wheel travel and the damper’s fast reaction times, the truck’s ability to fly over the surface is astounding. The entire drive, no matter where, I left the Drive Mode in Normal. The TRX is so downright competent as is that Normal is suitable for 95% of all driving situations.

The ride comfort is also utterly impressive. Something so big and dedicated to the craft of crushing all off-road terrains should not be as compliant and cosseting. In fact, the TRX is everything and can do it all as proven by YouTuber Street Speed 717. That jump would have totaled a lesser truck, even those with big stickers and fancy trim- or model names.

All the beef is on the menu

2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Physically, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is a Rebel that, as cliché as it sounds, has consumed all the steroids. All of them. The result is a truck that is 8 inches (track is 6 inches wider) at each end, giving it an “hourglass” body. There are two-wheel models to select from and they must be the Beadlock-capable type on which are mounted the incredible Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires. Other distinguishing factors are the hood-scoop-mounted clearance lamps and the sound the truck makes when it starts when cold. Oh, believe me you, the sound is as corporal as it can be heard, felt, and seen.

The TRX is not only big but it’s tall as well. It includes a 2-inch ride height increase over the Ram 1500 which creates a substantial 11.8 inches of ground clearance. Getting in and out can be a chore for height-challenged individuals however once onboard, the TRX goes from brute to technologically-advanced luxury sport truck.

Luxury and tech badass

2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The Ram TRX greets its occupants with leather almost everywhere, and in my tester, suede and carbon fiber inserts. The amazing flat-bottom steering wheel would not be out of place in my Challenger SRT nor would be the U-shaped paddles. The centre-piece of any Ram is the available 12-inch vertically set touchscreen, which is standard in the TRX.

With Uconnect 4C with navigation always a tap or two away, the system continues to be as user-friendly as ever. Speaking of taking it easy, the large seats, the sheer amount of room and storage space offered in the Ram’s Crew Cab configuration (the only one offered with the TRX) makes the 1500 TRX a perfect super-high-powered-extreme pickup for the entire family.

What competition? Raptor who?

2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

We are still a few days away from Ford revealing details on the highly-anticipated 2021 Raptor and believe me when I say that comparisons will be countless. FCA and Ram threw the gauntlet to the ground at Ford’s feet harder than anyone or anything has in history. The clash between the TRX and Raptor will be ferocious but unlike most cataclysmic face-offs, everyone will win. The Ford-Ferrari duel from the 1960s was nothing compared to the upcoming war.

No matter what Ford does to the Raptor, the TRX is charismatic, impactful and the Hellcat-wielding psychos at FCA have created a preposterous thing. Once more, I think thee FCA.

Finally, in case you were curious, as tested, this Hydro Blue example with the TRX Level II package, the Advanced Safety group, the Harman/Kardon audio system, bed-mounted spare, and a few other options retailed for just over $116,500.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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