The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the most powerful truck you can buy
More than just a quick truck, it’s an actual performance vehicle
It feels connected and well built
The Ram 1500 TRX is something only the folks at FCA, now Stellantis, would do. Take the scary powerful 6.2-litre supercharged Hellcat V8 and put it in a pickup truck. They did it with the Charger, they did it with the Grand Cherokee, they did it with the Durango and now they are pushing the boundaries of automotive excess by dropping it into a 2.2-ton truck.
It’s kind of like the folks in Auburn Hills live in a different world than you or I. A world where electric vehicles are still on the fringe of the market and where drag racing is a prime-time sport. You know what? Good for them. The world doesn’t need the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, but it’s nice to have it anyway.
Very few vehicles can conjure up the levels of passion, excitement, and awe. Among enthusiasts, at least. It’s also a vehicle you feel a bit weird driving because everyone looks at you, but not in a Lamborghini Huracan kind of way.
You get a few thumbs up, but you also get a few disapproving stares and I think someone even laughed at me from behind the wheel of their Tesla Model 3. It wasn’t a performance version, so the TRX would have smoked it off the line and I thought about it. But when you are driving a 702-horsepower vehicle sitting two meters off the ground, you learn some restraint.
Here are a few other things you learn driving the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX.
It’s more powerful than you can imagine
Everything from the sound of the engine (a deep, aggressive sound that explodes as the revs increase) to the way the Ram 1500 TRX drives is impressive. That said, nothing surprises more than the performance of the TRX. You know it’s going to be fast, but nothing prepares you for just how quick it is and more importantly, how enjoyable it is to use the power at your disposal.
If you’re thinking that the TRX is uncontrollable and too intense, you’re actually wrong. There’s a linearity to the way those 700 ponies reach the massive 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires, and you can dose that power quite easily. The TRX isn’t just a hot mess of screaming exhaust pipes, disconnected steering, and gobs of power. It’s a finely tuned performer with the handling to match the muscle.
Sure, when you drop the hammer, you find yourself holding on with white knuckles on your way to 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 4.5 seconds. But, when you’re passing on the highway or cruising around the city, everything feels tight and precisely engineered. Which leads to the second lesson.
You can actually use it
I used the TRX every day to bring my daughter, who by the way is shorter than the tires, to daycare. I used it for a couple of hours on the highway. I used it to go to the office for the first time in 12 months. Unlike the Jeep Gladiator Mojave or even the Ford F-150 Raptor, the TRX proved quite comfortable. Of course, the tires will instantly tell you if the road is in poor condition and the TRX isn’t exactly quiet, but as far as supped up trucks go, the TRX is probably the most usable of the bunch. I’d rate the comfort level near the GMC Sierra AT4 I drove the week before.
It’s not that loud either, unless you select Track mode which is one of the numerous drive modes available. The Ram 1500 TRX is designed to go from the track to the woods to the mountain and back, and there’s a drive mode for each situation. There’s also a Launch Control button, but please don’t try it on public roads.
It’s probably not a great investment
The second I got back to my desk after my initial encounter with the TRX, I hit the web and configured my very own. A quick search through the available inventory informed me that there are actually quite a few TRX’ on sale right now. They were expensive too, selling for up to $60k over sticker price in Canada. Part of that is the features list, but I suspect some dealers also marked up their TRX in anticipation of heavy demand. Unfortunately, a month or so after that initial exploration, those TRX models are still there.
That likely means that the TRX isn’t selling like it should be. I might be wrong, but I’d bet the TRX won’t appreciate in value like we could have anticipated when it launched.
Enthusiasts will miss combustion engines
Still, the Ram 1500 TRX is the best representation of why we cannot live in a world with just electric vehicles. I’m driving a Porsche Taycan as I’m writing this and I get why EVs are trending, but the TRX is so primal and so darn enjoyable, enthusiasts can only hope a small portion of these ridiculous vehicles remain even after electric cars become the norm.
It’s really stupid, but in a good way
There’s absolutely no reason one would buy a Ram 1500 TRX. But there’s no reason to buy a Ferrari F8 Tributo or a McLaren Speedtail either. The TRX is about passion and having fun driving a car, something that for many people is still important.