The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Is the Quickest Pickup Truck We’ve Ever Tested

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GMC is making the bold claim that the upcoming Hummer EV will be the world’s first “super truck.” I hate to break it to them, but whenever the GMC Hummer EV hits the streets, it’ll be the second-ever super truck. Why? Because your favorite performance enhancing drug, Stellantis (née FCA) has GMC beat with the lightning-quick, supercharged 2021 Ram 1500 TRX.

I know you’re dying to know, so let’s not drag it out any further. The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the quickest pickup truck we’ve ever tested. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and races on through the quarter-mile in 12.7 seconds at 106.3 mph.

That performance not only beats the Ram TRX’s predecessor, the Viper-powered 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 (0-60 mph in 4.9 and a 13.2-second quarter at 107.1 mph), but also our longstanding quickest pickup champ, the TRD-modified 2008 Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged, which ran from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds at a 13.0-second quarter at 106.3 mph.

The Ram 1500 TRX probably won’t be mistaken for one of those performance cars on a winding road, mostly because it’s so suited to off-pavement shenanigans, but even so it puts down mighty impressive numbers for a pickup riding on knobby Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tires. Its best 60-0 mph stop was in 130 feet (besting the lighter Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab, its direct competitor, by 10 feet), and it lapped the figure eight in 28.4 seconds at 0.61 g average, trailing the same Raptor by two-tenths of a second but besting its average grip by 0.01 g..

About That Speed . . .

So, how does the Ram 1500 TRX manage to (quite literally) punch above its weight? Well, its engine is as good a place as any to start. Its 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 (not a Hellcat, Ram insists, as those are reserved for Dodges, but c’mon) is the least powerful Hellcat variant yet with just 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque on tap. This power drop is due to a more restrictive exhaust and a more tortured intake path that allows the TRX to cope with off-road racing dust and water fording. Power is routed through an eight-speed automatic to a permanent four-wheel-drive system and eventually to the ground through those massive tires.

But the TRX is way more than just a big engine. Its beefed-up frame, for instance, only has about 26 percent parts commonality with lesser Ram 1500s. And then there’s the TRX’s suspension. Its Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive dampers combine electronic adjustability with old-school remote reservoirs and large 60mm pistons to give the TRX 13 inches of front and 14 inches of rear wheel travel, plus 11.8 inches of ground clearance, ensuring that the Ram not only has the capability to crawl up and over obstacles, but the durability to absorb massive impacts when blasting down a wide-open off-road trail. A locking rear diff, flared fenders, and a handful of other features round out the TRX package.

Not only is the Ram 1500 TRX fast, but it’s also remarkably good to drive. On road, where 90 percent of owners will (much to my dismay) spend most of their time, the TRX is half super truck, half GT. On a good winding road, the Ram TRX reveals itself to be surprisingly capable. Steering is progressive and accurate, and those fancy Bilstein shocks somehow manage to eliminate nearly all of the pickup’s body roll and brake dive. Around town, the Ram’s ride is cushy and well controlled. Power, obviously, is never an issue with the Ram. The Hellcat’s bark ensures everyone around knows how much power you have on tap, while the quick-shifting eight-speed and four-wheel-drive system ensure you can actually use it at all times, unlike, say, a Challenger Redeye, which will light up its rear tires even in its “softer” Eco drive mode.

Like all good supercars, the 1500 TRX is in its element on a track—in this case, track meaning off-road. When let loose in its natural habitat of high desert scrub, deep washes, and sandy mountain switchbacks, the TRX comes alive in the same way a Porsche 911 does on a good mountain road. The Ram just works. With the truck in Baja mode—one of eight on- and off-road drive modes—the TRX just eats up the terrain beneath you as you focus on getting from A to B in the fastest way possible. The engine obviously plays a large part in the speeds the Ram is capable of off-road, but the TRX’s suspension deserves more of the credit. It’s incredibly compliant, simply erasing the terrain beneath the truck, and absorbing absolutely brutal impacts—like high-speed nose-first landings off of moguls—without transmitting any of the shock into the cabin. As is the case on-road, the TRX’s Goodyear rubber reveals itself to have tons of grip and little scrub off-road, allowing you to make the most of the Ram’s supercharged V-8.

The TRX Is a Powerful Multitasker

Unlike some other Baja-oriented trucks, the Ram TRX is multifaceted. Its undercarriage is well armored, which, coupled with its large amount of suspension travel, locking rear diff, and low-range, makes the TRX a surprisingly capable rock crawler that may even give a Ram 2500 Power Wagon a run for its money.

Speaking of, the Ram 1500 TRX will set you back a pretty penny. Prices start at $71,690 for the 1500 TRX, a fair bit north of a current Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew at $58,135. The gap does narrow some once you start optioning up both trucks. Our near-loaded 1500 TRX was outfitted with gorgeous leather and carbon-fiber accents, Ram’s massive tablet-style infotainment display, a crisp and clear 19-speaker audio system, a head-up display, active safety tech, and the trailer tow package, among other things. It stickered for a not-cheap $87,470. A similar—but not exactly comparable—Raptor will set you back about $78,225. It’s worth noting that we could see prices for the Ford rise when the next-generation F-150 Raptor breaks cover.

So the Ram 1500 TRX is expensive, yes, but most nice things are. And besides, until the Hummer, next-gen Raptor, or even potentially the Rivian R1T come on to the scene, the TRX super truck will be in a class of one. Watch out.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX
BASE PRICE $71,690
PRICE AS TESTED $87,470
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck
ENGINE 6.2L/702-hp/650-lb-ft supercharged OHV 16-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 7,000 lb (59/41%)
WHEELBASE 145.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 232.9 x 88.0 x 80.9 in
0-60 MPH 4.1 sec
QUARTER MILE 12.7 sec @ 106.3 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 130 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.68 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.4 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not yet rated

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