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RAM TRX “destroys Raptors,” Australia likely

RAM says the new T-Rex of the ute world eats Raptors.

RAM’s rival to the Ford F-150 Raptor has been revealed, delivering the world the most powerful production pick-up ute ever.

What’s more, it’s on the cards for a local launch in 2021, though don’t hold your breath if you think you’ll see a factory-converted version this year.

Under its scooped bonnet is mostly the same 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that’s in the recently released Durango Hellcat. The engine was originally developed for the psychotic Dodge Challenger Hellcat before serving duty in the Dodge Charger and Jeep Grand Cherokee – the latter which is sold here.

Compared to the F-150 Raptor with its 3.5-litre V6 turbo, the TRX has it beat for power and cubic inches.

The bent eight is supercharged and produces 523kW of power and 881Nm of torque via an eight-speed auto. It shoots from a standstill to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds and tops out at top speed just south of 200km/h, which the company is limited due to the specially designed off-road tyres. Not shabby for a 2.7-tonne ute.

Underneath, the chassis has undergone modifications to help it bust sand dunes and deal with gnarly off-road tracks. The front axle has been shifted forward 20mm which in turn accommodates 18-inch beadlock alloys with specially-developed 35-inch with Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65 rubber. Suspension components have also been changed to deal with racing over desert bumps and jumps at a cruising speed of 160km/h, and there’s a ‘Jump Detection System” that controls power output and the transmission shifting so damage is mitigated.

Width of the truck is 200mm wider due to the bigger wheel guards, ground clearance is 300mm from the ground and wading depth is 812mm, with towing rated to 3600kg. When you are driving a bit faster, a ‘special’ air filtration protects the engine from dust and dirt that’s churned up from the tyres.

Driving modes include Mud/Sand, Rock and Baja, with the latter made famous in Ford’s Raptor (spun off the Trophy Truck race) and designed for high speed driving off-road.

Putting a biased view on the TRX’s position compared to Ford’s Raptor, head of RAM North America Mike Koval said in an online media presentation: “The Ram 1500 TRX is truly the apex predator of the truck world.

“And to put that in Jurassic vernacular, the T-rex destroys Raptors, and that’s just what you would expect from a company committed to being America’s off-road truck leader.”

In North America, the TRX is priced from about USD$75,000, or AUD$108,000, though limited 702 Special Editions will be priced about $20,000 more.

For Australia, RAM has already begun locally testing the new DT generation 1500 which will replace the DS already on sale. This new architecture, which brings safety and tech upgrades, underpins the TRX. It is understood from a source close to testing that the TRX will piggyback off of the DT right-hand drive conversion work after that model launches. This brings a likely debut for RHD TRX models in 2021.

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3 years ago

I was advised by a engine reconditioning company in Queensland that the current trend towards 4 cylinder diesels of low cubic capacity but developing power and torque equivalent to diesel engines of 3 litre or greater was a recipe for disaster when the vehicle was worked hard, as in regular heavy towing, often loaded to the maximum as with trades vehicles.

When hard work is the application you cannot beat larger capacity engines.

Alex Rae

Alex Rae