Ram is filling an F-150 Raptor-sized hole in the Australian market with a blown V8 super truck it’s calling the apex predator of the pickup world.
The 1500 TRX will sit atop Ram Trucks Australia’s line-up, priced from $199,950 before on-road costs – around $50,000 more than the next most expensive Ram 1500.
The only option is a panoramic sunroof for a cool $10,000.
We’ve contacted Ram Trucks Australia to confirm when deliveries will begin.
Under the bonnet sits a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 523kW of power and 882Nm of torque and mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a constantly-variable all-wheel drive system.
Those outputs are up 232kW and 326Nm on the Ram 1500’s standard 5.7-litre V8, and up 193kW and 192Nm on the twin-turbo V6-powered F-150 Raptor not sold here.
It rockets to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds and includes launch control.
The quarter-mile is dispatched in 12.9 seconds, and flat out you’ll be doing just under 200km/h.
It isn’t just a 1500 with a bigger engine shoved in, however, with a raft of modifications made to the truck to strengthen its off-road chops.
For one, there’s a new dual-path air induction system designed to keep the TRX’s engine cool even when you’re blasting through the desert, and there’s an air filter system designed to keep that desert sand out of the cabin.
There are two elements to the 1500 TRX’s off-roading arsenal: the electronic aids, and the heavily uprated hardware under the skin.
For starters, the ladder frame underpinning the TRX is made of thicker high-strength steel than the standard Ram 1500, with fully-boxed side rails. The idea is no matter how hard you bash, crash, and abuse your TRX off-road, the frame will be able to hold up.
There are five skid plates under the skin, and the major mounting points, axle centre sections, suspension cross members, and steering hardware are made of aluminium, as are the tailgate, bonnet, and doors.
The front suspension is fully independent, and both axles are home to active dampers.
They’re remote-reservoir Bilstein Black Hawk e2 units, developed to stand up to the rigours of high-speed off-road running – and to match the Fox Shocks used on the F-150 Raptor, which have proven capable of handling jumps and Baja-style abuse.
There’s a Dana 60 rear axle with floating shafts, and an electronic locking rear differential. You also get a new full-time active transfer case, which shuffles torque between the axles depending on where there’s traction.
Jump Detection uses wheel-speed and ride-height sensors and accelerometers to identify when the vehicle is airborne, working to stop any spikes in power that could damage the driveline.
The list of uprated components goes on. 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain tyres and 18-inch alloy wheels are standard, behind which hide 15-inch disc brakes on all four wheels.
The front axle was shifted 20mm further forward to accommodate this wheel and tyre setup.
There’s 295mm of ground clearance, up 50mm on the regular 1500, and the TRX can ford water up to 812mm deep.
It has an approach angle of 30.2 degrees, a departure angle of 23.5 degrees, and a breakover angle of 21.9 degrees.
As you’d expect, there’s a huge array of electronic off-road aids on hand to smooth progress when the going gets tough. There are five drive modes in total, including one allowing owners to mix-and-match their preferred settings.
There are three separate off-road modes: Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja, all of which adjust the all-wheel drive system, suspension tune, transmission tune, throttle response, and steering weight. Regardless of drive mode, there’s a ‘slip control’ system to stop differential binding.
For those who want to use it as a hauler, it has a payload of 767kg – down only slightly from other 1500 models, but cut to 743kg with the sunroof.
It has a braked towing capacity of 3500kg, down 1000kg on the rest of the range.
There’s a 152mm wider track, and there are composite flares that help make the TRX 203mm wider than the core range.
The front end in particular is significantly more aggressive than the standard 1500’s, with a bulging bonnet scoop and bold new grille.
Around back there’s a unique bumper, the RAM name writ large across the tailgate, and a metal sports bar over the tray.
Oversized tow hooks can be found at the front and back of the TRX.
Inside, the dashboard is dominated by a vertically-oriented 12-inch Uconnect 5C Nav touchscreen infotainment system.
Along with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, the system features a range of integrated apps, and the usual array of performance-oriented displays.
Sitting between the analogue dials is a 7.0-inch TFT trip computer display.
There’s also a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, while standard safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
There’s black leather-and-suede upholstery, heated and ventilated front and rear outboard seats, and Greystone stitching details with Graphite Metallic and carbon fibre accents.
TRX models feature new front seats with enhanced bolstering, and there’s a flat-bottom steering wheel with enhanced hand grips. Aluminium paddle shifters sit behind the wheel, a first for a Ram truck.
Like the rest of the 1500 range, which consists of the newer DT and older DS series trucks, the TRX is imported to Australia and re-engineered for right-hand drive locally.
Ram Trucks Australia is Stellantis’ only factory-backed right-hand drive manufacturer of its largest pickup trucks.
The company says the TRX underwent the same process all other Ram models have locally: over 50,000 pre-build development hours, 80,000km of rolling road testing, 50,000km of real-world driving, and a 20,000km full vehicle durability test.
It says there are around 600 locally-sourced new parts in the vehicle.
“The TRX sets new benchmarks for extreme performance trucks and confirms the Australian market as a true success story for RAM Trucks,” said Neville Crichton, chairman of the Ateco Group which owns Ram Trucks Australia.
“From nothing seven years ago to more than 13,000 happy owners now and the largest, most diverse full-size pick-up truck range on offer, what RAM Trucks Australia has achieved is impressive.”
While Ford Australia has confirmed a factory-backed right-hand drive F-150 will arrive in 2023, the Raptor isn’t part of the initial line-up.
GMSV, however, will have a more off-road-ready truck next year in the form of its new Silverado ZR2.
While its 6.2-litre V8 has “only” 313kW of power and 624Nm of torque, it features various enhancements like electronic locking front and rear differentials, Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers, 33-inch mud terrain tyres, and a unique front bumper designed for improved off-road durability and clearance.