SCORE Journal


SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 88 of 99

RAM TRX FIELD TEST This 702 Horsepower Truck More Than Just A Powerful Engine By Dan Sanchez Photos by Dan Sanchez and Stuart Bourdon Looking at the specifications, design, and features of the Ram TRX, it’s obvious that the designers and engineers were serious about what they were trying to build and accomplish. (We featured all of the specs back in the September 2020 issue of SJ. Built with all the right ingredients, one can’t help but give kudos to Ram for building a true super truck for real off-road enthusiasts. Knowing that Baja racing provides the ultimate test for any vehicle, Ram asked us to take one out for a test drive and give our thoughts on the truck’s overall off-road performance. Our first impression was that the Ram TRX looks heavy, but with a curb weight of 6,396 lbs. the truck is nimble and easy to drive on the street. The suspension setting you have the TRX in can contribute to it feeling “heavy,” depending on if the shocks are set to soft for Mud, Sand, or even in Baja mode while driving on the highway. Switching to the Sport mode made all the difference, and there are eight modes ranging from towing to full auto. The TRX uses an IFS with 13-inches of wheel travel and has 11.8 inches of ground clearance. Both upper and lower control arms are forged, and when coupled to the Bilstein Black Hawk E2 adaptive performance shocks, the truck can take sharp turns without excessive body roll, as well as handle Baja-type terrain at higher speeds than most other pickups on the market. In off-road terrain, we switched the suspension to the Baja mode which splits the front and rear wheel torque to 25/75 and sets the Bilstein shocks to maximum damping control. The faster we traveled, the smoother the truck became over areas of moderately deep silt, and rocky river washes. On hard-packed dirt, we could accelerate and get the truck up to 80 mph before we ran out of road or had to crawl over large rocks through narrow passes. The TRX also does this well with a rear locking differential in 4-Lo mode and utilizing the paddle shifters to control the 8-speed (TorqueFlite 8HP95) automatic transmission. 6.2L Supercharged Power With 702 horsepower and 650 lbs.-ft. torque, the Ram TRX has plenty of power that in the proper hands, could help steer the vehicle in the rough, and get out of any deep silt bed. The supercharger provides an instant throttle response and continues to pull hard through the first five gears. According to Ram, the TRX is capable of 12.9-second quart-mile times and does 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. If you ever wanted to drag race the TRX, there’s a launch control feature that allows you to apply the brake at a standing start, then hitting the accelerator at full throttle before releasing it. If the Ram TRX had any smaller engine, it definitely would feel sluggish and heavy, but with the torque and performance from the 6.2L Hemi V8, the combination is just right for this size and weight of the truck. The drivetrain and chassis combination offers a tow rating of 8,100 lbs. and it comes with a Trailer Reverse Steer Control for easy trailer hook-up and backing in reverse. Computer Controlled Everything When we first got into the cab of the Ram TRX, it’s a little overwhelming with all the buttons, switches, and two LED screens on the dash. One is the instrument cluster that provides all of the vital information and shows the various suspension modes, vehicle dynamics, and more. etc. The other is the huge 12-inch center touch screen that allows you to set the driving modes, see performance options, as well as all of the climate and navigation functions. We had to take some time to learn how to operate some of these functions, but it was well worth it when we came across some situations where we needed AC or to focus on the navigation. We liked the 360-degree camera that allowed us to see how close we were with obstacles on the trail, and it made backing up and maneuvering much easier. The truck also has backup, front anti-collision, and side sensors that come in handy for the novice off-road enthusiast. We had to turn some of those off, as the vehicle would send off alarms and apply the brakes suddenly as we backed up to close to bushes or if we got too close maneuvering around large rocks and cacti. Is The Ram TRX BaJa Ready? With the performance we experienced from the TRX’s suspension and power from the 6.2L Hemi V8, the Ram is a Baja-ready vehicle. We’d love to see one compete in SCORE’s Stock Full or Heavy Metal classes. With an experienced team and well-planned logistics, the Ram TRX would be able to show its full potential. As a daily-driven truck, the Ram TRX is a beast and while we were driving it, we got plenty of thumbs up and appreciation for the truck from everyone who knew what it was. The only drawback we could see from the truck is that there are only 702 manufactured and will be hard to get. We can only hope that Ram will be able to make more in the coming years and allow SCORE fans and racers to get their hands on one. 2021 Ram TRX 4x4 Crew Cab Specifications Engine: 6.2L Hemi V8, 702 hp/650 lbs.-ft torque Exhaust: Dual Stainless Steel Transmission: TorqueFlite 8HP95, 8-Speed Automatic Rear Axle Ratio: 3.55:1 Transfer Case: Electronic, Driver Selectable, Rear Locking Differentials Wheelbase: 145.1” Length: 232.9” Suspension Front: Short/Long Arm Suspension Rear: Multi-Link Shocks: Bilstein Black Hawk E2 adaptive performance shocks, Brakes: 4-Weel Disc F/R, 15” Wheels: 18x9 Tires: Goodyear LT325/65R18 Towing Capacity : 8100 lbs. Curb Weight: 6396 lbs.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SCORE Journal - SCORE-Journal-April-2021