Ram’s 702-HP TRX Is Tremendous. But Would It Be Any Good at Overlanding?

This morning, a very shout-y Ram representative took to YouTube to reveal the brand’s new halo truck (at least its half-ton halo), the TRX. If the name didn’t already hint at what its aims were, the “Jurassic Park” clip of the T-Rex killing a Velociraptor plugged into the front of the reveal video beat viewers over the head with it; the TRX is built to eat the Ford F-150 Raptor (TRX — T-Rex … get it?).

With 702 horsepower and 650 foot-pounds of torque churning out of a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, routed to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic, there’s no denying this dinosaur is mighty.

TRX was ostensibly designed to be an off-road beast, with a locking Dana 60 rear differential and exclusive 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 shocks at all four corners. Heck, it even has a Baja drive mode. In spite of its off-road bona fides and undeniable appeal, I have to wonder: Would it be any good for overlanding?

Short answer: Maybe for the right person. Let’s take a look at the TRX’s key features to see why.

With Great Power

Like I mentioned in the intro, the TRX boasts 702 horsepower. This will send it from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a blistering 4.5 seconds. It’ll do 0-100 mph in 10.5 seconds on the way to its 118-mph top speed. Considering the truck probably weighs 5,300 pounds and is more than 80 inches wide, those are mind-boggling figures. I hate to use a ton of hyperbolic cliches to describe this truck’s performance bona fides. But, really, this thing is a rolling hunk of hyperbole.


Photo: RAM

Photo: RAM

I also realize that 0-60 means absolutely nothing for overlanders. However, I wanted to highlight it because, well, you can’t gloss over something like that. With that underscored, let’s look at some of the features most applicable to overlanders.

Let’s start with the airbox that feeds that 6.2-liter dino. It features the largest dual-element air filter in its segment — four times the dust-trapping capability of the TRX’s closest competitor (Raptor). And that’s a good thing because this truck was designed to unleash its ponies in the dirt, sand, and dust. Oh, and water, too — the TRX can ford up to 32 inches of water.The tectonic plate-load of power is routed to the dirt through an active transfer case — the internals of which have been beefed up to handle those 650 torques. The t-case is controlled through a dash-mounted mode-selector switch next to the drive mode toggle as well as launch mode button. The last line of defense between the tarmac and the torque are 35-inch tires wrapped around 18-inch bead-lock-capable wheels that obscure 15-inch disc brakes in the front — the largest in the segment.


Photo: RAM

Photo: RAM

Like I mentioned earlier, a solid rear axle — complete with built-in axle-hop dampers — comes standard with an e-locker from the factory. And, up front, the suspension has been modified for the TRX. It featured high-strength forged aluminum upper and lower control arms.

All of these components come together to work in harmony for the TRX’s Baja Mode, which adjusts the four-wheel drive and steering systems, as well as traction control and suspension settings to keep the power going to the ground as the truck hammers across the landscape.

If that weren’t enough, the TRX is rated with a 1,310-pound payload and 8,100-pound towing capacities.

Luxury-Level Interior

Delightfully, the TRX seems to be as luxurious and tech savvy as it is powerful. Ram’s 12-inch touchscreen is standard in the center dash. And making its debut in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) lineup is a head-up display (HUD) projected on the windshield. Also available is a digital rearview mirror, which replaces standard glass with a 9.2-inch screen.

There’s a new flat-bottom steering wheel and you can have the entire interior draped in leather and suede with carbon-fiber accents.


Photo: RAM

Photo: RAM

For those of you who aren’t super capable of reversing a trailer, the TRX’s Trailer Reverse Steer Control system takes over the confusing steering duties. Using a knob below the in-dash touchscreen, you watch the rearview camera’s view and turn the knob where you want the trailer to go. And the system steers the TRX for you.

Overlanding Appropriate?

We’ve established the 2021 Ram TRX can go 0-60 about as fast as the Ferrari F40 and it can tow 8,100 pounds and ford 32 inches of water. It can do these things while cradling you in one of the most spacious, luxurious, and tech-y interiors on the planet. These are all impressive features, no doubt. But how do they translate to overlanding? More specifically, would you even want to overland with the TRX?


Photo: RAM

Photo: RAM

Honestly, I’ve wrestled with this one question. And although I’ll get some angry emails from some of you folks, I can’t help but conclude that, yes, the TRX could be a cool overland rig — for the right person.

Let’s assume this truck will return a combined 14 miles per gallon and it’s fitted with the 23-gallon gas tank. Assuming those, you could go 300-or-so miles per tank, which isn’t terrible. You’ll have plenty of ground clearance, as the TRX is two inches taller than the standard Ram 1500, with 11.8 inches of ground clearance. And 1,310 pounds of payload and 8,100 pounds of towing is more than enough for most of us overlanders to haul or tow our gear.


Photo: RAM

Photo: RAM

I realize this truck was ostensibly built to allow well-heeled flat-brim-cap-wearers to hammer their truck off of some sweet jumps in the desert. I don’t see why, though, someone couldn’t also use this roaring dino for overlanding as well.

Some may balk at the TRX’s price point, which will surely fall in the mid-$80,000s. But that’s 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser country. And, I’m sorry, but I’d rather have a 702-hp Ram loaded up with luxury and tech than the aging and essentially tech-less Cruiser for that money. Sorry not sorry.


Header image credit: RAM

Written by Nick Jaynes. Follow Nick @nickjaynes

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