RAM Trucks Australia has introduced the TRX halo model to its 1500 pick-up truck range, which, apart from its imposing wide-body kerb appeal and beefed-up off-roader underpinnings, packs a whopping 523kW and 882 Nm of torque courtesy of a 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8.
With a retail price of $199,950 before on-road costs, the TRX is $51,000 dearer than its 1500 Limited Crew Cab RamBox sibling. A full-length panoramic sunroof is a $10,000 option.
The 1500 range’s new flagship is 203mm wider than its siblings, replete with composite flares and fender wells that have been stretched to compensate for a 152mm track-width increase and wrap over the 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tyres.
Its front axle has been shifted 20mm forward and the ride height hiked by 50mm to give the burliest Ram a ground clearance of 295mm.
Other variant-specific adornments include an enlarged Ram-badged grille, all-black LED headlamps (flanked by air curtains), a prominent bonnet scoop, skid plates and steel bumpers, while the rear end features LED taillamps, oversized tow hooks as well as integrated five-inch dual exhaust ports.
The hood scoop is not just there for show, either. It forms part of a dual-path air induction system and draws 50 per cent of the motor’s air intake (the other 50 per cent comes in through the grille), complemented by “the largest air filter in the segment” that utilises dual elements designed for extreme, dusty environments “with four times the dust-trapping capacity of its closest competitor”.
Ram Trucks Australia further says the TRX’s 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 engine, which is mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, develops its 523kW and 882Nm at 6100rpm and 4200rpm respectively.
It results in the claimed 0-100km/h time being a blistering 4.5 seconds, with the quarter mile coming up in 12.9 seconds (at 173km/h); the stated top speed is 190km/h.
Despite its sportscar-humbling on-road performance potential, the TRX’s off-road credentials are equally headline-grabbing. Over and above the five drive modes – Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow and Custom – the variant features three off-road modes – Mud/Sand, Rock and Baja, the latter of which calibrates the four-wheel-drive and steering systems, stability control, transmission calibration and suspension settings for “ultimate desert performance” and a claimed off-road top speed of 160km/h.
Apart from a BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case (with upgraded internals for improved durability), the TRX is equipped with a Dana 60 solid rear axle with a 3.55 ratio featuring full-floating hubs and an axle-hop damper. An electronic locking rear differential is also fitted as standard.
An all-new, five-link coil suspension system with active damping (courtesy of 2.6-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks) incorporates forged aluminium front upper and lower control arms – Ram “paid special attention” to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling.
To protect components such as the front axle, transfer case, transmission pan and fuel tank, five skid plates are fitted. A separate skid plate sits at the bottom of the front fascia, mitigating potential damage, and doubles as a belly pan. Heavy-duty gauge steel rock sliders are available at extra cost.
The TRX has a stated approach angle of 30.2 degrees, breakover angle of 21.9 degrees, departure angle of 23.5 degrees and its rear-wheel travel has been increased to more than 330mm (40 per cent more that of a standard 1500).
Ram Trucks Australia also claims the variant offers up to 812mm of water fording ability, while its maximum payload is 767kg and its braked tow rating is up to 3500kg.
Meanwhile, the variant’s interior features hand-wrapped leather instrument panels, complemented by suede and carbon-fibre accents. The TRX-embroidered heated and ventilated front bucket seats and rear bench is upholstered in Natura Plus leather, while the multifunction steering wheel has a flat-bottomed design and aluminium paddle shifters stretch above and below the steering wheel’s spokes.
A redesigned centre console includes a performance-oriented transmission selector, a wireless charging dock and five USBs (including Type A and C ports), while the TRX-specific transfer case switches, drive-mode selector and launch control button are integrated into the dashboard.
The TRX marks the first time that the 1500’s Uconnect 5C NAV 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system offers drive mode, performance and off-road displays – and the setup is bolstered by the fitment of a 900W, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system (including a 10-inch subwoofer).
Safety and security features include six airbags, ParkView reverse camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, ready alert braking and full-speed forward-collision warning plus functions.
The TRX underwent the same Australian design, homologation, and re-manufacture processes (incorporating more than 600 locally-sourced new parts, its importer Ateco Group says) as previous Ram variants – and that includes more than 50,000 pre-build development hours, 80,000km of rolling road testing, 50,000km of real-world road driving, as well as a 20,000km vehicle durability test.
“The TRX sets new benchmarks for extreme performance trucks and confirms the Australian market as a true success story for Ram Trucks,” said Ateco Group chair Neville Crichton.
“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.”
“Our robust planning, development, remanufacturing, and testing programme in conjunction with our local and global partners at Stellantis’ Ram Trucks International has produced a range of vehicles which have successfully built-up strong demand for full-size pick-up trucks in Australia and New Zealand,” added Ram Trucks Australia’s national manager, Jeff Barber.
Ram Trucks Australia offers the 1500 line-up with a three-year/100,000km warranty and roadside assistance program.