Why the 702-HP Ram TRX Took So Long To Happen

Good things come to those who wait. About 702 good things.

There is a quote from a so-so movie I once saw that’s stayed with me: “Life is nothing but timing.” That line sums up why the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is here now, and not then. If you’re going to slap the Ford Raptor with a dueling glove you better come locked and loaded for bear. Even if it means taking a few years to suit up. 

In an interview with Muscle Car and Truck, Ram’s Senior Brand Manager Carl Lally dove into why it took four years to develop the TRX. The first concept of the Ram Rebel TRX debuted at the State Fair of Texas in the now-simpler time of 2016, with 575 horsepower. Lally told Muscle Car and Truck that the Ram team needed to get the new 1500 out first. 

“We were in the midst of developing the all-new (DT) Ram 1500 for the 2019 model year already at that point in time. Rather than rush to market and drop an engine in a truck, we wanted to take our time to make sure we get it right, from top to bottom,” Lally told MC&T.

The TRX had to wait for the next-generation Ram truck to be finished. This provided the opportunity to build the TRX on a brand new foundation.

This truck is not solely built to hunt Ford Raptors, Lally said—it’s a representation of Ram’s capability in an increasingly tough truck market. The Ram 1500 TRX is the fastest, most off-roadable truck Ram has produced, and one that features the same interior luxuries as the top-of-the-range models. It’s a greatest hits album on wheels.

And Ram North America chief Mike Koval Jr. said as much in an interview quoted by Automotive News:

“We’re taking everything our truck brand has learned about performance and off-road capability and married that to everything that our street and racing technology team has learned about going fast and breaking records,” Koval said during a media preview last week.

Ram wanted to build an icon, not a novelty. A truck to add to its history list: the original Dodge Power Wagon, the Lil Red Express, and now the Ram 1500 TRX.

On paper, the TRX has everything to satisfy our four-year-aged anticipation. The timing probably gave Ford a chance to decide and give the Raptor its V8 rumble back. See what I mean about timing? Now we have a big fight to look forward to in 2021. 

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