Sleeper Ford Flex Embarrasses a 702-HP Ram 1500 TRX at the Drag Strip
Halfway between a crossover and a wagon, the Ford Flex was an odd car, one that in some cases had one hell of an engine under the hood. With a handful of mods, Ford's 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 can generate plenty more power than from the factory, making the many models powered by these motors potential sleepers, capable of embarrassing far flashier vehicles. Like, for example, a Ram 1500 TRX, as the owner of one learned by trying to race a Flex EcoBoost at the drag strip.
The apex predator of pickups was recently depicted being conquered in a video circulating social media, wherein a tuned Flex simply outruns the colossal Ram. In the video's description, ownership of the Flex is attributed to one "David Dekard," and a quick search on Instagram led us to the page of a Michigan Ford dealer's service advisor, whose feed is littered with pictures of a familiar-looking silver Flex.
Deckard told The Drive his Flex—a 2010 SEL with over 163,000 miles—was tuned by Livernois Motorsports to take advantage of its upgraded turbochargers, their improved plumbing, and a methanol injection system. At the wheels, Deckard's Flex lays down 440 all-wheel horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque, so assuming just over 20-percent drivetrain loss, crank output is likely somewhere near 550 horse—nearly 80 percent of the Ram TRX's 702.
Weighing 4,828 pounds to the TRX's advertised 6,350 the tuned Flex registers a comparable power-to-weight ratio, meaning in a drag race, whichever of the two vehicles gets a better launch will probably be the winner. So knew Deckard, as did his rival in the TRX, whom he recalls telling him, "oh man, I didn't want to be lined up against you" before the race.
"I knew the main thing I needed to do was have a good reaction time to make sure I'd get the win," Deckard told us. "They were running pro tree lights that day, so if I was on my game, I could take advantage and I did."
Deckard rocketed ahead of the more powerful TRX, pulling an early lead the Ram couldn't claw back in time. The Flex flew to a 12.51-second pass at 113 mph, and that was with what Deckard tells us was a bad launch—1.93 seconds to the 60-foot mark.
"If I could launch it like I usually do, that trap speed is good for a 12.3 all day," he said.
Sure, Mopar-or-no-car types could argue the TRX might have won with a better launch, and there may be something to be said for a driver mod here. But given how much they love to quote Dominic "one more movie" Toretto, it's worth reminding them what ole Dom said about winning.
Update: April 29, 12:33 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with anecdotes about the race and technical information directly from the vehicle's owner.
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