NEW ON YOUTUBE: Toyota MR2 Built by F&F Legend

The Ram 1500 RHO Can’t Count on Power to Beat the F-150 Raptor

The TRX steamrolled the regular Raptor with its Hellcat V8, but the six-cylinder RHO finally gives Ford’s benchmark a direct competitor.

byCaleb Jacobs|
2025 Ram 1500 RHO
2025 Ram 1500 RHO. The Drive, Stellantis
Share

0

The Ram TRX and its Hellcat V8 are dead. Have been for months. Ram just revealed a pseudo-replacement for the super-truck called the RHO and from the outside, it's nearly the same. The styling is almost identical, the suspension is almost identical, and all the stats that actually matter for off-roading are identical. But the RHO is powered by a 540-horsepower, twin-turbo inline-sixnot a V8. That's hugely significant.

See, the TRX was always billed as a Ford F-150 Raptor fighter. It had the 35-inch tires, the widebody, and the snazzy adaptive suspension. Though, because of its massive power advantage—702 hp compared to the Ford's 450 hp—it was never an analogous comparison. Obviously, Ford stepped up and started selling its own supercharged V8-powered Raptor R a couple of years back, but that's another beast. That rig costs $110,000 and now exists in its own category.

You could argue that the TRX's engine did it a lot of favors. It would be wrong to say the truck was bad otherwise—indeed, it was super in almost every sense of the word—but all that horsepower meant it wouldn't matter as much if everything else kinda sucked. That was pretty much the M.O. of everything they stuffed the Hellcat into.

The RHO doesn't enjoy that same perk. It's more comparable to the mass-market, high-volume F-150 Raptor that continues to dominate the trails and the sales sheets. With this new six-cylinder truck, Ram is now tackling the industry standard directly.

It's coming out swinging with everything that made the TRX great, sans Hellcat, though it still packs more power than the Raptor. Despite its smaller displacement of 3.0 liters compared to the Raptor's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the Hurricane engine makes 540 hp and 521 lb-ft of torque thanks to 26 pounds of boost. Its internals are forged, its oiling system is upgraded, and it features water-to-air intercooling.

The two trucks take a similar approach to suspension setup, albeit with some differences. Undoubtedly the biggest is the Ram's Bilstein Blackhawk e2 adaptive dampers with remote reservoirs compared to the Raptor and its Fox Live Valve shocks. Both take inputs from various vehicle systems to adjust rebound and compression almost instantly on the fly, but the Bilsteins use remote reservoirs. Each one has five-link coil rear suspension, making for great articulation. Likewise, they both have independent front suspension, though the Ram uses forged aluminum upper and lower control arms; on the Raptor, only the lowers are aluminum while the uppers are steel.

Many of the RHO's other stats come close to the Raptor's, even if they don't exceed them. The Ram has 11.8 inches of ground clearance on 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler AT tires; the Ford has 12 inches flat with 35-inch BF Goodrich rollers and 13.1 inches on 37s. The Ram has 14 inches of suspension travel out back; the Raptor manages 15 inches. These are slight differences that most folks won't notice behind the wheel, but they're differences nonetheless.

One key contrast that anyone will notice is the cost. The Ram 1500 RHO and all its horsepower starts at $71,990—$8,335 less than the F-150 Raptor. At such a high price point, money might seem like a trivial reason to pick one over the other, but that's a 10% gap. It's hard not to be swayed by that at least a little bit.

Stellantis

We'll have to see how customers respond to the RHO, but I bet they'll be everywhere before long. I see a TRX every time I go to town, and now that these will be sold for nearly $30,000 less than the Hellcat truck in its final year, volume will likely keep soaring. Americans love their high-po pickups and the Ram RHO debuts as one of the best.

Got a tip or question for the author? Contact them directly: caleb@thedrive.com

stripe
News by BrandRAM NewsTrucks