World’s fastest bakkie: Ram TRX goes Raptor hunting with 523kW Hellcat heart

Published Aug 18, 2020


DETROIT - South African bakkie fans just got another piece of forbidden fruit dangled in front of them, with the US launch of the first-ever Ram 1500 TRX.

Described as “the apex predator of the truck world”, the TRX is ready to attack the Ford F-150 Raptor, and to do that it has borrowed a 6.2-litre heart from its Dodge Challenger Hellcat cousin, while also gaining the necessary chassis enhancements for bundu bashing in a hurry.

The TRX’s 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 is rated at 523kW and 881Nm, which Ram says is enough to launch it from 0-96km/h in 4.5 seconds, and on to 160km/h in 10.5s, making it the world’s fastest series-production pick-up truck. Even the quarter mile time is astounding (for something that’s not a ridiculously over-modified VW Caddy) at 12.9 seconds.

But like the Raptor, the TRX was designed to be more of a desert menace than a drag strip champion, which is why it has an abnormally large air filter specifically designed for dusty conditions.

The chassis, of course, was also purpose designed for high-speed off-roading, which is why the TRX has 40 percent more wheel travel than the regular Ram 1500 that it’s based on. Other highlights include Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks, five-link coil rear suspension, a Dana 60 solid rear axle and an electronic locking differential.

What about the tekkies? These come in the form of bespoke 18-by-9-inch alloy wheels shod with Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain tyres.

Power goes to all four wheels through an eight speed automatic gearbox with a full-time active transfer case featuring TRX-specific internal components.

Just like the Raptor, the TRX has a Baja drive mode that calibrates the 4WD, chassis, engine, gearbox and steering systems for “ultimate desert performance”.

The cabin is surprisingly luxurious, featuring a 900-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system as well as an all-new head-up display system that can show five things at a time. Buyers can choose from three interior options, including premium cloth and vinyl, premium wrapped leather and suede, as well as the latter combined with red and carbon fibre accents.

IOL Motoring

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