Has there ever been a vehicle more outrageous, naughty, and irresponsible than the RAM 1500 TRX? While the roads are flooding themselves with EVs and Plug-in Hybrids, there are few vehicles that make their presence felt more than the $199,950 AUD RAM TRX. It’s a halo vehicle in every sense of the word, something that shouldn’t even exist, but one you’re glad does… are we all just taking ourselves too seriously and is the ‘T-rex’ the antidote we need? We’ll let you decide because we’ve put together a guide for everything you need to know about the RAM 1500 TRX in Australia below including price, power, chassis, and availability. Let’s check it out.
What Powers the RAM 1500 TRX?
While the fuel price continues to jump to record highs across Australia, a glance around the roads tells a different story. Aussies are hitting dealerships in droves to get a piece of the full-sized pickup life and RAM Trucks Australia has had no problem selling plenty – over 13,000 trucks – to farmers, tradies, and adventurers since they landed on shores in 2015. The RAM 1500 TRX defines the phrase ‘bigger means better,’ and it all starts with the engine.
It almost goes without saying but this is the most powerful mass-produced truck in the world, and powering the RAM 1500 TRX in Australia is the infamous Hellcat motor, resulting in power figures of 523kW (702HP) and 882Nm. This is the least powerful application of the Hellcat motor yet due to air filter restrictions for dirt, dust, and water, however, it’s fundamentally the same engine that’s proven reliable in a number of other Crysler and Dodge vehicles overseas, including the Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango SRT Hellcat, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and Challenger SRT Demon.
Fuel consumption of the 1500 TRX is equally as impressive as the power, with a claimed 19.6 litres of fuel per 100km.
The air filtering process has been tweaked to allow for distance travel offroad, with 50 per cent of air entering the 6.2-litre supercharged HEMI V8 engine through the functional hood scoops, while the other 50 per cent enters through the grille. It goes further, both intake paths direct air to the front and rear of a 29-litre airbox and directing incoming air to the bottom of the air box helps dirt and water settle out before the air reaches the filter element. There’s also a one-way drain in the bottom of the airbox for escaping water and twin, heavy-duty air filters provide 198.4 square inches of filter surface area. The water fording ability is factory rated at up to 812mm.
Drivetrain and Transmission
Hanging off the back of the massive 6.2-litre Hemi is a TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s an intelligent transmission that has the ability to monitor engine torque gradients, throttle kick-down, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, detection of friction, downshifts and road grade to slot you into the right gear in any circumstance. This is combined with a new BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case, modified with upgraded internals for strength and durability. The RAM TRX features a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and can be flat-towed while in neutral.
Launch control is standard on the RAM TRX and tire spin is managed via computer software to keep you in a straight line. Essentially, wheel speed sensors watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch (by the millisecond) and provide inputs to the powertrain control module to modify engine torque to regain full grip. Jump detection (yes, jump detection) works in a similar way to prevent power spikes and provide optimal suspension for landing.
RAM 1500 TRX Performance Figures
- Acceleration from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
- The top speed is 190km/h.
- Quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 173km/h.
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What Underpins the RAM 1500 TRX?
The first thing to remember about the RAM TRX is that it’s far more than just a RAM 1500 with a crate motor, the vehicle has been ground-up redesigned to deal with almost anything you can throw at it.
|RAM 1500 TRX Suspension Geometry|
|Approach Angle||30.2 degrees|
|Departure Angle||23.5 degrees|
|Breakover Angle||21.9 degrees|
Point in case? The RAM TRX’s frame/ chassis is composed of thicker, optimally shaped, strategically placed high-strength steel that uses low-torsion attributes to increase durability and stability. Sections of the frame are hydroformed, the side rails are fully boxed, and areas of the frame are galvanised. Other areas use lightweight aluminium, including the bonnet, tailgate, engine mounts, front axle centre section, front suspension, transmission cross-members, front upper and lower control arms, front skid plate, transmission skid plate and steering system to help reduce weight (as funny as that sounds on such an obese truck).
Five skid plates underpin the chassis to protect various components, and rock sliders are employed to protect the door sills.
The suspension on the RAM 1500 TRX has also been ground up redesigned, it has a ‘jump detection’ system after all so we can see a few of these getting airborne at Stockton beach *allegedly*. The front end is independent, with new front upper and lower control arms made of forged aluminium that are longer for more wheel travel and have special attention paid to the caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. While the rear end features active dampening and a trick five-link system that features a large and durable Dana 60 rear axle (with locking differential), and 600mm rear springs to extend suspension travel up to 330mm (40 per cent more than the standard 1500 truck).
Ground clearance of 295mm is thanks to a 50mm ride height increase over the standard 1500 line-up in combination with a new Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shock absorber, but we’re also pointing the finger at the large 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain 325/65R/18 tyres.
The RAM 1500 TRX has a maximum payload of 767kg and 3.5-tonnes max braked towing capacity.
The most powerful ute in Australia also needs big brakes and the RAM 1500 TRX offers a four-wheel hydraulic disc brake system with two-pastor 15-inch disks up front, and single-piston rear with 15-inch rotors. Could they be larger? On paper, they certainly sound a little small, but we’ll have to wait until we get a chance to test the TRX in the dunes to be the judge.
The RAM 1500 TRX comes with five different drive modes and three off-road modes. On-road modes include Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow and Custom. Each drive mode works hand in hand with the four-wheel-drive system to manage throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering to best cater to the driver’s expectations. All modes use active slip control that prevents binding and excessive slip from front to rear, with custom mode allowing the driver to personalise the performance settings. Off-road modes include Mud/Sand, Rock and Baja with each mode utilising the same on-road management systems.
What’s Changed on the Exterior of the RAM 1500 TRX?
The RAM 1500 TRX is a massive truck, in fact, it’s so massive there’s a good chance it won’t fit into your local car park, shopping centre, drive-through, or just about anywhere a standard ute might fit. Flares have been added to the standard body to cover the larger tires, and as such add 203mm to the width over the standard RAM 1500. The front axle has been brought forward 20mm to fit the tires as well.
To put just how wide this vehicle is in perspective, a Hummer H1 is 86.5 inches wide and Ram TRX is 88.0 inches wide.
What’s the Interior Like on the RAM 1500 TRX?
While your traditional truck interior is considered to be far from modern-day marvels, the RAM TRX features the same class-leading interior as its 1500 Limited brothers. A massive 12-inch central screen, suedes, leathers, quality seats and the sporty SRT steering wheel are included as you would expect on a vehicle that costs more than $200,000 AUD.
The infotainment system is heralded by RAM’s Uconnect 5C NAV that’s 12-inches in size and fully configurable. The system is running fourth-generation software that cleverly splits the screen in two for multiple views while driving or centres as a full-screen view. Performance pages that display real-time performance information such as timers (0-100km/h elapsed time), g-force, gauges and engine performance are available in the menu. While Off-road pages display ride height, transfer case position, pitch and roll of the vehicle and accessory gauges. Finally, the 360-degree camera shows your vehicle’s full surroundings on the centre screen.
A giant engine, big suspension, and a massive touchscreen wouldn’t want to take away from the 900W sound system that’s found its way into the RAM 1500n TRX. Harman Kardon branded, the audio system features an array of 19 speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer to make sure everyone at your local state forest hates your guts when blasting Rod Stewart at 10 pm.
RAM 1500 TRX Availability and Pricing
The RAM 1500 TRX will be sold exclusively through RAM Trucks Australia which is the world’s only RAM-authorised manufacturer of right-hand drive RAM trucks. All RAM Trucks Australia vehicles are international-spec vehicles, uniquely coded for the Australian market and the local build process, in the case of the RAM TRX, it will come pre-optioned with only a panoramic sunroof option available for $10,000 AUD. A statement from RAM Trucks Australia on the sale of the TRX reminds us of just how much of a halo car this is.
“When we first started this brand in Australia people said it couldn’t be done… 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 that have successfully built-up strong demand for full-size pick-up trucks in Australia and New Zealand,” said Jeff Barber, National Manager, RAM Trucks Australia.
More than 600 locally sourced new parts are involved in the left to right-hand drive conversation and as such, the price is steep, to say the least, although we don’t see that being a problem in the market.
The RAM 1500 TRX is priced from $199,950 AUD before on-road costs.
How much does the RAM 1500 TRX cost in Australia?
The RAM 1500 TRX costs $199,950 AUD before on road costs. This is in part due to the 600+ locally sourced parts that need fitting for the left to right-hand drive conversion.
How much power does the RAM 1500 TRX have?
In Australia, the RAM 1500 TRX will feature the same 702HP 6.2-litre Supercharged V8 engine from the Dodge Hellcat, albeit with some changes to the intake system for dirt, dust, and water filtering.
Is the RAM 1500 TRX legal in Australia?
The RAM 1500 TRX is fully legal in Australia and is exclusively sold through RAM Trucks Australia who do the left to right-hand drive conversion and all relating paperwork to engineer the vehicle for Australian roads.
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