(Prince Edward County, Ontario) On the occasion of the release of the RAM TRX, the brand’s strategists put forward, with great emphasis, power, acceleration, robustness, all-round aptitudes. field, but not a word on consumption and CO emissions2. Would they have a bad conscience?
The brand ego exists. At RAM, it weighs almost 3 tonnes, is 6 meters long, meets the name of TRX and will be offered this winter for the tidy sum of around $ 100,000.
Admittedly, the self-esteem of auto companies like that of ordinary mortals is often misplaced, but in this case, it would be unfair to see it as a lack of modesty and an exaggerated pretension. In fact, it’s more of a reaction to the offer launched a few years ago by Ford and its Raptor, an equally oversized pickup truck.
The management of RAM is careful not to justify the presence of TRX to the only Raptor and reminds that this is not its first foray into the niche niche of the pickup truck doped with steroids. Long before the TRX, the group designed the Custom Sports Special over 50 years ago. It then gave birth to the Li’l Red Express then to the RAM SR-T 10 and its 8.3-liter V10 engine. The TRX only continues the lineage and will undoubtedly represent, for us, the last hurray of the internal combustion engine or as an object of pride for our neighbors to the West and the South that we know how sensitive to the symbolism of “Big pick-up”.
Incidentally, they are not the only ones. Across the country, industry forecasts clearly show that sales of pickup trucks will surpass those of automobiles (all categories) over the next year. This is to say the power of attraction that they exercise.
The method is well known – lots of horses, menacing air, imposing stature – and the TRX is no exception. Ample, the TRX imposes it. Compared to a “regular” RAM, it impresses especially by its imposing width which will not fail, at first contact, to disturb more than one and to apprehend the maneuvers in the narrow streets and the parking spaces.
To show off the colors of Auburn Hills in Michigan (the brand’s stronghold) in the vertiginous race for power initiated by the American manufacturers, RAM takes no detour and makes the TRX “the fastest production van in the world. “, nothing less.
To do this, the TRX retains the services of the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with a power of 702 horsepower and, connoisseurs will appreciate, a torque of 650 lb-ft from 4,800 rpm.
Impressive figures which will not be or not for very long for two reasons. The first is that, failing to meet government standards that will come into effect in the coming months, this mechanism is doomed, in its current form, to disappear on several FCA products.
Jordan Wasylyk, spokesperson for the company, however, maintains that the TRX will meet “the standards [EVAP] for model year 2022 and beyond ”, without specifying a deadline. The second is that the performance of a fully electric thruster not only promises even more exhilarating results, but also a smoother ecological footprint. Was it therefore essential to further increase the power of engines which were already notoriously oversized in relation to road conditions? In Detroit, we are green, but not too much …
Despite its extraordinary size, on expressways, the almost three tonnes of the TRX miraculously vanished. The automatic gearbox, coupled with a pair of paddles, is a marvel of smoothness, while the braking is firm and progressive.
As long as you keep your foot very light, it is easy to keep fuel consumption below 20 liters on roads and motorways. On the other hand, if one takes it into his head to give free rein to the impressive cavalry which pawns under the hood or in a more prosaic way, if one cannot escape from city traffic, then it is necessary to expect the needle on the fuel gauge to decline extremely quickly.
An extraordinary experience
The main thing for fans of this hypertrophied van is that the driving of the new model does not suffer from the efforts made to make it fast, robust, almost indestructible. And, even at low speed, holding the controls of a TRX is an extraordinary experience, especially because of the space it takes up on the street. The presence of a compressor does not detract from the majesty of the cavernous purr, characteristic of the house mechanics, which turns into a hoarse grunt at the slightest pressure exerted on the accelerator.
The precision of the front axle impresses, considering the nature “all terrain” of the tires, while the braking surprises a tad with its apparent lack of bite which, however, does not affect its efficiency in the context of daily use.
With a considerably reinforced chassis and reworked suspension elements, the TRX says it is ready to face dunes, fords, marshes. The road too. In this regard, the towing capacity of the TRX is inferior to other models in the range, but introduces a driving aid called Trailer Steering Assist. The latter functions as a semi-autonomous driving device. In function, it is responsible for “taking the wheel” in order to help you park a trailer or only to position it correctly before its stowage. Neophytes will welcome the initiative.
Apart from the many cosmetic changes made to the exterior of this van, the interior does not cause any real surprises. With the exception of the must-have decals and the commemorative plaque, the wardrobe of the TRX is identical to that of the Limited version of the RAM 1500. Flawless connectivity, efficient ergonomics, comfortable seats: an environment in which to wait while the TRX fills up.
My TRX to me
A dedicated spare parts supplier and part of the group for over 80 years, Mopar manufactures more than a hundred accessories for the TRX. These decorate a catalog that already includes no less than 600 accessories already offered on all products of the RAM brand. Among this plethora of “enrichments”, we note – hang in there, the sentence is long – running boards, protective mats, an arch decorated with off-road headlights, a base to display the spare wheel in the middle of the dumpster and this ingenious device which allows small items to be secured to the backs of the front seats.
Dunes and marshes
Visualize yourself at the controls of the RAM TRX, speeding over a beach of gray and hard sand. Or rush through the crescents of golden dunes in the hope of leaping as high and as far as Ken Block or Evel Knievel. Images that are fantasies like that of several owners of Ferraris, Porsches and other McLarens, which are visualized on a closed circuit, and just as exciting the imagination. A certain idea of the automobile dream where the important thing is the image that we refer to others and, incidentally, to ourselves.
Share your experience
Press will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: Genesis G80, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Optima (K5), Land Rover Defender, Lexus IS, Mazda 3, Mercedes CLA, Mini Cooper and Countryman, Toyota Sienna. If you own one of these vehicles, we would love to hear from you.
6.2-liter ACC V8 supercharged by supercharger
702 horsepower at 6100 rpm
650 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
Weight: 2880 kg
Weight / power ratio: 4.1 kg / hp
Maximum towing capacity: 3674 kg
Standard: 8-speed automatic
Drive mode: 4 x 4
325 / 65R18
Fuel tank capacity and recommended fuel
22.4 L / 100 km (average obtained during the test)
Wheelbase: 3685.5mm / Length: 5916mm / Height: 2054mm / Width: 2235.2mm