When it comes to the high-speed desert running, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX has been engineered to perform flawlessly off-road and on-road. But it takes a lot of advancements in engineering and to get the Ram TRX balanced right to tackle both, engineers rigorously tested the TRX to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability.
The 2021 Ram TRX’s frame 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 for dimensional accuracy, reducing the need for welding, and the side rails are fully boxed. The front rails use high-strength steel and hydroformed sections to set a strong foundation to better handle the front suspension load. Galvanized frame components provide improved corrosion protection.
The Ram TRX boasts a ground clearance of 11.8-inches due in part to a 2-inch ride height increase when compared with the rest of the 1500 lineup, along with 35-inch tires. This combination enables TRX to clear surface obstacles easily and at high speeds.
To protect critical components, including the front axle, transfer case, transmission pan, and fuel tank, TRX employs five skid plates. A separate skid plate sits at the bottom of the front fascia, mitigating potential damage, and doubles as a belly pan. Heavy-duty gauge steel rock sliders are an available option.
The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminum closures, including the doors, hood, and tailgate, helps reduce weight and boost fuel economy. Ram TRX also uses aluminum engine mounts, front axle center section, front suspension, and transmission cross-members, front upper and lower control arms, front skid plate, transmission skid plate, and steering system gear.
An all-new independent front suspension system with active damping uses high-strength aluminum to maintain overall strength and durability. The all-new independent front suspension system includes new front upper and lower control arms made of forged aluminum with special attention paid to the caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. The new, longer, substantially sized front upper and lower control arms are constructed of 80-KSI high-strength steel and designed with a focus on additional wheel travel and axle track width. This new suspension system features upgraded components to provide more performance and improved endurance.
Outback, the Ram TRX’s rear suspension had to clear packaging barriers and the engineering team took that into consideration with this unique application. The result is an innovative and durable solution that produces greater wheel travel without reducing the cargo area in the bed.
The 2021 Ram TRX uses an all-new rear suspension system with active damping and an exclusive five-link coil system for incredible ride characteristics and durability. The frame’s hardpoints for the five-link suspension system differ when compared to a standard-issue Ram 1500 and allow the Dana 60 rear axle to travel up to 13-inches. Overall, rear-wheel travel is increased to more than 13-inches from the standard 9-inches, or more than 40% when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup.
The 2021 Ram TRX uses the proven five-link coil suspension configuration and provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf-spring system. This suspension design reduces friction in the spring system and weighs significantly less than a comparable leaf spring system. At 600 millimeters in length, the robust rear springs are the largest ever applied on a non-commercial production vehicle.
The robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling a maximum payload of 1,310 pounds and towing capability of 8,100 pounds.
New 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks use precision-machined, single-piece construction comprised of rigid aluminum to reduce and dissipate heat and continuously adjust damping forces for optimal body control and terrain isolation. The adaptive performance shocks feature robust corrosion protection with a durable finish and directional-machined cooling fins aligned with airflow for more effective cooling.
Dual Electronic Proportional Valves continuously adjusts damping forces for precise, independent control of compression and rebound damping. A nitrogen-charged remote reservoir uses a hot-formed, zero-leak tube closure to ensure maximum durability during extreme on and off-road events.
A pressure-activated Triple Rod seal has been field-tested for long-lasting durability against contamination and leaks. Ram TRX uses stainless steel braided high-pressure hose to combat corrosion and abrasion while being able to resist up to 5,800 PSI. A high-strength, lightweight rock shield defends the piston rod against incoming rubble with a custom-molded escape path for debris.
The Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks have been tuned to demonstrate optimum balance between on-road handling and class-leading off-road capability. Ride comfort, body-roll control, and handling are significantly improved with the Ram-proprietary Active Terrain Dynamics suspension management system, new shock tuning, hard points, and body mount strategy.
In addition to a standard urethane jounce bumper, the internals of the Bilstein adaptive performance shock feature a Jounce Cut Off to create three zones for progressive bottom-out control during extreme compression events. All modes can reach peak compression damping for the most extreme events.
The 2021 Ram TRX is a high-performance pickup truck built to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability. To clear the elevated benchmarks and performance figures that TRX presents, a Dana 60 rear axle with full-floating axle shafts is standard equipment and handles the increased torque output, rear electronic locking differential, and 35-inch tires. The Dana 60 rear axle uses an axle hop damper that enables improved traction and axle control on rough surfaces. A new rear axle center section provides balanced performance and a locking differential for increased off-road performance.
The Ram TRX is equipped with a new BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case that enables passage through any off-road obstruction or weather condition. This modified transfer case features upgraded internals for improved strength and durability. Ram TRX features a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and can be flat-towed while in neutral.
Off-road, the 2021 Ram TRX will race to 100 mph with ease, and the segment’s largest brakes bring the TRX to a composed halt. Ram TRX relies on a four-wheel disc brake system and a hydraulic compensation unit to enhance brake pedal feel and performance during emergency maneuvers. Upfront is two-piston monoblock calipers clamping down on 15-inch inverted hat (outboard venting) rotors for improved cooling. The rear uses single-piston calipers with 15-inch rotors to provide incredible stopping power. An electronic parking brake holds the truck steady when applied and is standard.
For the 2021 Ram TRX, engineers found that to maximize capability, it would call for a 35-inch tire. Developed exclusively for the Ram TRX, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain 325/65R/18 tires, featuring an aggressive tread and sidewall with D-load rating, are assigned the task.
There are two different wheel designs that are available on TRX, including an 18-inch x 9-inch optional Beadlock-ready wheel straight from the factory.
An approach angle of 30.2 degrees, breakover angle of 21.9-degrees, departure angle of 23.5-degrees, and a ground clearance of 11.8-inches allow the Ram TRX to go anywhere.
The 2021 Ram TRX uses performance-tuned software to pre-configure and distinguish five dynamic modes – Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow, and Custom – enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. The drive modes separately control the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension, and the electric power steering. All modes use active slip control that prevents binding and excessive slip from front to rear.
Custom mode allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance with a selectable driving experience, offering a multitude of vehicle system combinations.
Separately, the Ram TRX features three dynamic off-road modes – Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja – enabling drivers to choose a setting that best fits the terrain around them. Like the on-road modes, the off-road drive modes control several systems, including the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension, and steering.
Those who are looking to purchase a 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, will have the most capable performance off-roader on the market.