We as the population at large have grown up not just being entertained by great rivalries, but we’ve embraced them. Rivalry is what defines us as a nation. From the very beginning it was us versus the Brits for freedom. And then when that war was over, we started fighting ourselves and it was the North versus the South. Then there were some world wars in there and when those were over we started (or continued) a fight with Mother Russia. But even beyond national pride, we choose sides on not just a daily basis, but almost hourly. Coke or Pepsi? Milky Way or Snickers? McDonald’s or Wendy’s? Uber or Lyft? instagram or Facebook? iPhone or Android? The choices are endless, and as frustrating as it can be sometimes, like it or not, it’s how we view our cars and trucks too.
The full sized truck battle is one that is only bested by presidential campaigns, and even then it might be just as divisive. You’re either a Ford, Chevy, or RAM guy and that’s it. No switching, no turning back, no making excuses. It’s like the mob, you sign up, and most of the time, it’s for life. But when the Ford F-150 introduced the Raptor to its lineup, the game changed. The Raptor was a rocket on pavement, but also, unlike its predecessor the Lightning, was a nigh-Baja caliber off-road racer as well. This turned more than a few power-hungry Chevy and RAM guys, just due to the mere fact that there was nothing else like it being offered from the opposing camps. Until now.
The RAM 1500 Rebel TRX does more than drop the gauntlet in front of the Raptor, it beats it in the face until the Ford taps out. While nothing is one hundred percent final, we know that the TRX will sport the company’s resident Thanos-level destroying engine, that being Hellcat 6.2-liter supercharged V8 which will be … dialed back … to a mere 575-horsepower. Backing up that massive power will be a TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight speed automatic.
All that power is useless if it can’t get to the ground, so RAM thankfully will retain the current 1500’s already stiff and sturdy high-strength steel frame and augment it with a Baja-style performance suspension that will be able to travel 40 percent more than the standard issue setup to allow for those crazy dune jumps we all love to see out in the desert. Adjustable coil-over shocks are up front while a link coil setup sits out back to help keep things civil. The TRX will also utilize a Performance Control System that sports a BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case to help distribute power where it is needed. There will be four modes to choose from based on driver preference: Normal, off-road, wet/snow, and of course, Baja.
The TRX will also look like the meanest RAM we’ve ever seen, and while some of that is form, much of it is also function. Larger grille inlets help the big blower breathe better, while larger wheel arch flares look cool, they are also there to allow for that increase in suspension travel and the larger tires too. LED foglights again look cool, but also serve to help visibility if you’re out way past streetlight territory.
The interior of the TRX will be sport oriented for sure. Lateral support bolsters and suede inserts into cloth seats help keep passengers in place, while the six-point harnesses make sure no one goes too far in the event of an emergency. Black all-weather mats and a black rubber coating substitutes for carpeting, and the fat rimmed steering wheel makes it clear that this truck will mean business.
The only real downside of this truck is that we probably aren’t going to see it come to fruition until 2022, when it will have a base price of about $55,000, which could climb significantly depending on options. But, good things come to those who wait, and while the Raptor has enjoyed dominance in its niche for a few years now, the aptly named TRX (Tyrannosaurus Rex – hint hint) is looming just over the horizon and threatening to eat every Raptor in sight when it gets here. So no matter what your choice of political party, or fast food chain, or soft drink, in another year or so you’re going to have to choose which side of the Baja-level super pickup truck side you’re on, and we’re all the better for it, because those kinds of choices are what define us.