New Model News

2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the quickest, fastest, most powerful mass-produced pickup ever made

It's true. The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the quickest, fastest, most powerful mass-produced pickup ever made.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There's a new apex predator in town. The Ford Raptor's newest nemesis, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX has debuted making its mark as the quickest, fastest, and most power mass-produced truck in the world.

From the terrain it can conquer to its performance stats, the new TRX is extreme. The full-size truck is built on a new frame that utilizes high-strength steel and hydroformed sections (this reduces the need for welds, which can weaken the frame) and is designed to take the rigors of life as a desert runner with ease.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX The TRX is a variant of the Ram 1500 though it's built on different architecture.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Ram has made the TRX eight inches wider than the rest of the 1500 lineup. It has a six-inch wider track than those models and tires that are nine inches wide – one inch wider than those that come on the traditional 1500 models.

As part of the design, Ram's engineers shifted the front axle forward 20 millimeters to accommodate the truck's 35-inch tires, which are available with 18-inch beadlock-ready wheels with accent color-matched rings. The standard Goodyear Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain tires were exclusively developed for the model. Wheel travel is greater than 13 inches at all four corners – 40 percent more than the rest of Ram 1500 lineup.

At the front of the truck is a "RAM" badge, which sits inside a shapely black grille and has a flow-through design that assists with cooling. All-black LED headlights with bi-functional projector headlamps are standard. A functional air curtain sits just outboard of the headlamps.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX A functional hood scoop supplies 50 percent of the airflow to the engine.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There's five skid plates and steel bumpers. At the sides of the bumper are LED clearance marker lights.

The truck has an aluminum hood that is specific to the model and features bright LED clearance lights that are integrated in the hood scoop. Fifty percent of the air that flows to the truck's engine enters through the hood scoop while the other half comes through the grille. Twin heavy-duty air filters deliver 198.4 square inches of filter surface area – that's four times the dust trapping capacity of the closest competitor.

Buyers can add full-length rock rails or off-road powder-coated aluminum running boards. Body-side and hood graphics are also available.

The box of the TRX has outers that are wider than the traditional Ram 1500. It is available with a bed-mounted spare tire carrier. A full-size spare tire that sits underneath the bed between the Dana 60 solid rear axle and trailer hitch.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX A spare tire, mounted in the bed, is available.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

At the back are LED taillamps. Bezels on the taillamps allow for the truck's blind spot monitoring technology to see around the extended box outers. A large "RAM" badge stretches across the center of the tailgate while center identification marker lights are tucked between the tailgate and rear bumper. Oversized tow hooks are found at the front and rear. Five-inch dual exhaust ports complete the backside.

Powering the truck is FCA's beloved supercharged 6.2-liter V8 Hellcat engine, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated at 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. It propels the truck from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and to 100 mph in 10.5 seconds. The truck can go a quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph. The speedometer tops out at 118 mph.

A full-time active transfer case matches with the powertrain. An electronic locking rear differential and launch control are standard.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX The Ram 1500 TRX comes standard with a host of equipment designed for driving on- and off-road with ease.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The truck employs technology similar to what you'll find in the Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock. The TRX's Jump Detection technology uses wheel-speed and ride-height sensors and accelerometers at each corner to identify when the vehicle is airborne at launch and acts to prevent driveline-damaging power spikes. The tech can react in milliseconds and modifies engine speed and torque, gear selection, transfer case torque split, damping rates and other components to deliver optimum performance.

Ram has designed a new five-link coil suspension just for the TRX. It features an independent front suspension system with active damping. There are forged aluminum front upper and lower control arms. There are front and rear 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks that were designed just for the TRX.

The truck has 11.8 inches ground clearance thanks to a two-inch lift over the rest of the 1500 lineup. The model is capable of fording up to 32 inches of water and towing up to 8,100 pounds. It has a maximum payload capacity of 1,310 pounds.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX The model has 32 inches of fording capability.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It has an approach angle of 30.2 degrees, breakover angle of 21.9 degrees, and departure angle of 23.5 degrees.

Ram has given the TRX five on-road drive modes: Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow, and Custom. There's also three off-road modes: Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja. The modes can separately control the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering. All on-road modes use active slip control. The truck's drive mode selector and launch control button are integrated into the dashboard.

Stopping power comes from four-wheel disc brakes that has the feel of their power enhanced by a hydraulic compensation unit. In the front are two-piston monoblock calipers that are paired with 15-inch rotors. The rear features single piston calipers and the same size rotors.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX Ram designed the truck to be a desert runner.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Inside, the truck is well-appointed - just like the rest of the 1500 lineup. Upholstery options include premium cloth and vinyl, premium wrapped leather and suede, or premium wrapped leather and suede with available red and carbon fiber accents. Heated and ventilated seats are available. Front seats are freshly designed for the model and offer enhanced bolster support and embroidered logos.

Ram has given the model a new SRT-signature flat-bottom steering wheel that has its hand grips wrapped in leather with suede and available with suede ad carbon fiber accents. The wheel is accompanied by aluminum paddle shifters.

There's no rotary shifter in TRX. The performance floor shifter has a cast metal main grip that is wrapped with semi-perforated leather.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX The interior of the model is posh, especially in its highest grade. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The truck takes FCA's technology offerings to the max as well. Its infotainment system runs on the fourth generation of Uconnect, which is displayed on a 12-inch fully configurable touch screen. The new edition of Uconnect, Uconnnect 5, is beginning its rollout now but won't make it to the TRX quite yet.

In front of the driver is a seven-inch information screen within the cluster that features unique TRX graphics and badging. Also in front of the driver is an available head-up display that can show five different content areas at once, including safety system information. This is the first FCA model to have a head-up display.

Like other models in the FCA lineup, the TRX gets performance pages. These can be viewed on the model's infotainment screen or the driver information screen. The Off-Road Pages show ride height, the transfer case's position, the pitch and roll of the vehicle and accessory gauges.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX A seven-inch driver information screen is at the center of the instrument panel. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The truck comes with a 19-speaker plus subwoofer Harman Kardon audio system. It's the most powerful audio system available in a pickup.

A forward-facing camera is part of the available Surround View Camera system. It can be accessed through the Off-Road Pages. A digital rearview mirror is also available.

Additionally, the truck's reimagined center console features a wireless charging dock and five USB ports (including Type A and C).

The truck comes with more than 100 available advanced safety and driver security features including blind spot monitoring, rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and electronic roll mitigation.

Mopar will offer more than 100 factory-engineered, quality-tested performance parts and accessories for the all-new 2021 Ram TRX and more than 600 across the entire 2021 Ram Truck brand lineup.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX Mopar will sell over 100 accessories that can be added to the model.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Ram is backing each new TRX with a five-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty as well as a three-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty.

Pricing for the 2021 Ram TRX starts at $69,995 plus $1,695 in destination and delivery charges. A Launch Edition of the model is available for $88,620 plus the destination fee, making the most expensive variant top $90,000 based on sticker price.

The 2021 Ram TRX will be built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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Highway safety

U.S. roadway fatalities up in 2021

Ford, Microsoft team to use quantum-inspired technology to understand traffic congestion
Photo coursesy of Ford Motor Company

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its estimates on traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2021 and the numbers aren't promising. In the first quarter of this year alone, 8,730 people died in motor vehicle crashes. Last year's cumulative numbers weren't much better, coming in higher than any year since 2007.


U.S. Roadways Traffic may be going up, but fuel fill ups are down according to the latest research automotivemap.com


The grim statistics represent a 10.5 percent increase from the same time period last year, a time when we were already marveling at the numbers. Further data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicate that the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 2.1 percent, which makes the increase in fatalities all the more striking a statistic. Initial projections pegged the number of fatalities per 100 million VMT at 1.12, but it instead climbed to 1.26 fatalities per 100 million VMT.

Regionally, most areas in the United Statessaw an increase, though two did not. The Midwest region, which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas did not change, while the mid-east coast states of North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia actually saw a six percent decline in fatality counts.


Highway 1 big sur Highway 1 near Big Sur includes the Bixby Creek Bridge, a famous landmark. Photo by\u00a0Getty Images


What's behind all of this? Last year, the NHTSA reported that, with fewer people on the roads, those that were driving were engaging in risky behavior. What's more, Automotive News reports, that the number of deaths involving people not wearing seatbelts increased 15 percent last year and speeding deaths climbed 10 percent.

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