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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 full-size pickup truck

Toyota announces luxurious Tundra Capstone

The Capstone is a luxurious new trim for the 2022 Tundra.

Toyota

The Toyota Tundra got a much-needed overhaul for the 2022 model year, after well over a decade on sale unchanged. The new trucks are more powerful, more efficient, and much more tech-forward than than their predecessors. One area Toyota needed to improve was the Tundra's luxury factor, which has never been as strong as high-end trucks from the Americans. The enormous Japanese automaker just announced a new model that should help it catch up. The Tundra Capstone will hit dealers' lots in spring with premium finishes and features, inside and out.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone The Capstone features exclusive styling and luxury features. Toyota

Toyota notes that the Capstone truck is just as capable as its less posh counterparts. It comes standard with the Tundra's new I-Force Max hybrid powertrain that makes 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission, the combined powertrain is good for a max towing capacity of 10,340 pounds. The hybrid system can provide greater power and torque during towing, but better efficiency when cruising around town.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone Acoustic glass is a first for the Tundra, and gives the Capstone a quiet cabin.Toyota

The Capstone's cabin is where the real magic happens. The truck invites passengers with a standard automatic running boards, and the perforated leather upholstery comes in and exclusive black/white combination. There are real open-pore dark American walnut wood accents throughout the cabin, and a panoramic moonroof comes standard. The Capstone is the only Tundra model to get acoustic glass on the front doors for a quieter cabin.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone The Capstone comes with upscale, unique interior finishes, including two-tone leather upholstery.Toyota

A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 10-inch head-up display are standard. The gauge cluster can be configured to show various functions beyond speed and engine revs. A 14-inch touchscreen is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota's infotainment systems haven't been the most responsive or easy to use, but the automaker's new interface is intuitive, responsive, and powerful. Over-the-air updates can improve functions and add new ones over time, and cloud-based apps update traffic and other information in real time.

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The Grand Cherokee is now available with three rows.

Stellantis

The Grand Cherokee has always been the Jeep that could haul the family to the mall as easily as it could traverse serious off-road terrain. The design was starting to age, however, after ten years on the market without a major redesign. Jeep fixed that for the 2022 model year, and after a week behind the wheel, there are three things we think you should know about the new SUV.

It Comes in Two Formats

The three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L debuted in 2021 as the first Grand Cherokee with more than two rows of seating. The standard Grand Cherokee followed it with many of the same features and upscale finishes, but in a more familiar two-row SUV format. The move to a two-body-style lineup for the Grand Cherokee does not mean there's less choice. The standard two-row model is offered in a staggering number of configurations, including a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The new Grand Cherokee ups the luxury considerably. Stellantis

It's Luxurious

Top Grand Cherokee trims have long been plusher and more luxurious than most people expect from a Jeep, and the new model takes things further down that road. Top trims feature luxurious materials such as quilted leathers and real wood trim, along with desirable and innovative electronics features. An optional passenger-side touchscreen offers climate controls and other functions to front-seat passengers, and Stellantis' UConnect infotainment software is among the easiest to use and most intuitive interfaces in the auto business.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The Grand Cherokee can take its passengers far off the beaten path.Stellantis

It's Available with Three Strong Powertrains

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is available, and Jeep's excellent 4xe plug-in hybrid can be added to certain trims. The Wrangler was the first vehicle to use the system, which provides instant torque and excellent all-electric driving range. When the battery is depleted below a certain level, the vehicle then switches to operate as a normal hybrid.

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