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8 Things you should be most hyped about in the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

The new Ram 1500 TRX has the Ford Raptor in its sights.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Ever since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced the 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat engine, the truck world imagined what it would be like to put that monster in a pickup truck. During the 2016 State Fair of Texas, Ram Trucks showed a concept truck that was powered by that engine. Ram said at the time that it was strictly a "concept," but we all hoped they were lying.

What they were doing, however, was waiting for the new Ram 1500 to build the platform upon. Now the 2021 Ram1500 TRX is here. It makes an unruly amount of power. It also has some new technology that hasn't been used yet on any product from the U.S. portfolio of vehicle, along with some tried-and-true components to make this one of the fastest off-road trucks on any terrain.

Supercharged 6.2-liter not-a-Hellcat V8

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

In the Ram 1500 TRX, the supercharged V8 HEMI makes 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Ram claims that horsepower number is a result of the TRX having the longest exhaust of any vehicles equipped with this motor, along with extra intake plumbing to handle dirt, dust, sand, and other off-road debris.

That's gloriously 127 more horsepower than the Rebel TRX concept that debuted at the State Fair of Texas.

Just don't call it a Hellcat engine. While yes, it is the Hellcat, the folks at Dodge are the ones that are given use of the name in their vehicles. In the Jeep Trackhawk and the Ram TRX, it's just a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8. But, we'll forgive you if you call it a Hellcat.

Launch control

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

I can't say for certain if this is the first pickup truck ever equipped with launch control, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it is. Located next to the transfer case buttons, pressing the Launch button sets the truck up to accelerate the quickest.

That means a zero to 60 mph time in 4.5 seconds and a quarter mile run at 12.9 seconds with a 118-mph speed limit. Yes, that's quick, especially for a pickup.

Bilstein adaptive suspension

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The 2019 Ford Raptor picked up Fox's LiveValve technology for adaptive dampers. After driving a Raptor back-to-back with the old tech and the new tech, LiveValve is the way to go. Ram knew they needed to offer a comparably bonkers off-road suspension, so they called up their friends at Bilstein.

Designed exclusively for TRX, the truck features 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive shocks. They have external reservoirs for heat management. While we haven't driven the truck yet, Ram claims that this suspension will allow the truck to perform exceptionally both at high speed and in the air. Noted.

No more rotary shifter

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

If you've driven a modern Ram half-ton, you'll notice that the gear selector is a rotary knob on the dash. In off-road use, I've found it annoying when trying squeeze out of a tight spot that requires frequent engaging of drive and then reverse. For the TRX, Ram removed the rotary shifter and replaced it with a normal shifter in the center. Just as God intended.

There's no official word if Ram will do this swap on all Rams, but there's a chance they might.

Head-up display

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

New for Ram Trucks is a full-color head-up display (HUD) available on the top trim TRX. Ram describes the TRX as an apex predator hunting prey, so it makes sense that the driver would have a HUD to help them lock in in the competition.

In reality, it shows everything a HUD should; speed, navigation information, rev counter, and more. It changes based on the drive mode that the truck is in and has some level of customization to it. It also allows drivers to keep their eyes up on the dunes ahead while still seeing relevant cluster info - a big plus.

Trailer Reverse Steer Control

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Available on TRX – and something we wouldn't be surprised to see offered across the lineup – is Trailer Reverse Steer Control. It works like Ford's Pro Trailer Backup Assist, letting the driver intuitively use a knob on the dash to position a trailer directly where it needs to go. This takes the stress out of trailer backing up, boat ramps, camp sites, and more.

Unlike the Ford system, Ram's doesn't require any measuring of the trailer or placing a sticker on the tongue of the trailer. Using cameras and sensors, the Ram figures it out own its own.

Baja Mode isn't just for Raptors anymore

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

When the Raptor returned in 2017, it featured a Baja drive mode. This mode keeps the revs up, engages the four-wheel drive system, and sets up the anti-lock braking system to perform the best when jumping sand dunes along the Mexican peninsula, or anywhere else you find yourself hitting dunes at high speed.

The Ram TRX has a similar mode. It, too, adjusts everything including the suspension the make sure the truck is as quick as possible across the dunes. Ram doesn't come right out and say that the Raptor is a direct competitor to this truck, but it's obvious that Ram has every intention of being competitive against the class leader.

Bigger tires, more capability

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Finally, the Ram TRX features exclusive-to-TRX Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires. Those 325/65/R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires are the largest fitted to a factory pickup truck.

With improved ride height the TXR has 11.8-inches of ground clearance and can ford up to 32-inches of water. That's actually two more inches than the Jeep Wrangler.

Despite the off-road credentials, the payload rating on the TRX is still 1,310 pounds and the max tow rating is 8,100 pounds, which is similar to a Ram 1500 Big Horn.

Ram calls the TRX it the ultimate expression of their 1500 half-ton pickup. It's not designed to replace the heavy-duty Ram Power Wagon, but rather suit a different type of buyer. While Ram doesn't mention the competition by name, their insistence of calling this an "apex predator" implies heavily that they're after the Raptor in more ways than one.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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The F-Type P450 cars replace the P300 and P380 as part of the Jaguar lineup.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Two new versions of the Jaguar F-Type are on the horizon. New versions of the model have been created to further the car's luxury proposition and both are powered by a roaring V8 engine. The new P450 variants replace the P300 and P380 models currently in the lineup. Jaguar is keeping the F-Type R around.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450

The 2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 will be available as a coupe or convertible in P450 RWD or P450 R-DYNAMIC AWD grades. All varieties come with a 444-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood that achieves 428 pound-feet of torque. An electronic active differential is standard. In all configurations, the car gets from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 177 mph.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The car has received minor exterior updates from the 2021 model.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

In a nod to its suburban buyers, the F-Type has a Quiet Star mode that allows a more subtle roar out the back side of the car upon startup. Drivers who don't care about keeping quiet can switch the car in to Dynamic mode and let the rumble out.

Each F-Type P450 rides on 20-inch wheels, has larger brakes than traditional F-Type models, and has the switchable exhaust. Double J-Blade daytime running lights feature up front while new slender rear lights allow the body of the car to speak for itself.

Buyers who get the F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD get bespoke badging; a gloss black front splitter, side sills, valance, and venturi; auto-dimming, power- folding, heated door mirrors with memory; and 20-inch Style 6003, split-spoke, gloss Dark Grey with Contrast Diamond Turned Finish Wheels.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The interior sports a refined appearance.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Monogram stitch patterns on the car's seats and interior accents in Windsor Leather and satin-finish Noble Chrome enhance the interior. Additionally, there are "Jaguar Est.1935" markings on the center console finisher, glovebox release button surround, and seatbelt guides. Six-way electric power seats are standard on F-Type P450 RWD, while F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD adds 12-way electric memory front seats, electrically adjustable steering column with memory, Delta Aluminum Center Console, and R-Dynamic branded metal treadplates as standard equipment.

A 12.3-inch driver information display is standard.

F-Type P450 is available in 11 standard exterior colors, and can be ordered in over a dozen custom SVO paint finishes. It starts at $69,900 for the P450 RWD Coupe and $79,900 for the R450 R-Dynamic AWD Coupe.

2022 Jaguar F-Type R

The F-Type R is the pinnacle of the Jaguar lineup with torque on-demand all-wheel drive, Jaguar Intelligent Driveline Dynamics control technology, a double wishbone front and rear suspension, and electric power-assisted steering.

It can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph thanks to its 575-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. All-wheel drive is standard.

This model starts at $103,200.

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