Speculation

Leaked Ram 1500 TRX info reveals Ford Raptor-fighter capability, Hellcat engine

We know that Ram 1500 TRX is coming and there's finally some details emerging.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Two reputable outlets, MoparInsiders.com and AllPar.com are reporting that they have confirmed the features and specs of the forthcoming Ram 1500 TRX. The list seems pretty spot on in terms of what one would want from the FCA parts bin when it comes to a Ford F-150 Raptor fighter.

Before it was confirmed as a production model, the Ram 1500 TRX started its public design life as the 2016 Ram 1500 TRX Rebel Concept. At the time, Ram described the concept as, "a 100-mph off-road machine with 575 horsepower – the most powerful half-ton truck the company has ever built."

2016 Ram 1500 TRX Rebel Concept

2016 Ram 1500 TRX Rebel Concept

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC


A lot has changed since then. The Ram 1500 has been completely redesigned and FCA has introduced more powerful engines. It is at that intersection that we find the forthcoming Ram 1500 TRX.

Both outlets are saying that the new truck will have over 700 horsepower that will come from FCA's Hellcat engine, a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8. That's the same engine that is the Dodge Charger and Challenger variants as well as Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

The engine will be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. That's the same transmission it's paired with in the other models. A tried and true combination isn't a bad way to go.

Sources have told MoparInsiders.com that the Ram 1500 TRX won't just be a traditional 1500 with knobby tires and some black fascia. The model will be its own beast keeping it in the same vein with the design set forward by the concept vehicle.

Ram has been making its 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen standard and available in its most recent trucks. Word is that the trend will continue in the 1500 TRX. The model will also get other premium features, which is in line with the truck's probably high price point. This is similar to what Ram and Jeep offer in their Hellcat-powered models.

LED lighting, multi view cameras, and a well-equipped interior are likely.

Pricing is expected to be in line with the Ford F-150 Raptor, which starts at $53,455, but can have about $15,000 in packages added to it to get near what the probable offerings list of the 1500 TRX will be.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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Electric pickup truck

Ford F-150 Lightning could get tank turn

Ford patented a tank turn feature in late 2020.

Ford

The F-150 Lightning is packed with cool tech and capability, but we're learning that Ford has even bigger plans for its first electric pickup. Inside EVs found an exciting document on the Lightning Owners Forum that shows ford applied to patent a tank turn feature like the one we saw Rivian pull off a few years ago, where the truck spins around a center point using its electric motors. Rivian's tank turn feature still hasn't made it to market, so it's possible that Ford beats them to the punch.

Ford F-150 LightningTank turn allows the truck to spin while almost completely stationary.Ford

Ford applied for the patent in October 2020, but it's just now making its way out. In the document, Ford gives an example of how it could work: "Methods, apparatus, systems and articles of manufacture are disclosed to perform a tank turn. An example vehicle includes a first wheel and a second wheel, the first wheel located on an end of a first axle, the second wheel located on an end of the second axle, the end of the first axle opposite to the end of the second axle, a first suspension coupled to the first wheel, a second suspension coupled to the second wheel, and a controller to drive the first axle in a first direction, drive the second axle in the second direction and decrease a first suspension load of the first suspension and a second suspension load of the second suspension."

As Inside EVs points out, Rivian's tank turn feature employs the R1 T's quad-motor setup to drive each wheel individually. The F-150 Lightning doesn't currently have a four-motor choice and instead offers two motors – one on each axle. It's important to note that Rivian patented tank turn and showed that it could work, but there hasn't yet been a production vehicle that offers the capability. Toyota filed a patent in 2019, but again it's just paperwork at this point.

Ford F-150 LightningNo automaker has brought tank turn to production yet.

To achieve the turn, Ford has a few options. The most obvious would be to offer a quad-motor upgrade in future model years. It's unclear if such a feature is in the works or if Ford plans to provide beefier versions of the Lightning, such as a Raptor variant with upgraded motors. The automaker could also design gearing to reverse the wheels on one side while the others drive forward, or it could use braking to lock the wheels and tighten the turning radius.

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