Speculation

Here's everything we know about the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

The Ram Rebel TRX Concept was first shown in 2017, it hinted that a Ford Raptor-fighter was on the way.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Raptor-fighting Ram 1500 TRX is almost ready to go on sale, if the latest photo leaks are any indication. The Fast Lane Truck (TFL) was the first outlet to show the pictures.

The 2022 Ram 1500 TRX was allegedly set to be shown in the flesh for the first time at this year's North America International Auto Show, originally set for the first week of June in Detroit. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed that auto show to 2021, the truck's debut date is less certain.

2017 Ram Rebel TRX Concept The prototype model featured a number of elements that will likely translate to the new truck.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

TFL got the photos via an anonymous message. Two of them show the exterior and four show the interior. Combined with camouflaged prototype photos that were distributed last week, we end up with a pretty good idea of what to expect from the model.

Here's what we know.

The Ram Rebel TRX and Ford Raptor will be about the same size.

Media and enthusiasts have dubbed the truck a Raptor-flghter. This starts with the base of the model. The Raptor is based on the Ford F-150. Similarly, the Ram Rebel TRX is based on the Ram 1500. The two trucks are likely to be nearly the same size.

It will likely be powered by FCA's Hellcat engine.

Traditionally tuned, the powerful 6.2-liter V8 boasts over 700 horsepower and nearly 700 pound-feet of torque and is currently featured under the hood of select Dodge Challenger and Charger models, which more than what you'll find offered in most Ferraris and Lamborghinis. In the Dodge Challenger Demon, the same engine was tuned to get 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque. In the Challenger Demon, the model could sprint nearly as quick as a Bugatti Veyron.

The truck probably won't be fuel efficient.

According to EPA estimates, the 6.2-liter V8 in the Challenger delivers 16 mpg combined. In the Charger, it gets 15 mpg combined and in the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk just 13 mpg combined. That being said, expect the Rebel TRX to be thirsty.

It's worth noting that the 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor's turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 is nearly as inefficient, getting an EPA-estimated 16 mpg combined.

It's called the Rebel TRX for a reason and that has some equipment and features implications.

As is, the Ram 1500 Rebel is a mid-grade model in the truck's lineup. It comes standard with a long list of equipment and available features including an electronic-locking differential, 3.92 axle ratio, 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, Bluetooth, satellite radio, 8-speaker sound system, and a rearview camera with gridlines. It's pretty safe to assume that the Rebel TRX will come standard with most of the equipment listed for the Rebel, possibly offering many of the elements only available as part of add-on packages like keyless entry and power-adjustable pedals as standard.

Expect it to have Ram Power Wagon-like parts.

If the Rebel TRX is to be a true Raptor-fighter, it needs to be incredibly proficient off-road. Having the type of equipment on its body that comes with the Ram Power Wagon would be a big step in the right direction.

The Power Wagon comes standard with a unique Articulink suspension, front/rear Bilstein shocks (Power Wagon tuned), hill-descent control, Tru-Lok front/rear axles, tow hooks, fuel tank skid plate, transfer case skid plate, front electronic 12,000-pound winch, fog lamps, front disconnecting stabilizer bar, and rear wheel well liners.

The truck will have a factory lift. 

Almost all the spy photos released so far have the truck shown with a lift, similar to how the Ram Power Wagon is lifted. It appears to ride on wheels less than 18-inches.

There will be Easter eggs.

FCA is notorious for hiding unique design elements inside and outside their vehicle. These hidden elements make for a bit of fun for enthusiasts but Ram might have the most fun yet. According to the leaked photos, there's the image of a truck alongside two dinosaurs, a tynansaurus rex chasing a velociraptor. While that sneaky nudge in Ford's direction offers a bit of fun, it also shows what appears to be a crew cab, 5'7" box model of the Ram truck model. In the words of Dr. Watson, "A clue!" It possibly is.

The interior of the truck is pretty luxe.

The leaked photos show that the interior of the truck is well-appointed, not that we'd expect anything less from a modern Ram 1500 model. The seats appear to be two-tone leather (black and red, in keeping with Ram 1500 Rebel heritage) with perforated inserts.

There's a traditional shifter with a leather boot instead of the rotary shifter that FCA has become so fond of having. The photo shows that the shifter has manual shifting capability, which off-roading enthusiasts would find particularly helpful.

On the center stack there's two USB and two USB-C ports as well as an AUX outlet. There are also auxiliary control buttons.

The Ram Rebel TRX will have trailering capability.

The leaked photos reveal trailer brake controls and a trailer steering control on the center stack. The towing capacity of the Ram 1500 is 6,280 to 7,730 pounds. The Rebel TRX will likely not have less capability than that.

Pricing

Pricing for the Ram Rebel TRX has not yet been released, and it likely won't be until right before the truck goes on sale. If it's a 2022 model year truck, expect sales to start in early to mid-2021.

You can see TFL's video featuring the leaked photos here:

LEAKED: See Under The Hood and Inside the Ram 1500 TRX in These New Images! www.youtube.com

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback has debuted but Americans will have to wait around six months to get one.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The Audi Q5 Sportback takes the traditional dimensions of the Audi Q5 and shaves some off the back of the roof to creating a more sloping design. The result is a model that fits right into Audi's lineup.

At the front of the new all-wheel drive model is an octagonal Singleframe grille that is flanked by large air inlets. The car's headlights feature daytime running lights with the buyer's choice of LED or matrix-design LED technology. At the rear are taillights that feature OLED lighting technology split into three ties of six segments each.

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Like the roof, the car's windows taper as the design of the vehicle flows backward. Its rear bumper appears to be high-mounted.

Base Audi Q5 Sportback models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system to to deliver 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can upgrade to the 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

The SQ5 will come standard with adaptive dampers and has an available air suspension and dynamic steering capability.

Each model has Audi's new MIB 3 infotainment system, which can be optioned to include a 12.3-inch digital display in front of the driver as well as virtual cockpit and head-up display technologies. At the center of the dashboard is a 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen with navigation. The system allows for multiple user profiles.

The Audi phone box and a Bang and Olufsen sound system with 3D sound are available.

Inside the cabin, the car has a rear bench seat the can be shifted laterally as well as forward and aft. The seat also reclines.

Each Q5 Sportback comes with a standard hands-free power tailgate.

Buyers can option their model to include numerous driver assist systems including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, standard Audi Side Assist and Audi Pre Sense Rear, lane departure warning, and Parking System Plus.

The 2020 Audi Q5 starts at $43,000. Expect the Sportback model to be slightly pricier when it arrives in the U.S. in the first half of 2021. It will be assembled at the San José Chiapa plant in Mexico.

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The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is made to be trail-ready

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

If you want to go off-roading but you’re apprehensive behind the wheel? Jeep is introducing the Jeep Adventure Academy, a program that provides hands-on, off-road driving instruction to Jeep 4x4 owners.

"Off-roading is a rite of passage for Jeep 4x4 owners and the new Jeep Adventure Academy will provide key knowledge every off-roader can use for hitting the trails," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand, FCA - North America. "The new Jeep Adventure Academy underscores the Jeep brand's commitment to delivering Jeep 4x4 vehicles that provide owners with a sense of capability, safety and security to handle any condition or adventure with confidence."

2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Jeep Trailhawk models are trail-tested ahead of their retail salePhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Academy kicks off this October and will take place at select locations nationwide. Instructors from Jeep Jamboree USA will lead the program alongside off-roading experts.

Each Academy session will focus on several essential areas of off-roading instruction, including 4x4 system basics, driving techniques, trail etiquette, vehicle preparation and equipment, how to properly read terrain and challenging obstacles, safety tips and more.

The Jeep Adventure Academy will take place during the first three weeks in October at the following locations:

  • Holly Oaks Off-road Vehicle Park, Holly, Michigan: October 2-4
  • Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch, Seymour, Missouri: October 9-11
  • Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area, Hollister, California: October 16-18

Registration is available at jeepadventureacademy.com. A one-day session starts at $99 and requires Jeep 4x4 vehicle ownership. The academy sessions will be led by professional staff from Jeep Jamboree USA, an organization that has been conducting off-road adventures since 1953.

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