It’s pretty safe to say the 702-hp output is the new Ram 1500 TRX’s main draw. But pickup trucks, even off-road-focused ones, are used for a variety of tasks. And one of the most important is towing. So how does the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX stack up to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup, and its pickup competition?
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX’s towing capacity explained
Currently, the maximum towing capacity of any Ram 1500 truck is 12,570 pounds. That’s only achievable, though, in a rear-wheel-drive Quad Cab Tradesman, PickupTrucks.com reports, which is the lowest and lightest trim. Also, the truck needs to have the 5.7-liter mild-hybrid V8 and the Max Towing Package, which changes the axle ratio.
Meanwhile, the more off-road-focused Ram 1500 Rebel can’t tow quite as much, especially in 4WD trim. With the Max Towing Package and 5.7-liter non-hybrid V8, it maxes out at 11,340 pounds in Crew Cab trim. In Quad Cab form, that increases slightly to 11,470 pounds.
You might think, given that it has a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 rated at 702 hp and 650 lb-ft, that the Ram 1500 TRX would have a higher towing capacity. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The TRX is only tow-rated for 8100 pounds, Car and Driver reports.
While that may seem odd, it’s actually not uncommon for off-roading trucks to have lower tow ratings. That’s because horsepower and torque aren’t the only things that affect tow ratings.
Given an equal output, a lighter truck can out-tow a heavier one, Truck Trend reports. Plus, even if an engine makes more torque, without sufficient air-flow, it can overheat, Road & Track explains. That’s why the diesel Jeep Gladiator can’t tow as much as the V6-equipped models.
Also, off-road trucks often have long-travel suspension and soft springs, which cause the pickups to sag under any applied weight. As a result, tow ratings decrease, Autoblog explains. That’s why the Dodge Durango Hellcat has an 8700-lb tow rating, despite making only 8 more hp and 5 fewer lb-ft.
Ram 1500 TRX’s tow rating vs. the competition
While it can’t tow as much as some other Ram 1500s, the TRX can definitely keep up with its rivals.
The Ford F-150 Raptor is lighter than the Ram TRX. The latter weighs 5890 pounds, Car and Driver reports, while the latter weighs 6350 pounds, Motor Trend reports. However, the Raptor’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 makes ‘only’ 450 hp and 510 lb-ft. Nevertheless, it only slightly loses out to the TRX with its 8000-lb towing capacity, Car and Driver reports.
The Toyota Tundra TRD Pro’s 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 can theoretically tow 10,200 pounds, MT reports. But due to its Fox shocks, the TRD Pro can only tow up to 9200 pounds. Though that’s still more than the TRX.
As of this writing, Jeep hasn’t confirmed if the Gladiator will receive the same Hemi V8 as the Wrangler. However, tuners such as Hennessey have already made V8 Gladiators. And as Autoweek and Roadshow point out, if the V8 fits in the Wrangler, it should fit in the Gladiator.
The extra horsepower and torque would likely boost the truck’s towing capacity. With the 8-speed automatic and 285-hp 3.6-liter V6, the Rubicon can only tow up to 7000 pounds. And the Mojave’s softer rear springs drop that down to 6000 pounds.
The TRX may have more than one tow rating
It is possible the Ram 1500 TRX may get additional tow ratings, though. MT reports Ram may offer cheaper 1500 TRX models with less-powerful engines. If that were to happen, these new models would in all likelihood have lower tow ratings. That’s because the F-150 Raptor can tow almost as much as the current TRX, despite being down 252 hp.
However, these hypothetical ‘TRX Sport’ models could be based on the Ram 1500 Rebel. It doesn’t have all the TRX’s off-road features, but it’s certainly capable on dirt trails. And with a bit more power, say, from the Challenger’s 485-hp 6.4-liter V8, it might be able to tow almost 12,000 pounds.
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