Direct and open automaker feuds are a long-standing tradition in the car world – Ferrari vs. Lamborghini, Tesla vs. Lucid, and the tale as old as time, Ford vs. Mopar. Mopar isn’t a term as widely used today as it was in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but the battle for meat-headed muscle is still fully underway, and the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is not shy about who its prey is.
TRX vs Raptor
The Ford Raptor has been a dominant force in the muscle truck scene since its debut in 2010. Its been sold as a sort of tuned down trophy truck for the road. The Raptor has gone mostly unchallenged until now.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is a 702-hp Hellcat-powered monster machine. I wanna say that one more time – 702hp. With power numbers like that, it almost doesn’t matter how the rest of it is; Ram is clearly trying to make a point.
If for some reason we needed more convincing of Ram’s intentions with Ram 1500 TRX, they have left a few not-so-subtle clues around the truck to help us out.
The first and most apparent smack talk comes from an etching underneath the air-box cover of a T-REX with a raptor in its mouth, either dead or dying. It is brutal, childish, and I am here for it.
The near Michael Jordan-level trash talk doesn’t stop there. While the first is an easily found rib against the Ford Raptor, the second message is a bit more hidden. The most recently found peacocking was discovered etched on the bottom of the deep center console well. According to Car and Driver, It is a 1:60 scale drawing of a human man, the TRX truck, and a T-Rex that appears to be running down a raptor. It is so well hidden that it inflates the pettiness exponentially, and I freaking love it.
How do the two prehistoric predators stack up?
Let’s start with Ram 1500 TRX. It will arrive much sooner than the F-150 Raptor and we know more about it. The TRX will be powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that produces a glass-of-water shaking 702-hp, and 650 lb-ft of torque, which feels prehistoric so far.
The Ford Raptor will have the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 making 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. That is tons of power for sure, but the message from Ram is so clearly, “We want to dominate this field without question.”
TruckTrend reports that in proper Mopar form, the Ram 1500 TRX’s motor breaths by two intakes from on the top of the grill and the functional hood scoop, both leading to the 29-liter airbox, the largest on the market. TruckTrend goes on to say that this monster airbox can work out water, dirt, and nearly any other debris that gets caught in its maw.
Power isn’t everything
Well, we are talking about muscle trucks, so it’s mostly everything. Ram says the Ram 1500 TRX will do 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and hit 100 mph in 10.5 seconds. If you find yourself on a straight quarter-mile, Ram says the TRX will cover it in 12.9 seconds and hit 109 mph.
In MotorTrend’s test of the current generation Ford Raptor, its numbers shook out to be 0-60 mph in 6.0 seconds, and the quarter-mile was at 14.7 seconds at 91 mph. In fairness, that was the current generation, and Ford will likely be throwing more heat with the 2021 model.
Suspension, shocks, and payload
The idea is generally the same in this department. One of the coolest features of the Raptor was that it had long-travel, short arm, independent front suspension like a trophy truck, but from the factory. This is a vehicle that Ford basically gives the owner the green light to jump off of stuff and hit 100 mph in the dirt, and that earns Ford a great big ol’ gold star in my book.
Not to be outdone, the Ram 1500 TRX will be getting the same type of suspension, but better. The TRX will receive four-corner semi-active Bilstein Black Hawk e2 dampers. TruckTrend says, “These technological masterpieces are the most sophisticated suspension system ever bolted to a factory pickup.”
Win or lose, just talk trash
Again, we still don’t have all the details for the 2021 Ford Raptor, so it’s impossible to say which will be better. Most likely, the Ram 1500 TRX will have power over the Ford, but who knows, and honestly, who cares? The open and honest competitive spirit that exists between these two trucks is everything that we love about the automotive world.
To often, performance vehicles are taken too seriously by drivers and manufacturers. The muscle car days of the late 1960s and early 1970s are the last time it felt like car designers were having fun at work. Maybe, some of that light-hearted ribbing will help.