Spied: Ram's new Raptor-fighting TRX takes shapeby Byron Hurd
Beneath this increasingly production-ready exterior beats the heart of a Hellcat, our spies tell us.
Mopar fans who have been clamoring for a Raptor fighter have been waiting not-so-patiently for news of Ram's Rebel-based TRX. From the looks of things, FCA's engineers are making good progress.
Our spies tell us this mule (spotted in Auburn Hills this time) had the telltale bark and gnarly acceleration befitting a vehicle bearing a supercharged, 6.2-liter Hellcat V8. Better yet, our spies claim they have insider info pointing to a full, 707-horsepower implementation, rather than the 575-horsepower variant suggested when Mopar floated a concept TRX more than two years ago.
Either power output should be more than enough oomph to give the heavier Ram enough gusto to challenge the Ford F-150 Raptor, which relies on its comparatively svelte aluminum body to make the most of its 450-horsepower EcoBoost V6.
We last saw FCA testing the TRX in Flagstaff, AZ, and since then it has undergone some obvious changes. For starters, it now boasts some clean fender flares (which may or may not be production-intent), it has surrendered the previous mule's rear frame bracing, and it has gained some beefed-up rear suspension components. The flares also serve to accentuate what appears to be a retail-ready ride height.
We are still likely at least a year away from the TRX's formal debut, so Mopar fans will have to hold tight for at least another 12-18 months. That also gives Ford (and GM, should its engineers decide to dabble in the high-performance pickup market again) the opportunity to breathe on the Raptor a bit. The field could look quite different by the time the TRX makes it to market. Stay tuned.
Photos by Brian Williams.