Ram 1500 TRX has an Ace in the Hole for the GT500-Powered Raptor
The first media testing sessions for the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX are going on this month and you will be able to read my review of the supercharged super-truck later this month. When the TRX reaches showrooms later this year with 702 horsepower, it will be the most powerful truck in the world. In addition to packing all of that power, the TRX also comes with an array of high performance components which will make it an incredible off-road performance truck. The goal is for the TRX to beat the Raptor, and with such a vast difference in engine output, it is all-but-guaranteed that the Ram will beat the Ford in just about every way.
However, Ford fans are quick to point out the rumor that the Motor Company is planning a new F-150 Raptor with the same supercharged V8 that comes in the new Shelby GT500 Mustang. In the GT500, that supercharged mill delivers 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. We would expect some tweaks to bring up the torque level, which might diminish the horsepower output, but in any case, the GT500 engine will likely make the Raptor more powerful than the 702-horsepower TRX.
Fortunately, should the GT500-powered Raptor jump into the lead in the truck class of the horsepower war, Ram could have the answer. That is, of course, the supercharged Hemi from the Dodge Hellcat Redeye models.
TRX Versus Raptor
When the Ram 1500 TRX begins being delivered to new owners around the country with 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, it will have a massive power advantage over the current F-150 Raptor. Right now, the strongest engine in the Ford off-road performance truck is a V6 with 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Based on those power figures and claims from both manufacturers, we know that the TRX will be quicker and faster than the Raptor, along with being much more powerful. The Ram will also sound a whole lot better under hard throttle.
It is widely expected that Ford will counter the TRX by finally putting a proper V8 in the Raptor. It seems likely that the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 from the new Shelby GT500 will be repurposed for the F-150. In the Mustang, that engine offers 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. I expect to see the truck version of this engine tuned to yield more torque, which may reduce horsepower a bit, but I fully expect to see a Raptor with more horsepower and torque than the TRX.
Even if Ford uses the engine from the GT500 without any major changes and the output stays the same, the horsepower advantage for the Raptor will serve as a great marketing tool. That would allow Ford to claim Ram’s title of the most powerful half-ton truck in the world, but the folks who built the TRX could just as quickly counter with more power of their own.
Imagining a TRX Redeye
Before getting into this portion of the discussion, I want to point out a few things. First, this is purely speculation and there has been no word from anyone at FCA about a TRX with the Dodge Hellcat Redeye engine. Second, “Redeye” is a Dodge moniker and even if the engine from the Challenger and Charger Hellcat Redeye models finds its way into a production Ram 1500, it isn’t likely to use the Redeye name.
Now, onto the good stuff.
When Ram introduced the TRX with 702 horsepower, their engineers and executives were well aware of the fact that Ford could, in theory, quickly one-up the Ram 1500 with a supercharged engine of their own. Even before the TRX was introduced, there were rumors of a GT500-powered F-150 Raptor and it is likely that folks at FCA knew that introducing the 702-horsepower Ram would lead to Ford offer a V8-powered Raptor. Those same folks at FCA surely knew that the GT500-powered Raptor would be more powerful than the TRX, so what do they do? They could have prepared for their next step.
That next step could be the Hellcat Redeye engine. That mill measures the same 6.2-liters, but it features a larger supercharger and lots more power. In the Dodge cars, it offers 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque, so even if it was detuned a bit for the Ram, it would offer far more power than the GT500 engine in the Raptor. The GT500 engine is the most powerful in the entire Ford portfolio, so they would not be able to fight back against a Redeye-powered Ram TRX.
Unfortunately, there is a chance that the current TRX will be the pinnacle performance truck from Ram and the introduction of a Raptor with more powerful will not lead to a stronger TRX. However, the truck world is all about one-upmanship and should Ram want to squash the GT500-powered Raptor, the Dodge Redeye engine will do the trick.