By Derek Price
Geologists use seismic waves to find out what happens in the center of the Earth. It’s how they figured out the planet has a solid iron core, for one thing.
If scientists need more of those Earth-shaking waves to light up their sensors, all they have to do is fire up this truck: the Ram TRX.
Everything about the TRX is geologic — except for the speed at which it moves.
Built around the stout frame of the Ram 1500, perhaps the best light-duty truck platform the world has ever seen, it packs a Hellcat engine under the hood and straps on an extreme-duty off-road suspension designed for blasting through the desert.
Heck, it can blast just about anywhere it wants. Nearly a foot of ground clearance, lots of suspension articulation and a 702-horsepower supercharged V8 mean there aren’t many places a TRX can’t go.
It’s the fastest gas-powered pickup in the world, much to the Ford F-150 Raptor’s chagrin. When you fire up the 6.2-liter Hellcat and feel all 6,350 pounds of the TRX rumble, it measures on the Richter scale.
Environmentalists would be appalled at this truck, and that’s kind of the point. It’s all about excess, not meeting a transportation need, with a 10-mpg city fuel-economy rating to prove it.
My tester’s price tag came uncomfortably close to $100,000, which should help limit the environmental damage because so few people can afford it. I spent hundreds of dollars on gasoline — all premium grade, which this truck requires to deliver full power — during my week behind the wheel.
Granted, I didn’t go easy on the throttle. It’s my belief that if someone hands you the keys to a 702-horsepower vehicle, you have a moral obligation to use every one of those horses.
If seismologists are flummoxed about all the weird waves echoing through the Earth’s mantle this week, they can blame me.
Aside from the fuel bill and the constant fear that Greta Thunberg might shame me mercilessly on Twitter, I loved everything about my week driving this monster truck. It’s everything one would expect from a vehicle that is 8 inches wider than the already gargantuan Ram, powered by a muscle-car engine and riding atop a suspension that turns curbs, ruts and potholes into mirror-smooth glass.
Its interior is supple, solid and well-built as a luxury car. It’s reasonably comfortable and quiet on the highway. The bed is easy to configure when you need to do actual truck things, and the cabin is roomy and packed with thoughtful storage spaces, including back seats that flip up with a single touch for moving bulky cargo.
Every TRX comes with a massive 12-inch UConnect touchscreen in the center of the dash. It’s designed in a way that makes good use of all that digital acreage, letting you split the screen in multiple ways to do what you need.
Pricing for the TRX starts around $80,000, more than twice the cost of a base Ram 1500. With options and a hefty $1,795 delivery fee, my tester rang up at $98,780.
If you’re trembling right now, it might not be from sticker shock alone. It could also be because someone across the globe pressed the TRX’s start button and set off another earthquake.
At A Glance
What was tested? 2022 Ram TRX Crew Cab 4×4 ($78,790). Options: Premium paint ($100), trailer tow group ($295), advanced safety group ($995), bed utility group ($945), two-tone paint ($250), carbon fiber package ($1,295), Level 2 equipment group ($10,295), twi-fold bed cover ($695), trailer mirrors ($445), TRX graphics ($495), rock rails ($995), hood graphics ($895), trailer reverse steering control ($495). Price as tested (including $1,795 destination charge): $98,780
Wheelbase: 145.1 in.
Length: 232.9 in.
Width: 88 in.
Height: 80.9 in.
Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (702 hp, 650 lbs. ft.)
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Fuel economy: 10 city, 14 highway
Why buy it?
The TRX rumbles its way into the record books as world’s fastest gas-powered pickup truck. It’s an incredible machine for those who can afford to buy and fuel it.