The “Apex Predator” Goes to Europe

That’s what the Ram folks call the TRX. A bit of a dig at the Ford Raptor, of course. The TRX is being judged in Croatia.

By Gary S. Vasilash

The Ram 1500 TRX is a half-ton pickup with a 702-hp, 6.2-liter HEMI V8 under its hood.

It has a top speed of 118 mph and goes from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds

This is a truck.

The Ram 1500 TRX. Yes, it is a daily driver, too. (Image: Ram)

A big truck.

As in being 232.9 inches long, 88 inches wide and 80.9 inches high.

You’re not going to see that HEMI without a step ladder.

It has a 5-foot, 7-inch box on the back. You’re going to want to make sure that things in the TRX are tied down because there are those inertial forces.

Although the interior of the vehicle—both in terms of materials and tech—are nothing short of first class. Yet one of the development goals of the Ram team was to develop the “quickest, fastest and most powerful mass-produced truck in the world,” one that can handle off-road and on-road demands with solid performance.

While the truck has been available in the U.S. for about a year now, it made its way to Europe in July.

And today (October 5) it is in Croatia, where it will be judged as part of the 2022 IPUA—International Pick Up Award.

Somehow it is hard to imagine anything less European than the TRX.

Still, it is so over-the-top (and capable, too) that its odds are probably very good.

2021 NACTOY Finalists Announced: The Top 9 Vehicles Introduced This Year

The 50 jurors* of the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY ) awards—50 people who work for a variety of outlets, so these are manifold perspectives, not that of just one brand—have announced their list of finalists for the 2021 awards, which will be presented in Detroit on January 11. (Actually, they will be presented virtually, given the prevailing pandemic conditions. And while on that sad subject—the pandemic, not the presentation—it is worth noting that this year was a particularly challenging ones for the jurors and OEMs alike, as in (1) getting into a variety of vehicles and (2) launching vehicles.)

So here are the vehicles that have made the short list (in alphabetical order, lest someone read something into the order).

Car of the Year

Genesis G80: the still-young luxury brand brings tech and comfort to its middle-of-the-pack offering (i.e., there are the G70 and the G90 sedans, too)

Hyundai Elantra: they didn’t just launch one version with some trims, but a “regular” one, a hybrid and a performance variant, all at once

Nissan Sentra: compact cars have always had stand-out models, but this one is several dozen levels above of what you might expect

Truck of the Year

Ford F-150: given that the F-150 has been breaking sales records for decades, let’s face it—when they do a new one, they’re not going to risk the crown

Jeep Gladiator Mojave: that name as in the desert, and while other variants of the Gladiator eat rocks, this one can handle the runs across sandy terrain

Ram 1500 TRX: take a Ram 1500, stuff in a HEMI and add a suspension system that can take on conditions that other pickup trucks wouldn’t dare get close to

Utility Vehicle of the Year

Ford Mustang Mach-E: this is arguably the first real EV to come from the North American domestic automakers—there have been others, but this one has the stuff

Genesis GV80: yes, that nomenclature is similar to the car previously mentioned, but this time it is the crossover that John Legend and Chrissy Teigen appropriately introduced in a Super Bowl ad

Land Rover Defender: not only is this a venerable marque, not only does this vehicle have the wherewithal to handle demanding conditions, but it has a design that can’t help but make you smile

*FYI: I am a juror.