Ram 1500 TRX versus Campagna Motors T-Rex: Which High Performance Carnivore Wins in a Battle of the Automotive Dinos?
T-Rex vs. T-Rex might sound like a pretty evenly matched battle—and it would be if we were to go back to the Cretaceous period when these fearsome carnivores ruled the Earth, devouring whatever crossed their paths as they spread their reign of terror across the planet.
In modern times, however, switching up one little letter makes the head-to-head competition much more of a David and Goliath affair. The Ram 1500 TRX and the Campagna Motors T-Rex both call upon nature's most famous apex predator, and they each represent the pinnacle of performance in their respective automotive segments. That being said, how they go about delivering their thrills couldn’t be more different.
One is a full-size pickup that's gone hyper-steroidal in its bid to offer supercharged off-road fun, while the other is a pint-sized three-wheeler that runs rings around sports cars at twice its price point. Who emerges victorious from this revitalized bout between two of the automotive world's most impressive champions? We put the Ram 1500 TRX and the Campagna Motors T-Rex head-to-head to find out.
In terms of brute numbers, the Ram 1500 TRX has few rivals in the world of horsepower.
Outfitted with a 702hp version of Chrysler's 6.2L supercharged Hellcat V8, the pickup also enjoys 650 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. It's a mega-dose of instant-on, grin-inducing thrust that no other truck on the market can match.
In comparison, the Campagna Motors T-Rex 16 SP's 160hp looks like someone put its output numbers in the wrong order. The vehicle's BMW-sourced 1649-cc six-cylinder motorcycle engine is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox, which is fitting for a vehicle with a single rear drive wheel, but on paper it's hard to see how the T-Rex could in any way stand up to the TRX's mighty bellow.
The verdict: The over-muscled Ram wins this category by several miles.
Get your head out of the spec sheet and head into the real world, and suddenly the T-Rex's drivetrain makes a lot more sense. You see, the laws of physics don't care all that much about how much power a vehicle is putting to the ground, because if you balance that engine output with an equal mass of steel you'll quickly negate any perceived performance advantage of a large-displacement design.
That's a fancy way of saying that the mini-Rex's power-to-weight ratio is massively in its favor when lining up alongside the cumbersome Ram. Checking in at 1,157 lbs the Campagna has to move a mere 7.2 lbs for every one of its horsepower. Compare that to the 6,866 lbs of pickup being pushed along by its huffing-and-puffing Hellcat, and you're looking at 9.7 lbs per horsepower—impressively close given the titanic gulf between the two vehicles, but still a penalty of nearly 25 percent for the Ram.
As a result, the T-Rex bests the TRX in a straight line, but only just. With a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds, the Campagna beats the Ram's 4.5-second advertised time by more than half a second. In terms of the quarter mile, the Ram is officially only 0.6 seconds behind the T-Rex's 12.3 second run.
The verdict: Actual testing reveals that both the trike and the truck can slice significant time off of their respective launches, but the official figures hand this win to the T-Rex.
Low weight and low to the ground, the Campagna Motors T-Rex is essentially an enclosed motorcycle.
Facing off against a giant pickup on Baja-style shocks like those found on the Ram 1500 TRX, it has a clear advantage when it comes time to tear through the twisties.
The numbers on the skid pad definitely back up this impression. The three-wheeler offers 1.3 g of cornering grip, which is bonkers for a road vehicle of any kind, and almost double the 0.7 g delivered by the Ram's knobby all-terrain rubber.
The verdict: No one really expects a pickup with 13 inches of suspension travel to carve a corner, so there are no surprises here.
Sure, there are bikes that eat desert wash for breakfast and blast across dunes like nobody's business, but the Campagna Motors T-Rex isn't one of them.
This is a street performer through-and-through, and even a gravel road is probably a bad idea for spirited driving in the trike.
The Ram, on the other hand, offers remote-reservoir Bilsteins, a massively reinforced frame, exceptional ground clearance, and of course rugged four-wheel drive.
The verdict: Was there every any doubt? Ram all the way.
The Ram 1500 TRX can tow up to 8,100 lbs and has a hauling capacity of 1,310 lbs should you choose to fill the bed with the additional fuel tanks you'll need to maximize the thirsty predator's driving range.
It also offers comfortable seating for five inside its four-door cabin.
In the Campagna Motors T-Rex, six-footers are lucky if they can fold their frame into the driver's seat. And that doesn't include the helmet they'll be required to wear in some states, where the trike is considered a motorcycle for registration purposes.
The verdict: You'll need to pack light in the T-Rex—like, whatever's in your pockets light—which means the Ram takes this one, too.
The last category in our head-to-head contest between the plus-size Ram 1500 TRX and the Campagna Motors T-Rex is a little harder to quantify: what is the X-factor that makes either of these vehicles stand out from the rest of the pack?
At first glance it might seem as though the TRX is a giant among trucks, but in reality there's little about the Ram's appearance that really sets it apart from the thousands of other off-road rigs out there on the trail. It's a good-looking truck but it doesn't scream 'special' in quite the same way an exotic sports car with similar power would. Let's put it this way: the Ram TRX can blend into a crowd much easier than you'd think.
The T-Rex, on the other hand, looks like it landed from another planet with the intent to convert us from our four-wheeled complacency to its three-wheeled supremacy. It attracts nearly as much attention as its prehistoric namesake would when it appears at the valet stand.
The verdict: The TRX is a very fast pickup in a world of big, fast pickups. The T-Rex is an alien that looks like it escaped from a Hot Wheels display.
More From Driving Line
- How many other high performance trucks did Dodge build before the Ram 1500 TRX hit the scene? Check out this look at the TRX family tree.