Ram TRX vs F-150 Raptor: Who Will Win the New Off-Road Pickup War?
Whether you are brand loyalist or a neutral participant, when two carmakers go at it head to head, it’s always the consumer, and often the enthusiast who wins in the end.
And while you may have thought Bronco vs Wrangler was the big fight going on between Ford and FCA, the recent reveal of the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX has started another battle: RAM TRX vs Ford Raptor.
From the moment we caught word that Ram was developing a high horsepower, off-road pickup it was clear that Ford’s ultra popular F-150 Raptor was going to be set firmly in its sights.
Blown V8 vs Twin Turbo V6
In a lot of ways the Raptor and TRX are quite similar, based on half-ton 4x4 pickups but extensively upgraded to handle all matter of terrain and with extra horsepower under the hood.
Yet it seems Ram and Ford each have different ideas of what extra power means with the 2020 Raptor making 450hp and 510 pound feet of torque from its 3.5L twin turbo EcoBoost engine.
The TRX on the other hand makes 702 horses and 650 pound feet of torque from its supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi V8. So while the Raptor is still a very quick truck by normal standards, it just can’t compete with the TRX in terms of speed.
The Value Question
That speed comes at a cost. And aside from horsepower and torque, the biggest difference between the Raptor and the TRX is going to be the price.
Ram has announced the 2021 TRX will have a starting MSRP around $71,000, while the 2020 Raptor starts out around $54,000 for the smaller SuperCab model.
The TRX, meanwhile will only be offered with a full crew cab. Whether the extra couple hundred horsepower and the V8 sound is worth it will be up for the buyer to decide.
The Next Gen Raptor
When comparing the TRX to the Raptor, it’s important to point out the current generation Raptor is on its way out, soon to be replaced by a version based on the all new 2021 F-150.
While Ford has yet to reveal the 2021 Raptor, it’s bound to pack some improvements over the 2020 model even if we don’t yet know what they are. We do know that the 3.5 liter EcoBoost engine is still expected to carry over as the base engine.
There has, however, been speculation that a higher powered Raptor will be offered, likely powered by the supercharged 5.2 liter V8 from the Shelby GT500 Mustang. With the TRX breathing down its neck, Ford may have the motivation it needs to build a blown V8 Raptor.
A Battle for the Ages
As with the Bronco and Wrangler, the fight between these off-road pickups might just getting be starting, and we imagine there will be additional variants of each to come.
Should there be a market, Ram could easily make a less expensive TRX that’s powered by the naturally aspirated 6.4 liter Hemi that would compete more directly with the EcoBoost Raptor in price.
Now we just have to wait for Chevy to get in the mix with a radical version of the Silverado powered by the blown V8 from the Camaro ZL1 and we’ll have a real big-three battle on our hands.
More From Driving Line
- Here's some more info about the Shelby-powered Raptor that Ford may or may not be working on to fight the TRX.
- Click here all the specs on the new RAM TRX Hellcat
- 2021 Ford Raptor Spy Photos: Will it be powered by a 5.2L Supercharged V8 with up to 750hp?