New Zealand’s undeniable thirst for utes has seen more interest than ever in supersized pick-ups from the US. Currently we get the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 through General Motors Special Vehicles (GMSV) and Ateco, respectively, each converted to right-hand drive in Australia.
While it’s a nice system, unfortunately it means that we quite often miss out on trim levels offered in America. And, up until this point, it was thought that the Ram 1500 TRX — a gravel-bashing off-roading V8 behemoth — might be completely off our radar. But, that may no longer be the case.
The TRX was recently added to Ram Trucks New Zealand’s website alongside its existing models. Ateco is currently taking registrations of interest in the model from keen Ram fans and potential buyers. “Express your interest now so we can keep you in the loop when more information becomes available,” the website says. “Exciting times!”
The site says nothing about local pricing or availability. We contacted Ateco NZ to confirm whether the online change means the TRX is confirmed for our market, but the firm is keeping mum on the topic. “Unfortunately we can’t confirm any updates for the RAM 1500 TRX in New Zealand at this stage except that we have had a great deal of interest from those visiting the RAM Trucks NZ website,” a spokesperson told NZ Autocar.
A similar page has been rolled out on the Ram Trucks Australia website, too. CarAdvice reports that some Australian Ram Trucks dealers are already taking orders for the TRX — which is a fairly positive sign that good news is coming.
The TRX sports a supercharged 6.2-litre Hellcat V8 paired to an eight-speed automatic. The storied engine makes 523kW (702hp) of power and 880Nm of torque, and Ram claims it’s capable of sprinting to 96km/h in 4.5 seconds. Ram claims it’ll do the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds. Given enough space, it’ll eventually hit a claimed top speed of 190km/h. For what it’s worth, bed payload is rated at 600kg, and towing capacity at 3674kg.
FCA has whipped its magic on its suspension, four-wheel drive system and tyre package. Its 18-inch wheels come wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear all-terrain rubber formed from a compound engineered specifically for the model. The new rubber and pumped-out guards help widen the TRX’s track, which is 203mm wider than the rest of the 1500 line-up.
It rides some 51mm higher than standard Ram 1500s, which gives it a total of 300mm of ground clearance. Approach, break-over, and departure angles are rated at 30.2, 23.5, and 21.9 degrees, respectively, and theoretically it’s capable of wading into 813mm of water.
The TRX gets an all-new independent suspension system and adaptive 63mm shocks from Bilstein. It features active damping and extensive use of forged aluminium in its construction. Out back meanwhile, active damping is complemented by a five-link coil system with “up to 40 per cent more travel” than standard 1500s. Ram claims that the rear springs are the largest ever fitted to a non-commercial production vehicle.
As it stands, four different Ram 1500 models are offered in New Zealand; the Express Quad Cab and Crew Cab, the high-spec Laramie, and the Warlock. An updated Ram 1500 replacement is on the way, sporting the TRX’s more squinty headlights, an altered fascia, and other changes.