Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2021 Ram TRX is off-roading in the desert after leaving a Ram TRX dealer.

Harnessing the Beast: Ram TRX Electronic Controls

There is no doubt that the Ram TRX that you can find at your Ram TRX dealer is a beast of similar personality and pedigree to the one its name resembles. The Hellcat-powered truck is supremely powerful, extremely capable, and is firmly at the top of the food chain in its category. The supercharged 6.2 Liter V8 powering the TRX can blast the truck forward with 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. All that power is channeled through an eight-speed gearbox that can keep the engine in the powerband at all times.

That well-optimized transmission routes that power through a transfer case, which delivers said power to all four tires. Thanks to this powertrain and drivetrain setup, the TRX is not only more powerful than many supercars but can launch even harder despite the hefty curb weight of 6,350 lbs that is indicative of how heavily reinforced the frame and body are.

Simply put, many vehicles are fast, and some can go anywhere, but the Ram TRX can go anywhere fast. To aid the driver in commanding all that power and torque, the TRX is equipped with a variety of electronic controls. These include a launch control system, a plethora of drive modes to suit different situations and terrains, and of course, the Performance Pages to statistically track exactly what your truck just accomplished.

A silver 2021 Ram TRX is parked on top of a sand hill.

Drive Modes

The Drive Modes available through the TRX’s Uconnect 4C NAV 12 inch touchscreen can instantly change the truck’s suspension, engine, and drivetrain parameters to provide maximum traction and performance on a huge variety of surfaces.

Sport Mode focuses on on-pavement performance, whether that be on the street or even a track. Meant to perfect both tarmac-based speed and driving entertainment, the Sport drive mode allocates 70 percent of the engine’s power to the rear tires. Not only does this setting take advantage of the grip of a paved surface, but it also encourages the truck to rotate through corners under power. Sport Mode also tightens suspension and shortens shift times, turning an off-road monster into an on-road rocket, as long as the mode is engaged.

The Snow Mode takes the terrain that offers the least amount of grip and works wonders with it. Controlling the engine’s horsepower and sending 45 percent of said horsepower to the front wheels makes a huge difference in this challenging environment. There is so much of a difference that it turns the slipperiest of winter conditions from a horror show into a playground. This mode can eke out the optimum launch performance on snow and ice.

Tow Mode is as advertised: adjusting the Ram TRX’s many tunable on-the-fly settings to best suit towing heavy loads. This mode retunes the suspension and engine calibration to have both the grunt to get a large towed load moving and the efficiency to move it long distances with minimal fuel usage. While the TRX was built to turn nature into a thrill ride, it is still a truck capable of doing real work.

When out among the dunes, Baja mode has you covered. Reducing shift times by 68 percent, this mode is made specifically for the high-speed off-roading the TRX was built to do. The suspension is set to full damping in Baja mode to both soak up jumps and induce just a little extra oversteer for a lot of extra smiles.

Mud/Sand Mode is made to help trudge through deep terrain. Areas of sand or slippery mud that would be impassable to most passenger vehicles are routine for a TRX with Mud/Sand Mode engaged. The drivetrain selects a 45 percent front, 55 percent rear torque split while smoothly calibrated engine management and torque distribution minimize slippage and maximize traction.

Rock Mode specializes in climbing and descending boulder-ridden inclines. Rock Mode is more than capable of operating even when a wheel is airborne as the vehicle negotiates a course, tuning the suspension to handle the uneven grade. An even 50-50 front-rear torque split allows the TRX to get out of situations that would leave other vehicles stranded, while the Selec-Speed Control helps control descent by automatically holding a set velocity.

Finally, Custom mode is where you can mix and match your ideal settings to set up the truck exactly how you want it. Steering feel, torque split, suspension tuning, and much more are all at your fingertips, waiting on your command.

A silver 2021 Ram TRX dealer is off-roading in the desert .

Performance Pages

The Performance Pages allow you to track your performance over time and prepare for the next run. The four main attributes of the Performance Pages are Launch Control, Dashboard, Dyno/Engine, and Vehicle Dynamics. Each of these individual pages provides either information for tracking bests over your driving experience or performance-enhancing capabilities to put the 702 horsepower the TRX has to best use.

Launch Control is the most self-explanatory Performance Page. In brief, a launch control system automatically optimizes the launch of a vehicle, generally by setting a launch RPM and managing the traction control system. When the launch RPM is set, the engine can be revved to this point, and when the vehicle launches, the tires are spun just enough to knock the vehicle into high-speed motion without losing traction or bogging down.

The TRX is actually the first Ram Truck to be outfitted with launch control from the factory, and right out of the gate, it has features not found on many other launch control systems. The primary feature specialized for the TRX is all-terrain launch control. All-new sports cars and high-end supercars have some kind of launch control system to make launching the vehicle easier, but the TRX can do the same thing on virtually any terrain. Dry pavement, wet pavement, snow, ice, sand, and more.

The Dashboard performance page is where performance information can be viewed and stored. Exactly what the Dashboard displays is up to you, with reaction time, quarter and eight-mile timers, and a 60 ft timer all available as some of the many performance metrics. This page is excellent not just for showcasing previous bests and measuring current performance but for cataloging performance runs to adjust driving techniques.

The Dyno/Engine performance page keeps track of the horsepower, torque, and amount of boost generated by the engine on a moment-to-moment basis. This information is delivered via an integrated dynamometer and can be compared to previous outputs over time.

The Vehicle Dynamics performance page provides direct access to precise measurements of steering angle, as well as transfer case and differential status. From this page, you can lock a differential or select transfer case modes.

The TRX Is the Performance Truck You Have Been Waiting For

The Ram TRX doesn’t just produce huge amounts of power and have enormous ground clearance. It provides you with a wealth of control options and aids so that all that power and capability can be put to the best use. No matter the terrain or the use, the Ram TRX can be instantly configured to match the situation at your command.

Suspension, engine, steering, transmission, differential, and transfer case settings are all adjustable on the fly. Not just by the computer, but by your inputs as well. Because even with a beast as powerful as a TRX, power is nothing without control.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *