I slide to a fast cease on the mud-slicked path. Up forward, a pair of bushes on both facet power the observe right into a pinch level, one narrower than I used to be anticipating. A Wrangler appears prefer it’d move by way of with ease, however I’m driving the 2022 Ram 1500 TRX, the widest off-road truck within the enterprise. I eyeball the hole with some apprehension as a fellow off-roader pulls as much as me of their side-by-side. 

“We sometimes match our full-size vehicles by way of that hole,” he assures me.

I gesture on the TRX, which is actually a full-size truck in ultra-wide panorama mode, and voice my width considerations in return. Nonetheless, his confidence provides me some resolve, and I determine to belief the park common and ship it. And by ship it, I imply idle alongside slowly watching either side of the truck — it’s a great distance over to the passenger facet nook — to make sure I don’t return Ram’s take a look at truck with barely narrower fenders than after I acquired it.

Finally, the stranger’s recommendation proved itself, and I simply made it by way of the hole and onward to the following a part of the path the place I promptly crashed by way of an enormous ‘ole mud puddle with a triumphant V8 bellow. 

Huge ‘ole mud puddles are the principle supply of leisure at The Mounds ORV Park, too. There are all types of various sizes and depths so that you can check out, which is strictly what I did with the 702-horsepower TRX, trusting its 32-inch wading depth to be my buddy for the day.

The TRX {hardware} is firmly within the realm of absurdity, permitting it to assault nearly any terrain or floor – assuming it may well bodily match by way of. The 6.2-liter supercharged V8 provides 650 pound-feet of torque to all 4 wheels that lets it energy out of mud and muck by aggressively flinging it skyward as if it has a vendetta towards each the sky above and Earth beneath. This form of driving is finest accomplished in Mud/Sand mode, because it units the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, suspension and steering into their best settings to have probably the most enjoyable within the slick stuff. It really works as marketed.

Going 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds in a truck so giant is already a mind-altering expertise, however having the traction and talent to correctly launch off-road is the place the TRX actually units itself aside. These 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tires, developed particularly for the TRX, dig into the mud and grime, taking pictures you ahead with far much less scrambling and scrapping for buy than you’d anticipate from such a sloppy floor. The Dana 60 stable rear axle, axle-hop damper and digital limited-slip differential that Ram claims assist these launches are all placing within the work that must be accomplished. Irrespective of the terrain, the TRX digs in, growls and shoots the place you level it. If you happen to’d quite transfer sideways, a fast stab of the traction management button relaxes the truck’s nannies to do exactly that.

The suspension is simply as hardcore with the Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive dampers and their distant reservoirs making this 6,396-pound lead weight of a truck extra agile than it needs to be, but forgiving on the similar time. Its damping traits don’t present the identical pillowy and sleek off-road experience as, say, the Multimatic dampers on the a lot lighter Colorado ZR2 do, however that’s evaluating apples to oranges on the burden scale. Ruts and uneven off-road surfaces do get transmitted to the cabin with a level of harshness, however it’s a managed harshness that you would be able to stay with by way of extended intervals of being knocked round. It could appear counterintuitive to say, however the off-road experience could possibly be likened to that of a sports activities automotive with adaptive dampers. The TRX is stiff and managed if you need it to be, however then you possibly can dial the damping again to a extra forgiving degree if you’re merely moseying alongside. Ram bought the tuning proper for the off-road fanatic with this one.

The TRX’s floor clearance of 11.8 inches makes moguls a cinch and offers you the arrogance to level it anyplace and belief that the truck will clear it. And even in the event you do find yourself scraping, the 5 skid plates and metal bumpers will be sure to don’t come dwelling with any lacking items. 

Sitting within the driver seat is like ruling from a leather-covered throne atop an impenetrable fortress. The truck oozes a way of invincibility, which may result in harmful over-confidence off-road, however it positive is a enjoyable one to expertise. Different off-roaders stare as you move by. Throttle stomps can have necks snapping and wildlife on the run. It’s quite ridiculous, actually, however that’s what makes it so enjoyable. 

Even in the event you by no means push the TRX’s limits, you’re nonetheless going to have a ball with this truck on account of it being in extra of completely every little thing. Been shifting at a sluggish crawl by way of a path for too lengthy? Take the opening up forward to goose the throttle and listen to the sound of Mopar and supercharger echo off the forest round you. Truck wanting too clear after the primary hour of mudding? Discover an open space and execute a number of the most deliciously muddy donuts you’ve ever accomplished. Higher but, get hold of someplace you possibly can safely bounce the truck. The Mounds doesn’t have such an space, however I bought to expertise air in a unique TRX only a few months earlier — it lands softly and doesn’t appear to thoughts endlessly leaping with little to no break between makes an attempt. Your abdomen’s sturdiness will doubtless be reached earlier than the TRX is finished for the day.

And if you find yourself able to name it quits, the enjoyable doesn’t cease on the pavement. That’s, when you have a deep sufficient pockets to maintain the TRX’s tank full. My week of off-roading, freeway trekking and plenty of around-town journeys noticed the ultimate common at 11 mpg. Matching the TRX’s freeway mpg of 14 appeared inconceivable in Michigan with our 70-mph limits, as even driving at that velocity noticed us hardly crack 12 mpg over the course of a 150-mile journey. There’s no sugarcoating how horrible that’s, however since it’s going to be atrocious irrespective of the way you drive it, you may as effectively exploit all 702 horses as a lot as attainable. 

The lightening of your pockets at Shell will not be the one ache skilled on highway. Although it is definitely attainable you’d get accustomed to its width in a lane, even after every week, I by no means bought comfy with the scale. It takes up your complete lane of no matter lane you’re in, leaving little or no room to spare on both facet. Take your eyes off the highway to fiddle with a setting, and any quantity of wander will go away you crossing into the following lane. It’s genuinely annoying at instances how a lot effort needs to be devoted to simply preserving the truck the place it needs to be, however it’s additionally affordable to surmise that some may even see the TRX’s domineering and bloated highway presence to be a plus. The flared fenders and I wish to eat you face are unmistakably intimidating to different motorists.

And whereas we’re on ease of use, the TRX, alongside the remainder of the Ram 1500 lineup, has one massive improve for 2022: Uconnect 5. This infotainment tech is certainly an improve over the outgoing Uconnect 4, and it’s additionally our first take a look at it paired with Ram’s vertical display. Load instances are significantly speedier — particularly for the Efficiency Pages and Off-Street Pages — however a terrific new characteristic is the flexibility to place Apple CarPlay or Android Auto right into a full-screen vertical format. Meaning you now have the choice to actually take full benefit of the smartphone connection tech versus it occupying solely half the display whereas one other menu occupies the remaining. 

At $91,575 as geared up, the TRX is each a efficiency and luxurious truck because it snags a lot of the gear from the usual Ram 1500’s inside. The stitched leather-based thrones are vast and cozy, however maintain you in simply effective off-road. Heated seats and a heated steering wheel imply that you would be able to hit the paths within the winter in complete consolation. And the non-obligatory Harman/Kardon sound system is a worthwhile field to verify. You’d anticipate these big 35-inch tires to trigger main irritation on the freeway, however they’re not as loud as you may anticipate, and there’s subsequent to no wander impact or lack of certainty from the steering wheel on account of them. As an alternative, you simply get to benefit from the agency, however forgiving experience of these Bilstein dampers.

Ford hasn’t hit us with the Raptor R but, which suggests this TRX remains to be on the prime of Mt. Ridiculous. And whereas ridiculous it might be, the TRX is nearly assured to make you get away in laughter and sheer pleasure each time you drive it. Whether or not that pleasure comes from listening to the wake-the-dead distant begin from a block away, or the hilarity of such maddening acceleration, simply relies on the day. This truck will do practically something you may want it to do, as long as your gas finances and the trail forward are sufficiently big.

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