Ram TRX is dead. Long live the Ram 1500 RHO
There’s no longer any need to speculate about Ram’s mysterious widebody V6 concept. The automaker has officially confirmed that the TRX is no longer in existence and that it will not get a six-cylinder engine in place of the Hellcat V-8. This is because the automaker has created an all-new model known as the Ram 1500 RHO to be included in the sport utility truck segment.
Once spyware captured photos and videos of the RHO prototype, fans began to assume it was a TRX replacement for an era without V-8 engines. This makes a lot of sense based on the camouflaged SUV, but Ram is adamant that this is not a practical TRX model.
“It’s not a TRX,” Ram CEO Tim Kuniskis said. “It’s RHO, and you could say that’s the Ram High Output, or maybe the Rhino. Maybe there’s some Rhino hiding in there as Easter eggs, but I’m not allowed to call it a Rhino. You can call it whatever you want.”
Whatever you want to call it, the star of the new truck is the brand’s high-output variant of the twin-turbocharged six-cylinder. Known as the Hurricane H/O, this new engine will deliver 540 horsepower and 521 pound-feet of torque. This is still a powerful engine, but it’s the main reason this thing isn’t a TRX 2.0.
“We don’t call it the TRX because I would never call it that and I would degrade its power from what it is today,” Ram CEO Tim Kuniskis said during a media briefing in Detroit.
The Hellcat V-8 pickup currently offers customers 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, propelling the SUV to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. While this figure will certainly get more pedestrians with the Hurricane H/O, there are still plenty of worthwhile devices that will likely be carried over. This includes items like a larger TRX chassis with larger frame rails, an electronic locking rear differential, and larger 35-inch all-terrain rubber. Of course, the real headliner is the truck’s off-road suspension, complete with remote Bilstein reservoir dampers at all four corners. The package gives the V-8-powered model 13 inches of suspension travel and 11.8 inches of ground clearance. The TRX also has a large set of 15-inch brake rotors up front, which could be more aggressive at a lower power level. It’s not like the RHO is an underpowered machine, and it still outperforms the standard F-150 Raptor. This situation did not happen by chance.
“It opens up a new part of the sector for us,” Kuniskis said. “I won’t say how much it will cost, but it will be less expensive than the TRX today, and I think that opens up a huge opportunity for us in the sport utility truck space.”
Even without the TRX engine, the RHO looks like it will be a promising car with plenty of sporting intentions. While it will be difficult for any truck to live up to the TRX’s status among Mopar fans, the nameplate may not be gone forever.
“TRX will be shelved,” Kuniskis said. “I don’t know if we’re going to do anything with it, but it’s on the shelf.”
Ram refused research and development Requests for more information about this package are at this time. All we know is that it should arrive during the third quarter of next year. The price will be lower than the TRX price, and will likely be in line with the price of the competitor from Dearborn. Regardless, we’re glad to see Ram working around the scheduled death of the Hemi lineup. If the new RHO has a portion of its predecessor’s character, the brand and fans alike won’t have anything to worry about.
Born and raised in metro Detroit, Associate Editor Lucas Bell has spent his entire life surrounded by the automotive industry. He may drive an old Mustang every day, but a Porsche 944 and an NB Miata occupy most of his free time.