From Concept to Reality: The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
Vehicles tend to be toned down when taken from concept to production. We often see brands, such as Jeep and Ram for example, debut concept vehicles that appear to be off the rails, but when those concepts enter production, automakers tone them down and meet somewhere in the middle of street-legal-but-with-a-lot-of-capability. In fact, throughout history very few cars have actually retained the overall look and feel of their respective dreamed-up renderings.
Automotive experts agree that even fewer models improved on their overall original concepts, but when brands nail it, they tend to create something even better than the initial good foot forward. Such is the case with the recently-unveiled 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. It was only four years ago (2016) when the Ram TRX concept was received to much acclaim, but it took a lot of work to get the TRX model to where Ram Trucks wanted it to be. Here’s what changed along the way from concept to production for the all-new Ram 1500 TRX:
Mike Gillam, head of the exterior design team responsible for the Ram TRX, recently spoke to Motor Trend and detailed what actually changed from the concept debut. What’s even better about getting Gillam on the record is that he’s the same guy that engineered, developed and built the concept just four years ago, making him the best person to discuss these changes. “The differences between the concept truck and the production truck are, it’s one of those rare instances where the movie ends up being better than the book. The concept truck obviously was rated at 575 horsepower. The production truck has a full 702 horsepower,” said Gillam.
The biggest difference between the visual cues of the concept and the actual pickup are the headlamps. While the concept borrowed the grille for the heavy-duty Power Wagon, Ram opted to play up the entire width of the 88-inch wide pickup by relying on a different graphic. The TRX intentionally features a very mean front-end to set it apart from the rest of the pickup maker’s lineup.
Ram also integrated three functional ID lamps into the hood scoop because of the width of the pickup. Gillam also discussed the side exhaust seen on the concept and how it impeded functionality in the production truck. To avoid future headaches, Ram opted not to place the fragile exhaust pipe in an area that could cause it severe damage, and instead opted for a straight rear-exit exhaust. It’s even got dual exits and black-painted dual-wall exhaust tips.
Gillam also covered the hot topic of Easter eggs with Motor Trend as one of the old rumors alleged that the pickup has a T-Rex eating a raptor as a bit of a cheeky jab at Ford’s Raptor model, but in reality it’s a scale chart. According to Gillam, there are other Easter eggs on the TRX — he wouldn’t exactly reveal their nature, but he did reveal their location. One is under the hood of the truck, and another is more in line with the T-Rex Easter egg, but Gillam was unwilling to give away too much. All in all, what Ram actually delivered absolutely blows the concept out of the water, expect it at dealer lots in 2021.
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