It’s no secret that the supercharged V8 might of the Ram 1500 TRX has spread beyond the Mopar world, becoming a strong argument for Ford to revive the eight-cylinder iteration of its performance truck (the 2022 Raptor R should land in the final quarter of this year). However, as enticing as this rivalry is, it still can’t bring back the road-focused performance trucks we enjoyed a few decades ago and we can at least address that via renderings like this one.
In lieu of the rugged terrain hardware present on the real-life TRX, this digital Ram sits closer to the road and brings about low-profile Pirelli P Zero rubber. It also sports a Charger Hellcat-like front apron, along with side skirt extensions.
And we can easily see the truck, which is the creation of graphic designer Jim (aka jlord8) spending time at the drag strip, in addition to giving muscle car drivers a hard time on the road.
They don’t make ’em like that anymore
The type of hardcore pickups Detroit builds these days involves contraptions that can go fast on any sort of terrain, which is why the TRX’s 702 hp Hellcat V8 is matched to off-roading suspension and beefy wheels/tires.
This practical take has also been expanded to the cabin, which means that offerings such as the N/A 6.2L-powered Chevy Silverado ZR2 (a less muscular rival to the following two), the Ford F-150 Raptor, and the Ram TRX come with four doors.
And while that’s fine for the (not so few) buyers of these rugged beasts, Detroit did things differently back in the 1990s and 2000s. Those were the decades of the modern road-biased performance trucks and we’re mostly talking about the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning (1993-1995 Gen I and 1999-2004 Gen II) and the Dodge Ram SRT-10 (2004-2006).
Those modern classic pickups came with lowered suspensions, low-profile tires and generally packed the lightest possible configuration, which involves a single cab and a short bed (the Viper-engined SRT-10 was also offered with a quad cab, though). And while such offerings may or may not make sense on paper, experiencing one in the real world should give an enthusiast enough giggles to justify the existence of such a vehicle.
It’s up to the aftermarket to keep these bad boys alive now
Automakers are not expected to bring back street-focused go-fast trucks (heck, Ford even repurposed the Lightning name for the EV iteration of the F-150 that’s coming out next year as a 2024 model).
Fortunately, though, there are still people out there who think about such machines when going to bed (pun intended). And we’re not just talking about artists like Jim, who, by the way, also cooked up a TRX-rivaling, single cab Chevy Corolaro borrowing the 650 hp supercharged 6.2L V8 and the Nurburgring-taming aero of the Camaro ZL1 (you’ll find this in the images below).
Instead, builds that take trucks down the asphalt performance route continue to be a thing, as showcased by the Hollywood-inspired Silverado “Bandit” we covered back in February, a contraption worth no less than $286,000.