With 702 hp on tap, the Ram 1500 TRX’s muscle was enough to convince Ford to bring back the V8 and supercharge this for the 2023 Raptor R. Heck, this is way more power than anybody’s ever going to need in a truck, but there may be some enthusiasts out there who disagree. So why not give these people a TRX with more than double the factory output?
So far, we’ve seen many pumped-up iterations of the Ram TRX. However, most of these build on the supercharged 6.2L Hellcat V8 that comes from the factory. And, using upgrades that target the supercharger, twin-turbos or even a mix of the two for that sweet compound boost, the ones we’ve checked out in the past allow the driver to play with up to, say, 1,200 hp, albeit while being legal to use on public roads—we’ll get back to this below.
Nevertheless, the TRX waiting to jump at you from the screen—it does seem pretty well strapped to that dyno, though—packs a little toy called the Direct Connection 1500 HEMI crate engine.
The unit, which is offered together with Indiana-based Don Schumacher Racing (DSR Performance, to be more precise) uses the N/A 6.4L (392 ci) Big Gas Engine HEMI that you’d normally find on a Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty pickups as a starting point.
Having been stroked to 7.0L/426 ci (hey, the same displacement as the Hellephant crate engine), the cast iron block V8 works with a Whipple 3.0L supercharger to deliver 1,500 hp and over 1,000 lb-ft of torque. And, since it sports the same bolt pattern and motor mounts as the Hellcat, while being compatible with the Hellcrate V8’s wire harness, installation should come easily.
RAM TRX with Direct Connection 1500 HEMI crate engine on the dyno
The folks over at Gearhead Fabrications over in Florida decided to strap the Direct Connection 1500 HEMI-powered Ram TRX to their dyno for some predictably spectacular results. So, measuring the muscle in RWD mode, as is the norm for most truck builds of the sort, they got 1,377 hp and 1,118 lb-ft of twist at 24 psi of boost.
And while the soundtrack of the adventure is just as wild as you’d imagine, one may wonder while the factory wheels and tires are gone. Well, it probably has to do with the smaller-sidewall rubber fitted to the vehicle being more suitable for putting this kind of power to the road. After all, the main factor that led to the 118 mph factory-limited top speed of the TRX is the all-terrain rubber.
Everything has a price
As for how one may use this level of muscle on a TRX, we can think of two ways. For starters, this is the sort of truck that can hurt feelings at the drag strip—keep in mind that the said engine was homologated for use in competition, racing or ancient vehicles (model year 1975 or earlier, before CARB and EPA regulations), so it’s not legal to use it on the street.
Then there’s the growing 6×6 trend. Even with a mighty engine like the stock Hellcat, these added-axle behemoths aren’t that quick, which is why many feature various mods.
So, with or without increasing competition from the electric truck breed, perhaps you do need 1,500 crank horsepower in a TRX after all. However, make sure to keep in mind that going down this route means you’ll have to spend a heathy $59,990 on the crate engine alone.