The global bakkie market remains strong, especially in the segment for high-performance double cabs.

Although the utility of a high-performance bakkie might be challenging for some to fathom, it is not stopping manufacturers from building new bakkies which can easily qualify to be off-road racing credible.

This trend started with the Ford F-150 Raptor series and has even come to South Africa, in the guise of the Ranger Raptor. The formula is simple: Off-road racing suspension, usually provided by Fox, and outrageous styling.

Profitable market for high-performance off-road bakkies

To many a bakkie should for all intents and purposes be a utility vehicle, capably of carrying loads and towing trailers. Some are used as family vehicles and gravel touring rigs, especially in the double cab format.

Car companies have realised there is a very profitable market for these high-performance off-road bakkies, with customers willing to pay a handsome premium for capabilities they are unlikely to ever use.

Image: Supplied


The latest high-performance bakkie offering is from Ram. It is called the 1500 TRX and the specification is tremendously impressive.

Built on the Ram 1500-series platform, this bakkie uses a reinforced ladder-frame frame and suspension components, with only 25% of the mechanical bits carried over from the conventional Ram parts bin.

At the rear this Ram 1500 TRX uses a heavy-duty Dana 60 axe, usually only seen on Jeep’s most robust Wrangler off-road vehicles. Unlike its Ford rivals, this bakkie uses Bilstein Blackhawk E2 dampers at all four wheel corners, instead of Fox. Those shock absorbers help keep it stable at speed, when crossing off-road terrain.

Image: Supplied


With a locking rear differential, selectable four-wheel drive and huge tyres, the Ram 1500 TRX promises tremendous off-road ability. It rolls massive Goodyear Wrangler 325/65R18 tyres, which give it great traction on any terrain type and sufficient air volume to smooth out the bumps.

Powering this new Ram is a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine, which boosts 523kW. That peak power output makes this 1500 TRX the world’s most powerful bakkie, by quite some margin. Despite its size, the Ram will run 0-100km/h in under five seconds.

There are no questions about his new bakkie’s off-road abilities or performance credentials, but how does it actually fare in terms of workload?

Ram claims you’ll be able to tow 3.6 ton, which is fair — but the 1500 TRX can only carry 600kg in its loadbox, which is a lot less than any Hilux or Ranger.

Author: Onlineautos