The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX debuted just a few days ago as the only real alternative to the Ford F150 Raptor. It’s more powerful, faster, and more expensive than its main rival and you’ll be able to buy one even if you live in Europe. Even the name of the performance truck challenges the Blue Oval’s super truck. Or, actually, does it?
It turns out that’s not completely accurate. Yes, the TRX moniker can easily be associated with the Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur, which is a proper enemy for a raptor. But the truth is Ram’s decision to name it like that didn’t have anything to do with that fact - at least initially.
Gallery: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Debut
Just before the official premiere of the truck, Automobile Magazine had the chance to talk with Mike Gillam, TRX's exterior-design lead, and ask him questions about its design and overall conception. Apparently, they thought the TRX is a reference for T-Rex too, but he told them the real story.
“Because of the short timeline, we actually had a sheet of craft paper up in the studio, and we had probably 200-plus different naming ideas. A lot of them were really cool, out there and exciting. And at the end of the day, legal couldn't vet any of those names fast enough for the reveal. So, it was really just a timing thing,” Gillam told the publication.
Yes, it’s that simple. Ram had to make a very quick - and legal-friendly - decision and the name TRX was the obvious choice because the automaker already had the rights to use it. The team simply didn’t want to waste too much time on that decision.
“They looked and they said, 'What do we already have the rights to?' And we actually had TRX, it ran for I think just one year, it was an off-road package we offered on Ram. And it was sort of a little bit obscure. Every now and again, I'll see one driving around. But it was kind of a cool name. They thought, 'yeah, you know what, it's simple, it's memorable. We own it already,' which was the big thing. So, 'let's just go with that.' It was, again, one of these things where we didn't overthink it too much.”