What changed from concept to production? Read on.
We've been waiting since 2016 for the recently revealed production-spec Ram 1500 TRX to arrive. The TRX concept was an immediate hit and seemed destined from the get-go to receive the green light. The nearly five-year gap period was used wisely as Ram designers and engineers have clearly created a masterpiece of power, style, and off-road capabilities. We already knew the concept truck had "just" 575 horsepower compared to the production TRX's 702 hp. But what's changed, design-wise, from concept to production?
Motor Trend recently sat down with the TRX's lead exterior designer, Mike Gilliam, to find that out exactly. Conveniently, he also designed the TRX concept. The production version, Gilliam believes, is "one of those rare instances where the movie ends up being better than the book."
He pointed out the most similar visual cues between the two trucks are the headlamps. The concept, however, featured a grille taken from the heavy-duty Power Wagon, but since the production TRX has an 88-inch width, designers felt it necessary "to use a graphic that would play up the entire width of the truck." Doing so resulted in the "ferocious-looking" front end one can see a mile away.
Another improvement over the concept involves the ID lamps. Any vehicle wider than 80-inches is required to have them by law. On the concept, they were located on the roof, like on heavy-duty trucks. However, a more creative and cool-looking alternative was found by placing the three ID lamps into the functional hood scoop. The clearance lamps, meanwhile, were relocated down into the flares. "You'll see on the front, there are amber ones on the front that are down, located on the sideburns on the bumper," Gilliam said. "And then on the rear, they're located in the flares."
The concept also had a side exhaust, also found on the Dodge Viper. However, reverting back to a conventional straight rear-exhaust made more sense because the alternative lacked functionality. "Because to do a side exhaust, you've got to route - and you'll see it if you look closely at the show truck - you've got to route that exhaust underneath the frame rail to get it outboard of the frame rail. And it does impact your ground clearance a little bit." This would result in a fragile exhaust pipe that makes zero sense to have on a truck, especially one like this.
Gilliam was also asked, among other things, whether there are any design Easter Eggs and he admitted there's one under the hood that requires one to remove the engine cover to see it. There's also one inside, specifically the center console with a scale chart showing the comparison "in [the] scale of a human being with the truck and the T-Rex and a raptor."