We’re weeks away from SEMA 2021 in Las Vegas.
One of the world’s biggest automotive trade events always attracts fun and interesting builds. From a Hellcat-powered Prius to plenty of massive, and I mean massive, overlanding builds — there’s plenty to get the project-focused enthusiast’s mind racing. It’s also an opportunity for automakers to show off some of their own builds. Those could include some custom rigs that show off the brand’s parts catalogs (more on Mopar in a moment), or it could be a double-take inducing hint at features and builds that could actually make it to production. Case in point: Stellantis’ teaser sketch showing what looks like a hybrid TRX.
Ram dropped plenty of jaws and blasted many eardrums with the monstrous TRX we have today. 702 horsepower, supercharged V8, beefy haunches and meaty off-road capability…what’s not to love? As awesome an experience as it is, this first sketch could possibly be a sign of the times, and a hint at the TRX’s next chapter. Electrification is the name of the game these days, and it’s something we’re seeing in action right now with Jeep’s plug-in hybrid “4xe” lineup. Those Jeeps have blue accents and recovery hooks — exactly what we’re seeing with what could well be a hybrid TRX.
How could a hybrid TRX make sense?
Beyond Stellantis’ existing eTorque system, the brand needs to go somewhere with hybridized models until its full-electric truck comes along, just to stay competitive with Ford and GM. Will Ram actually use Jeep’s 2.0-liter-backed 4xe powertrain lock, stock, and barrel in one of their trucks? I’m not hugely confident on that, especially with the TRX. 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque is enough for most, but we’d need to see some sort of performance parity with the V8 truck for a hybrid TRX to make sense.
Maybe we’ll finally see the much-rumored, as-yet-unseen 3.0-liter straight six make an appearance here? Wishful thinking maybe, but time will tell. Perhaps Ram would further hybridize the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, supplanting the supercharged 6.2-liter mill to manage similar performance and improve fuel economy.
Stellantis’ other SEMA 2021 truck teasers
Beyond the curiously blue-accented TRX, Ram also looks ready to bring this year’s Moparized truck to SEMA, as you’d expect. Jeep is doing the same, by way of the Jeep Performance Parts catalog, with the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe. There’s more certainty around those models, of course — Mopar will show off its full parts catalog in Las Vegas. What’s likely going to be more interesting, though, is a truck based around the Kaiser Jeep M715 military rig.
The Five quarter, as it were, spawned quite a few variants in the 1960s, and this looks like it could be the M725 ambulance. We can’t see much of what’s up Stellantis’ sleeve apart from the lights, but the sketch’s “Jeep Performance Parts” watermark hints at some sort of overland build. It’s definitely not the first time the Mopar/Jeep team has gone berserk with a M715 truck, so we’ll keep tabs on the full reveal when it happens in a few weeks.
The 2021 SEMA show will return to Las Vegas from November 2-5. TFL is covering the event, so stay tuned for more updates!