Cadillac Escalade-V Drag Races Ram 1500 TRX, Outcome Might Surprise You

Although fairly late to the off-road performance truck party, the Ram 1500 TRX launched for the 2021 model year to universal acclaim because of timing. You see, the Ford Motor Company then offered a twin-turbo sixer in the F-150 Raptor. The crosstown rival packs a cam-in-block V8 with a beefy supercharger on top, a combo that’s an order of magnitude superior to the Blue Oval’s more techy and frugal powerplant.
Cadillac Escalade-V races Ram 1500 TRX 9 photos
Photo: Hennessey on YouTube / edited by autoevolution
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The Dearborn-based automaker made amends with the F-150 Raptor R for the 2023 model year, although it can rightfully be described as a poisoned chalice of sorts. Why so? Well, try remembering the sticker price of the first gen, adjust for inflation, then compare against $109,145.

It's pretty clear that 2023 trucks are more expensive than decade-old trucks from the same segment, but everyone knows that Ford is milking it like there’s no tomorrow. Though more capable off the beaten path, the R pales in comparison to the TRX in terms of value. Being an older design, Ram’s overlander also happens to be available at MSRP rather than with ADM.

Tipping the scales at 6,439 pounds (2,921 kilograms), the black-painted TRX in the featured clip is an idea heavier than the most expensive Cadillac that money can buy right now. Escalade-V is the name of this luxed-up colossus, whose frame is very similar to those of the half-ton Silverado and Sierra.

Equipped with plenty of bells and whistles right off the bat, which is only natural given its retail price, the Escalade-V weighs 6,217 pounds (2,820 kilograms). That matters a lot in the quarter mile, both from a dig and a rolling start. Its 6.2-liter small block produces three more pound-feet of torque than the 6.2-liter HEMI in the Ram 1500 TRX, although it produces “merely” 682 force-fed ponies compared to the TRX’s 702.

If the transmission and all-wheel-drive system are properly set up for launching, and if the rubber boots on every corner are capable of taking so much torque in first gear without spinning, the Escalade-V should launch better. As for the Ram, those 20 additional horsepower are certain to make a difference as far as the top end is concerned. The Ram 1500 TRX makes do with eight forward gears, whereas the Escalade-V relies on a 10-speed.

The final piece of the puzzle is the final drive ratio, namely 3.23 for the Cadillac and 3.55 for the off-road truck. In other words, the Ram has the more aggressive gearing, which is only natural given that it rocks all-terrain 35s compared to all-season 22s for the Caddy. Both four-wheeled Goliaths are fully stock, and both have a good chance of besting each other.

Launching from a standstill, the Escalade-V can’t help but eat the Ram’s dust from start to finish. From a 20-mph (32-kph) rolling start, the Cadillac simply cannot respond to the better-sounding TRX. As for the final race, you'll be surprised which V8-engined bruiser wins.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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