New Truck News | 2021 Ford Ranger MS-RT, 2021 Ram 1500 Infotainment System Test and 2021 Ram TRX #001 Heads to Barrett-Jackson

2021 Ford Ranger MS-RT is another cool Ranger variant we won’t get

It’s mostly visual upgrades but would be awesome with a hot engine and ST badging

The U.S. is the pickup truck capital of the world, made clear by vehicles such as the Ram TRXF-150 Raptor and Colorado ZR2. And because of that, it’s so strange that we keep missing out on the coolest versions of the Ford Ranger. First there was the Ranger Raptor that made it to nearly every Ranger market but here (though that may change with the next generation). Now there’s the Europe-only 2021 Ford Ranger MS-RT that adds a heaping helping of street-oriented sporty styling.

The Ranger MS-RT is designed by M-Sport, the company responsible for Ford’s rally cars. The company has previously created sporty looking versions of various Ford Transit models. It’s a handsome truck with unique front and rear bumpers, the former getting a bit of a lip spoiler. They’re bridged by a set of side skirts. New, bulging fenders add some width, and it’s all capped off with a unique grille, fairing over the bed and 20-inch OZ Racing wheels. The interior features leather upholstery, orange contrast stitching and special badging.

The one disappointing aspect of the MS-RT is that it doesn’t get any unique performance enhancements. It gets the same turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder as the Wildtrak, which makes 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It’s also paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The chassis and suspension are just like the Wildtrak, too.

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2021 Ram 1500 Infotainment Driveway Test | Bigger IS better

Reviewing the Ram’s top-of-the-line 12-inch vertically oriented touchscreen

The 2021 Ram 1500 comes standard with a simple 5-inch touchscreen, while the 8.4-inch version found on most versions as standard equipment is the same user-friendly unit found elsewhere in the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram line up. Unlike all those other brands in the North American Stellantis empire (ugh), however, the Ram offers a unique take on the Uconnect: a 12-inch vertically oriented touchscreen. While other cars offer similarly tall screens, such as the Subaru OutbackFord Explorer and every Volvo, none do such an exceptional job of taking advantage of the orientation and size. The same can be said in comparison to the Ford F-150’s new jumbo touchscreen.

My full review of the system is in video form and can be watched above. I’ve also included a few pictures below to dig deeper and touch on some areas I missed in the video.

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2021 Ram TRX VIN #001 heads to Barrett-Jackson

It will be auctioned off for charity in March

The very first production example of the 2021 Ram TRX is headed to auction, the company confirmed Thursday. The truck, in Launch Edition Anvil Gray, will cross the block at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale on March 26 to benefit the United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 2-1-1 helpline.

Being one of the 702 Launch Edition models makes it special already, but this particular example will come with a presentation box with a bound book custom-developed by the Ram Brand team. This book highlights the vehicle’s design development and comes with exclusive photos and video, a speed-form model, and a Ram Truck cover developed by the vehicle’s design team.

“The award-winning 2021 Ram 1500 TRX bolsters the brand’s strong history of high-performance trucks while expanding the light-duty lineup with the segment’s best combination of performance, capability, luxury and technology,” said Mike Koval Jr., Ram Brand chief executive officer. “When Ram 1500 TRX VIN #001 rolled off the assembly line last month, it instantly became an incredibly exciting one-of-a-kind collectible truck that enthusiasts will clamor for – especially when it goes through the Barrett-Jackson auction lane in March.

“More importantly, we expect this first production Ram 1500 TRX to raise significant funds that will go directly to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 2-1-1 helpline to provide services to veterans and their families,” Koval added. “At Ram, we offer unique ‘Built to Serve’ editions of our Ram 1500 pickup as a way to honor all those who serve or have served in the U.S. armed forces with distinction. This is an important mission at Ram, and this auction is another way we can honor our veterans.”

The truck will be on display in Scottsdale during the auction March 20-27. You can also bid on it online or by phone if you can’t (or don’t want to) bid in person. Good luck!

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