AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
A public service announcement: the boys at Mopar would like to remind you that the Ford F-150 Raptor isn’t the only drool-worthy uber-truck on the market. The Ram Runner, a build-it-yourself off-road kit for the Dodge Ram 1500, is also available for purchase by overexcited man-children.
Here is Jim Sassorossi, Director of Mopar, talking to Autoblog about why the Ram Runner rules and the Raptor drools. The Ram Runner Stage II, which is one letter away from bootlegging Caribbean liquors, includes such parts as new front and rear bumpers, bigger control arms, the same Fox-branded shocks as on the Raptor, and a Ford-beating 14 inches of wheel travel. Including the beefy fenders, the entire kit will be $19,000 over the base price of a Ram—which is right in the Raptor’s $41,550 base price.
Don’t think this Raptor-targeting isn’t intentional: Sassorossi mentions the Raptor no less than four times through the brief interview, and mentions the Ram Runner with the words “best in class.”
After a wildly enthusiastic reception to the Ram Runner, the dune-bashing variant of the Ram pickup, Chrysler engineers have decided to go back to the drawing board and make the upgrade kit street legal, giving Ram loyalists a weapon against the Ford F-150 Raptor.
While any stock Ram 1500 can be used as a basis, the parts used will have more in common with Baja race trucks than anything seen on the street. The vehicle is so wide that special side markets have been mandated by the government. Track is widened by 3 inches in the front and 6 inches in the rear, while special Fox shocks, new control arms and widened fenders are just some of the modifications made for the Ram Runner.
Buyers can purchase a complete package, or the individual bits to upgrade their truck over time. Chrysler is looking at making a factory version but stated that “If we did, we would use a [second stage] partner to build the trucks.”