2011 Ram Runner

Fans of off-roading and desert blasting might recall that Chrysler offers an aftermarket conversion that can turn a Ram 1500 into a road-legal desert racer, called the Ram Runner. The kit, sold through Mopar, includes some significant suspension upgrades, body tweaks and a brawnier cat-back exhaust for the truck's 5.7-liter V8.

Considering all of this, comparisons with the almighty Ford F-150 SVT Raptor are common. Among the off-road community, that makes these two a sort of Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang for people that prefer driving on dirt. In the Race-Dezert forum, the discussion as to which truck was better was proceeding as normal - Ram fans said their piece and Ford fans said theirs. Then, a man named Kent Kroeker offered up his two cents.

See, Kroeker is a Baja racer, and the man that helped develop the Ram Runner. Despite his association with the truck, though, he had some less than kind words for Chrysler and the Ram Runner.

"The Ram is a great platform, but Chrysler would rather spend their government money jargoneering than invest in off road racing and vehicle development like Ford has done," Kroeker wrote.

Oh snap. Kroeker's opinion here is interesting for a pair of reasons. First, there wouldn't have been a Ram Runner for him to contribute on without said government money. Secondly, the Ram Runner project was announced two days after Chrysler announced that it paid back the government loans (yes, we know development was probably underway before the loans were paid off, but you get our meaning). But by all means, Mr. Kroeker, carry on.

"Encouraging Chrysler to butch up and do it right was like asking a group of mouth-breathing DMV employees to stay 30 seconds after coffee break starts," he wrote. Instead of doing what the racer wanted, he says that the Chrysler asked whether it, "could get away with a moderate shock and sticker package?"

Kroeker's opinion of Ford is considerably better, saying that its people "refused government money, released the expensive, gas-guzzling Raptor in a faltering economy and still hit it out of the park."

What do you think about Kroeker's statements? Is he out of line? Do you think Chrysler chickened out of offering a genuine Raptor challenger?
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