Not surprisingly, Pickuptrucks.com turned to a professional driver to handle the wheel work. Chad Ragland stepped up to the task. The guy's spent the last few years putting Trophy Trucks through the ringer in the SCORE racing series, and he's netted podium finishes in competitions like the San Felipe 250 and the Baja 1000.
So, did the aftermarket Mopar take the gold or the bone-stock Raptor take the edge? Each truck ran the course a total of four times, and the site broke down each section of the course based on terrain, and both trucks took home two sections, but it was the Ram Runner that came out on top with an overall time of 6 minutes 25 seconds. The F-150 SVT Raptor, meanwhile, took a full 33 seconds longer to do the deed, winding up with a final time of 6 minutes, 58 seconds.
Of course, there's the little issue of pricing differentiation between these two monsters. But we'll leave that to you to debate. Check out the full write up here, and be sure to watch the recap video below for yourself. While you're there, you can also read a self-congratulatory press release from Mopar.
Leaves Ford SVT Raptor in the Dust
Mopar Ram Runner 33 seconds faster than Ford SVT Raptor on punishing 4.73-mile loop
PickupTrucks.com declares Mopar Ram Runner the winner
May 30, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - This showdown was at sunrise.
The Mopar Ram Runner and the Ford SVT Raptor met for a shoot-out at Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), a state park in southeast California with 85,000 acres of nothing but dirt, dust and desert. When all was said and done, the Mopar Ram Runner was declared the winner.
PickupTrucks.com (powered by Cars.com) teamed with veteran SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series Trophy Truck driver Chad Ragland to thoroughly evaluate both trucks on a challenging 4.73-mile evaluation loop.
"I was impressed with Ram Runner's extreme off-road capability," said Ragland. "We jumped, slammed into mounds, cut through deep sand and it came out like a pro, rarely getting into the bumpstops or touching the skid plates," said Ragland. "Those front-end shocks are amazing. During our first set of runs, I could feel myself tighten a bit as we headed toward the big rocks and ruts, but then the front end just sucked it all up. Those big springs and shocks had no problems."
"We like how the Ram Runner kit can be built in pieces and stages based on what the truck owner wants and needs," said Mark Williams, Editor, PickupTrucks.com. "You can go full throttle right away, or take it slower, building your perfect desert explorer at your own pace, factoring in your own budget."
"Our Mopar Ram Runner is the ultimate desert racer based on a production vehicle," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand. "Mopar Ram Runner offers superior suspension travel to handle rough terrain and greater approach and departure angles for better clearance."
"We're proud that – under the most punishing real-world test conditions possible – the Mopar Ram Runner takes PickupTrucks.com's top off-road honors over the Ford Raptor," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico. "Whether you're into desert racing, rock crawling, hunting and fishing or just need a hard-working dependable work truck, there's truly a Ram truck for everyone."
Mopar Ram Runner
The Mopar Ram Runner kit, developed with successful Baja off-roader Kent Kroeker, includes the following: Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit, off-road front bumper, off-road front and rear fenders, off-road rear-tire carrier, sport performance hood and cat-back exhaust. Each element of the kit may be purchased separately. The kit may be installed by do-it-yourselfers or in a Ram dealership.
The Mopar Ram Runner kit is equal to or better than the competition on a number of fronts. The heavy-duty suspension system can handle practically any abuse the off-road dishes out. Front upper and lower control arms, which are three inches longer than production arms, provide added width and allow greater wheel travel over rough dirt trails.
Front lower control arms are constructed of plate steel in order to withstand off-road punishment. Upper control arms include rebuildable high-angle ball joints. Both inner and outer tie rods are substantially strengthened and contribute to the vehicle's rugged, off-road steering characteristics and capabilities. Outer tie rods, constructed of forged steel, measure 1 inch in diameter. Inner tie rods also are nearly 20-percent beefier than production, increasing from .62 inches to .75 inches.
At the rear, a 5-link coil spring rear suspension is utilized and helps provide a 30-degree departure angle.
The Pre-Runner Stage II kit offers a boost in suspension travel, 14 inches both front and rear, which is superior to the suspension travel on the Ford SVT Raptor. The Ram Runner kit, which includes Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks, offers performance on par with that of an off-road Baja race truck and outperforms the 2.5-inch shocks of the competition.
Ground clearance is approximately 13 inches at the center of the front cross-member and 16 inches at the rocker panels.
Body parts included in the Mopar Ram Runner kit, created with Trophy Truck inspiration, feature a tough-yet-stylish look built to handle the rigors of the off-road while turning heads on the street. The front bumper is constructed of steel with an integrated skid plate. With a 41-degree approach angle, ample clearance is assured over the deepest off-road obstacles.
Front and rear fiberglass fenders are lightweight, tough and durable with wider wheel wells that allow for tremendous suspension articulation with zero tire-to-body interference. The eight-inch wider track also provides an imposing, aggressive look.
The stamped aluminum, dual-scooped sport performance hood adds even more to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner Kit. The spare-tire carrier is located in the bed of the pickup and enables easier access and provides the ability to transport a larger spare tire, contributing to the overall appearance and "Baja truck feel."
Following is additional information on the Mopar Ram Runner kit, which is available for owners of 2009 to 2011 model-year Ram 1500 models:
Mopar Ram Runner Kit (each part may be purchased separately)
Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit: 5-link coil-spring rear suspension, lower control arms, upper control arms, rebuildable high-angle ball joints and forged steel, high-angle tie rods. Fourteen inches of suspension travel in front and rear, three-inch internal bypass Fox shocks. (MSRP: $13,670, Part No. P5155662)
Off-Road Front Bumper: Steel construction with integrated skid plate, high approach angle of 41 degrees provides greater clearance over off-road obstacles. (MSRP: $1,290, Part No. P5155663)
Off-Road Rear-Tire Carrier: Rear placement allows for easier access and ability to carry larger tires needed for the off-road. (MSRP: $1,425, Part No. P5155664AB)
Off-Road Front Fenders: Tough, durable fenders feature wide wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive look. (MSRP: $1,055, Part No. P5155665)
Off-Road Rear Fenders (6-foot, 4-inch bed): Tough, durable fenders feature wide wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive appearance. (MSRP: $1,395, Part No. P5155666)
Sport Performance Hood: Stamped aluminum, dual-scooped hood with molded bezels adds to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner kit. (MSRP: $1,070, Part No. 82211065AE)
5.7L Cat-Back Exhaust: Dual exhaust with chromed tips for bumper with cut-outs. (MSRP: $1,175, Part No. P5155280)
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
Wireless charging: first to introduce in-vehicle wireless charging for portable devices
Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
Brand-specific customer care telephone lines: first to offer Sunday service hours for customers
WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network
About the Mopar Brand
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes 280,000 parts and accessories. With the creation of the Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. partnership, Mopar is extending its global reach, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Combined with Fiat SpA, Mopar's global portfolio includes more than 500,000 parts and accessories that are distributed in more than 120 countries. Mopar is the source for all genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA brands.
Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A.vehicles - a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at www.mopar.com.
75 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for antifreeze product in 1937. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s - the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "special parts" for super-stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use. The brand has expanded to include technical service and customer support.
About the Ram Truck Brand
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer since its launch as a stand-alone vehicle brand. Creating a distinct brand for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on how core customers use their trucks and what new features they'd like to see. Whether focusing on family that uses its half-ton truck day in and day out, a hard-working Ram Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its commercial vehicles every day, Ram has the truck market covered.
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