In 2011, Mopar threw the Raptor a counter-punch with the launch of its “Ram Runner Kit” for Ram 1500 pickups. Though not a turnkey production model, the Ram Runner Kit was capable of turning any 2009 or later Ram 1500 into a formidable off-road weapon.
How formidable? Its suspension kit promised fourteen inches of travel and included components like three-inch, internal-bypass Fox Racing shocks. An off-road tire carrier increased ground clearance, while off-road fenders allowed for oversized tires and suspension articulation.
Even the heavy-duty front bumper was purpose-built to maximize the approach angle, and included an integrated aluminum skid plate. Aside from the fact that you had to bolt on all the components yourself (and paint things like the hood and fenders), the biggest drawback to the complete kit was its $20,000 sticker price.
Now, Wards Auto reports that Ram is considering a turnkey version of the desert racing truck, to go head to head with the Ford Raptor. It’s unclear if a factory Ram Runner (or whatever it’s ultimately named) would include the same components, or what the asking price would be, but it’s fairly safe to use the Ford Raptor as a benchmark.
Don’t expect to see such a truck at your Ram dealer anytime soon, as Mopar’s vice president Pat Dougherty admits the company is in the process of analyzing Raptor sales to determine the size of the potential market.
In his words, “If we could see that the volume was significant enough that it makes sense to do it, we’ll do it. But if we don’t, then we’ll continue to do it the way we do it.”
Dougherty is referring to sales of the Ram Runner kit, though we can’t help but think the brand is missing out on a huge opportunity here. The Raptor probably did more for Ford’s image than its bottom line, and Ram trucks would certainly benefit from a similar investment.