Mopar Ram Runner beats the Ford SVT Raptor heads up
PickupTrucks.com took the Ram Runner and the SVT Raptor to the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) in California, bringing along veteran SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series Trophy Truck racer Chad Ragland. The team put together a 4.73 mile course that took the two trucks through a brutal off-road layout that featured everything from ruts and jumps of various sizes to some higher speed areas, with Ragland tearing through the desert terrain while being timed. In the end, the Ram 1500 turned Mopar Ram Runner claimed the title at the Duel in the Desert with a time of 6 minutes and 25 seconds – 33 seconds better than the time turned in by the SVT Raptor F150.
The Mopar Ram Runner was at its best in the worst conditions, with the modified Ram 1500 besting the Raptor by 10 seconds in the first stage which was named “Ruts and Jumps” while beating the Raptor by an impressive 24.8 seconds in the final stage named “Final Bumps”. On the other hand, the Ford SVT Raptor F150 was the better truck in areas that required more handling capacities and all-out speed (although not by very much), with the Raptor beating the Ram Runner in the second stage named “From Road to Wash” by just one tenth of a second and besting the Ram in the third stage named “River Wash Run” by 1.6 seconds. Each truck was taken through the course four times and Ragland turned in his best times of the day in both trucks during the final lap – with the Ram Runner turning in a best lap that was 33 seconds faster than the Raptor’s best lap.
It should be noted that while the Mopar Ram Runner Ram 1500 beat the Ford SVT Raptor F150, the Raptor is a truck that the average consumer can walk into a dealership, right now, and purchase. The Ram Runner, however, is only available as a modification package that is designed to be added to the 2009-2011 Ram 1500. The SVT Raptor used in the Duel in the Desert was a SuperCab model with the 6.2L V8 and an automatic transmission, which carries an online price of $43,720. The Ram 1500 used in the comparison was a Quad Cab model fitted with the 5.7L Hemi V8 and an automatic transmission which, according to the Ram Trucks website, can be had for as little as $32,915 in the Express trim. This gives the Ram a substantial advantage in price but the truck used by PickupTrucks.com was fitted with $21,080 worth of Mopar-provided modifications to complete the Ram Runner package…and that doesn’t include the off-road tires and wheels. Not factoring in the additional cost of wheels and tires, the Ram Runner carries a price somewhere in the area of $53,995 and based on that, it should beat the SVT Raptor handily.
However, when you look at the list of modifications included in the complete Mopar Ram Runner package, there are a variety of items that you could remove without any drop in performance. Features like the Sport Performance Hood ($1,070) and the off-road tire carrier ($1,425) really don’t add any additional capabilities to removing them from the package wont negatively impact the Ram Runner’s performance when off-roading and it can be debated whether or not the cat-back exhaust system ($1,175) is really needed as well. Remove those three items and the final Ram Runner price drops to $50,325. The majority of the remaining package price is the $13,670 MSRP of the Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit that adds a massive suspension overhaul that is really the reason why the Ram Runner is so capable. Other items like the off-road front fenders, the off-road bedsides and the race-styled front bumper allow the Ram Runner more clearance all around while also giving the tires room to move without hitting the body. We should also point out that for anyone who already has a 2009, 2010 or 2011 Ram 1500 Quad Cab with the Hemi V8, being able to beat a Raptor in some of the roughest conditions are only a Mopar Performance Part catalog away and, unlike the Raptor, the Ram Runner package can be pieced together to allow for more customization by the owner.
Cost aside, the Ram 1500 turned Mopar Ram Runner has gone head to head with the Ford SVT Raptor F150 and beat it handily – allowing the Chrysler Group to claim the title of offering the best off-road truck on the market today.
Check out the video below courtesy of PickupTrucks.com for a closer look at the Duel in the Desert including both trucks in action!