Mopar's new Ram Runner Kit for serious off-roaders

If you want to turn your Ram Truck into a desert racer, Mopar's new Ram Runner kit boasts it will provide performance on a par with dedicated off-road racers, give you superior shocks and suspension and do it all while looking drop dead desert gorgeous. You too can have a Mopar-powered desert racer.

Just over year since Mopar debuted its Ram Runner vehicle at the 2010 Moab Jeep Safari, details were announced today on the new Ram Runner kit for off-road enthusiasts.

"At Mopar, our image vehicles showcase potential directions that we may take and the new Ram Runner kit is a good example," said Pietro Gorlier, president and CEO, Mopar, Chrysler Group's service and parts brand. "We saw the reception that Ram Runner received last year and quickly moved to offer kits that will allow off-road enthusiasts to transform their stock Ram 1500 into a desert racer."

The Mopar Ram Runner Kit was developed with Baja off-road racer Kent Kroeker and includes a Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit, off-road front bumper, front and rear fenders, off-road rear-tire carrier plus a sport performance hood and cat-back exhaust.

Elements of the kit may be purchased separately and it can be self-installed or by a Ram dealership.

The Mopar Ram Runner Kit claims to be equal to or better than its competitors for several reasons. The tough, heavy-duty suspension system can handle whatever the desert dishes out. Front upper and lower control arms, made of 4130 chrome moly steel, are 3 inches longer than production arms, adding width and allowing greater suspension travel over rough terrain.

Image courtesy of Chrysler Group LLC

Upper control arms use high-angle ball joints that can be rebuilt. Both tie rods are strengthened and enhance off-road steering characteristics. Outer tie rods, constructed of forged steel, measure 1 inch in diameter, while inner rods are nearly 20-percent heavier at 0.75 inches.

In the back, a 5-link coil spring rear suspension helps provide a 30-degree departure angle.

The Pre-Runner Stage II kit provides suspension travel of 14 inches both front and rear, better than the Ford Raptor. The Ram Runner kit, including Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks, offers performance on par with a dedicated Baja race truck and reportedly 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 features a stylish look built to handle off-road rigors and yet get noticed on the street. The front bumper is steel with an integrated aluminum skid plate. A 41-degree approach angle, assures ample clearance over the deepest off-road obstacles.

Lightweight fiberglass fenders all around are durable with wider wheel wells allowing for extensive suspension articulation and zero tire-to-body interference.

A stamped aluminum, dual-scooped sport performance hood completes the look of the Ram Runner kit. The spare-tire carrier, located in the bed, enables easier access and the ability to transport a larger spare, contributing to the "Baja truck feel".

Ram Truck and Mopar are joint sponsors of The Off-Road Championship (TORC) Series in 2011. Both brands will share sponsorship of the Traxxas Racing team fielded by Mike and Mark Jenkins along with the Menzies Motorsports team owned by Steve Menzies. Ram will be the official vehicle of the TORC Series and the Mopar Ram Runner will serve as the official pace truck. The Mopar graphic on the Ram Runner pace truck will be available to consumers.

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