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4Word October 2012 Editorial

Posted in Features on October 1, 2012
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Press releases arrive every day here at 4Wheel Drive Magazine. Recently, we received a press release from Mopar. Here's a portion:

Mopar Ram Runner Wins Truck Duel in the Desert -- Leaves Ford SVT Raptor in the Dust.

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. 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 skidplates," 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."

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'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."

The trucks competed on a four-section course. Reading the full test, you'll find the Ram Runner won the "Ruts and Jumps" and the "Final Bumps" sections. The Raptor won the "From Road to Wash" and the River Wash" sections. The overall fastest time (6 minutes, 25 seconds versus 6 minutes, 58 seconds) went to the Ram Runner, as stated in the Mopar press release. put together a great duel in the desert, but Mopar shouldn't be crowing so loud, as this was a duel between a completely stock SVT Raptor and the Mopar Ram Runner – a modified truck. The complete Mopar Ram Runner kit costs $21,080. Add the labor to install the kit, paint (the Ram Runner comes with new, wide fenders and hood that need paint), and tires and wheels. That puts the total cost near $30,000 over the total upgrade cost of a stock 1500 Ram pickup. The Ram Runner kit can be built in stages, but the truck in this test had everything.

Kent Kroeker designed the Ram Runner for Mopar and he knows what he's doing. The Ram Runner kit is a great addition to Ram pickups. The Ford Raptor is the best out-of-the-box off-road pickup ever offered. While it didn't win the duel, this stock truck won two of the four sections. In fact, after driving both trucks for the duel, Chad Ragland said, "Maybe I shouldn't say this knowing that the Ram Runner had the faster time, but if I had to pick one truck, the better overall performer, for both on- and off-road, I'd have to pick the Raptor."

That last quote from Chad wasn't in Mopar's press release. I've driven the Ram Runner and have owned a Ford SVT Raptor. I choose the Raptor, too, and will own another some day.

And, just think what could be done with a Raptor and an extra $30,000…

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