Sources: Mopar Plans Surprise Long Travel Ram 1500 for Easter Jeep Safari

Desert-ram-560

In addition to the ground-pounding Mopar Ram Power Wagon that will debut at this year's Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, sources tell PickupTrucks.com that another truck is planned: a secret long travel suspension version of the Ram 1500 half-ton.

We're told that Chrysler has teamed up with veteran Baja racer Kent Kroeker to build the truck. It's described as more than a project truck but not production intent. Call it a serious research effort.

Kroeker is a Baja legend. In 2004, he built and raced a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 in the SCORE "Stock Full" class to a top three finish in the Baja 1000 and drove the same truck home the next day. Since then, Kroeker has built his company, KORE, into a well-known provider of aftermarket lift kits and suspensions for Dodge trucks. If anyone knows the ins and outs of building a race-ready Ram for the desert, it’s Kroeker.

What can we expect with the Hemi-powered project Ram? Many will automatically compare it to the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor but it will have a few significant differences.

The Ram 1500's unique four-link coil-spring rear suspension, instead of leaf springs, should help give the truck extra stability off-road. We may also see more rear suspension travel in the Ram than the Raptor. Wheel travel is your friend for high-speed trail running. It will be interesting to see the changes planned for the light-duty Ram's independent front suspension. We're also wondering if the truck will use Fox or Bilstein shocks - Kroeker has worked with both damper suppliers.

How does this half-ton effort differ from the Power Wagon? The Power Wagon is a heavy-duty three-quarter-ton rock crawler built for maximum traction and articulation using front and rear solid axles. The Mopar Ram 1500 will emphasize suspension travel that responds quickly at high speeds to soak up brutal ruts and washboards and can keep cool mile after mile.

Will the end result in Moab reach production or become a bolt-on set of Mopar-certified parts? We don't know, but we'll be paying very close attention in a few weeks when we see it unveiled and running fast through the Utah outback.

Comments

Raptor Killer!

Looking forward to it!

Wishful thinking.. First it needs to be built, then make it into production before it can even compete with the Raptor.

Until then, Raptor is king of the desert.

Let's go back just two weeks ago. I think I remember an article about a "Hoss" Super Duty. Looking down at the comments, I remember the Dodge boys complaining about "copying."
Let me guess, this time it's ok right? What am I thinking? This isn't copying!
Personally, I think it's all great. The more competition, the better. I just wanted to point something out to the copy freaks.

Shouldn't Chrysler be just a little more concerned about their anemic and out dated car line up and making sound financial decisions than building one off show trucks? Glad to see they are spending bailout money wisely. I am all for using show vehicle to build excitement but the Ram line is one area where they don't need to generate any. They are selling just fine comapred to the rest of their line up.

FWIW isn't this a Jeep event? I know Chrysler owns Jeep, but this still seems silly as Jeep owners would want a Jeep truck, not a tweaked Ram.

RAM as we know know it only builds TRUCKS! They now are doing what Dodge does best and that is trucks. Leave the cars to Fiat and Chrysler where they belong and they will do fine. With the Jeep heritage and with Fiat knowledge there is not a better company in the world with more 4x4 knowledge/experience. Put all this together and you will have a company dedicated to the 4x4 enthusiast that can conquer any terrain imaginable!

Even if its a one off vehicle there is still hope that its parts will end up as mopar accessories. Cant wait to see the pics.

@ ARON:
Chrysler is making changes to their car lineup, big changes are coming this year, as well as the next couple. As for the "bailout", it was a LOAN. Same as if you would take a loan out from a bank, it's not free money.

this one is for the dodge/ram/mopar kids..

a raptor fighter yeah!! it might even endup being better.. better yet if it is a success it might make it into production.

go RAM!!

D57H - Ram i s not Dodge. Ram is now what Chrysler is calling their truck division. Still all the same parent company.

Moparmania - Chrysler took the loan to survive. They would have gone bankrupt if not for it and FIAT. That is a bailout. FWIW a loan is only good if it gets repaid and right now Chrysler is in the worst shape of the two big "loan" recipients. You have to make money to repay a loan. Why do you think no one but the government would give them a loan? Same reasona a bank will not give you a loan if your debt is too close to your income.

"Raptor Killer!" - cdjred


I agree, wishful thinking. I do, however, like the attempt. Kent Kroeker is a very knowledgeable man. I'm glad they will attempt to build one.

@Keith

Ram is still Dodge and still owned by Chys Co like it or not. To me no matter what it says it will always be a Dodge ;)

RAM is no longer a Dodge, but it's sold like a Dodge through Dodge, and it's owned by Chrysler.
They should market this rig as a Jeep Gladiator (since this is an Easter Jeep Safari) instead of marketing all types of RAM. Leave the Rams to contractors and heavy haulers...you know...those who use their trucks as trucks.

Funny how there is still a Dodge nameplate on the "RAM" trucks then hu????? I am not arguing with you YES there is a "RAM" brand but it is still under DODGE nameplate. They did this so they can have even more "manly trucks" than you think such as class 8&9over the road road trucks. Would love to see the RAM/Dodge get back into this market with Cummins/Iveco engines!

They are trying to spin the Ram out of the Dodge nameplate slowly. Soon there will be no Dodge name on it. They even praised Mike Levine for not using the Dodge name. Good luck Dodge trucks. Correction: Italian Ram brand trucks!

oh my god, theres no picture! is it invisible? lol

somebody please tell me,.....why are ford guys so stupid and intimidated by anything other than ford?

liresa - You can say that about any fanboys.

Anyways, back on topic. The Raptor has been a big success for Ford, they've sold more of them than they thought they were going to. I can't blame Chrysler for exploring this market. If Chrysler thinks they can build a competitor to the Raptor and sell it profitably, then it is a wise use of money to do so. Will we ever see a Ramptor (totally made that up) in dealerships? Probably not, but there may be some MOPAR accessories available in the near future so that Ram fans can build their own.

I own a 2006 dodge ram 2500 and the name dodge does not appear any wear on the truck no emblem no decal and i bought it new. Anyway I would like to see RAM invest in a power wagon option for the 1500 I think that would bring in more sales than the 2500 and sell better than the ford raptor up here in New Hampshire where we have snow and no deserts like most of the northern states.

Looks pretty cool.Bottom line is though its still a pos dodge or ram or fiat whatever they call it.Its good that dodge merged with fiat because both companies excel at making pos vehicles!!!!!!

I thought the power wagon already beat the raptor in head to head thats settled. Chrysler paid back its loan in the early 1980s and tax payers made 800 million in interest. So helping a american company keep jobs here is fine with me.

have yet to see Ford build an engine equal to the Hemi.
no, Ford engine is not even close to the Chevy 6.0.

"I thought the power wagon already beat the raptor in head to head thats settled." Where'd you read that at? Clue us in eh?

This'll never make it to production. I'll take any bets. Even if it did, it's still a Chrysler.

all you rampunkshus kids are getting to excitted. I had no idea of the raptor until pickup trucks .com had made the article and by then the raptor was for real, not much internet fake hype but the real footage. Ford was 1st in this market and i don't see them being pushed out. shure lets seem them try and copy ford cause thats what people do, follow the leader. You can't deny how awesome the ratptor is, if it wasn't for Ford Government motors and chrystler crappy corperation would not try to do much, especially this.

the only thing that makes dodge good is that which is not controled by chrystler. (any coisadences) its the cummins that it awesome, otherwise its a piece of crap. and for you obedient government lovers the only thing that is good in your piece of crap is the allison transmition which is also not controled by gm. Ford is the best all together built package for the price and the F-150 takes that to another level. don't forget the new super duty as well.

also concerning the bailouts, it was not just a loan, if you look at the strings it was more governmnet takeover. hum i wonder if chrystler and gm are going to pay back the bailout money, no duh they are because they are paying it back to... themselves the government(s). also for all you ignorant people, the bailouts did not save jobs and they did not certainly save gm and chrystler from bankruptys, because well guess what, they went bankrupt! so if you want pride in an American vehicle its a Ford.

- Ford & me bailout & bankrupt free for Liberty!

Rock On Ram

really....so ford is the one coming out with all new tech..?

tech that has been sitting around for decades...?

hmmm..?!

I doubt this will ever make it to production, but I bet it will see light in the MOPAR parts bin.

IMO that is where is should be too. If Ram spent all that money developing a Pre-runner, IMO it would be a waist of funds. That money should have been used to develop a 6 speed for the HEMI.

By the way, I have no doubt that this would be able to out run a raptor.

It hasn't even made it to the cartoon stage, it's just all talk, and yet it is already more capable than the Raptor which is out there in the real world. Gosh there are some idiots around! Just imagine what these people will be like when there is an artist's rendering. Gosh that silhouette is so sexy isn't it?

Alex, this will be a one off vehicle. When is the last time a one off wasnt the best made.

It will outrun the Raptor, which isnt that big an accomplishment in the first place.

KORE makes some awesome products. Infact if money is no object for you, a tricked out 2500 with a KORE suspension may be more capible then a Raptor. But that is more a of a race thing then a production truck. Raptor has that beat because it s a production truck and it is the best value out there.

The only real question I have for RAM is: Where is the 6-Speed.

That is what everyone should be waiting for. That will steal more sales away from Ford and Chevy then anything. 6-Speeds make the competition feel stronger off the line then bigger motors with 5-speeds behind them. At leaset that was my take away when I test drove the F-150, GMC and RAM 1500.

Mike

The trick that is tough to be about the Raptor is that it is also street legal. I am sure a custom shop could build a better truck for off road, but then will it also retain some for of everyday use truckness like a realistic payload and towing?

reason why they dont have a 6 speed....maybe because it woul take so long for MDS to shut of 1/2 of the engine..????

@Mike Levine

are there any archives on the T-rex concept that dodge was planning back in 1996?.....

did they killed this idea/concept??

Chrysler back pedalled on the whole "I AM RAM" fiasco. They released a statement saying that "Ram" will always be a Dodge. I bet this whole "I am Ram" mess is partially responsible for the 22% drop in sales from last year.
It's too bas since the Ram pickups are the best looking trucks out there.

A Ram 1500 KORE truck would be a great "one off" rig. The coil spring rear suspension would be more responsive than the Raptor's leaf springs. I cannot see it being a production model because getting long travel out of the coil spring rear, and to make it reliable would be very costly.

If this truck turns out to be anything like the monochromatic Power Wagon, it will be way cool. (at least to look at)

You can't compare a Raptor to a Power Wagon. These trucks are built for different purposes. The Raptor = high speeds, Power Wagon = extreme articulation at a snails pace.
Some tests picked the PW and some picked the Raptor.
This site took the proper approach - have a test, see their strengths and weaknesses, and let the public decide which one suites their needs.

I do not think Ram should be doing speciality projects like this, they are in horrible shape Chrysler, relegated to 7th in sales in the U.S. so far this year and most of that is the result of fleet sales.

Chrysler Group is on the verge of shutting down and yet have pet projects like this?

Not very good business sense!

And that thinking is why you arn't the CEO of a huge corporation.

At the darkest hours you need to invest in your future, not the present. The present is why you are at your darkest hour.

"darkest hour" - the only light at the end of this tunnel comes from a Fiat econobox.
Ford - why don't you put Chrysler out of it's misery. Watching this slow death is nauseating.

Chrysler will be remembered for nothing.
and Ford? The Edsel. heh heh

@ISL

I bet you the CEO of Chrysler Group does not even know about this project...

Focus on core products that will bring in solid revenue...I like R & D projects like this but it makes no business sense in their current state of affairs...

This is exactly why people, who have no idea how to run a company, shouldn't post about them. It makes them sound ignorant.

oxi I'm not brand loyal. I'm a small buisness owner, and a car buff.

However when Fiat took control the quickly fixed Chrysler. They are heading in the right direction, all they need is about 6 months time.

Look at Ford right now. Why are they reaping the rewards? Because they were looking to the future, when GM was looking at the present.

Sorry for the double post.

But if I'm not mistaken the Ram is Chryslers #1 seller. If this isn't a core product I don't know what is. R&D is a necessity to keep a core product on top.

@ISL

And this does what to improve Ram with folks that will not run the Jeep Safari?

Long-travel suspension is NOT a huge market share out there, just core off-roaders would be interested.

Dodge needs to release vehicles or product parts that will catch the eye of the trucking public and keep the Ram name front and center.
These one off trucks are a good start but they need to build momentum and keep it up with each successive release.
A 1/2 ton Power Wagon probably would be a good idea. The coil spring rear end could generate huge articulation numbers.
Release a limited edition diesel Power Wagon.
How about actually testing and running 1/2 ton diesels.
Keep expectations high, keep the public's eye on Dodge. Then actually release what you've been showing off...
Look at all the publicity Ford recieved from the Raptor even before it was available for sale. They have generated a lot of publicity around all the engines that are rumored to go into the F150 and HD's.
Chrysler needs to get busy and turn things around.

Lou hit it on the head. Do they need to develop a high travel suspention? No, but they need to keep the public eye on themselves. A cheep way to do that is R&D. R&D gets automotive sites buzzing and is free advertising at the same time. The more attention they have, the more people will see, what I believe will be, one of the largest automotive turnarounds ever. They need people to believe this will work and with products that can beat other automakers products, people will start believeing.

Trucks are well and good, but one would hope the Big 3 learned their lesson about neglecting their car line ups when gas prices spiked. Sure the Ram is their best seller but see what happens if gas jumps to $4.00 a gallon and they are sitting there with a long travel Ram and zero competitive compact and mid sized cars. One big part of Fords recent success is the Fusion. They also have a new Focus coming to market that looks like it will be a winner too. Add in the EcoBoost engines and you have generated real excitement. More than the Raptor has generated. The Raptor is a success, but with truck folks not Joe Public car buyer. Cars are the bread and butter that bring average people to the dealership.

Good point Keith...

A truck can only go so far, you need a car to lure the female buyers with and Chrysler Group aside from minivans has few to lure car buyers in...

Keith and oxi, go read Chryslers 5 year plan. I'm sure by now that ISL is tired of explaining to you why doing this cheep R&D is giving them cheep advertising.

Also, so you know, by the end of this year 75% of Chrysler's line-up will be redesigned/refreshed. By 2012 95% will be redesigned/refreshed. The new management has heavily invested in Chrysler's future. And with Fiat technology, which is a global leader in fuel economy, and if Chrysler can make it to the end of this year, the future is bright as ever for them.

LOL @ all the people crying "Dodge copied Ford". Open your eyes up a little past a squint and you will realize that Ford has been copy/pasting idea's not only from Dodge, but other manufactures for as long as I can remember! If you don't believe it look @ your mini vans, super doodies and even frickin lincon LS is a copy of BMW's looks. And for the record, the Dodge brothers left the Ford company because of a LACK OF QUALITY many many moons ago to open up their own company. BUT it was their engineering smarts that help make Ford the success (if thats what it is...) it is today. So to say that Dodge

Chrysler Fan - I'll believe it when I see it. FWIW the damage has already been done to Chrysler. The have a huge hill to climb to get back to relevance in the car market. You do realize that "refreshed" is different from redesigned right? Refreshed means they are tweaking an already underperforming vehicle that should be dropped and redesigned, which is most of Chryslers line up. As far as redesigned, most plans I see are for reskinned FIAT's to act as filler for a few years until original designs can be brought to market. They'd better hope the FIAT models and parts integrate without a hitch or they might not make it to 5 years.



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2014 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us

Visit our partner: MovingTruck.com