Mopar’s extreme off-road Ram Runner kit has been modified to be fully street legal when it goes into production in March, Mopar President and CEO Pietro Gorlier said.
“After [the Ram Runner concept] debuted in Moab and reaction was so positive, we went back and changed [the kit] to be street legal,” Gorlier told PickupTrucks.com at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. “We want to make sure buyers can enjoy it on- and off-road.”
Ram Runner hardware will turn a half-ton Ram 1500 pickup truck into a hardened desert racer using components inspired by Baja trophy trucks. Mopar teamed up with veteran Baja racer Kent Kroeker to create the kit, which includes custom body and suspension pieces such as 3-inch diameter Fox Racing internal bypass dampers at all four corners, custom upper and lower control arms for the front suspension and flared widetrack fenders.
One of the changes Mopar has done to make the kit street legal is the availability of side marker lamps, which are required by the government because of the Ram Runner’s width. Ram Runners will be much wider than stock. Track is 77.5 inches at the front and 74.5 at the rear, compared with 68.2 inches at the front and 67.5 inches in back for a standard Ram 1500 four-wheel-drive model. That extra width translates into stability in corners and high-speed turns.
“Mopar will have a clearance-identification kit available,” Mopar spokesman Bryan Zvibleman said. “The kit will meet requirements for driving on the street with wider fenders.”
Off-road enthusiasts will be able to buy the hardware all at once from a Chrysler-Mopar dealer or in batches at their own pace.
If there’s enough demand from off-road enthusiasts, Gorlier said Chrysler is also considering offering the Ram Runner as a Ram 1500 model straight from the factory, similar to the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.
“We’re looking at making the Ram Runner available [as a turn-key truck],” Gorlier said. “If we did, we would use a [second stage] partner to build the trucks.”