Written by: Patrick Rall

    The original Mopar Ram Runner debuted at the 2010 Easter Jeep Safari
    in Moab, Utah along with making a stop at events like the 2010 SEMA Show
    but at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, the Mopar Ram Runner made its debut
    as a post-title package available from Chrysler’s Mopar division.

    The 2011 Mopar Ram Runner begins life as a standard production 2011
    Ram 1500 Quad Cab, adding a cat-back exhaust system and a Mopar cold air
    intake kit for some added performance.  Next, the metal fenders and
    bedsides are removed in favor of a set of flared fiberglass
    fenders/bedsides and the stock front bumper is removed in favor of a
    tubular off-road style bumper clad with 4 fog lights for added
    visibility.  A Mopar hood replaces the standard hood of the 2011 Ram
    1500 and the tailgate is removed to make room for the race-style bed
    mounted tire rack.  Finally, the biggest change as the 2011 Ram 1500
    Quad Cab becomes the Mopar Ram Runner is a purpose-built off-road
    suspension with help from BDS and Fox Racing that gives this street
    legal trophy truck more off-road capabilities than any truck on the road
    – including Ford’s SVT Raptor F150.  The only items shown in the
    picture not included in the Mopar Ram Runner package are the wheels and
    tires and the interior roll cage.

    Click here for more images of the Mopar Ram Runner and the other Rams from the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

    I had a chance to speak with Keith Montone, Off Road Engineering
    Manager for Mopar Performance and he explained to me that when they
    designed the Ram Runner, their goal was to create something that a Ram
    owner with a handful of mechanical experience could build in his
    driveway.  No portion of the Ram Runner takes any special tools,
    although some body-work experience will be helpful when removing the
    metal fenders/bedsides and installing he fiberglass units.  Everything
    else is literally bolt on and once the package components are installed
    and the owner selects the wheels and tires that best fit his or her
    need, you will have a Ram that is capable of doing anything that any
    Raptor can do…and the Ram Runner can do it better.

    One nice thing with the Ram Runner is that you can purchase it
    altogether or as individual components. Say that you already have a
    massive suspension package on your Ram Quad Cab but you want the look of
    the Ram Runner – you can purchase just the hood, bumper, fenders,
    bedsides and tire rack and have the look of the Ram Runner “show truck”
    with your own suspension setup.  Or, if you don’t need the incredible
    capabilities of the $13,000 suspension package but you do some
    offroading and you want the extra wheelwelll room for a big set up mud
    tires to avoid local laws that prevent tires from extending past the
    fender edges.

    The Mopar Ram Runner package will be available from Mopar.com soon
    and with any luck, this package will see incredible success; leading to a
    more production friendly version to help the Ram keep up with Ford’s
    SVT Raptor.