Chrysler Corporation gave its dedicated off-roading desert set plenty of trick new offerings to get all warm and sandy over this weekend at the 44th annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. But amid the gaggle of one-off variations on the Jeep and RAM Pickup themes, the 2010 Mopar RAM Runner Concept caught our attention. This de facto challenger to the competition-spec Ford Raptor X features a comprehensive revamp of the basic RAM package using a host of components that Mopar anticipates adding to its roster of Performance Parts.
Powered by a stock 390-horsepower/5.7-liter Hemi V8 and swapping its steel front fenders and bed-side elements for lightweight fiberglass alternatives, the RAM Runner rides on a Mopar prototype suspension that uses custom-designed front and rear suspension control arms that widen the track dimensions and permit up to 14 inches of travel. The dedicated chassis bits also includes heavy-duty tie rods, constant velocity (CV) joints and beefier splined axles, variable-rate coil springs, and bespoke three-inch-diameter FOX Racing Shox gas-pressure shock absorbers with remote reservoirs and special internal bypass valving. Rounding out the RAM Runner's bag of tricks are 35.0x12.5-inch General Grabber Competition tires on 17-inch wheels, custom tubular Baja bumpers, aluminum skid plates, a six-point roll cage, a bed-mounted tubular spare-tire carrier and four super-bright LED off-road lights.
While a good deal of detail regarding availability dates and pricing is still being finalized, Mopar has confirmed that the RAM Runner as configured is intended for off-road use only and that the package will come with no warranty. Customers can purchase and install the various RAM Runner kit components -- including the desert-ready FOX Shox shocks -- themselves or have the conversion performed at a certified Chrysler/Mopar dealer.