Raptor vs. Ram Runner part #2

Discussion in 'Desert Racing' started by MADMEDIA, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Kent Kroeker

    Kent Kroeker Well-Known Member

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    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    And that about sums it up.

    The Ram is a great platform, but Chrysler would rather spend their government money jargoneering than invest in off road racing and vehicle development like Ford has done.

    Getting in the arena takes strong leaders who are willing to take risks. I had a bunch of meetings in Detroit about production Ramrunner possibilities and all the Head Shed kept asking was, "couldn't we get away with a moderate shock and sticker package?"

    Encouraging Chrysler to butch up and do it right was like asking a group of mouth-breathing DMV employees to stay 30 seconds after coffee break starts.

    This sharply contrasts Ford's people - people who refused government money, released the expensive, gas-guzzling Raptor in a faltering economy, and still hit it out of the park. This is Corporate Ballsack we hardly see any more in America.

    At this point, comparing a stock Raptor to a Ramrunner isn't valid. One is stock, one is aftermarket. With some extra money you can modify a Raptor to handle like a Ramrunner, but you can't purchase a new Ram truck with the word, "Ramrunner" on the Monroney.

    Raptor wins. Ford wins.
  2. LAPoliceGear.com

    LAPoliceGear.com New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Location:
    Mono County, CA
    I'll race a Ramrunner any day :)

    Attached Files:

  3. chatterbox

    chatterbox Member

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Phx, AZ
    I agree Kent. I think they either do it right or just don't do it. I know how hard it is to have any manufacturer step up with more than just a "sticker package". I was a development test driver for Brand "T" for may years and the discussions to change suspension components where always a challenge. One of many concerns from my experience is roll over testing. This goes for all and the regulations are so strict that the company lawyers pretty much have the last word on performance. When I was asked to test these trucks for Motortrend they had me pretty much come up with the location and test procedure. I asked Art Eugenio from Get Some Photo to join so at least him and I can work together to get some good shots and we could speak the same language. Motortrend wanted all of the off road testing done in one location, so as you can see we were limited on the technical rock crawling areas. It was a bit of a challenge to get all of this done in one day and was a bit rushed in my opinion. I would have liked to have had some input on video editing and just more time testing in each area. My plan was to set up a "rally course" on the lake bed simply to throw the trucks around to get a feel for the stability and overall front to rear balance. The trucks like Kent mentioned were pretty much stock OE and an aftermarket kit from "KORE". I think the test would have been improved if there would have been more of a break down explaining these differences. We did the best we could with the limited time frame and this was the very first time I drove either truck. When you have several engineers develop a truck on the OE side like the Raptor you expect to have most areas covered and dialed in. In the case of the Ram Runner, it is hard to just bolt on a kit like the "KORE" system and have the truck not only perform off road but on road as well with limited development time. I think Kent and his team did a good job considering and in the big bumps the Ford could not compare. I have to give Ram a thumbs up for even going this direction. In the end I think the video sums it up.

    Attached Files:

    Dirty Harry likes this.
  4. ciscokid8

    ciscokid8 Member

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    Location:
    Henderson NV
    When Dodge steps up and posts contingency money, and the support that Ford has showed to the off road world then we should show support and consideration. Until then stay off the coat tails.
    PDANK Racing and alwaysracin like this.
  5. Tipracer

    Tipracer Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2005
    Location:
    So. CA
    Kent, You spoke the truth and Dodge did not listen and it shows. Ford spent money on a good bet and hit it out of the park...You even made news over on jalopnik, maybe an about face is coming
  6. bajaherbie

    bajaherbie Active Member

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    altus, ok
  7. Kent Kroeker

    Kent Kroeker Well-Known Member

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    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I like your optimism, but I don't see Chrysler getting in the ring.

    They've got all the engineering components at their disposal, from advanced frames to the most awesome powerplant of all time - the V10 Viper motor. There's even a cadre of great people at Chrysler, Mopar and Jeep who are chomping at the bit to work on a project like this.

    Nevertheless, the Trigger-Pullers aren't going to go that direction. I would like to see it happen, but it won't.

    They kept talking about justifying a "business case" - meaning that the endeavor has to make sense from a financial standpoint. It costs a lot of money to bring a new platform to market. It requires massive amounts of money to crash test, stability test, and to certify this and that. Evidently they either don't see direct ROI in it or the indirect ROI of providing halo to other products.

    Or the phrase "business case" was a euphemism for "risk." Someone at the top didn't want to give the green light because no matter how you slice it, a project like the Ramrunner isn't exactly safe. Selling butt-loads of purple Fiat Macchiatos that get 50 mpg is a safe bet. Selling 600 hp, V10-powered off-road rigs to the mass market is not in any way, shape or form, "safe."

    Either way, while the project was still alive, all I kept saying was this:

    "The success of the Raptor is your Business Case.
  8. Kent Kroeker

    Kent Kroeker Well-Known Member

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    Aug 2, 2005
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    San Diego, CA
    And who is this Luke Wilson, anyway?
  9. MADMEDIA

    MADMEDIA Hustler

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    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    People build culture. Corporations show up after the fact and sell products to that culture. Lot's of people want a "Raptor" like vehicle. Not sure why every manufacturer is not building a model like this. What I have seen thus far has been a pretty weak effort.
    Jimmy8 likes this.
  10. Kent Kroeker

    Kent Kroeker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I want everyone at Race-Dezert to know that I have received a lot of flack for my comments about the Ram Runner. Flack from Chrysler, flack from the off road community and flak from Internet pundits.


    I am totally unapologetic.


    I built a project vehicle for Mopar. It was a hit at the reveal at Moab. It wound up on the cover of Off Road Magazine. Many articles were written about it, creating a lot of buzz because it begged a series of questions: “A major OE is training for a fight. Could this be the beginning of something great? Could this inspire GM, Toyota and Nissan to reevaluate their position on off road? Could this be the beginning of a whole new market? Could this foretell the Majors getting back into off road racing?”

    Sadly, Chrysler bowed up for a fight but then never actually got into the ring, never threw a punch.

    They had a golden opportunity but they let it pass.

    Except for the fact that a brand I had independently supported for 15 years was actually taking interest in off road, I had nothing to gain from Chrysler pursuing a factory-produced Ramrunner. I had no follow-on deal to supply parts or consult. I simply wanted to see Corporate America do something they haven’t done for a long time; I wanted to see them take risks, innovate and compete.

    I wanted to see a fight.

    The problem is that off road, especially desert racing, is a real fight.

    When we race, we run our vehicles across unforgiving terrain and whoever gets to the finish line first proves that they have the best team, the best prep, driving, tuning and equipment. I love off road racing because it’s tough, gritty and honest. I love off road racing because it does not lie.


    The sword does not lie, the bullet does not lie, and off road racing does not lie.


    On the other hand, Corporate America has become very good at telling us that we need more cup-holders and 20” chrome wheels on our pickups. Unfortunately, Consumer America has been sipping this Koolaid for years. This is why we don’t have (what we desert racers) call “real performance.” We’re being programed to believe that we don’t need to crush it - and that sticker packages and colored shocks are good enough. It’s more profitable to direct marketing efforts toward the uninformed because margins can be higher. American consumers are getting dumber and less demanding while corporations continue to provide us with less capable gear.


    It’s the proverbial self-licking ice cream cone. And it’s not a bad thing; the aftermarket breaks the cycle by offering products to enhance performance. If you’re a Dodge fan, you can buy a Ramrunner kit from KORE for less than half of Mopar’s price.


    As I write this, I’m flying to Detroit for some meetings. I’ve spent a lot of my life flying around from place to place, all over the world. Ninety percent of the time, when I look down I see vast spaces and open country with no inhabitants. From helicopters over Papua New Guinea, I’ve seen red clay roads cut through dense jungles. Flying military aircraft over Africa I’ve seen dunes that go forever and a mixture of green jungle and desert called, “The Sahel.” And there is nothing more empty and desolate than the middle of Australia. Everywhere, no matter how exotic the terrain, there are dirt roads. And when I see these dirt roads and open spaces, I want to explore them; I want to know what the terrain is like and to see where the path may take me.


    There is a lot of off roading to be done. And all that empty space isn’t going anywhere.


    I have driven Trophy Trucks and I have flown the F/A-18. People always ask me which is more fun. I always tell them that the Trophy Truck is more fun – by far. And when they ask why, I say, “Because it’s pure, visceral freedom.” And, to a large extent, when my wife and I are in our Ramrunner, driving to a secret SCUBA beach in Baja, we're doing the same thing - it’s free in the same way because it's our adventure; it’s our responsibility, and we’re left to our own recognizance. No flight path, no altitude restrictions, no speed limits, no police, no rules. It’s off-road. It’s honest and it’s free. If you’re exploring mining roads in Nevada or racing a dirt bike in the Baja 1000, off roading is the last bastion of motorsports anarchy.


    What I think underscores the disappointment about Chrysler not pursuing the Ramrunner project was that whether you’re a Ford, Chevy or Dodge fan, we were all hoping that Corporate America would formally recognize off road in an authentic way. We wanted Corporate American to honestly support the kind of off road we like – the kind that requires wide open spaces. That didn’t happen, so we’re left with 2 choices, either buy a Raptor or accessorize what you’ve got.


    Unfortunately, Ramrunner wasn’t the beginning of something great; it was the end.


    Now it’s just another tombstone on corporate Boot Hill.

    We, however will not give up. We will not back down. We will continue to make uncompromising products specifically for off-road.

    One of my good friends always says, “Corporations do not make culture, people do.”

    This is our culture. Corporate America, the BLM, and ambulance-chasing lawyers aren't going to stop us.

    We will continue to race, chase, pre-run, explore, and get lost in the middle of nowhere.

    We will always Off-Road this planet.
    bomber, firedog, ChromolyKid and 28 others like this.
  11. arqangel67

    arqangel67 Well-Known Member

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    Oct 24, 2008
    Location:
    Crestline,Ca
    Keep up the great work Hard Charger!
  12. pdailey

    pdailey #billsson

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    Kent. You are the man. Keep up the good fight my man.
  13. az_amsoil

    az_amsoil Active Member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Amen Kent!
  14. MADMEDIA

    MADMEDIA Hustler

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    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    Well said. We define our culture.


    Sent from the RDC Mobile App. Get it for your IOS device today
  15. rubberdust

    rubberdust Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    while it's a nice thing that Ford produced the Raptor with no one pushing how much can we expect them to improve?
    sadly very little, the fantastic muscle cars of the 60s would have never happened without the COMPETITION.
  16. mike mcqueen

    mike mcqueen Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    gardena california
    Kent I admire your bravado of telling it like it is. Its a shame dodge and GM dont take on the challange offered by the ford raptor. Ford started the mustang and GM, Chrysler,and AMC took up the fight in the 60s-70s. Ford has been the lead inovator (my opinion) in almost every new auto format, the rest follow.
    J Caster likes this.
  17. JoeyD23

    JoeyD23 Well-Known Member

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    North County Dago - CA
  18. GunnSlinger

    GunnSlinger Captain Buzzkill

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    West Covina
    Kent I have nothing but respect for you and always will. I know I can always get a straight answer out of you and truly respect the fact that you always tell it how it is..

    Being a person that has caught a lot of flack from corporate companies for some of my opinions that I have shared here on RDC, I know how much pressure can be put on someone. I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in and standing up for the ENTIRE off road community, your fight will never go overlooked.

    Being a Honda guy myself I can appreciate everything that Ford has done to develop the Raptor over the years, and I can truly say that Ford gets "it", why do they get "it"?.... because they are true off roaders just like us... they are up at sunrise in Ensenada and go to sleep 24+ hours later in San Felipe with a smile on their face and dirt in their teeth. You only get "it" when you live "it"...

    Much respect brother!!
  19. JrSyko

    JrSyko Jerry Maguire

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    That was a beautiful and spot on post Kent, much respect for you.

    I wonder if Zaiden is following this since he loves to trash the Raptor and talk about how great the Tundra even though its the acceptance and marketability of Ford engaging the off-road consumer that gets me the most excited. Toyota just slapped us in the face (again) with their new Pro-whatever they kept hyping that is another turd.
    pdailey likes this.
  20. MADMEDIA

    MADMEDIA Hustler

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    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    Which is crazy because of what toyota had previously invested into off-road via Ivan Stewart and PPI. It even says pre-runner on the side toyota trucks.

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