TWO PERFECT DAYS IN MOAB

Story & Photos by Chris Collard
We hang with the Mopar Underground Engineering Fleet
Now this is something we Baja desert dogs can get excited about. The ‘Moparized’ Ram Runner (and the entire kit) will be available from your dealer. Inspired by trophy trucks, this Ram has it all-5.7 HEMI, Pre-Runner Stage II suspension, custom fenders

It"s not every day that we get to work in Moab (yes, we call this work). In fact, we usually only land a red rock assignment during the Easter Jeep Safari, and the week becomes a tornado of activity. This said, when we received an invitation from Ram Trucks and Jeep to spend a few days tooling around Moab"s canyon country in their latest offerings (including the latest fleet of Underground Engineering rigs), we booked that appointment.
Our two-day adventure started with an introduction of two new models, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Wrangler Mojave. Though we weren"t able to drive the SRT8, with a highly capable drivetrain, a fire breathing 6.4-liter, 465 hp HEMI, and mid 13-second quarter mile performance, we doubt we"ll pass up the opportunity when it presents itself. The Mojave addition Wrangler, which pays tribute to California"s beloved Mojave Trail, is graced with attributes from the Wrangler Sahara and Rubicon, and sports a Mojave-appropriate lizard on the hood.
After the formalities and presentations, we were cut loose with their latest corral of Mopar Underground Engineering vehicles (M/U). If you are not familiar with M/U, it"s for a reason... it"s the “Underground” part. This is a loosely knit group of Mopar and Jeep engineers and designers, who are cut loose each year to brainstorm and build the wildest and coolest concept vehicles they can dream up. A few that stood out this year were the JK8 (a Scrambler looking Wrangler pickup), a re-born Wrangler Renegade (with a 6.4L HEMI), and the Pork Chop (Wrangler with 850 lbs of “Pork” chopped off; i.e. doors, top, tailgate, etc.), and the Mopar Ram Runner (a Baja-ready, big-air, 4WD pre-runner).
TPD part II: If you remember, ORA awarded Ram Truck as our 2010 Manufacturer of the Year. And while full-size trucks are often left to towing trailer queens, the Dodge Power Wagon and Ram line will surprise even the most skeptical of critics. We rolled onto the Hell"s Revenge trail in a fleet of Power Wagons for an afternoon of full-size fun. Check out the next few pages for Two Perfect Days of Dodge and Jeep wheeling (uh, working!) on Moab"s slick rock.

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