Factory Off-Road Options: Specs Speak Louder Than Words
by Jason Giacchino
From an enthusiast standpoint, battles for brand supremacy begin long before models even reach the showrooms. In the bygone era of staples and ink, the term “paper wars” was coined to identify the inevitable spec sheet comparisons. Now that we’re in the digital age, perhaps “paper wars” isn’t quite as appropriate, but let’s be honest, “monitor wars” simply doesn’t have the same kind of clout.
However, taking a look at the specs and feature sets of some of today’s hottest pickups via the magic of the internet retains a bit of the charm of the old ink and paper days. In honor of such, we rounded up the specifications of a trio of the best 2012 off-road truck packages: the Toyota Tacoma T/X Pro, the Dodge Ram Runner and, of course, the Ford Raptor SVT. We wanted to see how these wanna-be’s compared to the real thing. Cause wasn’t it Sun-Tzu who said, “To beat your competition, you must know your competition”?
Toyota Tacoma T/X Pro
2.7-liter DOHC 16-Valve 4-cylinder with VVT-i; 159 hp @ 5200 rpm; 180 lb.-ft. @ 3800 rpm
4.0-liter DOHC 24-Valve V6 with VVT-i; 236 hp @ 5200 rpm; 266 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm Emission Rating
Low Emission Vehicle (LEV-II)
5-speed manual transmission, 6-speed manual transmission
4-speed electronically controlled automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i)
5-speed Electronically Controlled automatic transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) Clutch start-cancel switch
Rear-Wheel Drive with Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD)
4WDemand part-time 4WD with electronically controlled transfer case and Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD)
Active Traction Control (A-TRAC)
One-piece frame rails with eight cross members and fully boxed front sub-frame
Coil-spring double wishbone front suspension and stabilizer bar; leaf spring rear suspension with staggered outboard-mounted gas shock absorbers and stabilizer bar X-brace-tuned suspension with gas-filled Bilstein shock absorbers and rear stabilizer bar
Variable-assist power rack-and-pinion steering Turning circle diameter, curb-to-curb (ft.) 36.7
Power-assisted ventilated front disc brakes; rear drum brakes with tandem booster and Star Safety System
Exterior Dimensions & Weight
Length 221.3 in
Width 74.6 in
Height 70.1 in
Curb Weight 3940-4190 lbs
EPA Fuel Mileage ““ City/Highway
RWD, MT: 15/19 mpg
RWD, AT: 14/18 mpg
AWD, MT: 14/18 mpg
AWD, AT: 16/20 mpg
Available on a limited basis, the T|X and T|X Pro Packages translate a sporty SEMA concept into an option the Tacoma V6 Access Cab or V6 Double Cab can add in conjunction with the TRD Off-Road Package. The extra dose of performance makes it the most capable off-road Tacoma in the Toyota lineup. T|X and T|X Pro Packages will be available on both PreRunner and 4×4 models.
The T|X Package gives the Tacoma a semi-menacing look and additional sportiness with TRD 16-inch black alloy bead-lock wheels and 265/70R16 BF Goodrich Rugged Trail tires. Black tube side steps, a stainless steel exhaust tip and unique exterior graphics provide the T|X the aesthetics of a custom truck, but at a savings compared to the package items if ordered as separate options.
The T|X Pro is the performance oriented package with a TRD cat-back performance exhaust system that gives the V6 a throatier sound and a bit more power. The T|X Pro Package also represents a savings versus the package contents added as separate accessories, especially considering that they are covered under Toyota’s standard three year/36K mile comprehensive vehicle limited warranty and can be financed.
Aside from the performance aspects of the TRD T|X Pro package combination, you also get a nice JBL sound system, keyless entry, an engine skid plate, fog lamps, sport seats with lumbar support and other convenience features that are well worth the extra $4,850 for this option (code OF). Other options that we liked included the large front skid plate (code S0), which helps protect the entire front underside of the Tacoma. There’s also the V-6 tow package (code TO) that comes with a class IV hitch, a 130-amp alternator and supplemental oil coolers for the engine and transmission. These will come in handy if you want to add extra off-road lights and tow a trailer with ATVs out back.
The T|X Pro package set up as such retails for $34,581.
Dodge Ram Runner
Unlike the Toyota and Ford Raptor, the Ram Runner is a not a production vehicle. Instead, it is a collection of bits available from Mopar that can be fitted to any current-generation Ram 1500 4×4 with a six-foot-four-inch bed.
Co-developed with Kroeker Off-Road Engineering, the Ram Runner’s Stage 2 suspension package ($13,500) kicks things off and includes the same three-inch diameter internal-bypass Fox Racing shocks used in the Raptor, aluminum A-arms and a mighty lift (all told roughly 14-inches of suspension travel) but nearly $7000 in other Mopar parts makes up the full Ram Runner package and in the case of our spec sheet, transformed a $34,690 SLT 4×4 Quad Cab into a $55,190 off-roader.
Front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door truck
Pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection
345 cu in, 5654 cc
Power (SAE net)
390 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque (SAE net)
407 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
5-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 140.5 in Length: 239.0 in
Width: 85.4 in Height: 79.2 in
Curb weight: 5949 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 7.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 24.5 sec
Street start, 5″“60 mph: 7.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.6 sec @ 88 mph
Braking, 70″“0 mph: 211 ft
EPA city/hwy driving: 13/19 mpg
Price includes Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4×4 with 5.7-liter V-8, 3.92:1 rear axle, and all dealer-installed Mopar accessories.
To compete with the 411 hp Ford Raptor, the base truck to consider for Ram Runner modification should at least be a Ram 1500 4×4 with the 390 hp 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine. The bad news is that the lowest retail price for a quad cab Ram 1500 HEMI combined with the cost of Mopar off-road parts totals over $52,500. That’s about $11,000 ABOVE the base of the Raptor SuperCab, and the pricing does not include the inevitable labor costs associated with converting a regular Ram into a Ram Runner.
Ford SVT Raptor
The SVT (Special Vehicle Team) Raptor is the high-performance off-road version of Ford’s venerable F-150 pickup truck, and for the latest model year the truck received a mid-cycle refresh with some seriously substantial equipment-based additions.
6.2¬liter 2V V8 SOHC
Iron block, aluminum heads
Roller ¬rocker shaft with hydraulic lash adjuster
Bore x Stroke
4.02 x 3.74 in.
379 cu. in., 6,210 cc
411 hp @ 5,500 rpm
434 lb.¬ft. @ 4,500 rpm
SuperCab: 26.0 gallons, SuperCrew: 36.0 gallons
Sequential multi¬port electronic
Six¬ speed automatic overdrive with tow/haul mode
Available axle ratios
Coil on shock, long spindle double wishbone independent, aluminum lower control arm, forged steel upper arm, FOX Racing Shox
Hotchkiss type non-independent live, leaf springs and outboard shock absorbers, FOX Racing Shox
Hydraulic rack and pinion power steering
Turning circle (curb to curb)
SuperCab: 44.6 ft., SuperCrew: 47.0 ft.
17-¬inch cast ¬aluminum wheels
LT315/70R¬17 A/T BSW
Vehicle Length (at floor)
Vehicle Width (without mirrors)
Vehicle Height (at curb)
Track Width, front/rear
Cargo Box Length
Width (max) between wheels
Inside Box Height
Base Curb Weight
Maximum Trailer Tow
The 411-horse, 434-pound-foot 6.2-liter V-8 that joined the Raptor lineup midway through its freshman year now comes standard, and required little modification to shoulder the increased load capability: A higher wattage cooling fan (600 to 800 W) and a higher pressure radiator cap (20 versus 16 psi) did the trick. A new one-way clutch in the standard six-speed automatic improves the smoothness of full throttle shifting.
The new Raptor did take a penalty in the weight department, to the tune of 300 pounds over the original version, as the SVT Raptor has been stretched by a foot to make the rear seat roomier and 10 surplus gallons of fuel-tank capacity have been added.
The new SuperCrew Raptor’s longer, sturdier chassis can haul 100 pounds more gear (1030 versus the SuperCab’s 930) and it can tow an additional ton (8000 versus 6000 pounds).
Base price for the Raptor comes in at $45,290.
Spec Sheet Swap Conclusions
We certainly found some patterns just by assembling the spec breakdowns of the models featured. For starters there’s no denying the Toyota’s value. From a strictly price perspective, the Tacoma offers the most bang for the buck. However, though more expensive, the Raptor trumps the Toyota in many key performance areas. The Ram Runner is the most unique of the three choices, simply because it is essentially as stock or as far-reaching as the buyer’s budget will allow. The most potential performance is found here, but when trying to compete directly with the Raptor, the Dodge actually becomes the most expensive option of the trio.
Because of this, and because it’s just so much badder looking, we’re forced to consider the SVT Raptor the overall winner. Shocker, right? But honestly, it offers the most performance value and makes the least amount of compromises doing so. Of course, if you had enough to buy all three, the real winner would of course be you.
Do you think it’s even fair to mention the other vehicles in the same breath as the Raptor? Shout off in the Forums!
Or click here to see a whole photo gallery of the 2012 F150 SVT Raptor!