Every once in a while, a vehicle shows up for evaluation that defies convention and makes little-to-no sense on a rational level. Dodge's monstrous Chromed Ram 2500 Crew Cab SEMA Special is one such vehicle -- a truck so huge it wouldn't even fit in our Truck Trend garage.
Featuring a Mopar two-inch lift kit and 35-inch Toyo Open Country tires, what was once a garden-variety heavy-duty Ram stops fitting neatly into more than just garages. In addition, this Ram is equipped with $1180 worth of chrome trim, and a $1290 hard tonneau cover. The Ram crew also threw in a $1625 rear entertainment system with a screen in each headrest and $1199 black-and-blue Katzkin Leather seats -- show truck style touches befitting its SEMA Show origins. Combined with more conventional options like a navigation system and the beastly 350-hp, 650 lb-ft 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six diesel, the final product is around $60,000 worth of truck that dwarfs most vehicles around it -- particularly smaller vehicles like, say, a Lotus Elise. As you can see from the photos, the lightweight sports car fits within the wheelbase of the truck and the roof is level with the top of the Ram's wheel well.
Though a standard Ram HD is fairly easy to maneuver around town, it's no smart car and, obviously, has problems fitting into tighter spots. Add the off-road tires and extra height to the mix, and this truck not only feels wider, but steering precision is reduced to the point that recently benched Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell's errant passes look perfectly placed by comparison. The result is an uneasy peace between it and anything nearby, be it a k-rail on the shoulder of a freeway or poorly-parked squad car. The extra-high seating position makes it more difficult to see other vehicles, especially motorcycles, so greater care is required when making lane changes and other maneuvers. It's shaky and bouncy at speed and there's a lot of noise from the tires, but there's almost no freeway hop and the big truck's overall ride is fairly predictable for a vehicle of this type. There's a fuel-economy hit too, but it's hard to say how big since the EPA doesn't rate heavy duty trucks.