Burly, American, unstoppable and very much V8-powered, the Backcountry is Mopar at its custom-made best
By PH Staff / Monday, 31 October 2022 / Loading comments
Survivalist is not a description you often hear applied in this country. The British idea of post-apocalyptic survival is generally limited to some old candles and the vague assumption that Radio 4 would continue broadcasting. In the States though, some people take it very seriously indeed. And while we’re not for one minute suggesting that Mopar – Stellantis’s sprawling US parts division – is catering to that audience with the Ram 1500 Backcountry X, it certainly puts one in a robust, ready-for-anything frame of mind.
Intended for the SEMA show in Vegas (where else?), the concept is apparently meant for ‘the truck owner who is serious about combining work and play’. Deadly serious, you’d imagine. Because as the name suggests, the Backcountry X is about massively enhancing the storage solutions on an already massive pickup, while being totally unstoppable when the going gets tough. Somewhat disappointingly, the show car is not built atop the 702hp TRX, but even as standard it is equipped with a 5.7-litre HEMI V8 dishing out 400hp (God, bless America etc).
Prominent among the non-standard bits is the custom-designed RamPack, which is what Mopar calls the storage compartments fitted to both sides of the truck bed. As well totally looking the part, these are said to increase secure storage by more than 68 per cent and are accessed by a carbon fibre hatch. Shelves (and who does love shelves in their car?) run the length of the compartment and are fitted with tie-down loops and vertical dividers to ‘help to keep stored gear organised’.
Helping to absolutely not keep it organised is a Mopar two-inch lift kit with Fox dampers and colossal 37-inch BFGoodrich tyres. But the real beauty of the RamPack system is that it doesn’t compromise the capacity of the truck bed – which is great because you’re going to want to be carrying sufficient stuff to put the integrated RamGate task-bench to good use. Yep, that’s right: the Backcountry will allow (nay, encourage) you to do woodwork in the backcountry. Factor in the additional Thule cross rails above the bed – which you can mount stuff on – and it’s precisely the sort of thing that makes us want to run out of the office and plunge headlong into the hills. Having first learnt how to work wood. What a machine. Overkill for a trip to the Quantocks, yes. But downright perfect for Mad Max in Montana.
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