An American pickup with German tuning prowess is a sight to see

German Motors & Engineering has released a tuning package for the Ram 1500, called the “Bigfoot Edition.” The package gives the American pickup truck a comprehensive overhaul, covering the exterior, engine, and suspension. GME’s objective is to give the RAM 1500 the kind of off-road versatility you normally don’t see in a car in Germany. To that extent, the tuner did as good a job as you’d expect from a company that knows what it’s doing.

What Makes Ram 1500 Bigfoot by GME So Awesome?

2019 Ram 1500 "Big Foot" by GME
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Just because the Ram 1500 is a no-frills, go-anywhere pickup, that doesn’t mean it can’t be the subject of a tuning program. German Motors & Engineering put that to the test when it created a kit specifically for the American hauler. The program is as extensive as it gets for the Ram 1500, starting with exterior upgrades that include new Xenon headlights replacing the stock halogen lamps of the Ram 1500. The pickup also benefits from aesthetic upgrades, most of which are found in the front section.

Not that the Ram 1500 needs to look better, but it does have a more personable appearance with the matte black rim covers surrounding the front grille.

The chrome mesh insert is another upgrade worthy of the Ram 1500’s personality. Stylistically, that’s all there is to it, though GME is also offering a few more options like a functional metal grille with an integrated LED light bar.

The Ram 1500’s appearance fits its Bigfoot name. But to really justify the billing, GME sought the approval from the German Technical Control Board to install an Edelbrock supercharger kit to the pickups’ massive 5.7-liter V-8 engine. Together with an air-water-air intercooler, the German tuner is able to increase the V-8 engine’s output from its standard 395-horsepower and 410-pound-feet to a more capable 550 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque. But that’s not all. If customers aren’t satisfied with the tuned output, the tuner can still throw in more horsepower into the mix tuning the supercharger. Give GME the green light to play with the supercharger and add reinforcements to existing engine parts, and it can increase the 1500’s V-8 engine’s output to a whopping 900 horsepower. That’s power worthy of the Bigfoot name.

2019 Ram 1500 "Big Foot" by GME
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Obviously, there’s more to the Bigfoot package than the splash of style and the added power. To accentuate the V-8 engine’s sound, the German tuner also has its own exhaust system with remote-controlled valves inside the three-inch pipes. Opt for this upgrade, and you’re going to feel and hear what a 900-horsepower Bigfoot is fully capable of.

To raise the stakes even more — literally in this case — GME can also raise the pickup with the help of a 9.5-inch suspension lift.

The package includes height-adjustable, remote-reservoir dampers from Fox, revised subframes, upgraded steering knuckles, and replacements for other suspension-related components. Once the pickup’s height is raised, the tuner takes out the 1500’s stock wheels and replaces them with a set of massive 20-inch wheels wrapped in 37-inch Toyo off-road tires.

2019 Ram 1500 "Big Foot" by GME
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This, ladies and gentlemen, is a pickup worthy of a man’s man. It’s a fairly rare sight to see one in Germany, so those who opt to purchase the kit from GME will have no problems standing out in a sea of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz models. The tuner didn’t say how much the whole program costs, but it did indicate that if you’re interested in scoring one, the tuner is more than happy to listen to your requests.

Further reading

All-New 2019 Ram 1500 Steals The Show at Detroit
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500.

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Read more Ram news.

Press release

German Motors & Engineering (GME): Dodge RAM 1500 “Bigfoot Edition”

GME: Bigfoot RAM with 550 compressor HP

No, a Dodge RAM does not really look very discreet when it comes off the line. Especially if it’s the more than six-meter-long “Crew Cab Long Bed” model with a large cabin combined with a long truck bed. However, U.S. car specialist company German Motors & Engineering (GME), based in Schkeuditz just outside the Leipzig city limits, shows how it can be done up much more spectacularly with its Dodge RAM 1500 “Bigfoot Edition”. To accomplish this feat, GME sharpened up the project vehicle, based on the Dodge RAM 1500 Sport Crew Cab, in the three most decisive disciplines of classical tuning handicraft: look, sound and performance.

Since the latter is also the core competence of the GME technicians, it was naturally the focus of the project. In cooperation with the well-known U.S. specialists from Edelbrock, the GME engineers adapted their compressor kit to European requirements so that it could receive exhaust emission certificates and the approval of the German Technical Control Board (TÜV).

Compressor kit and valve exhaust system with TÜV approval

The Roots screw compressor replacing the factory-provided intake manifold in the Edelbrock kit coaxes a whopping 550 HP and a maximum torque of 718 Nm from the 5.7- liter HEMI V8 when combined with an air-water-air intercooler with a separate cooling circuit and an electric refrigerant pump. And that is not all: the compressor has power reserves of up to 900 HP up its sleeve, so this partner to the standard engine remains discreetly in the background. After an appropriate boost to the engine hardware, therefore, this can substantially enhance the performance even more.
The GME valve exhaust system made from high quality stainless steel with a TÜV parts certificate has a wide variety of sound registers and volumes at its command. The exhaust system is “made in Germany” and has two parallel 76mm diameter exhaust gas systems running from the cat, each of which takes the hot air from four cylinders along separate paths to the two tailpipes. In principle, this amounts to two exhaust systems in one vehicle, whose waste gas streams do not mix: two ducts, two exhaust valves, two mufflers, two tailpipes. In this way, GME achieves a clean V8 sound without the “indefinite” noise typical of the RAM’s series model, which brings the exhaust pipes together underneath the vehicle and then splits them later on. Thanks to the exhaust valves, which can be switched to various driving modes by way of a remote control, the GME RAM manages to be both soft as a whisper for long-distance drives with the family as well as producing the hearty, purist V8 rumble. The operating state of the system as well as the exhaust gas back pressure are shown on the display of the entertainment system.

24 cm suspension lift

Even at first glance, the impressive height of the pickup strikes the eye: a full 24 centimeters of suspension lift are generated by the GME “Bigfoot” off-road conversion, so that the pickup now towers up to a full 2.15 meters. The keystone of this upward growth is the GME suspension lift system with height-adjustable FOX suspension struts with external oil pans. In order to keep the fifteen centimeters of suspension lift generated by the new struts from impairing the chassis geometry and kinematics, adapted subframes, steering knuckles and suspension parts were also installed. The spacers of a “Bodylift” kit add four additional centimeters of space between the ladder frame and the pickup’s chassis.
Its wheels do credit to the name of “Bigfoot”: GME has mounted 37x13.50R20 Toyo offroad, deep-tread tires on in-house, matte black 12x20” forged wheels. Compared to the
standard dimensions, this wheel-tire combination has a diameter that is ten centimeters larger, which accounts for the five centimeters of the cumulative 24 centimeters of added height so far “unaccounted for”. The transmission control module and the speedometer were adjusted to the larger rolling circumference of the XXL wheels in the interest of proper functioning. The hefty track width of 2.23 meters gives the lifted compressor RAM a wide stand, which minimizes its tendency to tip when taking curves or on rough terrain.

Extensions that can be retrofitted

Wheel arch extensions with a bolted look, which have also been TÜV-certified, ensure that the wheels are covered as required and make the Bigfoot RAM look even more wide- shouldered. Since the “visible” bolts are dummies and not really screwed into the fenders, which are actually attached by means of the original screwing points inside the wheel arch liners, the extensions can be retrofitted at any time.
In order to make it easier to “clamber up” into the considerably raised pickup, GME has installed running boards that can be automatically extended and come out to about the same height as the factory-installed boarding aids after being electrically positioned.
One oft-mentioned drawback of pickups for everyday use is their open bed. This apparent deficiency can be eliminated, however, with a protective bed cover, like the one borne by the GME Ram. The foldup cover makes it possible to transport all sorts of things on the long bed regardless of the weather and can be locked for maximum convenience with the factory-installed central locking system.
Furthermore, GME’s American boy has been given additional upgrades, such as converting the headlights to bright xenon technology. The black-and-white concept of the pickup is rounded off by a matte black coated grille with dark chrome X grille mesh inserts and emblems with a dark chrome look. What’s more, the standard antenna lodged on the passenger side fender has been tidily cleaned and replaced by an invisible windshield antenna for a neater look.

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