Ram has been working on some significant plans behind the curtains, with the Ram 1500 EV truck as well as a Range-Extender Variant. In the coming years, we are bound to see an exciting time for Ram fans as the lineup is expanded and people are given more options. One significant addition that could be coming to the market by 2024 is a midsize truck that would put Ram in with its hometown rivals. It’s been widely understood that the Ram Dakota truck program is still in development, but how will it take shape?
Ram Dakota: Could It Have A Unibody?
MotorTrend recently interviewed Ram Chief Mike Koval, who had stated that the brand knows that the midsize truck segment is extremely popular and growing. He also said that they know that Ram needs to be a player in that market. While that doesn’t give us a ton of detail for the Ram midsize truck that’s in the works, we do know that Ram is aware they need to be a player in the field, and it’s likely going to be one of the eight new vehicles coming in the next couple of years. Koval also confirmed that the STLA Frame platform, which incorporates electrification with a body on frame design, is too large a platform for a midsize pickup.
Stellantis does have in possession the JT architecture, which underpins the Jeep Gladiator, which is also a midsize truck. However, the Gladiator has its hard points designed for a live front axle. Which is great for slow-speed off-roading events like rock crawling, but comes at the expense of ride quality on the road at highway speeds. This is likely not what mass market customers are looking for.
This lack of available hardware from Stellantis has speculation drawing to idea that the Ram Dakota will likely be of unibody design, which could mean it ends up smaller than people were expecting. The Ford Maverick is a pickup with a unibody platform, and despite that, it remains a top-rated truck that has Ford Motor Company scrambling to fill orders, as is the case with the Bronco. This demand would suggest that downsizing to a smaller segment would make for good business.
To that end, there’s the Ram 700 sold in Mexico. There was hope that this Fiat-based, unibody small truck would eventually make its way further north into the United States and Canada, but that still hasn’t been the case.
At the end of the day, we’re left wondering if even Ram actually knows what shape the Dakota will take.