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The “Footprint Rule” Claims Another Victim

Ram 1500 "Shorty-Shorty"

The regular cab, with the short-bed truck configuration, was once the best-selling in the truck world. But it’s no longer on the 2023 Ram 1500, thanks to changing consumer demand and emissions. Over the years, these configurations have quietly died out as trucks become family haulers more than work trucks, and now with the refreshed fifth-generation Ram truck, the “shorty-shorty” has died.

You might not have realized that they were still building that configuration. It was only available for the Ram 1500 classic, which is the fourth-generation truck Ram has been making alongside the fifth-generation. According to Pickup Truck Talk, with the refreshed 2023 Ram 1500 model starting production, the dealer order guide no longer references the regular-cab, short-bed option.

Ram 1500 Shorty-Shorty

Ram 1500 “Shorty-Shorty” Discontinued: Details

The reasoning behind killing off the “shorty-shorty” comes down to three things, the first being that consumer demand is no longer interested in the configuration as crew cabs are now the heart of the market. Secondly, the short-bed model has the smallest wheelbase among all full-size trucks, which created problems when trying to satisfy emission standards, due to the (rather backwards) “footprint rule”.

In 2012, the Obama administration changed how the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards are calculated. The longer the vehicle, the less strict fuel economy standards would be for a new vehicle. They wanted smaller vehicles to be even more fuel efficient, though automakers and consumers didn’t play ball with this idea, and automakers instead made vehicles longer to both satisfy market demand as well as to avoid fines. As such, a short-bed crew cab truck requires better fuel economy than a crew-cab truck with the same bed size, even though they share the same powertrain.

In short, automakers are penalized for making smaller vehicles with powerful engines. And by “smaller,” it’s basically anything below a crew cab half-ton truck, or a full-size SUV. That could be partially why there are so many performance trucks and SUVs these days, but that’s a topic for another day.

Lastly, as Ram has been preparing to transition to a fully battery-electric truck, it needs the manufacturing capacity. Additionally, as times change, the role of the truck continues to evolve. As a result, another popular truck configuration has been left to make room for the transition to electric trucks.

Ram 1500 "Shorty-Shorty"

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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