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Could The Unibody Truck Come Stateside?

Ram 700 Dakota Midsize Small Truck Stellantis Mike Koval
Ram 700 for the Mexican market. Image Via Stellantis.

When we think of pickup trucks, models like the Ford F-150 or the Chevrolet Silverado are quick to come to mind. Outside of the open expanse of the United States however, pickups don’t quite carry the same giant footprint. Instead, automakers sell smaller trucks abroad that are more appropriate for the tight roads found in other countries. FCA has just pulled the cover off of the Ram 700, their latest crack at the unibody pickup for South America.

Based on the same Modular Platform Pick-up (MPP) platform as the Fiat Strada, the Ram 700 will be sold in 14 Latin American countries where the Fiat is not available. Like its Italian counterpart, the Ram will be offered in both single cab and double cab body styles. Power is provided by the 1.3L Firefly four-pot, which sends 98 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque through the front wheels only. A five-speed manual gearbox comes as standard as well. The Ram 700 will be available in three trim levels for the Mexican market: SLT, Big Horn, and Laramie. Both Big Horn and Laramie models are only available in double cab configuration.

We imagine that, should the Ram 700 come to America, it would need the option of all-wheel-drive, and at least 50 percent more horsepower.

Ram 700 Trim levels for the Mexican Market.
Image Via FCA.

The Ram 700 promises to be a focused truck with genuine segment-leading capabilities. Ram says that the 700 has a maximum payload capacity of 1,653 lbs, with a maximum tow-rating in the neighborhood of 882 lbs. Double cab buyers will receive a 24.4 cu ft of cargo space in the bed, with that number increasing to 40.3 cu ft for those who spec the single cab bodystyle.

While the idea of a unibody pickup isn’t for everybody, the size of American pickups only continues to get bigger with each generation. Not everyone wants or needs to be driving around at eye level with semi trucks, and we’ve seen mid-size offerings explode in popularity over the past few years. However, at least immediately, this doesn’t appear to be something that Ram is invested in, instead opting to continue selling the Ram Classic in place of a true smaller offering. But we’d be damned if this little Ram 700 isn’t the answer to the market needs for a small pickup truck.

Depending on the success of the upcoming Ford Maverick pickup, which is based on the Bronco Sport, perhaps FCA will shift and decide to bring the Ram 700 to the states.

The Fiat Strada on which the Ram 700 is based. Image Via FCA.

Written by Lucas Bell

Lucas holds a journalism degree from Wayne State University, and is a Automotive Press Association scholarship recipient. While an American muscle fan through and through, he once wrote a fascinating comparison review about eScooters.

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