In a bit of a surprise, Stellantis decided to idle the Belvidere, Illinois Assembly Plant earlier this year, ultimately displacing 1,200 workers. This proved to be a temporary stoppage, however, as the latest labor agreement between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Stellantis paints a bright future for Belvidere. And that future will arrive in a midsized truck bed. And not just that, as the automaker will also be adding over a thousand new jobs to a new battery plant that will be built near Belvidere. It’s name is unconfirmed, but it’s possible that the Dakota name could come back.
Details On The Future Ram Midsized Truck
The upcoming Ram midsized pickup truck likely won’t be a variant of the Brazilian-built compact Ram Rampage pickup, which is reportedly set to arrive in North America at some point in the future. That is a compact truck, like the Ford Maverick, below the midsized segment featuring the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma.
It’s speculated that this Ram midsized truck will forego the traditional body-on-frame architecture we find commonly on trucks, and instead adopt the STLA Large architecture, which incidentally is the underpinning of the upcoming Dodge Charger as well as the Jeep Recon. That means unibody. Think Honda Ridgeline, for better or worse. And that’s because it will serve as a superior architecture to support an electric pickup truck, while being flexible enough to support an ICE version as well. Considering that it’s on the STLA Large platform, that could mean class-leading power coming from a Hurricane inline-six turbo engine in top-of-the-line trims. We could also see a plug-in hybrid version, with a 2.0L Hurricane inline-four assisted by a rechargeable battery pack.
It’s been previously reported that the design of the midsized Ram truck, be it gas or electric, will resemble the larger Ram 1500 Revolution electric truck.
Stellantis did get feedback from dealers on the future Ram Dakota (or whatever it’s going to be called) as a giant consumer clinic, which was a crucial step in the process. So the design is locked in, the powertrain is decided, and now, the assembly plant is being prepared. All of this means that we could see the midsize Ram unveiled at some point in 2024. However, it’s still more likely that we’ll see the Ram 1500 REV reach the market before the midsize truck, and the compact Ram Rampage will enter the picture somewhere during that timeline as well. Ram is about to get significantly more competitive within the truck market, and that’s worth getting excited about.