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You wear a lot of hats when you’re head of design for a car company. One of them is to create excitement, without revealing your hand. Carmakers never reveal what they’re up to. But this image from a yearly design contest that Dodge hosts is being teased as the upcoming Ford Maverick-fighting “RAMpage.” While the Instagram post affirms its mission to create some excitement for a brand that hasn’t changed much in a decade, it is the unlikely mashup of a current vehicle transformed into a “what if.” 

Why is the Challenger Ute Rampage mashup being promoted?

Teased Challenger Ute
Teased Challenger Ute mashup | Stellantis

Occasionally, Dodge/Ram/Stellantis hold a design contest for aspiring high school students interested in designing cars. This 2020 contest entry prompted Stellantis design head Ralph Gilles and Ram Truck exterior designer Mark Trostle to post it on their Instagram accounts. In doing so, both fulfilled their job description to create some buzz. 

Coincidentally, Stellantis has applied for a trademark in Mexico for “Rampage.” Per the filing, the trademark is for “passenger motor vehicles.” Great so far. 

But dubious assertions that this means the “Rampage” trademark applied for is for this whimsical 2020 contest entry is, unfortunately, ridiculous. Would we love to see Dodge produce this Challenger El Camino truck to take on the Ford Maverick? Absolutely. Does it have a chance of being legit? Absolutely not.

Dodge and Chrysler need more products

2006 Dodge Rampage
2006 Dodge Rampage concept | Stellantis

Stellantis needs products for both Chrysler and Dodge. Both brands’ long-in-the-tooth offerings are just that. But taking an old existing platform, and going through the development, tooling, and overall expense of such an endeavor isn’t going to happen. 

The corporation has many current vehicles manufactured for other countries that could easily fill the bill. They would appear to be ground-up new vehicles to take on the Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. But in reality, they’re vehicles that have been in production for years elsewhere.

Case in point: the Fiat Strada and its badge-engineered Ram 700. Both minitrucks were upgraded in 2021. So they’re new, have all of the emissions and safety features to attract buyers, and take far less development and cost to assimilate into the U. S. because they already exist. 

Should Dodge make a Challenger Rampage Ute?

1982 Dodge Rampage
1982 Dodge Rampage production truck | Stellantis

Stellantis has allocated billions of dollars to develop new vehicles for its different brands and markets. It isn’t taking a package that came out in 2008, based on an architecture that was introduced in 2004 and doing a minitruck variation of it. For those math-impaired, the Challenger architecture is 20 years old. 

But we appreciate the Stellantis Design chutzpah in suggesting this Dodge Challenger mashup has some consideration for future models. However, if the future is what Dodge is looking at, a mashup based on a 20-year-old architecture is as far from consideration as reintroducing the 1960s Dodge Polara. 

By the way, we love the Challenger Ute concept. Hey Stellantis Design, hire the high school student that came up with this. Who knows, he might become the next head of design for Stellantis. 


Arrington Performance Mid-Engine Dodge Rampage