What’s Going On With the Ram Dakota?

With the resurgence of small trucks in today’s market, it is no surprise that brands outside of Ford and Hyundai are considering making a compact pickup. One such brand is Ram, which has long had a commanding presence in the truck market. Currently, the smallest pickup that Ram offers is the Ram 1500. And if you are familiar with this vehicle, it is pretty big. Apparently, Ram is exploring a small truck release in form of the old Dodge Dakota. 

What is the Ram Dakota?

Until 2011, the Dodge Dakota was a mid-size truck, and now the Ram brand might have plans to revive it. It will likely be a mid-size truck that borrows from the Jeep Gladiator. Another name that has been floated around for this vehicle is the Ram 1200, so it is possible that the Dakota nameplate does not come back. 

There have not been hard details released yet, but Ram has been teasing this move for some time. And, it might arrive for the 2024 model year. That means it will compete with the new generation of Ford Ranger. 

In terms of cost, it would not be surprising to see the Dakota start somewhere around $30,000. This would put it on par with the Ranger and Chevy Colorado. The Jeep Gladiator does start at around $35,000, but it would make sense if the Dakota or 1200 were cheaper. 

Which engine could the 2024 Ram Dakota use?

Ram has a range of different powerplants it could put in this mid-size truck. Surely, it would get the 3.6-liter V6 engine which is in virtually every other vehicle from FCA. According to Car and Driver, it is unlikely that the Dakota would get a V8. But it is entirely possible that a performance truck could be in the cards, much like the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk or Dodge Durango. 

three 2023 Ram trucks
2023 Ram 1500 trucks | Ram

There is even potential for the 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine to be put in this mid-size pickup. This engine makes 260 horsepower and 442 pound-foot of torque. And those will be ample numbers for a vehicle of this size. 

Does Ram have a mid-size truck?

As it stands, Ram does not currently offer a mid-size truck. But, that could soon change if the brand decides to release the Dakota or 1200. Mid-size pickups are fairly popular in the truck segment, and a toned-down version of the Jeep Gladiator would likely do well.  

A red Dodge Dakota shows off its styling as a mid-size truck.
2008 Dodge Dakota | Scott Olson via Getty Images

What would be especially cool is if Ram released a legitimately small truck. The Dakota will likely be a mid-size pickup, which will make it bigger than something like a Ford Maverick. So far, there is not any confirmation on the specs that this truck could have. But it does appear that Ram is planning on building it. And if the brand does, hopefully, it comes out for the 2024 model year. 

Until then, Ram will be a manufacturer that just makes full-size and heavy-duty pickups. But clearly, the brand does have the resources to build something smaller.

RELATED: 3 Reasons the Ram Dakota Can’t Beat the Ford Maverick