Is the Dodge Rampage the Right Inspiration for Ram’s New Truck?
The Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz truly opened up the compact truck floodgates. For years, the compact truck was long gone in the American marketplace. EPA requirements and market trends led to the death of the compact truck and the birth of the midsize truck as the smallest truck class you could buy in the US.
With Ford and Hyundai’s success in releasing their compact truck offerings based on front-wheel drive crossover SUV platforms, other companies are scrambling to reenter the compact truck market. Rumor has it, Ram is looking to enter the market with a compact truck of their own…
Is the Ram Rampage really happening?
According to Car and Driver, the Rampage, Ram’s compact truck offering isn’t just on the way, it’s already here, just not in the U.S. The Ram 1200, a compact version of the Ram 1500, is already being sold in Brazil, and this truck is going to be sold in the U.S. as early as 2024. This mini-Ram is most likely going to be called the Rampage, and it is likely to be based on the Dodge Hornet and Alfa Romeo Tonale platform.
Because of this higher-end platform sharing, there is a good chance that the Rampage will start at a higher price point than the Ford Maverick. The Ford Maverick’s sub-$25,000 starting price is impressive, but it is a bare-bones truck built on the Ford Escape’s platform.
With the Ram sharing a platform with an Alfa Romeo, we are likely to see this truck start in the mid-$30,000 range. Standard all-wheel drive, a turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the standard powerplant, and an optional plug-in hybrid drivetrain are also likely.
Why is the Rampage nameplate a weird choice?
The Rampage is not an original name if you are a classic truck fan, you probably know the Rampage was used on an earlier Dodge truck, the Dodge Rampage. According to Auto Evolution, the Dodge Rampage entered production in 1982 as a unique front-wheel drive truck built on the Dodge Omni platform. This unique truck was more like a ute like the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero, and it was advertised as a sports truck.
The Dodge Rampage’s compact car underpinnings gave it a great fuel economy rating of 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. However, its tiny 2.2-liter engine was disappointing, and only around 40,000 units were sold before it was discontinued.
Should Ram just start fresh?
Many Mopar loyalists are asking the question, “Why not use the Dakota nameplate?”. While Dodge and Ram enthusiasts are known for having big opinions on their favorite trucks, they do have a point there.
The Dodge Dakota was an incredibly popular truck in the Dodge lineup for decades. However, the Dodge Dakota was technically America’s first midsize truck, it was not a compact truck like the competition. It had a larger construction, a larger powerplant under the hood, and more capability.
The Rampage’s name seems to make more sense due to the new Ram Rampage’s compact truck class. While compact trucks are much bigger now, the Rampage name shows that the Ram Rampage is aiming solely at the compact truck market.
This new Ram Rampage is also true to its roots as a unique truck built on a non-truck platform, just like the old Dodge Rampage. The Ram Rampage may have its growing pains, but it is bound to perform better than its old nameplate ancestor from the ’80s.