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Whoops, a few beans were spilled about the new Ram truck, but at least it has officially been confirmed. The beloved Jeep Cherokee was sacrificed to make space for the new mid-size Ram truck. Also, we can bank on it being called the Ram Dakota

The Ram Dakota is officially happening

The 2023 Ram Rampage off-roading in dirt
2023 Ram Rampage | Stellantis

We have some good news and bad news about the potential Ram Dakota. The good news is that Stellantis confirmed that a new mid-size Ram truck is coming. 

You could speculate that it’s the Ram Rampage, but that’s a smaller, compact truck. Also, it might not be called the Dakota. But clues indicate that the name could return. 

The bad news is that the Jeep Cherokee had to die to make space for this new truck. The Cherokee will live on in our hearts and will not be forgotten. 

It first debuted in 1974, providing decades of a rough and affordable off-roading SUV. We can still go for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it’s not the same! 

Anyways, according to a video on the international United Auto Workers (UAW) Facebook page, the new Ram truck will be built at the Belvidere plant in Illinois. 

This plant is where the Cherokee was assembled before it was discontinued. As a result, it closed. The Cherokee was pulled due to a lack of sales and the growing push to build more electric vehicles. 

When the plant reopens, it will add 5,000 jobs. But it’s unclear when the plant will officially reopen or when the new truck will enter production. 

What do we know about the new Ram truck? 

The new mid-size Ram truck could be the Ram Dakota or something entirely new. Clue suggests that it could build upon the smaller Ram 1200 and Ram Rampage trucks that are sold outside of North America. 

While the Rampage has stout gas and turbo diesel engines, the Dakota could be electric. The Dodge Hornet PHV and Alfa Romeo use a turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-four engine that’s paired with two electric motors to generate 288 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. 

The setup provides an EPA-estimated 30 miles of electric range on a single charge. This is an exciting start. However, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares recently shared that he is aiming to produce an affordable electric vehicle to attract middle-class buyers. 

So, the Ram Dakota could be fully electric and start around $25,000. That price hovers around Ford Maverick territory. Also, we have a hunch that the new truck could be based on the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500. Both of these SUVs are slated to leave the market by the end of 2025. 

Why is the Dakota mid-size? 

Three 2023 Ram Rampage models on the road
2023 Ram Rampage models | Stellantis

The Ram Dakota could be a mid-size truck to better compete in global markets. For example, the Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Hilux, and Ford Ranger are the world’s most popular trucks. Sure, the Ford Maverick has started a tiny truck craze, but it’s not on the same playing field. 

Also, by using the STLA large platform, Stellantis has room for fully electric, PHEV, hybrid, and gas powertrains. It can support an estimated 500 miles of range, allowing the Dakota to be more efficient than the Maverick despite being larger. 

While the Jeep Gladiator is off-roading-oriented, the Dakota could be more of a lifestyle truck. It could be more comfortable on the pavement but won’t skimp on off-roading capabilities. The Ram Dakota Rebel and racing-oriented R/T models have been teased. 

Stay tuned in to our Trucks section as we continue hunting for Ram Dakota clues.