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Things are about to get spicy for Ram. This could be all talk or the start of a new midsize ruck battle. We don’t know if the Ram Dakota or Dodge M80 is making a comeback, but it’s looking into options that are smaller than the Ram 1500 is pretty intense. 

Something smaller than the Ram 1500 is coming 

2023 Ram Dakota rendering
2023 Ram Dakota rendering | 21Truck

According to AutoBlog, Mike Koval Jr., Ram CEO, shared that Ram is actively and aggressively looking at trucks smaller than the current Ram 1500. Aggressive is a strong word and makes us picture people in the Stellantis office throwing papers and laptops around. 

While Ram is interested in creating a midsize truck, it’s also considering bringing a smaller, Ford Maverick-sized option to the table. This comes after Ram experienced record-breaking sales in international markets such as South America and Australia. 

Koval noted that as vehicle prices rise in America, there’s plenty of room to introduce an affordable, entry-level truck. For example, the demand for the Ford Maverick took Ford by surprise with tons of demand. 

However, the midsize truck takes priority right now, as it serves as the most significant white space opportunity for Ram globally. 

What to expect with the Dodge Dakota replacement 

The new truck that’s smaller than the Ram 1500 might not be the Ram Dakota. Ram broke away from Ram and may need a new name. The Dodge Dakota was discontinued in 2011, leaving the space empty for years. 

On top of that, production of the Dodge M80 lifestyle truck was canceled in 2003 because Crysler couldn’t make a case for an affordable entry-level truck. 

But times are changing as Ram struggles over making a new body-on-frame or unibody truck. Plus, it now has access to new global platforms as one of the 14 brands under Stellantis. 

While new platforms provide interesting prospects, Ram could also create something on the Jeep Gladiator platform. It would still be smaller than the Ram 1500 and proves that drivers are willing to switch to a smaller truck. 

But the STLA frame provides more flexibility for a lifestyle-oriented truck. Also, Koval shared that because the new truck is years away, it could be electric. Darn it, we don’t want to wait for years! 

What to expect with a Ram compact truck 

Ram Rampage concept
Ram Rampage concept | Ram

The Ram 1500 could be paired with plenty of smaller trucks that Stellantis offers in other countries. However, bringing one of the existing models to America could come with massive import taxes and other hoops to jump through. 

Options such as the Peugeot Landtreck are attractive. The Landtrek features a 2.4-liter turbo engine that provides 214 hp. This seems like rough muscle for Americans, but we aren’t sure if the engine meets the higher emission standards here. 

The Ram 700 and Fiat Strada are exciting Maverick-sized options in other countries that are doing well. However, they lack the power and refinement that are necessary to succeed in the American market. 

So, we know that eventually, the Ram 1500 will have smaller brothers and sisters to consider. A midsize truck will probably come out first. Then we could see a new compact option. However, it could take years for the new trucks to arrive.


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