Report: Ram Lifestyle Pickup Truck On Track for 2012

Report: Chrysler Lifestyle Pickup Truck On Track for 2012
2006 Dodge Rampage concept pictured

Chrysler will build an all-new lifestyle pickup truck starting in late 2012, according to a report by Wheels.ca, a Canadian automotive site.

News of the pickup, referred to as the "TR Ram Life Style Truck," was provided via AutomotiveCompass, a consulting company, and several of Chrysler's suppliers that were briefed on Chrysler's future production plans last week in Michigan.

The small hauler is said to be similar to the Honda Ridgeline, with unibody construction that will likely be based on Chrysler's minivan platform. Chrysler's minivans are built at a plant in Windsor, Ontario.

"Insiders say Chrysler is projecting annual demand of between 15,000 and 20,000 vehicles for the pickup," said Wheels.

News of a unibody replacement for the aging Dodge Dakota body-on-frame midsize truck was announced in 2009, during Chrysler's 2010-14 business plan briefing for analysts and journalists. The Dakota is expected to end production by the end of this year.

The Ram lifestyle pickup may take functional and design cues from the 2006 Dodge Rampage concept.

[Source: Wheels.ca via Autoblog]

Comments

This is the Dakota replacement?!?! Great while the rest of the planet gets the Global Ranger we get a miniature Ridgeline. Unbelievable.

No news on the Jeep at this pow-wow?

Good chance it'll have a varity of Pentastar engines by the time this comes out?

@Matt: I'm going to assume the Pentastar V-6 and probably a ZF 8-speed.

The Rampon -- Platex Edition.

Let's face it, a minivan frame is not suitable for trucks.

FWIW Dodge Dakota (body-on-frame) is now outselling Honda Ridgeline (unibody) through April (5,665 vs 3,926)

Trying to cannibalize the Fridgeline sales, ay!

A minivan unibody frame and it's imported from Canada?

My mom has a Plymouth minivan 2003 to be exact and to expect that type of frame to work for a pickup?

No way!

Rumors are that this will be Ram's small pickup, while Jeep will get a pickup that's more rough and tumble (like the Gladiator concept). This prevents them from selling two of the same type of small trucks, which would put them in competition with themselves.

Really, I think it makes a lot of sense. The Ram can be designed for maximum fuel economy and on-road prowess, while the Jeep can be designed to perform well off-road and be more of an enthusiasts vehicle. It gives people a choice in a market that is currently pretty lacking.

This will compete with the Chevy El Camineo...this is not even a compact truck

15K units a year isn't very many trucks. That's about what Ridgeline sells now, though it was supposed to sell 50K/yr.

The nose looks better than that of the Ridgeline.
I'm not sure I like the rounded shape of the roof line.
What is it with weird C-pillars?
The "rugged looks" styling will get them into serious trouble the first time some owner forgets it has a mini-van chassis.
I have to give Ram credit for giving this a try.
They are showing more balls than Ford who is killing their compact.
I do hope that this thing is reasonably priced and gets great MPG.
It will flop if it overlaps the 1/2 ton market.
Kinda dangerous calling it a "lifestyle" vehicle.

@Lou: Ford is working (not guaranteed for production!) on a small pickup below global Ranger for the U.S. and other markets. They've played with a Transit Connect-based pickup but this would be different. Did I just write this? Silly me.

Bring it on Ram has already taken a version of the Grand Caravan for the Ram c/v, which is rated at 1800lbs payload and 3600 lbs of towing. If they can extend the platform to allow for a 5ft box and features from the Rampage concept while making it look like a tough ram truck , I will totally buy one. The only question is price. They will not sell many it the starting price is over 25K.

I agree with Paul. This is a way to expand the market segment without penalizing those who want the traditional style in a small truck.

Body on frame Jeep for the traditionalist.

Untibody Dodge for the modernistic.

I figure the new Dodge will be used to haul flowers, garden soil, bags of mulch, toys to the beach, camping gear, and other relatively light things.

People will not be buying it to hauls a skid of quick-crete.

Each truck has its market. Let the lighter side have theirs.

@lou
The whole lifestyle thing strikes me as a bad idea too.

This will not put a dent in Subaru sales...

Many Subaru owners that would otherwise have bought a smaller pickup have chosen something more down to earth and better in fuel economy with awd system.

If smaller pickups are going to make it, they need to understand why people keep buying Subaru's over smaller pickups and the traditional suv which Subaru owners may or may not like to be a part of that soccer mom crowd that drives huge suv's...

i don't know i kinda like it, price and MPG's would effect my decision a lot thou

How many people in America really use their trucks as work trucks? Especially smaller trucks. Let's face it, these are not work trucks, they are people haulers for guys who don't want to be seen in a mini-van. I think the variety is good to have--as long as they don't screw with the toughness of a real Ram pickup.

More like Ram is showing more stupidity than Ford.

A small pickup that Mike mentioned is the better way to go.

A minivan with an open bed sells on practicality. A natural market for Honda. And even with both of those in its favor the Ridgeline never sold well.

Selling practicality under the albatross of Chrysler's earned reputation for garbage quality and poor service seems like a non starter to me.

This is exactly what I want with 3L VM Motori diesel.

I think that it has potential. Go Ram!

@ Matt and Mike

Pentastar V-6, ZF 8-speed, RWD or 4WD, and low weight(under 4,000 lbs.?)

Like the Ramage design, just need to clean up the C-pillar.
I was also hoping this would be 2012 MY not 2013...

@ Rich
"don't screw with the toughness of a real Ram pickup."
+50

So the Durango platform would make a great unibody truck, but it would probably have capabilities similar to the 1500. 7400# towing rate in AWD mode, maybe with a fancier Jeep GC 4x4 system if necessary. You could probably do a Quad/Crew Cab version with a short but deep bed, but will need other bed versions (like a club cab or reg cab.)

I do suggest they follow the Subaru Baja with the exposed chrome tubing to keep a traditional truck look (flat midgate, flat truck rails, etc.)

But maybe something based of a Doblo/Caravan isn't a bad play for a more lifestyle like pickup, leaving the Wrangler Pickup for diehard off roaders and workers.

The Ridge Line was way over priced! If they give it the 3.6 and have it tow 5000 pounds with a payload of 1800 to 2000 they might have a winner. Oh and it has to be priced below 25000 optioned out!

@Mike Levine This is a bad idea. I cannot imagine what the dynamics would be like, but I guess it would be less than the "Lifestyle Utes" here that have been constantly develoed. Does it have a 1800lb payload?
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a186/RobRyan7/HoldenUtewithBike.jpg

Look at the wheels.ca link Mike has in the article above and the actual "truck" looks very different than this picture. It is an El Camino car type vehicle, and not the tough looking front end we see above.

@Mike Levine.
"Ford is working (not guaranteed for production!) on a small pickup below global Ranger for the U.S. and other markets. They've played with a Transit Connect-based pickup but this would be different. Did I just write this? Silly me."
That sounds even worse. I hope it DOES NOT make production.

Although, this pickup does not interest me...it is way better looking than that eyesore, 1970's styling, Mahindra.

oxi,

I call your bluff,Plymouth didnt have a minivan in 2003,as there were no Plymouth's !!!

What is your problem if it imported from Canada..Canada is 1,000,000,000 times better than Japan !!

GM,Ford,Chrysler,Toyota are all made here and for the American market since the beginning of the automotive world !!

If they could sell it in the $20K range it could do well.
For that matter, if they sold the Ridgeline in the $20K range, it would probably do well also. (I'm a little biased, as I bought a used Ridgeline last summer).
I think price is the key. Lots of people seem to be clamoring for a small affordable truck. If you don't need to tow a lot, this new Ram midsize and the Ridgeline are great options, the only key to their success is pricing. (and yes, even the Ridgeline can carry 1,500 lbs in its bed.) People that want small trucks are looking to pay less $$$ as well.

@LOU,
@X007,

That is not the truck they are going to have,this picture is several years old,a concept from years ago !!

@everyone else,

Chrysler says 15-20,000 per year,they are not expecting to set the world on fire with sales of these,the Caravan /RAM C/V is front drive and capable for most peoples use.Not everyone needs to tow/haul 20,000 lbs.Most need the room for normal everyday things and small businesses ,when you need more room than a car (new cars have 0 trunk room today)
Furthermore,Obama's MPG rules are really screwing up the automotive world,so they are scrambling to get higher mpg trucks to market to make the dictator happy !

I don't think it'll quit look like the truck above, its suppose to be based of the new Durango, which means the front half will probably look just like a Durango, I think it will do well being rear drive based and able to tow 7500 lbs with the Hemi. It will look better, drive better, and haul better then a Ridgeline.

Kind of neat, but why go after a market segment that is pretty much a dud (read Ridgeline). Unless of course you are looking forward to higher fuel prices and CAFE.......
Yeah, I can see Super Duty's being traded in on these if things get bad enough.

I think the buyers of this type of vehicle are SUV-Minivan owner rather than hard core Pickup Truck owners.

If Chrysler is deciding to build this, it oath to have a 4x4 option with over 20 mpg. (With an optional height adjuster like the Jeep Grand Cherokee)

Looks like the three american companies are building their own version of the Honda Ridgeline within 4 yrs.
(The Four door Lifestyle is more practical for a urbanite family. And Young city dwellers)

Common users of SUV-MV don't usually carry heavy payloads and rarely carry bulky lumber materials.
($25,000 is not very expensive if you're looking for versatility - vehicle that can be a light duty pickup truck combined with the Roominess of a minivan.)

Make the 'Lifestyle' with an easy folding mid-gate that can carry 4x8 plywood or fit a 4 wheeler (lawn tractor) in the bed, this would attract more SUV and Minivan buyer. (Avalanche has that extend a bed when you remove the mid-gate).

Make this Lifestyle vehicle and I'll trade in my 2010 Avalanche. Just my 2 Cent to this thread

I don't see what the big deal is. The current Dakota does not sell very well. Would this new version sell worse? I doubt it.
Just because its going to be built at a minvan plant doesn't make it a minivan.
http://www.allpar.com/trucks/ram/dakota-2012.html
the Dakota will ride on a minivan platform, presumably converted to rear wheel drive. That does not mean the Dakota will be unable to tow or haul, or have stow and go seats, or rely on front wheel drive. A platform is a set of dimensions, not a set of parts. Fred Diaz said (essentially in these words) that the Dakota would still be able to tow; it just won’t be able to tow your house.
What Chrysler is doing now with the Dakota isn't working so change is needed. Plain and simple.

Anyone remember the Dodge MAXXcab from ten years ago?

http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/naias/maxx.html

I hope they put the VM Motori 3.0L turbodiesel in it.

What ever Dodge does, It will have to pull 5,000 lbs
and get 30 MPH HWY for it to be worth buying.

I think I speak for alot of people here when I say this...

I don't like this truck, the styling the dimensions, everything, I wouldn't own one...Much like I would never own a Ridgeline for that matter.

BUT, I have no beef with this truck or others like it comming to production as long as truck makers keep their true trucks just that...True Trucks, and I'll use this as an example.

Wouldn't it be a travistie is Dodge err...Exscuse me...Ram took que's from this Minivan/truck and applied them to the Ram? Imagine a Unibody front wheel drive 4cyl Ram? Its a terrible thought for purist like me and I'm not even a Dodge guy! Same with Ford and GM, If they want to try and enter this segment of vehicles as well great...BUT don't change your real trucks! They are as successful as they are for a reason!

Can I say uckin fugly on your site? I sell all makes of autos and cannot imagine selling one of these

Paint it yellow and put a surfboard on top and its ready for Baywatch !!!

Why is it everyone assumes that the truck pictured in the story will be the end product??? Why not wait and see what they actually come up with? Let's hope it has good power, decent fuel economy and has the capacity to carry a few items as well as tow them. Time will tell what they do. Let's just thank Mike for letting us know what is in the works over there at Ram.

Looks like this will be similar to a Ford Sport Trac. Maybe a bit smaller, but there's a market for it. The only thing that bothers me is in the other picture the bed looks to be about 2' long. The bed starts in the center of the rear wheel. http://www.wheels.ca/article/795719
They're not planning on selling big volume, but taking another niche that Ford or GM leaves behind. That seems to be their strategy with several of these 'specialty' models, and it all adds up in the end.

This is going to be a huge success! I heard a rumor Chrysler is looking to put Hydraulic Hybrid drivetrains (HHV) in minivan platforms soon .. any chance this will see it? Ford has an F150 getting 40mpg in their lab with HHV.

This will be the only truck I will consider trading up for. On my wish list:

* 250HP
*4000lb towing
* HHV and 40mpg (yes really!)
* Fold Flat midgate
* full rear window rolls down
* integreated Headache rack in cab roof
* High square flat bed with under bed truck storage
* clean door lines so that it looks like a 2 door.
* agressive race truck styling... please no minivan chop or el camino!
* Base model under 20k

Good job Dodge. Much success to you on this and HHV!

that is one ugly FKIN TRUCK

@oxi, @Canadian Ram Owner

This is exactly the type of people that makes the Americans look bad.... even down south in vacation spots like Mexico and D.R. Morons like oxi don't have a clue...

This concept looks a heck of a lot better than the current Dakota. If the final version looks anything like this Dodge will have a success on their hands. The whole idea of a "lifestyle" truck makes sense to me since I'm one of those who has need for a truck, but no need to tow 10,000 lbs. I guess that's why I drive a Ridgeline. With it's 5000 lb tow capacity and 1500 lb payload capacity, as well as room for 5 adults, it's pretty much the perfect vehicle for my needs. This new concept from Dodge will meet the same needs for others like myself.

The Ridgeline failed because there's no compelling reason to buy it. For the same price you could get a full size half ton that gets the same or better mileage. If Ram's new trucklet get's 25 mpg and the price is right, they'll have no trouble meeting their sales goals.



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