We've just heard from one of our deep undercover spy shooters who caught what appears to be a "production-ized" pickup based on Ram's Long-Hauler concept.
The truck seen on public roads near Chrysler's Auburn Hills Tech Center is a dead ringer for the over-the-top concept we saw more than six months ago, but the truck's thoroughly redesigned tailgate shows that, at a minimum, Ram planners are fine-tuning the Long-Hauler's design.
Some sources say the Long-Hauler is on the path to production, with one report telling us that Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is firmly backing the program. This spy photographer says this Long-Hauler prototype has been seen testing on public roads several times, once hauling a massive trailer on a Michigan highway.
The Long-Hauler is based on Ram's Class 5 5500 chassis cab, kicked up a notch with a MegaCab passenger compartment. All this with a full 8-foot bed makes for a massive wheelbase, and an overall package that can hold as much as 170 gallons of fuel. We would expect the production Long-Hauler to stick with the concept's 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel inline-six, which generates a stout 800 pounds-feet of torque.
Even if the project is not fully greenlit, a vehicle like this would be good to have for further testing or showing to potential customers. We're hoping to get a closer look at the Long-Hauler concept in the near future and take it for a real tow test. Hopefully, we'll have more to report by next month. Stay tuned.