Spied: Small Pickup Behind FCA Fences

KGP Ram small pickup 4 II

In the wake of the news that Jeep is inching closer to offering a midsize pickup, it looks like Ram or possibly Dodge is thinking of offering a real compact pickup truck. It could look something like the smaller short-bed car-based Ram 700 (see images below) found south of border. Although the idea could play well for Ram since no other automaker competes in that arena, it might play even better for Dodge, which is desperate for new products and doesn't have the rugged capability reputation that Ram enjoys.

Thankfully, our spies were paying attention and spotted this subject parked near the outer fences of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Here's what they sent us:

"We spotted what appears to be a prototype for a midsize pickup truck sitting in a holding pen at the FCA headquarters in Michigan. The prototype — which looks similar in size to the Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont that is parked next to it — suggests design cues beneath its camouflage that differ from anything else currently in the Ram or Fiat truck portfolios.

"The prototype has everything fully boxed in behind the B-pillar, but if you look closely, the rigid panels have bowed in to a point too narrow to be anything associated with any SUV or crossover. The only logical conclusion we can draw is that, over the rear section of the vehicle, it's open above the prototype's waistline — clearly suggesting that this test vehicle is fitted with a pickup bed.

"As you can see, the front end is thoroughly covered with camouflage, but all of the visible cues and cutlines look nothing like the small trucklet that is currently on sale as the Fiat Strada in international markets and as the Ram 700 in Mexico. FCA/Ram sources, in the past, have said that the Ram 700 is not approved for the U.S. market, but that the company continues to look at opportunities. With the Chevrolet Colorado and a renewed Toyota Tacoma on the market now — not to mention companies like Hyundai and Jeep likely to reach into the market — could this new prototype be destined for U.S. showrooms? The size of this prototype looks larger than the diminutive Ram 700, but we'll have to wait for a better look to know for sure.

"We'll be on the lookout for this prototype testing out on the roads and hopefully gather more details once it's out from behind FCA's protective fences."

KGP Photography, manufacturer images


KGP Ram small pickup 1 II

KGP Ram small pickup 3 II

KGP Ram small pickup 5 II

Ram 700 reg cab II

Ram 700 rear II

Ram 700 front II



LMAO, a FailWD based pickup!? Can "Rams" cred sink any lower? So call it "Dodge" instead?

You can hardly call that a pickup. I've been saying all along I think our best shot at a true compact pickup is from polaris or one of the other side by side manufacturers. Polaris just released this in India for under $4,000:


Not quite there but getting closer.

I do think there would be a market for this size pickup in the US.

Believe it or not this will most likely have more room than the old 620 Datsun pickup of the 70s. It will definitely be more powerful.

It's great to see and I do hope the US diverges and creates a larger selection of pickups for it's market.

The type of people I think who will consider a small pickup like this are the young, who maybe just want to be able to go to the beach and throw a board in the back or someone who just wants to go camping and fishing on weekends.

The elderly retired person who wants to go to Lowes and buy 50, 2" nails and a flat pack.

This would even make an attractive second vehicle around the home and be used as the runner and for the husband to drive to work in.

Another good idea by FCA...............but can it be manufactured to be a reliable vehicle.

A company needs more than just good ideas, these ideas must be made to satisfy the consumer. Reliability is one area the consumer looks at.

Boy is that thing ugly. I don't blame them for covering it up. Hope they don't take the cover off.

This very well could be a mule for some other market like Mexico or the Americas. My biggest problem is not that it's FWD or intended for very light use, but anything based on Fiat products makes an ugly vehicle, like their vans. The personal truck buyer who wants a lifestyle vehicle isn't going to like the odd styling, as much as Ram tries to Americanize the styling. Also, Fiat quality I'd less than stellar.

I think there is a market for small FWD based trucklets. This is the closet we will get to true compacts like we had in the days of yore.

Big Al from Oz - consumers tend not to pay attention to reliability data.

The Strada would have a market in the USA. FCA needs to improve CAFE. Another Hecho en Mexico pickup is what they need to save the day.

It's not a truck. It's the next-generation Dodge Journey. That's why it's pictured next to that Fiat Fremont.

NOOOOOOOO, let GM ships sink, stay away from small car/truck crossovers, like Big Al said earlier, and he knows for sure, its only young kids that want small trucks

Rampage anyone?

This will be my next, next truck.

It will be class leading.

This will be my next truck after the next one.

Adding this one to my shopping list!







SHAM !!!

1st, The hood in the Camo vehicle is completely different than the three lower photos..... at least the lower two.

2nd, the lower two photos look like a modern day Subie BRAT

Ahh they are bringing back the Rampage.

I think it looks more like a crossover than a pickup. It's probably the next gen Journey.

Could it be the new Fiat Crossover modified for the U.S.?

The FIAT Crossover is not exactly pretty

LOL hood line reminds me of a pizza

I have no idea why the op mentioned the Strada, as it has nothing to do with this article or spy photo. Looks like a Journey with a bed on it. Probably with the 4cycl get in the low 30's mpg, good for town guys, would not last a day on the farm though...

Its the FIat Toro, Base on the Nissan Midsize Pickup. Not for the US.

Also, yall are very Childish on here and uneducated about FWD. Right now, one of the Best work van on is the Ram Promaster Vans and its Fiat Twins, They are FWD.

Tomaz the Ram pro master is the worst of the 5 vans. Trust me we tried one for seven months at my company. We've tried all of them.
The best are:
1-Sprinter by farrrrrr
3-Nissan NV

We own 32 vans right now. So I know what I'm talking about

This will die with the rest of the company because GM will not save them. Fiat's only chance to survive is to find another partner or become another American Motors. By the looks of this pickup their failure may come sooner then expected.

I personally don't think it looks bad at all.


From what I can gather the Fiat Strada has been around since 1994 and has been updated as time passes.

Some might not know that countries like Brazil (and other Latin American countries) has signed onto LatinNCAP. This was driven by the need to reduce road fatalities and organised with the assistance of the World Bank.

I'd bet the Strada doesn't meet the basic safety requirements for Brazil. It was last year(?) that the VW Kombi was discontinued in Brazil over it's safety ratings not meeting the new standards along with other popular vehicles.

I wonder if this is the new FCA Fiat/Ram pickup?

If it is I also wondering if it could be made to suit the US'es NHTSA safety standards and be manufactured in Mexico for the Latin American market as well as the US market.

The current Strada/Ram 700 sold in Mexico and Latin America probably doesn't meet the minimum safety standards to be sold across the border in the US.

Its funny this is the very formula for what the little truck world and its customers need... Its cheap, rides nice, is fuel efficient, small, maneauverable and perfect for brining a live cut Christmas tree home once a year. Just like Subaru brat/outback Baja, and almost the Ridgeline were. Its a small ute with the open bed that would fit the bill perfectly. Unlike midsized pretend body on frame trucks which DONT deliver on savinings, or fuel efficiency at the expense of room and capability (compared to full size half tons) this at least does deliver on MPG and should deliver on cost. An AWD open backed variant of the Transit Connect or the Promaster City makes ALOT of sense... its just not cool enough, or rides high enough for the people who like to waste their money pretending their midsized truck is needed for real truck things it cant do anyway. It delivers too much value and not enough of the exercise in vanity mid sizers are for most of their owners.

Odd the "pickup" is dimensionally almost identical to the minivan parked next to it. Even the body lines are very close. I agree with others who think this is more likely a crossover type vehicle more than a pickup. FIAT replacing the old Journey with a rebadged FIAT platform.

Andrew-- You mean:

1 Transit

2 Sprinter

3 All the rest...

Compact pickups have grown to midsized. 1/2 tons now easily do what 3/4 ton trucks used to do. The trend has been to grow larger. Even cars and SUV's have grown. With that being said a "smaller" trucklet would have limited appeal.

The picture of the white single cab looks like it might have a big enough bed to be usable. It appears to be closer in size to the 80's model Toyotas, Nissans, Mazdas, Datsuns, and Mitsubishi compact pickups. At the right price using an existing FWD platform this could sell (offer all wheel drive as an option to keep the price lower and keep the weight lower).


Keep laughing guys; it looks like I'm going to see my projection pan out at least for an initial run by more than just Hyundai. I know a lot of people who are going to be happy to see these new, smaller than mid-sized trucks (that are just about where mid-sized really should be.) The camouflaged model above looks a lot like an extended-cab model not too different from the Hyundai, so should be a pretty popular version in the CUV crowd.

The more I see, the more I'm interested. Looks like I'll have a '97 Ranger with less than 50K miles on the market in about two years. Maybe even less than 40K since I expect to only put between 4K-6K on it per year.

"Compact pickups have grown to midsized. 1/2 tons now easily do what 3/4 ton trucks used to do. The trend has been to grow larger. Even cars and SUV's have grown. With that being said a "smaller" trucklet would have limited appeal."
-- Posted by: Lou_BC | Sep 15, 2015 12:06:56 PM

I think these things will appeal greatly to those people still struggling to keep their old compact trucks running. I met a woman last month who is on her third OLD Toyota compact, pre-Tacoma, and says she refuses to even consider a Tacoma because it's too big. (And you think _I_ am particular!) A true Light Utility Vehicle seems to have a much bigger market than mainstream pickup owners want to admit. Denver Mike may call them a fad, but they are HIGHLY useful in a way a full size truck just can't match.

I expect these things will be a lot more fun to drive too, what with their car-like handling and agility. You won't be driving a barge around and dodge into places a full-sized truck only wishes it could reach. Excellent urban/suburban hauler for those Costco/Home Depot trips. Save the heavy work for the bigger trucks and get better economy while you're at it.

I tend to agree with Tomaz that this looks like the Fiat Toro/Mitsubishi 200. It certainly wouldn't be the first time the Chrysler group joined with Mitsubishi to bring in a compact pickup. The Ram D-50 was a re-badged Mitsubishi with a modified grill and headlamps. It was a perfect size for me back in '83 and is still what I prefer to drive as far as a pickup truck is concerned.

Load and towing capacity in the thousands of pounds is not important; if I tow it will probably weigh no more than 3,000# which most of today's CUVs can already manage. If I carry, it will probably weigh less than 1,000# on top of driver and passenger. And the smaller size means it can squeeze through heavy traffic far better than a full-sized truck and get into tight parking without overlapping the lines (Yes, I've seen this argument too.)

The simple point is that size and horsepower simply don't matter to me the way it does the supposed, 'true pickup owner'. Agility, quickness, convenience and economy are far more important and a big truck simply doesn't meet those criteria. Am I an 'empty nester'? No, not in that sense. I never had a 'nest' per se. Just me and my wife; no kids, ever. I've only ever needed a coupe with an open bed in my lifetime; only rarely EVER carrying anyone in the back seat which a temporary seat in an extended cab meets the need far better than a full-time back seat which is wasted space.

By the way, I am now averaging over 21mpg in an 18-year-old mid-sized pickup truck in daily driving. Why has it taken almost 20 years for the full-sized trucks of today to even approach this figure? This only proves that today's trucks are so large because the OEMs have been dodging the CAFE requirements for too long, rather than addressing them directly.

Boy is that thing ugly. I don't blame them for covering it up. Hope they don't take the cover off.

Posted by: Truck Crazy | Sep 14, 2015 2:29:37 PM

What an idiot, you can't even see it.

I do agree with you in relation to the re-emergence of the minitruck.

The next minitrucks will be based on small FWD platforms. Why not? The Transit Connect is based on the same platform as a Focus.

Every manufacturers produce CUVs based on platforms used by small cars. CUVs tend to use larger engines and slightly heavier drivetrains.

So I do believe it is a given that the CUV/Van will expand into a minitruck. The costs will be minimal as much development has already been completed.

The market size for these style of vehicles will not be huge. It will initially be a niche market until the advantages of these types of vehicles gradually become a known quantity.

The same is occurring with the midsizer. People are realising that they might not require a full size.

Again, I will repeat that I'm not stating that the midsize pickup will consume the US pickup market.

The pickup market will evolve like the CUV market, but to a much lesser extent. That is you'll find that the pickup will be wanted in different shapes and sizes to suit more specific expectations from the consumer. CUVs come in all shapes and sizes.

I would also like to see the introduction of a Commodore/Falcon style ute/pickup in the US. The V8 powered sports cars would be a nice addition for the guy who would like a Camaro/Mustang level of performance, but be able to go camping, fishing, surfing, etc once in a while.

As I've stated years ago on this site, you will see many changes in the US pickup market. Some of the changes might not be like by some of the fan boys.

An example of this change is the sales losses due to companies not producing what is expected by the masses, ie, the aluminium F-150.

Expect to see some unusual changes, ie, the Cummins Titan becoming more than competitive with the lighter end of the HD market.

If you are a consumer what would you want this day and age, an aluminium Ford HD, with an EcoBoost or a steel truck that can do the same with a good and economical engine?

@Marc, takes an idiot like you to say something like that. If it looks anything like those pictures then keep the cover on it. How stupid can you be??? Real stupid I guess.

Not that much of a stretch to take a front wheel drive cuv platform or a small van and make it into a compact truck. This is a lot less costly and more likely to be given the green light. I like the above truck but I have a concern about the reliability of a Fiat. I would have more interest in a small pickup based on the Transit Connect or the Brazilian S-10. I would be interested in a Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Has Dodge/Chrysler/FCA/RAM/ ever built a small pickup that was the leader in its class? Dakota? Nope. Max? Nope. Jeep Commanche? Nope. It should give their stockholders pause.

Dakotas were a decent truck but they were not a class leader. Dakota was actually the first truck to go midsize (it was introduced in MY 1987 as a midsize to replace the Ram D-50 which was the same as the Mighty Max). I have reservations about the reliability of any FCA product especially a rebadged Fiat. I would have less reservations if this were based on a Mitsubishi.

Al - Vehicle like you keep saying you think would be a hit or what the US needs have all failed. Why would a manufacturer bring a vehicle to market something that was proven to not sell? Proof?
ElCamino- Dead
Ridgeline - Under redesign to become more "trucklike"

Small vans are accepted easily as front wheel drive due to the success minivans had. Make a full size front wheel drive van and see how that works out. Isn't the big RAM ProMaster FWD? I think it sells fewer than the fullsized Nissan NV. I saw my first one yesterday. I see Transits and NVs daily.

@KeithCT--The El Camino and Ranchero were made for years and were successful--they did not fail. Both would probably not sell in today's market but to call them a failure is incorrect. Vehicles go in cycles and what was popular a generation ago is not necessarily what is popular today and what is popular today won't necessarily be popular tomorrow. A smaller truck like the one in this article would not necessarily be a top seller but using an existing platform and assembly plant it could make a profit. For example it is less costly to take an existing product like the Transit Connect and put a pickup bed on it than to develop a completely new truck. The Fiat Strada is an existing compact truck and to rebadge it as a Ram is not nearly as expensive to design a new compact truck from the ground up. The break even point is much lower on an existing product and it is still much lower if it is assembled in Mexico or a lower cost country. A product does not have to be a hit to be successful it just has to make a profit. Not every vehicle made by Ford, GM, or Chrysler is a hit.

Re-read the written word and comprehend. What vehicles did I state will become hits???

Not one. "Niche" doesn't indicate hit.

"Not that much of a stretch to take a front wheel drive cuv platform or a small van and make it into a compact truck. This is a lot less costly and more likely to be given the green light. I like the above truck but I have a concern about the reliability of a Fiat. I would have more interest in a small pickup based on the Transit Connect or the Brazilian S-10. I would be interested in a Hyundai Santa Cruz."
-- Posted by: Jeff S | Sep 16, 2015 5:36:31 PM

Jeff: I strongly recommend you study the reliability of the more recent Fiat models; I own a Fiat 500 with now more than 11K miles on it and don't see any issues as yet. Nor have I read about any ongoing issues with the Fiat 500 since they returned to the US in 2011. I have read some poor reviews, but in every case it has been a review of a well-beaten rental model (and we all know how well rental cars are treated.)

Yes. I do agree that Ram trucks specifically have been having some issues; from what I've seen, they're far from alone. It seems the other brands are having more... and more severe issues overall, with the exception of the steering box mount which even there is a carry over from the Daimler design. Until we see the Fiat Toro, which I've read is based on the Mitsubishi R200 platform, I would question any blanket statement about Fiat reliability.

Possible correction. I placed the Fiat Toro on an "R200" when I believe it's the L200. I'm sure Big Al can straighten me out there.

Jeff S - If no vehicle filled the role they departed and the have ceased to be manufactured, then they are failed vehicles. Demand disappeared and judging from history, there is no demand in the US market calling for a car based truck or trucklet.

Al - Niche doesn't mean profitable. Especially if the "niche" your product you want to sell is a low volume no demand vehicle.

@KeithCT--Again you are wrong a vehicle that is discontinued is not a failed vehicle. Explain how a El Camino and Ranchero that were both made for over 3 decades are failed vehicles. If those vehicles were failed they would have not lasted 3 decades. These vehicles were obsolete and were discontinued on that basis. Also just because a vehicle is not a huge seller does not mean its a failure. Corvettes sell in low volumes but they are not failed vehicles. You sound more like a fan boy.

@Road Whale--I am glad you like your Fiat but I would have to see a few more years and more miles on them before I would be convinced to consider to purchase one. I don't dislike the Fiat 500, it is a cute little car, but I have had family members and friends who have owned Fiats and Lancias in the past with less than stellar reliability records. I have owned a Chrysler product as well and although it was not bad it was not as well made or as reliable as other brands that I have. I would rather own a brand that has a known reliability record.

Jeff S I have to tell you the Dakota was NOT the first mid size made! For America. I have owned a couple of them over the past 25yrs. since 1988 to 2003, and they were decent trucks. But NOT the first in that size. The International Scout II were the first from 1976-1979, I know because, yes I owned one bought new in 1978, and that was a really nice truck, it was rated to haul 2000 lbs. and tow 8000lbs. it had a 345 4 barrel with dual exhausts and 5 spd with granny low,and I was able to order it with 3:42 Detroit Lockers frt and rear, plus the roof was removable and was easy to do so! But that one, and the reg Scout II I owned before that had very bad bodies, and were rust bucket in no time, neither of them lasted me longer than 8 years! But ran great and hauled loads like they were not even there. I did run on the beach a lot, but still the Dakotas were much more rust resistant.

Ram moving production of pickups to amercia! i think that is a very good move! i cant wait to see how the quality control improves..

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