Not sure how many people will remember the Dodge Rampage from 1982-84. It was a subcompact unibody utility car. And it was ugly. Well if we are to believe te rumor mill it seems that Dodge is about to resurrect the idea name Rampage and attach it to another small unibody pickup. Dodge wants to refer to it as the “TR Ram Life Style Truck” and production is to begin in Canada starting fall of 2013.
Word is they had been discussing putting to pasture their small truck the Dakota for some time now. And in fact its apparently coming to an end late this year. Word is they’re replacing it with a small unibody truck. One that would be lighter and more fuel efficient so that Dodge’s parent company Chrysler can reach stricter economy regulations. They’ve already set an annual sales goal of between 15,000 and 20,000 for the new truck.
This “TR Ram Life Style Truck would be targeting competitors such as the Honda Ridgeline. It’s been suggested that the new unibody truck would be built at the Windsor, Ontario plant responsible for assembling the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Volkswagen Routan minivans. This makes perfect sense since the new truck may implement a modified van platform. Back in 2006 this entire idea got legs when the Dodge Rampage concept was unveiled for the first time at the Chicago Auto Show. It too was based on the Chrysler minivan platform. The concept even included van like features such as sliding rear cabin doors for easier access as well as Stow-N-Go seating. The rear of the cab also opens up to increase payload capacity. Another interesting and useful feature is the three position tailgate that has an extension to allow it to function as a ramp for a dirt bike, ATV or snowmobile. It makes sense the new small unibody truck would be included under the Ram branding with all of Chryslers other truck. Certainly if they’re terming it as something like the TR Ram Life Style Truck.
A downsized pickup truck is all some people need. Especially with the added rear seating. The great part is that as short as the hood is there’s still room under there for a 345hp 5.7liter Hemi V8 and a five speed automatic transaxle. Be sure to expect some differences between the concept and the truck Chrysler is attempting to surprise us with, but for the most part it will be the same. The 2013 Dodge Rampage would be a versatile truck. And a versatile truck means a truck that sells. So expect big news come early 2013 about this new small unibody truck.