Ram confirmed the truck is in development and here's visual proof.
CarBuzz spy photographers have caught the upcoming Ram 1200 undergoing winter testing in northern Sweden with other Stellantis brand vehicles, such as South America's Fiat Toro (seen here testing alongside the prototype). We confirmed last September that Ram is entering the midsize truck segment, but a model year launch has yet to be announced. As there's already a running prototype, we expect a 2024 introduction.
The last time the automaker offered a midsize truck was back in 2011, the final model year of the Dodge Dakota. We don't know the name of the new truck at this time though we doubt it'll be called Dakota. Chances are Ram will stick with its current model nomenclature and opt for 1200 or something similar.
We previously speculated about which platform Stellantis could utilize. The Ram 1500 platform is too large, so it has to shop around elsewhere.
It would make more sense to use the Toro's platform, internally called MC-P, for North America's needs. This front-wheel-drive setup, which also underpins the Jeep Compass, would require all-wheel drive as an option and a more powerful engine to be competitive.
Two gasoline engines are offered in South America: 1.3- and 1.4-liter inline-fours. Neither is powerful enough in this region, and one potential option is the Jeep Compass' 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. It will likely be mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
We'd honestly prefer to see something more potent to better compete against its main rival: the Ford Maverick, which comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor for a combined output of 191 hp. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost option increases power to 250 hp.
And then there's the Hyundai Santa Cruz with its standard naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine producing 191 hp while the turbocharged version boosts power to a far healthier 281 hp.
Sources have reason to believe a turbo diesel engine will also be offered here. A nine-speed automatic is likely the gearbox of choice. An all-electric option does not appear to be on the cards. The platform is probably unable to accommodate such a powertrain. Other rival automakers, specifically Nissan, are supposedly considering a small all-electric pickup, though little information is currently available. We do know an all-electric Ford Maverick is in the pipeline.
The expansion of the Ram brand lineup with an entry-level offering has been long overdue, and we'll know a lot more in the coming months.
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