Is A New Super-Tough Ram Truck In The Works?

Rumor / Comments

A patent for the name 'Carbide' suggests that it is.

The US Patent and Trademark Office is, on occasion, a treasure trove of top-secret automotive intel. Automakers regularly file for patents and trademarks for future products months or years in advance, giving news teams like this one a sneak peek at what's to come.

The latest example: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has filed for a trademark on the moniker "Carbide", as it applies to "[l]and vehicles, particularly, passenger automobiles". Discerning just what that might mean in relation to FCA products like the Fiat 500X or perhaps the Ram 1500 requires at least a basic understanding of what a "carbide" is.

2019-2020 Ram 1500 Front Angle View Ram
2019-2020 Ram 1500 Dashboard Ram
2019-2020 Ram 1500 Front Angle View Ram
2019-2020 Ram 1500 Rear Angle View Ram

Most often, "carbide" refers to an alloy of some metallic element with carbon atoms. Such alloys play an important role in industries such as manufacturing because of their superb hardness and stiffness. You yourself might have more than a few tungsten carbide-tipped drill bits lying around. They offer a long service life and resistance to dulling and abrasion.

In other words: "carbide" is effectively synonymous with "toughness." That helps narrow down the field of FCA brands likely to receive the newly trademarked name, and topping the list is Ram Trucks. Carbide's strong ties to manufacturing and construction make it appear particularly likely that if any of FCA's brands is to deploy the name, it should be the one with all the commercial vehicles. We could see a Ram 1500 Carbide or Ram Heavy Duty Carbide selling quite well.

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The other most likely contender for the Carbide name is Jeep, whether on the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Gladiator, or both. The image of toughness conjured by the new trademark could very easily gel with Jeep's penchant of producing rugged, durable machines that can take a beating.

The least likely brand to inherit the new brand name, in our opinion, is Alfa Romeo. Surely FCA wants to combat the perception that the sporty Italian-made cars are fragile, but even they must know that likening an Alfa to a carbide is a stretch.

Of course, this is all pure conjecture, and Fiat Chrysler might never actually end up using the "Carbide" name at all. We'll just have to wait and see.

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2020 Jeep Gladiator Rear View Driving Jeep
2020 Jeep Gladiator Front View Driving Jeep

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