A new Dakota or Jeep pickup may just be a matter of time.
Fiat recently debuted the Fullback, a “new” mid-size pickup, at the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show. If you’re an American this truck shouldn’t be of that much interest to you. Like the current Ford Ranger it’s one of those pickups that’s sold everywhere but the United States. Fiat's new body-on-frame badboy is basically a rebadged Mitsubishi L200. It comes with a few turbo-diesel engine options (courtesy of Mitsubishi) and one petrol-powered offering. None break 200 horsepower or the four-cylinder barrier, although four-wheel drive is offered.
So, why should you even have the slightest interest in this truck? Remember that FCA is considering a Jeep pickup truck. This writer has come out against the idea but many others seem to think it’s a good idea. One snag is the fact that FCA only puts out one body-on-frame model in the US, the Wrangler. Of course we recently heard the Jeep pickup wasn’t exactly destined to be based off the Wrangler, which means another model or an original design entirely could be in the mix. The American mid-size truck market is booming, and you know FCA wants a piece of it. Of course the Fullback couldn’t be ported over directly. Diesel engines are kind of a no-go in the US right now.
If the automaker is serious about selling a truck in the US then the aforementioned engine options of Fiat’s new truck would need to be beefed up. Still, it’s interesting to see FCA ramping up its truck game, albeit outside the US. A Wrangler-based truck may be dicey but you have to think there will be a new mid-size truck from either Ram or Jeep sooner than later.