Is there space for a Ram truck beneath the 1500?
Ram is on a roll with the current Ram 1500 being one of our top picks in the highly-competitive full-size truck arena. But with a growing number of competitors in the midsize segment, it's only a matter of time before the American truck maker looks at a smaller product. There's hope for that, as spy shots reveal the next-generation Fiat Toro undergoing testing - heavily camouflaged as is to be expected at this early stage of development. The US has never received the Fiat Toro, but in markets like Brazil, the compact pickup shares a platform with the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade. This makes it smaller than midsize trucks like the Ford Ranger. However, this may not be an issue, as we have previously reported on rumors of a 'Ram 700', a compact pickup based on the Fiat Strada.
What gives us greater hope that the US could be under consideration for such a model is that these spy shots of the Fiat Toro were snapped by CarBuzz reader Brian Pekich out on the road in Tennessee. While we initially suspected the truck to be the production Hyundai Santa Cruz, it would appear it is in fact an FCA product.
There's still some camouflage disguising it, but we get a clear look at the overall shape and proportions, and while the sloping C-pillar and slim headlight clusters are reminiscent of the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup, the taillights and tapering rear windows are very clearly those of the Toro.
The Toro makes sense as a basis for a smaller Ram truck, as it is positioned higher than the Fiat Strada we previously suspected might come to the US. Riding higher and with larger proportions, it would be better suited to the American lifestyle, which tends to favor larger vehicles over smaller ones.
The Toro is already sold under the Ram nameplate in Colombia, where it goes by the Ram 1000 moniker. This could translate well into the American market.
The unibody truck is powered by a choice of two engines in Brazil, with the choice between a 1.8-liter flex-fuel engine (bio-ethanol is a popular fuel in Brazil) and a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, but a six-speed automatic and a nine-speed automatic gearbox are also available, while drive is sent to all corners via a front-wheel-drive-based system.
There's no word from FCA as to when, or even if the model will be released in the US, but considering the Toro has never been tested on US soil before, it seems likely that it is, at the very least, under consideration for our market. If it does launch stateside, it wouldn't have many rivals, although the Hyundai Santa Cruz is believed to be a compact-sized vehicle as well.