Ram's baby 1500 is shaping up to be a segment leader. Hopefully, we'll see it in America.
Ram Brazil has officially pulled the covers off the new Rampage. Styled after its larger brother, the Ram 1500, this handsome pickup is aimed squarely at the burgeoning small truck segment. Three trim levels - Laramie, R/T, and Rebel - will be offered, with all derivatives getting four-wheel-drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The Rampage was obviously built for harsh conditions, as low range is also standard. In Rebel guise, this little truck also comes standard with all-terrain tires.
The Rampage will wade into battle with the Hurricane 4 engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant that develops an impressive 268 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That means the gasoline-powered Rampage falls short of the 281-hp Hyundai Santa Cruz, but it easily eclipses what the turbocharged Ford Maverick (the best-selling vehicle in its class) offers.
In R/T guise, billed as the sportiest iteration, Ram claims the Rampage can hit 62 mph in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 137 mph. Laramie and Rebel derivatives accelerate to 62 mph in 7.1 seconds and have a respectable top speed of 130 mph. R/T models feature a dual exhaust setup that delivers a throatier sound. There's also an R/T mode that improves throttle and steering response.
A 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel is also available in South America, but it's highly unlikely to be introduced in the USA.
The Rampage has independent suspension on both axles, with a McPherson setup up front and multi-link at the rear. R/T models use firmer springs and dampers and sit closer to the ground. This variant also gets 19-inch wheels and 235/55 tires. The Rebel gets chunky 235/65 R17 rubber, while the luxurious Laramie has 18-inch alloys and 235/60 tires.
Braking power should be strong, courtesy of the front and rear ventilated discs, sized at 12 and 12.6 inches, respectively. Despite the compact size, the Rampage should prove useful. Gasoline-engined models have a load capacity of 1,653 pounds (slightly more than the Maverick), while diesel-powered examples can lug 2,238 lbs. The Ram website does not provide claimed towing capacities but expect at least 4,000 lbs. That's what the Maverick can do, and it is the main target.
All in all, the bed has a total of 34.6 cubic feet of space. A neat addition is the power-operated and dampened tailgate, which makes loading things a lot easier.
In terms of design, we'd classify the Rampage as a success. Ram says the exterior was a joint effort between the South American Design Center and North American stylists. The overall result is a shrunken-down version of the existing lineup.
Rebel models feature black and graphite exterior finishes and an exclusive trapezoidal grille design. Laramie models differentiate themselves with chrome trimmings, seen on the rear bumper, wheels, door handles, and more. R/T variants get a mix of body color and glossy black components, along with hood stripes. A sports package is also available, adding a black-painted roof. The LED headlights have dynamic lighting elements, while the rear cluster has a motif that resembles the American flag.
Size-wise, the Rampage is shorter than the Maverick and measures 197.9 inches from stem to stern. The baby Ram is 74.2 inches wide, 70 inches high and has a wheelbase of 117.8 inches. Like its rivals, the Rampage has a unibody design with an integrated bed.
Regardless of the chosen trim level, the Rampage has a welcoming cabin. Dual-zone air-conditioning, a power-adjustable driver's seat, remote key start, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, and remote start are just some of the standard features you'll find on the compact Ram.
Buyers can purchase the Elite package (the only available option), which introduces interior ambient lighting and a ten-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. This also adds a 12-way power-adjustable passenger seat to the cabin. It's a suitably upmarket environment, with leather covering the instrument panel, armrest, steering wheel, and door cards.
Rebel models receive black hide, while the Laramie gains a tasteful brown leather finish. The sportier R/T gets a suede finish on the instrument panel and perforated leather/suede seating with red stitching.
Ram has packed the Rampage full of the latest technology. On the infotainment front, there's a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Uconnect and a 10.3-inch digital driver's display. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto form part of the package, and so does a wireless charger with an air outlet to keep your smartphone cool. There's a total of six USB ports littered across the cabin.
Another neat feature is Ram Connect. This enables the driver to constantly monitor important information, such as the fuel level and tire pressure, among other things. Moreover, every Rampage will receive 12 months of free onboard Wi-Fi, transforming the little truck into a mobile hotspot.
Aside from the usual safety features, such as seven airbags and stability control, the Rampage ships standard with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning (with automatic braking), rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning.
Converted at current exchange rates, the Rebel is priced at $52,000, while the Laramie will sell for $54,250. The top-spec R/T costs $56,300. Should the Rampage arrive in the US (and there's good reason to believe it will), expect more competitive pricing. Brazil is known for its exorbitant vehicle pricing.
The Rampage will hit South American dealers in August, and buyers can choose from up to 35 Mopar-branded accessories.
When it hits American roads, the Rampage will almost certainly steal sales from the strong-selling Maverick and capitalize on the lucrative segment, which is attracting all sorts of customers.