Turbocharged and developed with American engineers, Ram's new midsize pickup truck wants to go Taco-hunting.
Ram Brazil has posted the first in a series of teaser videos leading up to the unveiling of what appears to be a sporty midsize pickup truck to rival the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger. The good news is that this project is being developed in partnership with Ram USA, which bodes well for the smaller truck's stateside arrival.
This teaser video also suggests a model that will go up against the Ranger Raptor, especially if the "unrivaled power" line from the teaser is to be believed.
Previously, Ram's CEO, Mike Koval, only hinted at a new model slotting in under the current Ram 1500 but made no commitments. Since then, we've seen the baby Ram, rumored to be called 1200, undergoing cold-weather testing. The test mule was heavily disguised, and we can't find a match between what little could be seen on the truck and the new teaser video.
We managed to spot a few things, and only one can be described as meaningful.
We'll start with the less important stuff. The front end will stick with Ram's current design DNA. There's a small preview of the headlight cluster; while it's a new design, it is familiar. It will be an aggressively styled car, with power bulges on the hood and large "RAM" badges on the tailgate and the grille.
The Ram 1200 will be gas-powered, as the grille appears to be functional and not blocked off like it is on the Ram 1500 REV. But there's a more telling hint. The car in the video has a "Turbo" badge on the hood.
So, we know it will be turbocharged, but the Stellantis group has loads of turbocharged engines across multiple brands. Ram isn't afraid of sharing, as revealed by Koval in a 2022 interview with CarBuzz.
There are two possible powertrains Ram can use from Stellantis' global empire. The first is the Global Medium Engine turbocharged four-cylinder used in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Jeep Wrangler, and Maserati Grecale. In the Giulia, it produces 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. In this state of tune, it's already well suited to truck duty, producing 100% of its torque from just 2,000 rpm.
But since the Ranger Raptor ditched four-cylinder power for a twin-turbocharged V6 producing an estimated 392 horsepower, if Ram wants to take the fight to this beast, it will have to use the inline-six Hurricane engine, capable of producing up to 500 horses. That would have the makings of a superb Ram 1200 TRX.
Lesser models can use the Global Medium Engine, but a Raptor rival needs at least the Hurricane's standard output, which is just over 400 hp and 450 lb-ft.
We'll find out more in coming weeks, and as ever, we hold out hope for stateside arrival.
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