The upcoming Ram Rampage is confirmed for the United States. This new compact truck was originally developed for South America, but a US model is in the works.
Many vehicles created for emerging markets don’t ever make it to the US due to restrictions, regulations, and taxes not imposed in other countries. In fact, if Ram were to build the US version of this compact truck in South America, it would be subject to the 25% Chicken Tax. There’s already a workaround being considered, which should allow this new small Ram to arrive in our country and be a useful truck to compete in the compact pickup market.
Where does the name come from?
Rampage sounds like something we’ve heard before because it is. A Dodge Rampage was solid in the 1980s. The Dodge version was also a small, unibody pickup truck that offered good performance and fit in the previous iteration of the compact truck market. Now that Dodge isn’t the brand on the Stellantis trucks, the Rampage name can be reborn under the Ram brand and be a great small truck to slow well below the Ram 1500 in the market. This only leaves one question, where is the midsize Ram truck?
The Rampage went out testing
The testing mules of the new Ram Rampage have been spotted out on the roads in Colorado. It’s not unusual for foreign models to be tested in America, but the heavy camouflage of these models was a bit strange. This gives us the thought that the new Rampages out on the roads could be models considered for the US market. This assumption can be made because Ram has already shown the designs of other prototype models for other countries with sleeker wraps. These two running around in Colorado were wearing heavy camo that covered the entire rear end of the trucks.
How will Stellantis get around the Chicken Tax?
Light trucks imported into America are subject to a 25% tax called the Chicken Tax. If the American Rampage is built in Brazil, this truck will be subject to his heavy tax. Thankfully, Stellantis has a production facility in Toluca, Mexico, which would be the perfect place for the Rampage to be built. This plant only builds the Jeep Compass, which shares a platform with the Rampage, making it the ideal location to build this new truck.
Could there be a midsize EV truck in Ram’s future?
Stellantis is looking for ways to capture more market share in North America, which resulted in a new CEO taking over recently. Now is the right time for Ram to bring a small truck to North America because Ford can’t keep up with demand for the Maverick, and the Hyundai Santa Cruz is gaining ground. In addition to the new compact Rampage, it’s possible we’ll see a midsize Ram truck that might be an electric pickup. This new midsize model could arrive sooner than the upcoming Ram 1500 Revolution and fit into a market that’s been searching for a Dakota replacement.
Which engine should power this new, small Ram truck?
The upcoming Ram Rampage could utilize the 2.0-liter Hurricane 4 turbo powertrain that makes 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque in the Jeep Wrangler. We might see this new compact truck utilize a diesel powertrain, but it’s more likely Ram will offer this truck with a PHEV for a few years before the fully electric version is created. The Rampage should adopt some of the same trim names as the larger Ram 1500 half-ton truck with trims called Big Horn, Laramie, R/T, and Rebel.
We still don’t know much
The most recent announcement that a small Ram truck will be offered in North America expands the currently small compact pickup truck segment. Could we see other automakers enter this segment? Will there be more activity among traditional truck brands with a pair of small GM trucks and a Toyota that slots below the Tacoma? Will the new Rampage be a fitting truck to take on the current Ford Maverick in the United States? Only time will tell.
The new Ram Rampage has been confirmed for the North American market, but we don’t know the release date, the exact powertrain, capability numbers, or any pricing information about this truck. We should expect a series of teaser images and videos between now and when this new compact Ram truck arrives. Could this new truck be the Ram you want to drive and enjoy every day?
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