The Dodge Rampage concept car (2006)

Also see the original Dodge Rampage

Stratuscaster, owner of the Stratusphere, provided us with these candid photos of the new Dodge Rampage concept car. We have been told by non-company sources that this is a “pure” concept, that is, it is not based on an existing vehicle. Kudos to Stratuscaster for getting these ahead-of-time shots! He wrote:

After taking many pictures, staring at the press kit, staring at the Rampage itself, and speaking with Ralph Gilles, head of truck design…

It’s a concept. Sometimes a concept is not done to show a future production model, but as a rolling test bed to show off things that might make an appearance in future vehicles. And in other cases, the concept is intended to head to production, but not as the vehicle you see.

As I’ve noted in other posts, we see a truck. And when I saw this truck, I watched the rear wheels as it headed up the ramp to the stage, waiting for them to slip. Which they never did. Because it wasn’t until we read the press kits - they never mentioned this in the actual presentation - it was FWD!

I don’t know anything about the future plans CG might have for the Rampage. I am merely speculating based upon what I’ve seen and read and heard. That said, we are seeing a truck. But what we ought to be seeing is…perhaps…the next evolution of the venerable minivan.

Discussion in the forums indicate that this is, believe it or not, a front wheel drive Hemi. Can you say “torque steer”?

dodge rampage pickup

Like the Honda Ridgeline, the Dodge Rampage concept vehicle is a fresh look at how many families actually use the popular pickup trucks.

Scott Krugger, principal exterior designer, said “This is a truck for the person who wants the functional aspects of a truck yet doesn’t want a traditional vehicle. The Rampage has the capability of a pickup without sacrificing occupant space.”

spy shots 2006 dodge rampage concept car - side view

Combining the width of a Dodge Ram with the length of a Dodge Dakota, the Rampage features unitized body construction, front-wheel drive, and unique independent rear wheel suspension (as with the first Dodge Rampage, which was based on the Omni).

To achieve their objectives of a family-size passenger cabin and pickup utility, the largest portion of the Rampage is devoted to the passenger cabin, followed by the five-foot cargo box, and last, the engine compartment (which accommodates a 5.7-liter HEMI®). To visually reinforce the fact that the majority of the vehicle is dedicated to passengers and cargo, a slim appliqué of brushed aluminum runs along the cowl, up and over the roof rails and around the top of the cargo box, a shimmering silver ribbon that contrasts with the dark-gray exterior.

The Dodge grille is set flush within a curving plane that encompasses rectangular wraparound headlamps. Featuring LED lighting, all exterior lamps rely on light-piping and both acrylic to achieve a cleaner look.

rampage rear viewThe body side is dominated by flared fenders with the widest part of the body centered over the 22-inch aluminum wheels. The framed doors feature a continuous fore-aft glass plane while the reverse-angle “pillar” on the rear door and distinctive triangular window give a sporty coupe-like profile.

To draw attention to the occupant space, a U-shaped chamfered element runs above the sill and travels up the body along the leading and trailing edges of the door sets. Accented with brushed aluminum, this detail is subtly repeated on the exterior door handles. 

Access to the interior is exceptional. When either door is opened, the sill pivots down to expose a handy step assist.  While the front door is hinged conventionally, the rear door slides open to reveal an imaginative and supremely practical interior, entry to which is enhanced by the absence of the customary B-pillar.

“The interior of the Rampage is durable, functional and efficient,” said Irina Zavatski, principal interior designer. “Everything is there for a reason.”

Structural elements are exposed. The contoured center stack, for example, “floats” above the surface of the instrument panel. Composed of satin silver finished “framing,” the center stack can be pulled rearward and rotated toward either driver or passenger to access the navigation, HVAC and entertainment functions. The free-standing instrument cluster has a similar look and moves with the adjustable steering column while the steering wheel spokes harmonize with both cluster and center stack.

Overhead a ladder-type front-to-rear console with storage and entertainment units incorporates distinctive mood lighting along its edges. Flanking the console are fore-aft skylights, bringing welcoming daylight to rear seat passengers as well as those up front.

2006 rampage cars“The seating is designed to be athletic, comfortable, yet rugged,” said Chris Welch, designer of the seats, which are contoured around specially-fabricated folding framing finished in satin silver. To facilitate ingress/egress to the rear compartment, milled silver handles are integrated into the outboard sides of the front seat backs. The dark charcoal seats are trimmed in a smooth polyurethane-coated material and a three-dimensional open texture “spacer knit” fabric which is also used as a non-glare covering on the instrument panel. Contrasting red-orange fabric on the seat inserts echoes similar accents on the instrument panel, steering wheel and door armrests.

With all seats in use, the Rampage is able to carry five passengers. The right front seat and the 60/40 rear seats can be folded into the floor, marking the first use of Dodge’s popular and innovative Stow 'n Go™ Seating and Storage Unit in a pickup truck and the first Stow 'n Go front passenger seat.

The stowing process is facilitated by headrests that flip down into the seat backs, a solution that also allows taller-than-normal seat backs for greater support. To enhance the available interior volume with seats dropped into the floor, the armrests on the front and rear passenger doors also fold out of the way, maximizing the cabin’s cargo-carrying capacity. As with all Stow ‘n Go seating, with the seats upright, the bins beneath become handy storage areas for sundry items.

Since the interior is designed to accommodate both people and cargo, a durable marine-type rubberized material is used for the cabin flooring.

Behind the rear seats the backlite retracts into a midgate which in turn folds down into the forward part of the cargo bed. With the both midgate and one or more of the passenger seats in a stored position, lengthier items can be carried without having to lower the tailgate.

slide-out cargo bayAfter the midgate, the five-foot box offers many utility options, including retractable cargo hooks and built-in formations arranged to secure 2’x4’ boards. The three-position tailgate can be deployed upright, folded down 98 degrees, or dropped further to an angle of 117 degrees. In this position a stored-in-the-tailgate slide-out ramp can be extended to the ground to permit easy loading of wheeled cargo like motocross bikes, ATVs, etc.

Rampage delivers exceptional cargo carrying capacity above and below the dual-bed floor. Acting as a second tailgate, the rear bumper fascia also drops down to reveal an enclosed storage space extending (with the seats up) far enough forward to provide room enough to accommodate a stack of 4’x8’ plywood sheets.

“This is ‘clean storage,’” says Krugger, “something most pickups today don’t have.”

Combined with the Stow ‘n Go seating in the cabin, these cargo box features give the owner -and his or her family – unrivaled flexibility sure to be appreciated, whether going to the store to buy materials for a weekend project or taking the family off on an outdoors outing. Another thoughtful touch: In order to keep the rear of the vehicle free of bothersome heat and fumes when accessing the dual cargo beds, the engine exhaust exits via specially-trimmed vents forward of the rear wheels.

Allpar take on the Dodge Rampage

front shotTaking on the Ridgeline is a great idea, but front wheel drive and Honda-like ugly-styling might not be the best way to go about it. We'd have expected something that met Honda on Dodge turf - for example, a highly modified Dakota that was lightened and shortened, but still has the various thoughtful touches that the Rampage features. The original Rampage was not a runaway success; the El Camino also failed to make a lasting impression, at least in sales figures (and we're not even going to mention the Ford Ranchero).

This is pretty clearly a "what if" concept that stretches the boundaries; it's a test of ideas, not a look at an actual, upcoming vehicle. In short, don't expect to see a Dodge Rampage in 2008 or 2009; it probably won't happen. We might see something based on the Dakota (who decided that Dodge didn't need a compact or mid-sized pickup, but needed two full-size pickups, anyway?) or the Mitsubishi compact pickup; or we might not. But a Hemi-powered front-wheel-drive vehicle with the potential to have a temporary rear-wheel weight bias (when loaded up) is a lawsuit magnet.

Keep on reading after the specifications for more photos!

Dodge Rampage concept car specifications

Dodge Rampage Powertrain and Suspension           


5.7L Hemi with MDS; 345 hp / 375 ft-lbs @ 5400 / 4200 RPM


Front wheel drive, 5 speed automatic


Front / Rear – Independent / Independent

Weight and Dimensions        

Vehicle Weight:

5000 lb








Front Overhang:



Rear Overhang:



Width (max):






Track Front / Rear:

67.7”  / 68.2”


Approach / Depart. Angle:

31.7º / 39.3º


Turn Circle:

46.0 ft

(14.0 m)





P305/50R22 34” Goodyear tires
22 x 9 wheels



Dodge concepts

sliding doors


dodge rampage side view


And the original...!

real rampage


See our main concept cars page

venomConcept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.

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