2016 Plan • Future cars and minivans • Future engines • Updated 8/25/16 (many changes)
A Wrangler-based pickup should appear for 2019, a year after the redesigned 2018 Wrangler. See Jeep Wrangler • Scrambler pickup
For the Wrangler, a US diesel is being looked at; oh20 wrote that the 3.0 VM would be used, along with a turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder (2.0 liter Hurricane) and the 3.6 liter gasoline V6. There may be an updated transfer case, perhaps bringing back a full-time setting. Sheet metal changes up front and a different windshield rake and supports will improve aerodynamics. There is a chance of some sort of “stripped” model as the production line can now apply bedliner to tubs during assembly. We have extensive discussions linked from our 2018 Jeep Wrangler page.
A Cherokee-sized vehicle based on the new midsized rear wheel drive platform, with more extensive off-road capability, it possible though unlikely for the long term. This would augment or replace the current Cherokee and would be a relatively low-production vehicle produced with other D-RWD based vehicles. We would not expect this until 2019 if at all.
See the CUSW and SUSW sections of “upcoming cars.”
A mildly upgraded V6 is expected to be swapped in, increasing efficiency and low-range torque. Ram 1500 is set for a major update in 2017 or 2018 (model year 2018-19). The refresh is expected to be fenders-forward (except a new tailgate) and interior, with aerodynamic changes. oh20 also wrote, “Dodge is currently working on a plan that would make the Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs available to all Ram dealers.”
The Long Hauler concept had an air suspension and massive fuel reserves so, if you had the bladder, you could put in a full day’s drive. Here’s the full Long Hauler story and status update (as part of a January 2014 interview).
Long story short: we no longer expect to see it.
Commercial heavy-duty trucks (e.g. tractors, class 7-8) might be planned, though they could be Ivecos, and aren’t expected until 2019 at the earliest. In 2013, then-head-of-Ram Fred Diaz said that these were discussed, but leaders decided that they did not know the market well enough yet.
We should see minor updates to the chassis cabs and heavy duty pickups for model year 2017, with major updates in 2019, and a minor rebranding of some models to the “Ram Professional” line.
A version of Iveco Daily now looks as though it’s far away if it will ever arrive; it is not on the plan through 2018. There are no stated refreshes of the ProMaster or ProMaster City, which are both recent.
Ram was considering a large SUV, according to Fiat Chrysler (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne in October 2015. He noted that a large SUV was made possible both by an upcoming redesign, which could lower engineering costs of making the variant, and by having a higher-capacity plant to build them in. This may be one response to stepped-up competition from GM and Ford.
General Motors dominates the large SUV market. It is unlikely that Ram would manage more than 40,000 sales per year, but that could be enough if engineering costs were kept down and it was made on the Ram 1500’s assembly line.
This would be the first Ram SUV; to date, all SUVs have been branded as Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler.
Mr. Marchionne also said that they would be exploring “some other segments” for the Ram.
Large SUVs are very profitable for GM, but GM also has high volumes. With over 400,000 large-SUV sales per year under stable gasoline prices, the market for large SUVs may grow; one wildcard is Ford’s upcoming aluminum-bodied Expedition.
The Wagoneer, a luxury Jeep above the Grand Cherokee and Durango, is still planned, and it’s the Durango name may be used on a minivan-based crossover or another vehicle, such as a future rear wheel drive Journey replacement. For the moment, it’s getting upgrades.
One correspondent reported: “Grand Wagoneer looks just like the classic Wagoneer with a bit of Durango styling.” Wagoneer has been all but confirmed, and should have a longer body, like Durango, but with the Jeep suspension setup rather than Durango’s on-road-biased system. Either Wagoneer or a vehicle above it is expected to hit six figures in its ultimate form.
Sergio Marchionne indicated that the Wagoneer or a Jeep above it could reach $100,000. We suspect it will be the Wagoneer, with a supercharged Hemi V8, hybrid-electric system, or other exotic powerplant, with all the bells and whistles.
A supercharged “Hellcat” V8 may join the Grand Cherokee lineup for 2017 (model or calendar year?), with a first-for-the-engine all wheel drive.
The redesigned Grand Cherokee may be delayed from its 2017 due date to switch underpinnings from the original plan, which would have kept much of the current design. Rumors are now flying over whether Grand Cherokee, Wagoneer, and Durango will continue on their own platform, or switch to a new setup jointly developed with Alfa Romeo.
A minivan-based crossover, code RA, was planned but appears to have been cancelled in May/June 2016.
The Brazilian-built Fiat Strada pickup has a payload capacity of 1,550 pounds, and a five-foot, six-inch long bed. The extended cab has a 1,500-pound payload and a four foot, six-inch bed. Towing capacity is said to be 2,000 pounds. A Ram 700 version is sold in Mexico but none is expected for the US. There is a new Ram based on the Mitsubishi L200 under development which will likely be used outside of the US and Canada (the L200 was sold as the Dodge Ram 50 in years gone by).
Engineer Steven St. Laurent noted a new patent filed by Chrysler, covering an extension of stowable seats. The “Stow ’n’ Go” system in Chrysler and Dodge minivans allows owners to easily fold the middle and rear seats into the floor, providing a completely flat surface for moving large objects (or lots of small ones); when not in use, owners can use the under-floor space for added storage.
Like related Chrysler stowable-seat patents of 2014, this one focuses on simplicity of construction and usage.
Instead, using fewer parts, the new seats can apparently be folded forward and down into the floor. In addition, they provide unobstructed space between the bottom of the seat and the floor, for other passengers’ feet and whatnot. (The patent actually provides for more than one arrangement using pivotable couplings.)
Mr. St. Laurent wrote,
Chrysler is seeking to have rear and middle seats in new-generation trucks and SUVs fold completely into the floors — a flat surface vs a 5-10° incline when folding middle or rear seats (e.g. in Durango). It is now simpler to drop the seat and align it to the floor tub, without much effort. The seat back will be the surface of the floor. It would interest anyone who uses the interior space of the truck or SUV for storage. [It could also be helpful for using] the rear of the quad-cab Ram truck for sleeping when driving on long trips, by folding the seat and placing a mat on top when switching drivers. In an SUV, flat rear space for cargo is better what I am seeing in any SUV.
The inventors were Michigan residents Walter Holzhueter and Todd McCann.
The Gladiator concept truck was driven on-stage at a 2010 dealer meeting, with an indication that something like it might be made. Sergio Marchionne later said it would probably be a Wrangler-based vehicle with a short bed. A Mopar pickup kit followed, then a September 2011 statement that a Jeep pickup is still a few years out. It now appears to be slated for 2019.
Two new pickups have been rumored but neither appears to be on the way. One is a Ram 50-sized compact powered by the Tiger Shark four cylinder, due for Mexican production so they can sell it all over North and South America without duties — both the South American and North American free trade zones include Mexico. This appears to have been replaced by a bigger Fiat Strada pickup (sold as Ram 700 in Mexico) and a Mitsubishi L200 pickup, neither of which are likely to appear in the US.
The Dodge Dakota replacement, which we first mentioned in 2007, which morphed into a European-oriented, metric-ton pickup, has most likely been dropped, most likely partly due to increased competition from both Ford and GM. It was beginning to look as though the Mitsubishi L200 would become the basis for a Dakota or “not just Mexico” Ram 700, but that faded when Nissan took over Mitsubishi.
We are still providing some renderings based on earlier plans. Suzq044 has provided two renderings showing possible design directions, along with the one above from JackRatchett. JackRatchett was basing his off statements that a minivan-based truck would be made at Windsor; this now appears to be unlikely, though it’s still possible that the forthcoming pickup will come from the new minivan platform. All the “future Dakota” stories.
The rendering above shows a truck made on its own platform; the one below, a modification of the Dodge Charger to provide an El Camino/Ranchero/Rampage style pickup/car.
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