Upcoming Dodge, Ram, and Jeep Trucks and SUVs
Ram Pickups and Chassis Cabs
A mildly upgraded V6 is expected for model-year 2017, with mild increases in efficiency, low-range torque, and possibly horsepower. 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 used a Kelderman air suspension in front and rear, for higher capacity with a smoother ride; that model was based on the Ram 5500, which has a leaf-spring rear suspension. Here’s the full Long Hauler story and status update (as part of a January 2014 interview). 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, and decided to wait and reconsider it later. “Later” is likely to be much later, as in “after 2020.”
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.
Ram is thinking about building a large SUV to take away some Chevy Suburban sales, 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.
At the moment, General Motors dominates the large SUV market, and competitors such as Ford and Toyota have a small slice of the leftovers. It is unlikely that Ram would manage 50,000 sales per year, much less 100,000, 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 currently very profitable for GM, but part of that may be due to GM’s dominance; if volume went down, profitability would likely follow. However, with over 400,000 large-SUV sales expected for 2015, along with stable gasoline prices, chances are that the market for large SUVs will grow and GM’s volumes will not shrink. One wildcard is Ford’s upcoming aluminum-bodied Expedition.
Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Wagoneer
The Wagoneer, a luxury seven-seater positioned above the Grand Cherokee (Durango is currently $2,000 more at the base level), is still planned, and it’s possible that the Durango name may be used on a minivan-based crossover (or they may call it Caravan and keep the Durango as a seven-passenger version of Grand Cherokee). It’s possible now that the Caravan name will go to the base Chrysler minivan with Durango replacing Journey when Journey goes to rear wheel drive.
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.
A supercharged “Hellcat” V8 may join the Grand Cherokee lineup for model-year 2017, 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.
Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Scrambler / Gladiator
A US diesel is being looked at; one would expect a four-cylinder VM diesel similar to those used in European Wranglers for decades now, but oh20 wrote that the 3.0 VM would be used, along with a turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder (2.0 liters) and the 3.6 liter gasoline V6.
An updated transfer case may appear, possibly bringing back a full-time setting for broader market appeal. Sheet metal changes will improve aerodynamics (strong chance of major windshield and front end redesign). 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.
CUSW, C-EVO, D crossovers
Jeep Patriot continues is not expected to last past 2016.
redriderbob, historically a good source, wrote: “Jeep engineers are working closely with Fiat engineers on this project. We will more likely see a diesel version of the replacement Compass/Patriot here in the US and Canada. They are also making sure this new Jeep is more capable then the ones it replaces.”
We now believe it will look like a Fiat 500X with a Grand Cherokee/Compass front clip. Most likely, they are going to stick with the current “mini Grand Cherokee” look (below) to differentiate it from Renegade.
We believe it will be 2.4-powered in the United States; internationally, it will likely have the full panoply of Fiat engines, including the Multijet diesels, e.TorQ for South America, and 1.4/1.4 Turbo for the rest of the world. The nine speed automatic is likely with the same front wheel drive and all wheel drive setups as the Renegade.
To keep costs down and volume high, the 2017 Jeep Compass is likely to be built in the same factory as the forthcoming Chrysler 100 small sedan; there are rumors it may be built in Mexico or Brazil. If the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X sell well enough, the same plant can also make Renegades, though that is almost certainly unnecessary. Compass will probably be made in Brazil and China as well, for regional markets.
There is a slight possibility that they will make the Compass on the new rear wheel drive setup mentioned earlier.
Jeep Cherokee XJ replacement
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.
Ram vans (commercial vans)
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.
Stowing seats for trucks and SUVs
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.
Probably dead until after 2020: mid-sized pickups
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 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 been dropped, most likely partly due to increased competition from both Ford and GM.
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.
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.