2016 Plan • Future cars and minivans • Future engines • Updated 1/24/2017
A Wrangler-based pickup should appear for 2019, a year after the redesigned 2018 Wrangler.
For the Wrangler, a US diesel is being looked at, along with a gasoline V6 and turbo four. 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. We have spy shots and more on 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.
We have a new page on the next-generation Jeep Compass, which is based on the Renegade but has been stretched a bit and given higher level trim; a car made worldwide, it is expected to join the Renegade as a sales leader outside the US, but should also do better than the Italian-made Renegade within the US.
And then there’s the next Cherokee, due for a somewhat more conventional (but still unique) look.
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 2019). 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. (In 2017 that seemed more likely as he said that the Wagoneer would be body-on-frame; that would allow for cost sharing.)
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. (At least some people apparently explored the idea of a Chrysler SUV based on a Ram, but this appears to be have been a pre-Fiat effort.)
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 — but now it’s confirmed to be body-on-frame and built at Warren, alongside Rams. Full Wagoneer page.
The Durango name may be used on a minivan-based crossover or another vehicle, such as a future rear wheel drive Journey replacement. The 2019 “Grand Wagoneer” will be dubbed WS; the 2019 Grand Cherokee, WL (one letter up from the current WK2).
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. A Durango SRT is also likely.
After a mildly updated Grand Cherokee, a next generation will be based on the rear wheel drive architecture currently used by Alfa Romeo.
A minivan-based crossover, code RA, was planned but appears to have been cancelled in May/June 2016. It may or may not be back in the plan at any time.
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.
The Ram 1200 is a rebadged Mitsubishi L200, sold outside of the US and Canada; the L200 was sold as the Dodge Ram 50 in the past. some rumors have a new Ram 1200 / Fiat Fullback, based on an internally developed design, coming in 2021-22.
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.
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