During an interview last week, Dodge chief Reid Bigland said that the Dodge Dakota replacement slated for 2016 had been cancelled again. Rumored since we first broke the news in 2007, this lighter-duty small pickup, fitting somewhere between Fiat Strada and Ram 1500, was to see duty around the world as a European-standard metric-ton pickup, filling a hole in both Ram and Fiat product plans. The two companies’ long-term plans both have a position for a new, Chrysler-initiated truck.
At one point, the Windsor Star reported that the truck was to be made at the Windsor, Ontario minivan plant, based on the new minivan chassis.
When we asked then-chief of Ram Truck about the “lifestyle Dakota,” he said that research had pointed to a vehicle that was:
… capable, but not as capable as a full size Ram. People want to be able to take cargo, with a reasonable payload, and people, with high mpg, reasonably priced. The Dakota is so capable, pricing bumps against the light duty [Ram 1500]. We don’t want confusion.
We asked about whether Ram was looking at a compact pickup, the size of the current Ranger. Mr. Diaz said, “We are only looking at a Dakota replacement.” The same people tend to cross shop both compact and midsized trucks, including Ranger, Tacoma, Ridgeline, and Dakota. (Full interview)
It is possible that Mr. Bigland did not mean to imply that there was no upcoming compact Ram, but that a technical replacement for Dakota — a mid-sized Ram — is not on the schedule, but a compact truck not named Dakota — could still be there.
In related notes, a next-generation Fiat Strada light pickup is being tested. Strada would be a lighter-duty vehicle than the metric-ton pickup that has been rumored for the last few years.
The Ram 1500 faced down the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 and new Chevrolet Silverado in Motor Trend’s half-ton truck shootout. The three contenders were put through a broad array of testing, including a 260-mile drive through California and Arizona. Measurements included: Testing without load: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip (Ram was Limits-handling without load: closed-course cornering, braking, [...]
The 2015 Dodge Charger squad has been tested in police trim for the first time, but since it kept the five-speed automatic, it has turned in numbers similar to past years. While the eight-speed V6 Charger does 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, the five-speed was timed at 8.05 seconds by the Michigan State Police. The civilian 2015 Charger gained acceleration from the eight-speed, [...]
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]