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Is this a new midsized Ram or…?

by David Zatz on

Spy photographer Chris Doane has caught what he believes to be a mid-sized pickup being tested by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Europe.

Fiat Strada being tested

Mr. Doane claimed that there were other “very cobbled together” mules spotted in the US as well as in Europe, and said they were based on the Journey/Freemont platform. (Most likely, this would be the next generation, if true; and there is no reason to believe the current Journey / Freemont will continue, sitting on a unique platform derived from a Chrysler interpretation of a Mitsubishi sedan.)

Possible Dodge Dakota midsize pickup truck spy shot

The body looks more SUV-like, until one sees the rear, which has a pickup look. The model spotted is either a four-door or a very good imitation of one, with a short bed (unless it’s an SUV after all).

The test car could also a larger version of the next-generation Fiat Strada, though if it is, it’s very well disguised. Chrysler de Mexico currently sells a mildly modified Fiat Strada in Mexico as the Ram 700.

Fiat midsize pickup truck spy shot

Mr. Doane wrote, “With the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon off to a good start, Chrysler may have finally decided it was time for a Dakota successor.” Whether there’s room in the market for a Ram as well is questionable, though.

The current Ram 1500 boasts 29 mpg on the highway (in diesel / HFE form) with hefty towing and payload capacities.  The market for small pickups in the United States has dwindled in recent years, with Toyota now dominating the market.  Any new pickup would need some towing/hauling capability, mileage better than the Ram 1500 (which beats most four-cylinder compacts), and/or far superior pricing.

A newer generation of the Dodge Dakota was batted around for years, but was eventually dropped, and no midsized pickup appeared on the recent 2015-2018 Ram plan for investors. It is most likely that this is a “no Ram version” Fiat and that any American testing was done for other reasons (FCA US has excellent testing facilities).

See Allpar’s Ram 700 page

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