Ram is looking at reinventing the tailgate, albeit along the lines of venerable van setups. A Chrysler patent filed on February 20, 2013, by five different inventors (Danja McGoff, David Anderson, Gary Bastian, Trevor Garvey, and Eugene Paik), shows a split tailgate which can either open wide, like a door, or be laid down like a traditional truck tailgate.
As Allpar previously reported, the individual tailgate-halves, or “doors,” can be actuated by touchpads. They can be operated together, as a single tailgate unit, or separately, as a pair of doors.
Steven St. Laurent referred us to patent 8,740,279, “Multi-Functional Tailgate.” Along with multiple illustrations of the proposed tailgate setup in use, the patent notes that pickup owners often need to have one gate open (e.g. to let a long object stick out) and other one closed (to hold something else in). It may also be “desirable to have...a portion of the closure member [door] to be opened independent of another portion of the closure member.”
The pictures tell the story better than the words, as is probably already obvious, and those who have had or borrowed pickups can probably think of many times when it would have been handy to have doors on the back instead of a traditional tailgate, or twin tailgate segments. It makes climbing in easier, among other things, and is most likely much easier to operate than a heavy full-size-truck tailgate.
The Ram 1500 is due for a “minor update” in calendar-year 2015, and a major update in calendar-year 2017.