Is a Compact Ram Pickup in the Works?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) occupies quite a space on the global stage and its specialty lies in dispersing a very varied lineup across the globe. In fact, FCA recently introduced the new Fiat Strada in South America, but rumor has it that the very same model may debut in nearby Mexico — with a possible arrival in the U.S. — as the Ram 700. A smaller Ram pickup coming to the U.S. sounds like a promising addition to the existing Ram Trucks lineup. Some enthusiasts used the debut of the Fiat Strada, a vehicle that will likely serve as the blueprint for a possible Ram 700, to make a few renderings of a possible compact Ram pickup.
The renderings for the Ram 700 envision a compact pickup truck that’s ripe for some badge engineering. Designers replaced the existing Fiat lettering on the grille with a smaller Ram branding, which coincidentally mirrors the current Ram 1500 grille but seamlessly pairs with the rest of the Strada model’s front-end. On the side of the imagined pickup, along with the tailgate, enthusiasts can find large Ram branding. There’s even a small Laramie badge on the lower corner of the tailgate, completing this compact truck’s exterior transformation.
Although Fiat revealed the new Strada model with four doors, there’s another two-door variant in the works as well. Experts don’t believe there’s a chance the two-door version arrives in the U.S., but the four-door variant is much more likely. If the model makes it into production for the U.S. market, it’s going to need a new powertrain. Currently, the Strada model is powered by a 1.4-liter engine with 88 horsepower, while a 1.3-liter engine with 109 horsepower is the only available upgrade. Both engines are paired with a five-speed manual transmission, but U.S. customers would certainly require something that packs a bit more of a punch if it’s going to sit under the hood of a Ram vehicle.
For the time being, the Ram 700 model is just a rumor, although automotive experts wonder why Ram hasn’t capitalized on its success in a much smaller segment. Ram has been the only holdout of American truck makers to offer something smaller than a half-ton pickup. Other rumors circulating indicate a smaller pickup to compete with the Chevy Colorado is in the works over at Ram, possibly borrowing the old Dodge Dakota nomenclature.
So why would Ram opt to use a Fiat model? It would save the truck maker on costs, helping them avoid having to build a new truck platform from scratch. Ram already made a similar move with its ProMaster van, rebadged as the Fiat Ducato abroad. Additionally, a smaller and more efficient unibody truck would help expand Ram’s lineup and help it meet new emissions standards. A unibody truck could avoid stealing sales from the recently-launched Jeep Gladiator — a cousin of Ram Trucks — and be an affordable truck option in a highly-competitive market.
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