Ram May Come After Ford and Chevy with 2 New Small Pickups

Rivals for both the Ranger and Maverick could be in the works at Stellantis.

2021 ram 1500 trx
FCA US LLC

We've heard rumors and speculation for some time that Ram might be building a smaller pickup. After all, GM and Ford have both brought back midsize trucks in recent years, and Ford just debuted a new compact unibody truck with the Maverick. But Ram has thus far stood firm, with their smallest truck being the full-size Ram 1500. Reports from South America indicate that may be about to change.

Brazilian outlet Autos Segredos (as spotted by CarBuzz)reports that Ram will launch a new Ram 1200 pickup in Brazil. It will be a unibody pickup, built on a stretched version of the Stellantis Small Wide 4x4 platform used by the Jeep Compass and Alfa Romeo Tonale crossovers. That truck will be 4x4 only. Autos Segredos says that Ram 1200 will be coming to America to battle the Maverick. Americans will also reportedly get a body-on-frame version, but it's not clear exactly how that will work.

The report has the unibody Maverick-rival Ram 1200 getting a "Turbo Flex" version of the Tigershark 2.0-liter inline-four with more than 200 horsepower, 1.5-liter and 2.2-liter diesel options, and a potential hybrid. That gas engine sounds like at least a possible base engine for America; the diesels certainly won't be coming. It's also possible the American market would get different engine options entirely.

Autos Segredos does not detail the American body-on-frame version of the Ram 1200. Building a rebadged Ram version of the Jeep Gladiator on the same platform as the Wrangler feels like the path of least resistance, however.

If Ram is indeed plotting two new smaller trucks, both would make sense. Response to the Ford Maverick has been an excess of interest; Ford has had to shut down new orders on both the combustion and hybrid versions until the summer. And we suspect a more affordable Ram midsize traditional pickup would sell well enough to justify the effort.

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