Ram confirmed in 2018 that it is working on a new mid-size pickup truck. Fast forward to 2019, rumors surfaced that this new model will be called the Dakota, a nameplate the brand last applied to a Dodge pickup released in the mid-2000s.
Likely based on the same platform that underpins the Jeep Gladiator, the new model will join the saturated mid-size truck segment as part of the Ram lineup.
With the release of the new Ram Dakota, parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles gains a new market share of buyers who prefer a more conventional pickup that is less expensive than full-size trucks.
The model is possibly going to be built at the Toledo Assembly Complex where the Gladiator and Wrangler are also being assembled, although the possibility of a new factory being built somewhere in North America is also not unlikely. It will be designed based on a modified version of the Gladiator’s steel frame, but it will not carry the same rigid front axle. Instead, the new Dakota will get an independent suspension that guarantees easier handling and a smoother ride.
FCA’s favorite Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine will be used on the truck, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It will be offered either as a rear- or four-wheel drive. Should the truck’s powertrain become broader, however, a gasoline-powered four-cylinder is another option.
The 2021 Ram Dakota is expected to arrive in dealerships in late 2020 with prices starting at $25,000. It will be competing against the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma.