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Ram's answer to the Ford Ranger could be a new Dakota 2021 ute

A smaller-sized Ram to slot in below the 1500 (pictured) could be the perfect model to take on the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

Ram could soon add a mid-size pick-up to its arsenal that would resurrect the Dakota name to take on Australia’s market-leading Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.

A patent filing uncovered by MotorTrend in the US reveals that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) big-truck brand has trademarked the Dakota name for “parts for vehicles, namely, automotive exterior decorative trim”.

The Dakota nameplate was last used for a Dodge-branded US mid-size pick-up that ended production in 2011.

Little else is known about Ram’s new mid-size truck, but parent company FCA has said in the past that a new ute will be introduced in the next two years, and would target a different buyer from the Jeep Gladiator.

In Australia though, Ram vehicles are imported and converted to right-hand-drive by Ateco-owned American Special Vehicles (ASV), not under the FCA Australia umbrella that looks after Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Alfa Romeo.

Ram Australia currently stocks the 1500 pick-up priced from $79,950 before on-road costs, but the smaller Dakota could give it a viable answer to the popular dual-cab utes such as the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara.

Overseas reports indicate the Dakota would be built on a ladder-frame chassis, possibly shared with the Jeep Gladiator, with engine options including four- and six-cylinder options in petrol and diesel form.

For reference, the Jeep Gladiator is landing in Australian showrooms this month priced from $75,450 before on-road costs, while the only engine available is a 209kW/347Nm 3.6-litre petrol V6.

Tung Nguyen
News Editor
Having studied journalism at Monash University, Tung started his motoring journalism career more than a decade ago at established publications like Carsales and Wheels magazine. Since then, he has risen through the ranks at GoAuto to Managing Editor before joining the CarsGuide team in 2019 as the newly-appointed News Editor. Since starting at CarsGuide, Tung has spearheaded the push for well-researched and unique stories that will shines a light on the automotive industry for new-car-buying intenders, who might struggle to keep up to date with the fast-paced environment of motoring. The last few years alone have seen an explosion of interest in electric cars, as well as a push for autonomous driving, and as News Editor, it is Tung’s job to stay abreast of all the latest and deliver stories worthy of CarsGuide growing audience.
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