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Ram's Rampage! New mini-1500 ute confirmed as brand finally takes aim at HiLux and Ranger

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The first of Ram's mid-size utes has been confirmed.
The first of Ram's mid-size utes has been confirmed.

Ram has confirmed work on the mid-size ute that will take on models like the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, with the brand's Brazilian arm releasing a teaser video detailing the model's design process.

According to local media, the new truck will be called the Rampage, and will be fitted with a pair of 2.0-litre turbo engines, one petrol and one diesel.

It's not clear whether the Rampage would become the much-hyped Dakota from Ram in the USA, which has already been shown to dealers in EV concept form, but we would suspect this will either be a standalone model for South America or form the basis for the ICE-powered version of the Dakota (if that's what the model goes on to be named).

Like Kia, Ram has confirmed its new mid-size ute will essentially have two versions - one ICE and one electric - with the brand's global boss, Mike Koval, telling CarsGuide that “I would be doing the team a disservice if I didn't (offer ICE). I want to be able to sell it in every market around the world."

It's possible, then, that the Rampage is that ICE-powered model.

According to Brazilian media, the Rampage will initially be launched in July, and will be offered with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and 2.0-litre Turbo Flex petrol engine, both of which will pair with nine-speed automatic and 4WD.

But of more interest to Australia will be local media reports that the new model will be offered with a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine from 2024, which should help increase the power to be about on-par with Australia's dual-cab kings.

Meanwhile, American media are pointing to two viable ICE options for the Dakota. The first being the group's venerable 3.6-litre V6 – making around 227kW and 365Nm. It would pair with an eight-speed auto and arrive in rear- or all-wheel drive.

Option two, it seems, is the brand's 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6, which produces 179kW and 569Nm in the existing 1500.

Exactly when we'll see Ram USA's new mid-size truck, and whether it will be the same or completely different to the Rampage, remains to be seen, but we do know it's happening, with Koval committing to getting the project completed under his leadership.

"I will say this - we've been talking about it forever. This is the Ram leadership team that is going to execute. We will be the team that delivers it," he said.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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