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Report: Dodge To Get Honda Ridgeline 'Lifestyle Truck' Rival

2006 Dodge Rampage concept

2006 Dodge Rampage concept

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If reports from AutomotiveCompass, Allpar and The Windsor Star are correct, Chrysler will add a new product to the Ram Trucks portfolio for the 2014 model year. Dubbed the “TR Ram Life Style Truck”, the vehicle will be built from Chrysler’s minivan platform and will be assembled in their Windsor, Ontario, Canada plant.

Part car, part truck, the new addition to the Ram family will follow along the lines of the discontinued Ford Explorer Sport Trac and the Subaru Baja, both of which blended the practicality of a sedan with the versatility of a pickup.

The Star refers to the Ram Life Style Truck as a competitor to Honda’s Ridgeline, but that seems like an odd target to pursue. Since its launch in 2006, the Honda Ridgeline has sold no more than 50,000 units in a single year.  In 2010, Honda sold just 16,142 units, which prompted a flurry of rumors about the cancellation of the Ridgeline. Honda quickly dismissed them, stating that the Ridgeline has a strong following and increases the automaker’s “share of garage.”

It's not the first time such a vehicle has been discussed at Chrysler, and the Dodge Rampage concept pictured above was well received when it debuted at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. Whatever the competition or intended market turns out to be, the Ram Life Style Truck will ensure the future of the Windsor plant by filling capacity given up when production of VW’s Routan ends in 2014.

(The Star)

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Comments (10)
  1. Any chance for Hydraulic Hybrid Drivetrain (HHV) in these trucks?
    I'm waiting for a small truck with an easy folddown midgate, full rear glass roll down, under bed trunk and and an integrated headache rack in the cab roof. If it's got a HHV drivetrain it might be the best selling truck ever.

  2. @cyberpine, it's too early to even speculate on that, but Chrysler is actively working on an HHD and the lifestyle truck is the type of vehicle they had in mind. Here's more on their efforts:

  3. The difference between the Ridgeline and the Dodge is LOOKS! The Honda Ridgeline is awkward and unattractive. I don't care how good the vehicle is, if it doesn't look good sales will suffer. Hopefully, Fiat will furnish one their outstanding Diesels for this vehicle.

  4. I think it would be easy for Ram to steal most of the Ridgline sales. The Ridgline is awkward looking from all angles, and get the same mileage with a V6 as most full size trucks get with a V8. All Ram has to to is make it look nice and get better mileage.

  5. I like the look of it. Hopefully Holden (via Chevrolet) will also release the Commodore Ute (the still-born Pontiac Sports Truck) as a modern day El Camino - to give American more choice in terms of high performance smaller packaged pick-ups (utes).

  6. @Mark, I second your request. I've always had a ting for El Caminos, especially the pre-'69 ones.

  7. As a 2009 Honda Ridgeline owner, this amuses me. First of all, Chrysler is not capable of building a quality product like my Ridgeline. Have you noticed there are zero Chrysler products recommended by consumers reports? I tow 5000 lbs regularly. So it is capable. As far as fuel mileage, everyone says the v-6 Honda does no better than v-8 trucks but they never mention the fact that the v-8 trucks are 2wd-my Ridgeline is 4wd and I get what the EPA numbers say it gets-much better than any 4wd v-8 truck out there. The new Ford ecoboostv-6 2wd is as close as it gets to my Ridgeline. IMO the Ridgeline has a good, tough, look. And it is very comfortable. But if you like to visit the dealer for repairs and warranty work, don't buy the ugly Honda

  8. The reason Consumer Reports never recommends Chrysler products is because they're in the pockets of Toyota and Honda and wouldn't praise a domestic vehicle if it was made out of solid gold and sold for 50 cents.

  9. Had the Ridgeline gone with a more american muscle truck looking body.. say am 80s C10 squarebody it would have sold 3 times as many trucks. Seriously what's with the upward slopping bed rails?
    If 2012 has the folding midgate ,fold flat rear seats and the back windows compleltely rolled down I'd take a closer look at.
    What's supprising is that for a Unibody FWD Honda it's MPG numbers are not that great .. I mean if your gonna turn your back on American truck makers.. at least do it for a good reason right?

  10. As someone who very nearly bought a Ridgeline, in it's defense it's a versatile truck that drives like a big sedan. It's looks are polarizing, but you can't argue with it's functionality.
    Jim, the Chrysler of 2011 isn't the same as the Chrysler of 2009. Their products may have come up short in past years, but don't expect that to be the case moving forward. You can't fix all the problems overnight, but I do expect great things from them in the coming years.

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