Dodge Rampage-Family-Friendly Concept Pickup


 
Posted Feb 9, 2006, 2:31 AM by Editor
Category: Chicago Auto Show

   


Traditional pickup truck buyers demand brawn, power and plenty of
cargo space. What if there was a pickup that contained all of those
attributes but boasted the creature comforts of a passenger
vehicle, plus some innovative features? That’s the theory behind
the Dodge Rampage concept truck which made its debut at the Chicago
Auto Show Wednesday. (2/8/06)

We recently sat down with Rick Aneiros, Chrysler Group Vice
President Truck and Jeep ® Design to discuss how a vehicle like
the Dodge Rampage could appeal to non-traditional pickup truck
customers.
Below are detailed excerpts of our interview with Aneiros. You can
listen to the entire 11:16 discussion by clicking on “download
podcast” below. It’s all on the record, so feel free to use the
material for your stories.

“The Dodge Rampage is really intended for a customer looking for an
alternative to the conventional pickup truck. What we’re trying to
explore with Rampage is the idea that there may be people who
occasionally need a pickup’s capability but don’t really want to
drive around in a classic traditional pickup all the time. The
design and the architecture and the powertrain, everything about
this vehicle is trying to explore the boundaries of the definition
of what a traditional pickup truck might be.”




Need in the marketplace?
“Our designers are continually asking questions of themselves
related to the marketplace, where there might be white space, what
are they living with today that they’re not satisfied with? We had
someone come up with the idea there’s a recreational use pickup
that would be totally dedicated to that purpose. Secondarily, it
could do some of the job of a standard pickup truck but the scales
were tipped more in favor of family-slash-recreational use than
your typical tradesman might need.”
Platform?

“There is no platform assumption for it, it’s more or less a
dedicated build. It is about the width and height of a Dodge RAM
but about the length of a Dakota. The architecture was optimized
more for the passenger compartment, a little less in the cargo box.
It’s only a five-foot cargo box. It has more or less a cab-forward
feel to it. So where it’s perhaps right around the length of a
Dakota, it’s broader, has more macho, if you will, which is part of
the Dodge brand mission. But it’s more garagable, it’s a little
shorter. We think again, if you’re not needing to haul on a regular
basis a lot of building material a five-foot box works
wonderfully.”

Other features:
“There is a mid-gate which both has a dropping glass in it. It
folds rearward in the cargo box floor. When it isn’t stored in the
cargo box floor, there is a stored compartment which is out of the
weather. When you do drop the mid-gate, now you’re talking about a
very long load floor. Inside the vehicle, this is the first
instance of a pickup truck looking at Stow ‘n Go seating.
For the seating position, the passenger side and the rear bench
seats–they do fold into the floor. Now when you drop the mid-gate
and you fold the seats into the floor you’ve got a very, very
spacious cargo capacity and floor for hauling 4×8 sheets or
whatever.”


Load bed features:

“We asked ourselves how could we get a lower cargo box floor such
that the ramp angle would be relatively gradual and you could
actually drive or push a vehicle up onto it. We ended up deciding
if we were to eliminate the rear axle and differential we would now
be able to lower that floor considerably. So there are a lot of
features that are premised on the idea there is a 5.7 HEMI with MDS
located in the front driving the front wheels. That freed up the
cargo floor to be much lower than any conventional pickup. That
really is the breakthrough in the architecture in the vehicle. Now
when you couple the tailgate that drops down and within which is
stored a ramp, you’re able to achieve this 20-degree angle so you
can easily move recreational vehicles up and in and out of that
vehicle. This was a vehicle whose architecture and design flowed
from an idea, the idea being how can we optimize a vehicle for
weekend recreational use.”

Interior features:
“The front door opens conventionally. The rear door slides rearward
and it has a special linkage which enables it to end up very close
to the body side for tight parking spaces. As you open the doors
the sill drops down and exposes an integrated step for getting in
and out of the vehicle. For the center stack we’ve come up with an
idea where the HVAC and the radio and nav screen are located on a
movable center stack configured in a frame kind of a configuration.
It can pull rearward for better reach. It can pivot left or right
depending on whether the driver or passenger wants to view it. It
creates a very spacious kind of feel in the inside of the vehicle.
It’s very lightweight looking. It’s doable. In the inside of our
vehicles we’re not only trying to raise the bar in terms of quality
but we’re trying to create a spacious a feeling as we can.


In the doors is something we never tried before. If you’re going to
fill the vehicle with cargo, you can gain some space…but
simply rotating the armrests up and out of the way. They simply
store in the door.”

Build it?
“One of the missions of our concept vehicles is to gauge interest
in a concept like this. The point of this was to stretch the
definition of pickup trucks and if we discover there is tremendous
interest in this, then obviously as businessmen we’re going to be
looking at that and figuring out how we’re going to accomplish
that. The feasibility of most of this stuff that we did in the
Rampage is reasonable. We believe we could accomplish most of it.
Some of it has to be developed. Depending on the level of interest
we would decide if we want to make that effort. One of the fun
parts of this business is going out there and discovering boy,
there are a lot of people out there that really like this idea.”

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5 Responses to “Dodge Rampage-Family-Friendly Concept Pickup”

  1. Ron Etapa Says:

    I really like the Dodge Rampage….I would buy it today!!!

    I would like a power back window into the mid-gate…..the sliding doors are cool….
    easy entry….

    Just make it also get more miles per gallan than the ridgeline this truck will be
    a winner…..

    keep the dash…it is great…do not reck it by adding the usually boring dash.

  2. pete hockel Says:

    Hi, before I seen this, I was tossing the idea of a front wheel drive pickup to the guys in work.
    It would probably get much better fuel mileage, (no driveshaft or rear axle) and you would not
    need four wheel drive, as front wheel drive is great in snow. Its nice to see an automaker finally
    think of it. I sell real estate and also sometimes need a pickup for projects. This could be a
    winner if you either make a four door version or one with to doors and 2 3/4 doors so you could
    have adequate room for rear passengers. That will sell and look good at the same time. If you
    build it, and patent it, it would make you number one.

  3. RAMPAGE LOVER Says:

    WORST CONCEPT EVER! Please change it Dodge…
    Rampage enthusiasts want the neon or stratus look!

    For pictures on what we want, check out my website!
    http://www.geocities.com/dodge_girlie1982/

  4. john Says:

    Rampage enthusiasts need to quit living in the past. Times have changed.
    If dodge kept the new concept design to mimick the old one, dodge would go
    banrupt faster than GM…. BUILD IT !!!!

  5. Mike Says:

    I like this concept look. It’s fresh and now. I also like the feature of the HEMI,
    it’s a plus. I also like the idea of the drop down tailgate which makes for easier
    loading. I would really like to see Dodge build this because I’d definately go and
    buy one. I have just recently read an article that Dodge might make this a four
    wheel drive by using electronic motors to power the back wheels, in case anyone
    was wondering about the possibility of a four wheel drive version.


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