Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
2 minute read
24 Mar 2022
9:45 am

Ram’s Hilux and Ranger rival starts taking shape

Charl Bosch

The newcomer will spawn two distinct models and carry the 1200 moniker.

The full-size Ram 1500 will, for the first time since 2011, have a junior sibling reportedly by next year.

The long awaited smaller sibling of the full-size Ram 1500 has reportedly taken another step towards becoming a reality.

Initially wiped off of the table last year, only to be confirmed by Stellantis weeks after, the newcomer, instead of the reviving the Dakota name as alleged until now, will reportedly carry the Ram 1200 moniker currently used on a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi Triton in the Middle East.

In making the surprise announcement at a virtual media briefing earlier this month, Stellantis South American President, Antonio Filosa, also hinted that the 1200 will be assembled at the Pernambuco Plant in Brazil and ride on the Small Wide 4×4 platform that underpins the Jeep Compass, Commander and Renegade, Fiat Toro/Ram 1000, Fiat 500X and the Alfa Romeo Tonale.

According to Brazil’s Auto Segredos, Filosa stated that the 1200 will indeed be aimed at the likes of the Ford Ranger/Volkswagen Amarok, Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara and Isuzu D-Max, the latter not offered in South America as its position is occupied by the related Chevrolet S-10 (Colorado), with initial motivation set to come from two engines.

On the petrol-side, a brand-new 2.0-litre turbocharged Tigershark will be offered with a rumoured 147 kW, while the diesel option will come in the form of a 150 kW version of the 2.2-litre Mulijet once used in the European-spec Jeep Cherokee.

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Both are set to be paired to the nine-speed automatic gearbox used in various Jeep models with drive going to all four wheels as standard.

A far cry from the V6 and V8 powerunits used in the Dakota that ended production in 2011, the rumour mill regarding the engines doesn’t stop there as the online publication further alleges the inclusion of hybrid versions of the Brazilian-made 1.0 and 1.3-litre Firefly mills by 2024, as well as a brand-new three-cylinder 1.5-litre turbodiesel.

More confusingly, the 1200 will spawn two completely different models; a South American only unibody aimed at the Ford Maverick, Hyundai Santa Cruz and Honda Ridgeline, and a traditional body-on-frame for export markets.

At present, it is likely that the former will be powered by the mentioned small displacement engines, and the latter by 2.0-litre and 2.2-litre units.

More details are likely to emerge in due course, though it is rumoured that the 1200 could bow as early as next year with sales commencing soon after. However, nothing has yet been confirmed.