Jealous South Africa? Hilux-rivalling new Ram Rampage revealed
Unibody Rampage will rival the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger in South America despite its platform having more in-common with the Jeep Renegade.
Compact Rampage, in Rebel guise, ready to cause havoc for Hilux and Ranger in Brazil. Image: Stellantis Brazil.
Rumoured as far back as 2018, and the source of much confusion and speculative reports since then, Ram, after a short teaser campaign, officially unveiled its rival for the Toyota Hilux in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the new Rampage.
Not a traditional bakkie
Designed and developed specifically for South America, the Rampage revives a name last used in 1984 by Dodge for a car-based bakkie, whose lineage continues in the use of a unibody construction rather than the traditional bakkie body-on-frame.
Set to be build at the Goiana Plant in Brazil, the Rampage, rides on the Small Wide 4×4 architecture underpinning the Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Commander, the Alfa Romeo Tonale, its sibling, the Dodge Hornet, and the model it bears the apparent closest relations to, the Fiat Toro.
Unsurprisingly styled similar to the senior Ram 1500 and Heady Duty 2500 and 3500 HD, the Rampage, whose testing tenure consisted of 1.2-million km across varying conditions and terrains in Brazil, has been billed as a proper Ram despite its more SUV-focused underpinnings.
Able to accommodate 980-litres in its loadbox, the Rampage measures 5 028 mm long, 1 780 mm high and 1 886 mm wide while riding on a wheelbase stretching 2 994 mm.
Despite its on-road biased platform, Ram still claims a ground clearance of 265 mm, payload of 1 015 kg for diesel engine derivative and a 750 kg for models fuelled with petrol, an approach angle of 25.7-degree, breakover of 23.6-degrees and departure of 27.5-degrees.
Solely offered as a double cab similar to the Ford Maverick, Toro and the reimagined Chevrolet Montana, with all-wheel-drive standard across the range, the Rampage line-up spans three derivatives; the off-road focused Rebel, luxury Laramie and the performance infused R/T and, as mentioned, a choice of two engines paired in both instances to a rotary-dial nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Distinguished from the rest of its range by its diamond-cut 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tyres, black door sill and wheel arch cladding, plus front skidplate, the Rebel comes as standard with black leather upholstery, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.3-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system and dual-zone climate control in a cabin designed to mirror that of the 1500 rather than the Toro.
Also standard is push-button start, a wireless smartphone charger, LED headlights, remote engine start, six USB ports of type-A and type-C form, as well as:
- Electric driver’s seat
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Lane Keep Assist
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Reverse camera
- Lane Departure Warning
Upping the ante, the Laramie swaps the black leather seats for brown upholstery and the 17-inch alloys for 18-inch wheels, while gaining chrome window surrounds, body coloured door sills and wheel arches, chrome bumpers and dual chrome exhaust outlets on the petrol.
For the R/T, Ram has fitted the Rampage with gloss black 19-inch alloys, a gloss black roof, black suede seats with red stitching, gloss black bumpers and a R/T specific bonnet as well as black window detailing.
A lowered suspension and R/T mode rounds the model off, together with what Ram calls the Elite package that can also be had on the Rebel and Laramie for an additional R $6 000 or R23 000.
Included is ambient lighting, electric passenger’s seat and an uprated 10-speaker, 360-watt Harman Kardon sound system.
Petrol and diesel
Up front, the pair of engine options are both four-cylinders, but in the case of the diesel, lifted directly from the Toro and, therefore, not the bigger 2.2-litre Multijet rumoured until now.
Instead, the stalwart 2.0-litre unit has been selected with outputs of 125kW/380Nm. Restricted to the Rebel and Laramie, it propels the Rampage from 0-100 km/h in 10.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 186 km/h.
On the petrol front, Ram has opted for the 2.0-litre turbocharged Hurricane petrol engine available in the Jeep Wrangler in North America across all three models.
Producing 200kW/400Nm, the unit sports different performance figures as both the Rebel and Laramie will get from 0-100 km/h in 7.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 210 km/h, while the R/T will dispatch the benchmark sprint in 6.9 seconds before topping out at 220 km/h.
Now available for ordering with sales starting in August, pricing kick-off at R $239 900 (R919 924) for the diesel engine Rebel and concludes at R $269 900 (R1 034 963).
Although not earmarked for markets outside of South America, a second smaller Ram, tipped to revive the Dakota name, is known to exists, but reportedly only in concept form, according to Ram.
Reportedly though, it will have a body-on-frame construction and moreover, could become a world model with the steering gear on the left and right.
An estimated time of reveal is unknown though, with former Ram boss, Mike Korval, telling Australia’s drive.com.au in April – “I’m not going to say ‘yes’ because it is not at this point in time, because it’s just in concept phase,” when asked about the Dakota.
Additional information from motor1.com Brazil.