Gearhead News

March 12, 2021
Sightings of Ram Dakota Prototype Continue Despite Rumored Cancellation

A couple of weeks ago, a rumor circulated alleging that a spotted-yet-unannounced new Ram truck, a midsizer thought to be named Dakota, had been unexpectedly canceled. So claimed GM Authority, which cited “sources within Stellantis” and only offered speculation as to why the project was nixed. For a truck Stellantis has allegedly no plans to sell, though, it’s being seen around America an awful lot, with the latest sightings being reported this week in Colorado.

The photos here were snapped by Facebook user Wil Derby, who posted the images to a local enthusiast group. He’s apparently not alone in seeing such a prototype as other members reported spying similar trucks across the greater Denver area. Based on these claims, we can infer the possible Ram Dakota is not canceled but has instead progressed in its development to the stage of undergoing high-altitude testing, likely over the Continental Divide.

Facebook | Wil Derby
Ram Dakota pickup truck prototype spotted in Denver, Colorado

Though the truck depicted gives away few clues as to its makeup, a handful of details stand out as potentially significant. Like the mule photographed last February, the rear fender appears to be a single panel blending into the C-pillar, with no gap between the bed and cab. This could be down to pre-production camouflage that hides the gap, but it could also suggest the two aren’t meant to move independently like a body-on-frame pickup. In other words, we could be looking at a unibody, one similar to the Mexican-market Ram 700.

It’s definitely a different truck, though, as its proportions are completely different—note the dissimilar rear windows, too. The unibody theory, however, is only strengthened by the presence of those unusual bed braces, which are a detail seen more commonly on unibody trucks than body-on-frame pickups. They could be a factory accessory Ram plans to offer, though they seem an oddly consistent detail to retain across multiple prototypes. The only way we can rule this possibility out is if someone snaps a photo of a Dakota mule without them, and if you’ve got a pic like that, send it on in.

Got a photo of a Ram Dakota prototype to share? Send it to me here: