The 2021 RAM Dakota should take the position in the mid-size truck segment. Well, the FCA recently launched Jeep Gladiator, but the pickup is not exactly what we expected. The truck is big and it even uses a turbodiesel engine, which is more suitable for the full-size segment. So, the comeback of Dakota should deliver the competition to Ford Ranger, as the newest models in the segment.
Two vehicles in the same class from the same carmaker is not anything new. FCA is already making Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee rivals. In the pickup truck world, we can find so-called GMC twins – Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, or Silverado and Sierra for larger tiers.
The comeback of the Dakota truck is not a new rumor. For a few years, fans speculate about the appearance in the US market. Well, the FCA was very successful recently, taking over the #2 position in sales with Ram 1500. Now, the truckmaker is after the new model, but the old nameplate.
Short History of Dodge Dakota
Dakota model was available until ten years ago. It belonged to the mid-size class, where it returns after a decade of a break in production. The nameplate used Dodge’s logo since 1986 when it appeared for the first time. In the final two years in the market, this was Ram’s vehicle. Well, old fans are still calling these vehicles Dodge Ram. Ever since the discontinuation, we could hear rumors about the comeback. These were rough years for mid-size trucks, and the Dakota was not the only one leaving the market with the possibility to return. Ford already brought back the Ranger.
This is only one of the reasons why we believe the comeback is possible. We also heard rumors that the 2021 RAM Dakota might be based on the Fullback, especially now when Fiat’s model is discontinued. Also, the company needs such a vehicle for a growing market. Truckers again believe in mid-size pickups, and the verification comes with the debut of Jeep Gladiator and the comeback of Ford Ranger. On the other hand, Gladiator is coming from the same carmaker, being produced in the same plants where the new Dakota might be assembled.
2021 RAM Dakota Specs
Definitely, the 2021 RAM Dakota will use a 3.6-liter V6 as the most efficient engine. The Pentastar unit can make 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is enough for 7,000 pounds of towing capacity. With this powerplant, the price goes up. Many companies are also installing configurations based on a four-pot engine. While the Gladiator is enhancing the outputs with a powerful diesel mill, the new 2021 Dodge Dakota will take the opposite way. A four-banger will drop outputs under 200 hp, as well as the towing capacity. On the other hand, the starting price goes down, and also the visit to gas stations is less frequent.
Speculations about the comeback are not new. Hybrid trucks are also part of the rumors mill. FCA is not the first company that will come to your mind speaking of such vehicles. The US carmaker is already far away from competitors in other segments. But, we recently saw the Jeep Wrangler PHEV prototype. However, the company didn’t make this official. Further development of the project might lead to the 2021 RAM Dakota hybrid. Ram 1500 is already using a mild-hybrid eTorque system. Nevertheless, this is not a configuration that boosts radically a fuel economy. So, the new system will have to make a mid-size truck run at least 30 mpg on average.
2021 RAM Dakota Styling: Old vs New
Jeep Gladiator is the Wrangler-based truck with a similar design language we can see on the 4×4 vehicle. Of course, the highlight is a seven-slot grille and an open-air cabin. The 2021 RAM Dakota will be a classic model with different cab and box style options. Single and dual cab with seating for five and short and long bed will make the truck more appealing and ready to work.
The pickup will bring back some old features to remind us of its predecessors. The cross grille with a big Ram badge and muscular side view are highlights of the classic Dakota. Of course, some new elements will be implemented, including the latest infotainment system. FCA might bring the Uconnect 5.0 by the time the truck is ready. Top trim levels will offer premium audio system, navigation, leather upholstery, wireless charging, and other hi-tech features and accessories.
2021 RAM Dakota Release Date
With the COVID-19 pandemic not backing off, the comeback of the 2021 RAM Dakota and a potential release date are under the question mark. The company might postpone the return for the second half of the next year. In that case, the truck would appear as 2022 YM. The price will start around $26,000 for Dakota V6. A four-cylinder unit will drop the cost for a few thousand.