Future of the Dodge Dakota

Mopar-specific social media was inundated with news that the Dodge Dakota project had been cancelled. In the fine print was news that this only affected plans to create a Dodge version of the Jeep Gladiator, a heavyweight engineered off the Wrangler mainly for off-road prowess.

The decision is probably good for Dodge fans, because the Dakota name is generally associated with midsize pickups having a traditional full size bed, four doors, and two rows of seats (as with the 2008 Dakota shown above—the rear doors are the “hidden” style with latches that only appear when the front doors are opened). Perhaps the product planners were going to make a vehicle like that, but the Gladiator itself has quite specific limits imposed by its factory. Making the Dakota version somewhere else, while altering the frame and chassis design for lighter weight and greater length, seems unlikely to produce either the optimal vehicle or much of a cost savings.

Stellantis is, instead, moving towards a single, new pickup that can be sold everywhere in the world, replacing the old Fiat Fullback/Ram 1200 (Mitsubishi L200) as well as a joint-venture pickup created with a Chinese company. The basis for this new pickup is currently unknown; it could be the first known major new vehicle using teams from former-Fiat, former-Chrysler, and former-Peugeot.

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