Ram's 700 mini-truck blends Fiat genes with 1500 styling cues
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Ram's Sub-1500 pickup is reportedly on its way to production, but we haven't seen it yet. Meanwhile, the company's Mexican division introduced a trucklet called the 700, which is based on a unibody architecture.
The positioning of the 700 suggests it'll pick up where the Dakota left off, but it's an entirely different type of truck. And while its unibody bones are reminiscent of the Honda Ridgeline, it's a much smaller model that's essentially a badged version of the Fiat Strada. No, not the hatchback, which was briefly sold in the US from 1979 to 1982; We're talking about the small, fuel-efficient pickup truck that is sold in dozens of global markets.
Think of the 700 as the distant heir to the Dodge Rampage. Visually, the front end borrows a handful of stylistic elements from 1500, including an upright grille, which is characterized by a striking Ram emblem and mesh inserts. The base model, called SLT, has a decidedly shabby look with black plastic bumpers and steel wheels covered with plastic caps. The mid-range big horn blurs the line between a utility vehicle and a crossover with a convenient charging box, while the Laramie variant with the longest range is aimed at drivers looking for a daily outdoor driver.
Ram offers two- and four-door models, although only the SLT is available in the earlier configuration. The 700 has a usable payload of 1,653 pounds and a towable capacity of 880 pounds.
The power comes from a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that transmits 84 hp to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. Buyers can pay extra for a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 98 hp. It doesn't appear that all-wheel drive is available and there is no automatic transmission in the menu.
Small and cheap doesn't necessarily mean easy. The 700 can be equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a reversing camera and electronic driving aids such as ABS brakes and traction control as well as LED headlights. Laramie models also benefit from partial leather upholstery.
Ram will release the 2021 700 in the Mexican market this month, but we don't expect the model to find its way north to US drivers who want a little unibody truck that will have to wait for Ford to bring out the Maverick, which will ride on the same base platform as the Escape and the Bronco Sport. It is expected to appear in 2021 as a model for 2022.
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