Exclusive: Did a TopSpeed Reader Just Spot the Mythical Ramcharger?
This is the first we’re seeing of even a potential prototypeby Robert Moore, on
Remember way back when in the 1970s when Dodge released a two-door SUV based on the Ram 1500 Pickup? Back then, that beast competed directly with the full-size Chevy Blazer and Ford Bronco, it came with fairly powerful V-8, four-wheel drive, and it even copied its competitors with a removable roof in the rear. Believe it or not, the Ramcharger stayed in production from 1974 to 2001, seeing two generational shifts in the process. The third generation, you’ve probably never seen, however, as it was only produced from 1999 to 2001 and was quickly killed off because, well, back then compact, fuel-efficient cars were all the craze. That model was also more modernized and lacked the tall, rugged body style of the models that preceded it.
Since then, consumers – or at least SUV fans – have begged Dodge (now Ram) to build a new three-row crossover based on the newest generation of RAM trucks. With Ford reintroducing the Bronco and Chevy the Blazer (the latter of which just doesn’t compare to the originals), it’s only appropriate that Ram finally gives in and builds a new three-row SUV that we believe will carry the iconic Ramcharger name. Up to this point, we have yet to see any prototype, let alone receive a confirmation. We took it upon ourselves a few years ago to commission a rendering and write a speculative review for a 2020 Ramcharger,->art179677] but the trail has been cold ever since. Well, until now, that is.
2020 Ramcharger Spy Shots
A Top Speed reader hit up my inbox this morning and sent over three images of what he and I believe to be an all-new Ram Charger. Unfortunately, he was caught taking the images, so we don’t get a full all-around look at this prototype, but the images we received do give us a first look.
First thing first- we don’t get to see the front end, and we certainly can’t see any emblems. Hayden Carter, the TopSpeed fan that sent us the images said he saw not just one but four different prototypes on public roads. He also revealed that one of them was powered by what seemed to be a very quiet diesel engine with single exhaust outlets and what he believed to be four-wheel independent air ride. A second one was rocking dual exhaust and was “very fast.”
“I saw (what I think to be) 4 of them wrapped and camouflaged in Denver. The one we were following had a very quiet diesel, single exhaust and all with 4 wheel independent air ride. Got behind the dual exhaust V8 at one point, too. VERY fast out of the hole. Left us behind by a long shot.”
With all of that said, we don’t know what Mr. Carter was driving, but if the SUV walked all over his car, regardless of what he’s driving in this day and age, the new Ramcharger will probably be quite fast. Now, with all of the padding and camo we can’t make out much, but the taillights do carry the same orientation and layout as the new Ram 1500. This prototype was also quite boxy so it seems that the new Ramcharger might be just a beefy and rugged as the original – something we can all get behind.
2020 Ramcharger Powertrain Options
With Ram’s current crop of engines, the new, 2020 Ramcharger could be offered with a number of engine options. In the gasoline front, Ram could go with the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 from the Power Wagon pickup of the 2019 Ram 2500. It pumps out 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission – yeah, don’t hold your breath for a shifter with three pedals in the new Ramcharger. The Ram 1500 pickup also offers up a 3.6-liter with 305 ponies, but the 2020 Ramcharger will be just too big for that, so the only other option here is the 5.7-liter HEMI with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. This one is also available with a 48-Volt hybrid system for better fuel economy, and it’s possible that this variant of the 5.7 could at least be offered in the 2020 Ramcharger.
Then again, the prototype that you’ve seen here was said to be powered by a quiet diesel. At this point, that leaves just one real option – the 6.7-liter, Cummins, inline-six diesel. This thing is a downright beast in the torque department and can pump out as much as 850 pound-feet of torque as low as 1,700 rpm. Horsepower, on the other hand, is capped at 370, so that’s really nothing to write home about.
The chances are that the dual-exhaust model that was spotted among this convoy of prototypes was that 6.4-liter HEMI while the quiet diesel has to be the 6.7-liter Cummins. Expect these two engines to be the dominant or maybe even the only engine choices when Dodge hammers the market with the new Ramcharger.
|6.4-liter Hemi V-8||410||429 lb-ft|
|5.7-liter Hemi V-8||395||410 lb-ft|
|6.7-Liter Cummins I6||370||850 lb-ft|
2020 Ramcharger Debut Date
So far there’s no official word as to when the Ramcharger will make its debut and, in fact, there’s never even been a confirmation from Ram or Dodge that it’s actually happening to begin with. The images you’ve seen here are our very first look at what could be a prototype. With the new Ford Bronco making its way to the market, you can probably expect to see the new Ramcharger in the next year or two. We have our fingers crossed that it’ll be a 2020 model, but we’ll just have to hold out and see what happens.
TopSpeed’s 2020 Ramcharger Rendering
Read up on our full speculative review of the 2020 Ramcharger