Ram Dakota – it’s Coming, Baby Jeep – it’s Coming and FCA goes Electric – No Kidding? [Ask Nathan]

This is a special FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobile) edition of “Ask Nathan” as a ton of FCA news has surfaced!

  • What should we expect with the upcoming Ram Dakota (..or whatever name they use)?
  • What’s up with the upcoming A-segment Jeep?
  • What does FCA mean when they say they’re going electric?

Ram Dakota? The first question regards the upcoming mid-size truck that FCA just announced would be built by or before 2022.

While this photo is a Mitsubishi concept, it could very well represent what the upcoming Ram Dakota (or whatever they call it) midsize truck represents.

FCA just announced that they will build a midsize truck, NOT just the Jeep JT pickup, by or before 2022! 


A: Hi!

There are a lot of y0u who are pretty excited and, perhaps, a bit confused when it was recently announced that FCA will be building a midsize pickup truck by or before 2022. Honestly, I was bewildered too. The folks at FCA never let on that they were looking at building a midsize pickup truck – other than the Jeep Wrangler JT (Scrambler).

This is great news for TFLtruck and consumers alike. We get more to report on, you get another truck in the mix that will force competitors to “up” their game. It should be a “win-win!”

Here’s what we’re guessing the upcoming Ram Dakota might have:

  • Being that FCA has spent the time and money developing a E-Torque system (some call it “mild hybrid”), and it’s made to work with their new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine on the new Jeep Wrangler JL, it would make sense that this power plant would be ideal in the upcoming Ram Dakota. This engine is already rated to produce 295 lbs-feet of torque.
  • The 3.5-liter Pentastar V6 might show up in early versions, perhaps as a base version.
  • FCA is also making use of their revise eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-new six-speed manual transmission in some of their Jeep products.
  • The Mitsubishi L200/Triton is already being used for the Ram 1200 which is currently on sale overseas. Could a federalized Ram 12oo, which is a Mitsubishi L200, come here? Perhaps, just the platform?
  • Is it possible that the frame used for the Jeep JT could underpin this upcoming Ram midsized pickup truck? Brand sharing is nothing new for any automaker.

I am very excited to learn more about this mystery pickup truck, aren’t you?!


This next question comes from a fan who is excited about the announcement of an A-segment Jeep that’s smaller than the Jeep Renegade.

(Via: Twitter @NathanAdlen) Are they serious about an A-segment Jeep?

Smaller and less expensive than the Jeep Renegade?

No way! Is that even possible?


A: Hi!

Yep, it’s not only possible to build a fairly capable crossover that’s even smaller than the Jeep Renegade, FCA has already done it! For several years, I’ve kept an eye on the little Fiat Panda 4×4. I drove an early one years ago and I was smitten. I wondered if they would find a way to bring it to the United States.

The Jeep Renegade is pretty small. It measures 167-inches long and 67-inches wide. Overseas, the new Fiat Panda Cross 4X4 measures a scant 146-inches long and about 65-inches wide.  In Europe, it comes with a 0.9-liter, 2-cylinder turbo that makes less than 90-horsepower.

It sounds like a cat that could benefit from FCA’s new electrification platform. That is to say, they have new technology that can enhance engine performance with electric motors. Or, they may just go all-electric.

Sure, the Panda Cross has an excellent little diesel overseas, but FCA is getting out of the diesel business altogether in the near future.

Keep in mind: this is all speculation based on the current information at hand. FCA may have something completely different in mind for their A-segment Jeep that’s coming.

I can’t wait to find out!


Fiat 500e Stormtrooper Star Wars Force Awakens


The last question is regarding FCA’s electrification.

I saw your video and I have a question about Fiat Chrysler and their future electric plans.  

Do they mean they will only build all electric cars after 2022? Or are they building other stuff too? I’m confused.

Neighbor 6/22

A: Howdy Neighbor!

While their statements were a tad vague, we took away a few things from the most recent announcement:

  1. Diesels will be phased out of most vehicles within the next five years. That means they may sell them for the next few years before discontinuing them on various vehicles. We expect the heavy-duty trucks to carry on with their large diesels for the foreseeable future.
  2. Hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles will be produced from 2022-on. All of FCA’s pushing for diesels will stop very quickly. This mainly pertains to their V6 diesel and, most likely to the 4-cylinder diesel found in the ProMaster.
  3. We should still see a diesel for Jeeps in the United States, but it looks like it will be for a limited time.
  4. FCA has seen some success out of their Pacifica plug-in hybrid. The system was very expensive to develop and it would be a good bet that you will see other vehicles running on a similar setup.

What do you think? Does anybody have something to add?


This video has all of the information we were able to gather.

Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: asknathan@tflcar.com.