Ask Nathan: Will the Tiny Ram Rampage Come to the U.S. and When Did Camping Become ‘Overlanding’?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will we get the Ram Rampage?
  • Why is coming now overloading?

The first question comes from a fan who wants the South American Ram Rampage to come here.

Q: (Via: Dude the Ram Rampage HAS TO BE THE NEXT RAM DAKOTA!

If you look at the back of the Ram Rampage, it has a friggin American flag on it! It MUST BE COMING HERE! I know the rumors have been around for a LONG TIME. But this is it and you KNOW IT! Now I want to know if it is based on something French or maybe Japanese?

– Alfa88

A: Yes, I agree that the Ram Rampage may come here, but…

In order for the Ram Rampage (or whatever it may be called here) to be successful in the United States, it has to be unique against he competition. Now, there are two platforms from Fiat it may be based on. While some say it looks like a Fiat Strada platform; it looks more like a larger Fiat Toro-based pickup to me. That’s all based on the section where the rear doors meets the bed section. I tried to add images below of all three, but the darkness and odd angle of the Rampage makes comparisons difficult.

The Fiat Strada is closer to the size of a Maverick, or Santa Cruz. (Image: Fiat)
Slightly larger, the Fiat Toro is closer to the size of the Ridgeline (Image: Fiat)

Oh, and there’s this – what looks a lot like an American flag on the back of the pickup.

The Ram Rampages is supposed to be equipped with a 2.0 turbo diesel 170 hp, which will be replaced shortly by a new 2.2-liter making about 220 hp. There will be a 2.0-liter turbo “Flex” which will run on gasoline and alcohol. It is said to put out up to 275 hp, which is a lot.

There’s an important fact to keep in mind with this pickup: Ram Global Design was responsible for this creation. That means that the designers worked with American counterparts in Detroit too. We’ve seen Fiat Toros being tested all over Michigan, over the past few years. I would say the likelihood of something like the Ram Rampage coming here are good.

There may be a lot more to this small pickup too.

Just hear me out on this: Jeep sells a plug-in hybrid “4xe” version of the Compass overseas. It has a turbocharged four-banger that’s paired with an electric motor. It makes 178 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. Combined with the electric motor, the horsepower climbs to 237. It has a 11.4 kWh battery, good for 29 miles (WLTP), on electricity only. The eAWD system, which is similar to the AWD systems Toyota has used in their hybrids for years, relies on an electric motor powering the rear wheels.

This system, which is different than the 4xe Jeeps offered in the United States, should be arriving here, in some form, soon. When it does, it would make a lot of sense for Stellantis to put it to use in this pickup – right?

The time to hit the American market is now. Ford is overwhelmed with Maverick production. Hyundai is selling every Santa Cruz they build, thus – competition is needed. We hear that Toyota may enter the fray as well, so this segment looks like to one to watch.

I just hope that, IF they bring the Rampage here, it remains affordable.

– N

The video is kind of fun.

The next question comes from a fan posting on this post a few weeks back. He wants to know why “camping” is now called “overlanding.”

Image: Ford

Q: (Via: Ask Nathan) A comment on camping…

When did camping become overlanding?

– Ray

A: Yeah, there’s been a bit of a disconnect in branding.

I got this from a Motor Trend quote:

Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal. Typically, but not exclusively, it is accomplished with mechanized off-road-capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping, often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and spanning international boundaries.”

I guess that’s a pretty accurate description. All of which still indicates that it is camping off the grid.

While I agree with this definition, I will add a bit more…

If you travel to a location where cell phones have no reception, there are no facilities to help you, and you’re solely reliant on the supplies you brought, you could be overloading.

I mean, camping can be so broad, and I believe you’re camping while you’re overloading. I know, it’s semantics, but in my industry, the overloading part is mainly focused on the vehicle that gets you there. Be it a bike, or a stupidly expensive off-road motorhome, traveling through the rough is part of the deal.

– N