The 2023 RAM Dakota is happening after all! Those are the latest report about the mid-size pickup, which was expected to come back a few years ago. After Stellantis took over the company, it seemed like the new Dakota is about to remain just a dream. These days, it looks like something is really happening and many experts believe that the new iteration of the well-known nameplate is a certain thing, even though we are still waiting for the official confirmation.
At this point, it’s still early to talk about details but some of the things are quite easy to predict. This refers to things like platform and overall design. Furthermore, we are pretty sure we can guess some of the engine options that will be on the offer. On the other hand, the styling is still a mystery, though we are pretty sure that a lot of inspiration is about to come from the bigger brother, Ram 1500.
We believe that the all-new 2023 RAM Dakota could hit the market sometime in the second half of 2022.
2023 RAM Dakota Design
The first thing we should discuss is the platform. It’s been a long time since the previous Dakota was discontinued, so it’s not hard to conclude that the new model won’t have too many things in common with it. Instead, we are about to see a completely new design and from what we can hear, the new model will ride on the same platform as Jeep Gladiator.
This would mean a genuine body-on-frame platform, the same one that was originally designed for the current-generation Wrangler. With such a design approach, we have no doubt that the new 2023 RAM Dakota will be a pretty capable pickup truck, with respectable off-road potential as well.
When it comes to the exterior design, the first thing we should consider is the size. This will be a mid-size pickup, notably smaller than the half-ton Ram 1500. We expect a similar proportion to the Gladiator, though we are pretty sure that the 2023 RAM Dakota will come in a single cab layout as well, with a notably longer cargo bed and lower starting price.
In terms of the styling, we presume that a lot of inspiration will come from the half-ton sibling. This particularly refers to the front end, which could utilize the same grille layout and headlights design. A couple of rendering photos already appeared and they show a little bit bolder design approach, however.
The new 2023 RAM Dakota would come in various iterations and one of them could be an off-road version. This one would come with all kinds of upgrades, starting from some serious off-road hardware. Of course, exclusive styling details are another thing that comes to mind.
On the inside, we expect that the 2023 RAM Dakota will follow the path of the half-ton Ram 1500, which features the nicest cabin in the class. Of course, the Dakota probably won’t be that luxurious, but we believe it could bring a bit of premium flavor to the segment where pickups are mostly about utility and usability.
Besides nicer materials and good build quality, we also expect to see a decent number of tech features, including a decently sized infotainment screen, and maybe even a digital instrument cluster in more expensive variants.
Both single- and double cab versions are about to come, as well as standard and long bed sizes.
2023 RAM Dakota Engines
This aspect shouldn’t bring any bigger surprise. We count on FCA’s familiar powertrain options and the offer should start with the well-known 3.6-liter V6. This engine puts out around 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and it comes with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. A diesel version is also expected, with a well-known 3.0-liter V6 that puts out around 260 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission only.
Finally, we won’t exclude the possibility to see a hybrid version. This model would use the same system as the new Wrangler 4xe, which is based on a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, which delivers a total output of 375 horsepower.
When it comes to max towing and payload capacities, we expect pretty similar ratings as in the Gladiator. The Jeep’s pickup can tow up to 7.650 pounds, while the max towing capacity goes around 1.700 pounds.
2023 RAM Dakota Release Date and Price
At this point, the 2023 RAM Dakota still waits for the official confirmation. The latest rumors suggest it could hit the market already in the second half of the next year. We expect that the new model will be more affordable than the Gladiator. The regular cab model could start at around 28.000 dollars.