A new, smaller pickup truck for the US market


#1

…from Chrysler-Fiat?

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/07/21/is-small-ram-pickup-in-works/?intcmp=features


#2

If they keep the accessories to a modest level and keep the price down I think it’ll sell.
I always preferred my pickups small. But they kept getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger. The Tundra is now much larger than the old F100 pickups used to be, and they were considered full size trucks.

I hope they keep it small and simple.


#3

A Subaru Brat clone ! !


#4

Yeah I could go for that, just not a Fiat. If they keep the options down, the size down, and its able to tow a boat or snowmobile or something like the Ranger.


#5

What’s with those fender flares??


#6

Would be great if they kept it “small and simple” like TSM said, but it sounds like they may be afraid to do that:

“This prototype looks to be fitted with a longer wheelbase and a more generous bed when compared to even the largest existing Strada model — the Strada Adventure, which makes due with a two-door, four-seat configuration. The prototype pictured here suggests that it has four conventional doors to go with its larger dimensions. Something as small as the Fiat Strada would likely be too much of a shock for American truckbuyers, so it appears that product planners are resizing it accordingly.”

C’mon, Fiat, have some imagination. There’s been a hole in the market here ever since the Subaru Brat disappeared. If you would just sell the 2-door Strada here to compete just below the Ranger/Tacoma niche it might do fine.


#7

According to the article, it would be a Fiat.

Can I get a hemi in that?


#8

A front wheel drive, unibody pickup? No thanks…


#9

The Brat was a failure. I’m sure they’ve done their market research. People probably told them all kinds of contradictions. They want a teeny-weeny truck with great gas mileage, but it has to hold me, my wife, and three fat kids and tow our boat up into the mountains without laboring. I think there is a market for these, just as the Transit Connect showed many businesses would be happy with smaller vans. The old VW pickup (based on the Rabbit) wasn’t exactly a hit, but it was super popular with lawn services because the bed was so low you only needed a short ramp to load/unload a lawnmower. Fiat needs to find out what kind of toys/tools people want to carry that doesn’t need a big truck. They’ve probably already done that. It likely has four doors because sales of two-door cars and trucks in the US are poor (sporty models excepted). Everybody wants their own door.


#10

No thanks. As soon as I saw it I thought of the Rampage/Omni which was mentioned at the end of the article.
The market for this will be those who must have a truck but will haul nothing more than a flat of flowers and groceries.

I am going to wait for the redesigned Chevy Colorado. A real truck but not a full sized.

Nothing wrong with getting one for the right driver but not for me.


#11

Those kinds of vehicles seem pretty pointless to me. While it’d be fun there wouldn’t be much utility in it to me. I am consistently happy I got an 8 foot bed on my f150. Apparently fords stripped down 2wd 4 cylinder ranger was one of their best selling vehicles because it was the cheapest. Why they discontinued I’m not sure, but perhaps this vehicle would fill that niche.


#12

A hatchback with a tolerable tow rating would make a lot more sense.


#13

These cars are just adaptations of wagons/SUVs that are car based with open beds. Toyota is thinking about bringing to market a Scion based “truck”. None of these will have any motor larger then the fwd. car unibody they are based upon. Tiny open bed pick ups with frames are a thing of the past and you will not see them. They are so unsafe and such poor handlers, the are driving law suits these days. All these things are, are just wagons with the tops ripped off. Practically speaking, a revision of the element would make more sense. IMHO, it’s not a real truck unless you can tow substantial weight, 5 k lbs, haul substantial weight, one tone, has a four wheel drive option, can do decent off roading, attach a plow and “ride like a truck”. It must also come in several body styles to accommodate professional use. None of these “cars with open trunks” do enough of these things. Just being fwd without an AWD option makes them nearly useless for anything but moving potted plants around.


#14

Not bad; but the truck would look a lot better if those wheel well flares were gone.


#15

I have only owned 3 “pickups”. 1949 Chevy 5 window, 1952 Dodge, and 1961 Ford Econoline. All “midgets” in todays world. If the average person has an actual need for a pickup, a Ford F150 2WD or equivalent will do the job.


#16

The Brat had almost zero utility function. It was just a toy, with an interior about the size of an actual toy… squashed. Many of us fat Americans don’t really need pickup beds four feet off the ground and 12" of ground clearance, but we do need a bit of room to spread our girth in the cabin. And we could use the ability to pick up an occasional meaningful load at the hardware store.

Personally. I’d rather see the sheetmetal flared, but those plastic flares seem to be all the rage amongst the kids now. I could live with it.


#17

Face it Folks most people dont need a huge truck and the market is full of trucks that will already do what you guys want , MY 8’ days are over a 6’6" bed is plenty for me now,gone are the days when I would load a cord on a 8’truck(done it more then once)-Kevin


#18

I think the biggest problem is the same problem as with small cars. The cost vs size thing.

The cost to manufacture a small vehicle (labor cost) is about the same as a large one… The real cost difference is in the amount of materials used - say about 1/6 the actual retail price That’s why most small cars used to come de-contented - and that proved to be the wrong way to sell these cars.

I think that also killed the small truck. They just can not make them cheap enough without also making them “cheap!”.

It’s easy to justify purchasing a larger vehicle for a small increase in price.


#19

A tiny open space to carry things in a little hauler has limited value, especially if you live anywhere but California or Hawaii. Without weather protection and security, the solution them becomes to add a cap. Might as well have bought a compact SUV to begin with and an even better choice in an ELEMENT.

I went around this for years with small Mazda B2000 and small early Toyota Pick ups. All being small, they were limited haulers, road and handled badly in 4wd form and offered little room for passengers. Europe I see with the tiny streets and gas prices. But in the USA, the smallest trucks that Americans want in any significant numbers are the Mid size. Even they had such limited bed size in crew and extra cab configurations, I gave up and just bought a 9 by 5 aluminum 2300 lbs capacity utility trailer with a ramp to tow with a mid size SUV that handles and rides better and is much safer then any midsize truck and certainly, one of these wannbes. Let’s not go backwards to a failed design.

I judge the purity of reception in these products by contributors here with their willingness to actually buy the cars they recommend. When we here are actually owning these little jumper seat fwd cars, then I will “believe” some of our support for them. For now, they are just a gimmicks with little practical use and we are just mouthing support for another failing model.


#20

I’ve owned a few small pickups…Chevy Luv Datsun King-Cab…But this seems much closer to the Brat then the small pickups of the 70’s and 80’s.