|2002 Dodge M80 Concept|
Back in 2002 Dodge came out with the M80 Concept. The exercise was to see if there was demand for a fairly light, minimalist pickup design with styling and pricing that would appeal to a younger pickup (first time buyer) demographic, and those who just needed a basic pickup with decent hauling and towing capabilities and a very low target price (I think it was under $20k at the time). I was all over it. I wanted the M80 so badly with its retro-mini-PowerWagon styling, and I was a DaimlerChrysler employee at the time (discount!). I even got to see the concept in person later that year and I was in love. If they had built it, I would’ve been first on the list. In my eyes the styling still looks fresh (even though they eventually slapped nearly the same nose on the Nitro) and I would still buy it today. Stick a little Fiat diesel in it and its even better.
If you read the comments on the PickupTrucks.com post on theRam Lifestyle Pickup (possibly similar to the 2006 Rampage Concept), there is a commenter (@paul810) who believes that the Ram Ridgeline/Rampage/Lifestyle (or Rampon as @pup cleverly named it) is purposely a softened up, unitized pickup so that it won’t compete with an expected Jeep small pickup (possibly a more rugged full-frame compact, and not the JK8 conversion). I suppose that the Rampon has its place, but I am seriously hoping that the Jeep takes a lot of cues from the M80 and gives us something more along those lines.
For more on the Rampon: Report: Ram Lifestyle Pickup Truck On Track for 2012