It appears the Jeep Gladiator-based Ram Jr. is no more.
For a while now, the pieces for a new, midsize offering from Ram have been falling into place. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles renewed its trademark on "Dakota" last May, and in Illinois, someone spotted a Ram prototype accompanied by a smaller, similarly camouflaged truck. But something seems to have gone awry for the returning Ram Dakota, as the truck's development has allegedly been canceled.
This development comes via a sister site of defunct FCA beat blog FCA Authority, whose ownership instead broke the news via GM Authority. The site cites "sources within Stellantis," though said sources allegedly provided no reason for the truck's abortion. They speculate the Dakota, which "was believed to be based around the Jeep Gladiator," could have struggled to capture sales, the Gladiator having secured a respectable market share, but failing to shift the midsize truck paradigm.
2008 Dodge Dakota Sport. STELLANTIS VIA NETCARSHOW
On top of this, we'd like to add that the revived Dakota might not have been able to recapture what made the last Dodge Dakota stand out: It brought the only available V8 in the affordable midsize segment. Offering such in the supposedly Gladiator-based, thus Wrangler-related Dakota might have pushed its price close to that of the costly Wrangler Rubicon 392, and inadvertently into competition with the larger 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.
A small number of customers would bite, surely, but to most, an engine option that doubles or even triples a truck's price isn't much of a selling point. With that in mind, it's not hard to see why Stellantis might have seen the Dakota as redundant and at risk of cannibalizing Jeep sales.
Ram declined to comment.