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Dodge Ram Dakota Returns With Hellcat Engine in Sharp Rendering

Rumored to return ever since it was discontinued in 2011, the Ram Dakota has yet to make a comeback, and the rumor mill has been rather quiet in 2022. But while it remains uncertain whether Ram will revive the nameplate or not, a new rendering gives us an unofficial preview of the fourth-generation midsize pickup truck.
Ram Dakota Hellcat rendering 7 photos
Dodge Ram Dakota Hellcat renderingDodge Ram Dakota Hellcat renderingDodge Ram Dakota Hellcat renderingfirst-gen Dodge Dakotasecond-gen Dodge Dakotathird-gen Dodge Dakota
Granted, we've seen all sorts of Dakota renderings based on Ram's current design language in recent years, but this one is a bit special. Because it's a high-performance take on the truck, one that combines a single-cab layout with Hellcat power.

But unlike the Ram 1500 TRX, which is essentially a ridiculously powerful truck with off-road skills, this Dakota is more of a sports pickup that wouldn't venture off the beaten path. Let's say it's a slightly smaller version of the iconic Dodge Ram SRT-10 but with a supercharged V8 instead of a naturally aspirated V10.

And this is a brilliant idea. Slightly smaller and lighter than the Ram 1500, the Dakota would be a rocket on wheels with a Hellcat under the hood. Let's not forget that the beefed-up 6.2-liter V8 cranks out a whopping 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet (881 Nm) of torque.

But will this rendering become reality? Well, the problem is the Dakota has yet to be confirmed for a revival. Yes, Ram definitely needs a new truck to compete with the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado, but we haven't heard news about a comeback since 2021.

The second problem is that even if the Dakota returns, Ram will probably never offer a high-performance variant with a Hellcat engine. Yes, a beefed-up variant to go against the Ranger Raptor will be on the table, but it will probably get a V6 rated at around 400 horsepower. The Hellcat is on its way out and no nameplate is going to change that.

But again, it's a cool idea and a really sharp rendering that makes me want to scream "shut up and take my money!"

As a refresher, the Dakota was first introduced in 1986, back when Mopar trucks were still being sold under the Dodge division. The hauler remained in production for three generations, being redesigned in 1997 and 2005. The Dakota was discontinued in 2011 due to the declining popularity of smaller trucks.

A pickup that sold significantly more than 100,000 units per year in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Dakota moved fewer than 15,000 examples per year from 2009 to 2011. Ram pulled the plug around the same time that Ford and Chevrolet discontinued the Ranger and Colorado. But unlike the Dakota, both trucks have returned to dealerships a few years later.

Editor's note: For illustrative purposes, the photo gallery also includes images of the first-, second, and third-generation Dodge Dakota.


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