Dodge Rampage

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Dodge Rampage
1983 Dodge Rampage
ManufacturerChrysler Corporation
Also calledPlymouth Scamp
Production1982–1984
ClassSubcompact pickup truck
Body style(s)2-door truck
LayoutFF layout
PlatformL-body
Engine(s)2.2 L K I4

The Dodge Rampage was a subcompact pickup truck based on Chrysler's L platform. First released as a 1982 model, it was later joined by the similar Plymouth Scamp. It was produced from 1982 to 1984.

The Rampage borrows the car's chassis and the front fascia from the sporty 024/Charger variant. It was one of the few front wheel drive sports truck ever put into production.

It was available with a Chrysler built and designed 2.2 L carbureted straight-4 engine with 96 hp (71 kW) and a curb weight of around 2400 lb (1089 kg). In the first year it had leisurely performance due to the 4-speed manual transmission along with a 3-speed automatic transmission.

1984 Dodge Rampage

Performance was improved with the introduction of a 5-speed manual transmission in 1983. The truck had a load capacity of 1,145 lb (520 kg), for a true "half ton" rating. This compared favourably to General Motors' Chevrolet El Camino. It must be noted, however, that the Volkswagen Rabbit Sportruck and Subaru Brat were the Rampage's only real competition.

The Dodge Rampage was based on the popular Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon. Their high gasoline mileage and modest price were good for the time, but the engine was also the cause of the vehicle's failure — it could not deliver the performance of the El Camino, but when one compared it to the Volkswagen Rabbit Sportruck, the Rampage seemed to have the upper hand. The Rampage's front-wheel drive configuration also added to its deficiencies, as a front-wheel drive layout is not usually used for trucks. The Plymouth Scamp was only sold in 1983, making it a collector's item. The Rampage lasted three years, though, and was removed from production after the 1984 model year.

Shelby Rampage

In the Rampage's final model year, a Shelby Rampage was built. There wasn't a lot of time spent in its production so it was essentially a normal 2.2L Rampage, although it was turbo charged (as in the GLHS, given a body kit, and Shelby decals. Only 258 were produced when the Rampage was pulled from production. This was due to poor marketing, coupled with a disinterest in the car/truck body style with the masses. Only one dealership in California was able to get the Shelby Rampage before it was pulled from the assembly line. A concept of a car using the Rampage body was drawn during the final production year. It was titled the Shelby Streetfighter. Two were actually built by Shelby, but they were never sold, with one of them going to the designer of the car. The project was scrapped, along with the Dodge Rampage production.

2006 concept

Main article: Dodge Rampage Concept

Dodge resurrected the Rampage name at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. This new concept car is again a front wheel drive pickup, but is as large as the full-size Dodge Ram. It is powered by the 5.7 L Hemi V8.