Ram's Weird Dual Tailgate Appears Ready for Prime Time
Say you’re planning on hauling items of uneven length in your next full-size pickup. Eventually, everyone does. Those extra-long pieces of lumber, a disassembled bed frame, tubing, you name it, would normally poke out the top of the bed, resting on a closed tailgate.
Not in the 2019 Ram 1500, it seems.
Spy photos of the next-generation Ram full-sizer reveal a very suspicious seam in the vehicle’s tailgate, and there should be no mystery as to what it means.
You can see the image, along with other photos, at TTAC sister site AutoGuide. Don’t be shy — click the link. The image shows a tailgate with a roughly 60/40 split, with the seam located to the right of the tailgate handle.
Ram has tinkered with trucks beds in the past, offering its novel RamBox cargo system and following Ford’s “Man Step” with one of its own. This feature, however — a split-folding tailgate that can either fold down or open up like barn doors — could make Ford and GM tailgates look antiquated by comparison.
This camouflaged test vehicle seems to be sporting a feature we first saw back in 2014, originating in a patent filed the year before. In it, the individual “doors” are actuated by touchpads, allowing an owner to leave just one side open (or down) if his load calls for it. If not needed, the tailgate can revert back to traditional form. (This Allpar post shows the proposed doors in action.)
Ram accomplishes this tailgate magic through a series of electromechanical locks. There’s a possibility that Ram omitted some of the patent’s functionality in the interest of simplicity for the production model. In that case, the doors might just fold down, together or separate.
It’s easy to see FCA offering the feature on uplevel trims of the next-gen Ram 1500, which debuts (and starts production) in January, 2018, or making it available throughout the Ram range as an option. Given the age of the patent, let’s hope FCA engineers took the time to test the long-term durability of such a crucial vehicle component.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
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