Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne stated that Ram ‘needs’ to compete in the mid-size or compact truck segment. Not long after, Jeep brand boss Mike Manley said there was room for a smaller pickup in the automaker’s lineup in addition to the upcoming Wrangler-based truck.
We’re keeping both of these statements in mind as we look at new spy photos of a Fiat Toro-based pickup testing near FCA’s headquarters in Michigan. The photos show a camouflaged Toro leaving FCA property, hinting at the possible arrival of the model in North America later this year or early next year.
The Toro, which is built in Brazil for the local market, rides on a lengthened version of FCA’s Small Wide 4×4 architecture that underpins the Jeep Renegade. Because demand for a Fiat-branded pickup would be relatively small in the U.S., we’re expecting the Toro to be rebadged as either a Jeep or Ram if it does make the swim stateside.
We think the Toro has a better shot at becoming a Jeep than a Ram in North America. Jeep teased the idea of a Renegade-based pickup with the Comanche for MOAB 2016, and the brand recently stated there’s room for two trucks in its growing lineup. We also think Ram buyers would take more easily to a mid-size pickup than a compact, so a small truck would be best left to Jeep.
Check out the spy photos here and let us know what you think in the comments.