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1983 Dodge Rampage
|Also called||Plymouth Scamp|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||two-door truck|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Engine||2.2 L K I4|
The Dodge Rampage was a subcompact, unibody coupe utility based on Chrysler's L platform and manufactured from 1982–1984 by Dodge. First released as a 1982 model, the Rampage was later joined by its rebadged variant, the Plymouth Scamp.
It was available with a Chrysler built and designed 2.2 L carbureted straight-4 engine with 96 hp (72 kW) and a curb weight of around 2,400 lb (1,100 kg). In the first year, it had leisurely performance due to the four-speed manual transmission along with a three-speed automatic transmission.
Performance was improved with the introduction of a five-speed manual transmission in 1983. The truck had a load capacity of 1,145 lb (519 kg), for a true "half ton" rating. This compared favorably to General Motors' Chevrolet El Camino's rating of 1250 lbs. The Volkswagen Rabbit Sportruck and Subaru BRAT were the Rampage's only real competition in the United States market.
The Dodge Rampage was based on the popular Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon. Their fuel economy (21 MPG city/29 MPG highway, according to the EPA) and price were good for the time. The Rampage's front-wheel drive configuration was a source of either love or hate depending on one's preferences. A front-wheel drive layout is not usually used for trucks in North America; however, it gave the Rampage great road-holding and traction when unladen without the "fish-tailing" that comes with most rear-wheel-drive pickups. In short, the Rampage drove less like a truck and more like a compact car. A re-badged version, the Plymouth Scamp, was only sold in 1983. The Rampage lasted three years before being dropped from production after the 1984 model year. There was a "Shelby Rampage" built by Chrysler/Shelby engineers in their free time for Carroll Shelby, but there is no official record of the existence of such a vehicle.
While a radical and unique design, the Dodge Rampage (17,636 sold in 1982, 8,033 in 1983, 11,732 in 1984, its final season) didn't take off in the market as had been expected. Its Plymouth Scamp clone would only last for one year—1983. Sales totals for the Scamp were 2184 "base" models and 1,380 in GT trim, almost all of which were taken from its Dodge twin. The market for "car-trucks" was fast drying up in the mid-1980s as one after another was dropped from automakers' North American product lines. Even the El Camino was not immune and it was also withdrawn from production before the decade was through.
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dodge Rampage.|
- "The Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon". allpar.com.
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