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Next-gen Ram designers could resurrect the ute

By Daniel Gardner, 15 Apr 2020 Car News

Dodge Challenger ute

Ram reveals truck design battle winners, including mighty muscle-car-based concepts

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced the winners of its Design Sketch Battle competition, in which fans of the brand were invited to submit their wildest interpretations of the "wickedest and most outrageous designs for a Ram truck".

And if the results are anything to go by, the generation of amateur car designers that have posted their creations via Instagram could make our future roads a very colourful place to drive. That future could even include a reborn version of Australia’s beloved car-based ute.

Ram design concept

Entrants were given just 24 hours to come up with their best material with the designs both submitted and judged via the social media platform. FCA’s top designers Ralph Gilles and Mark Trostle announced the winning Design Sketch Battle concepts after sifting through more than 200 entries from around the world.

The virtual comp was launched to promote FCA’s main annual Drive for Design contest, which concludes in 15 days. This year, high school students were asked to design ‘the ultimate Ram truck of the future’ for a chance to win big prizes - and perhaps even kickstart a career.

For the warm-up comp, Gilles and Trostle nominated their top five designs with an incredibly diverse range of concepts that showcased retro revivals, far-reaching future evolutions, advanced alternative powertains and some innovations that are every bit as mind-blowing as the technological concepts you’d expect from the professionals.

The Power Wagon is lightyears into the future but still manages to take inspiration from the original 1946 version, and a majority of entrants embraced a high-riding, go-anywhere aesthetic. However, we particularly liked the low-slung, road-only concept that took a Dodge Challenger Demon as its basis and converted it into a ute that follows the car-based template set by our dearly departed Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore utes (top).

Ram design concept

Accompanying his top-five announcement post, Trostle said the competition had been fun to judge and he was surprised at the quality of the entrants.

“What an awesome turn out we had for our #FCADriveforDesign Ram sketch battle,” he said. “We had over 200 submissions from all over the world, of which 120 were eligible! @ralphgilles and I split up our favorites, so be sure to go check out his page. We loved seeing the creativity and fun everyone had with it.”

Ram truck concept

In his reveal post, Gillies thanked the ‘friends’ for the impressive submissions and said Trostle and he had fought over which would be their respective winning clutch.

Have a browse through our winner’s gallery and enjoy the amazing creativity, vision and skill of the top-10 designs. And who knows, maybe you’ll see a production version rolling on the road in a few decades time?