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Ram Sets to Innovate the Tailgate

June 10, 2014

Based on the patent application drawings submitted by Chrysler to the United States Patent Office, it is safe to say that the automaker is out to change the way people perceive—and use—the tailgate.

As recently reported by Autoblog, the automaker’s Ram brand has developed a different kind of tailgate and it will offer something pickup truck owners and users will surely appreciate. The proof is in the patent drawings originally shared by Allpar.

Ram’s tailgate innovation considers Honda’s existing tailgate idea and brings it to another level. The Japanese brand’s 2014 Ridgeline pickup is made unique by what is called the ‘dual-action’ tailgate—it can drop down like the standard variety, but it can also be swung sideways like a door for easier loading and unloading.

It is important to note that the Ridgeline’s tailgate is a single piece. Ram’s is not.

Ram introduces what is called a “multi-functional tailgate,” one that is actually split in the middle. As the picture reveals, the tailgate halves can be swung to the side and opened like traditional doors. These halves can be operated separately, so one half can be opened while the other is kept closed. As Allpar reported, the patent indicates that those with pickups need a part of the tailgate opened separately from another part.

The halves can also be folded down independently like a standard tailgate. And just like a standard tailgate, both halves can be kept together and operated as a single unit.

Aside from changing how tailgates are opened, Ram also innovated how they should be actuated. Unlike the Ridgeline’s tailgate, Ram’s tailgate can be operated with touchpads.

According to Allpar, the patent for Chrysler’s tailgate was filed on February 20 last year. It lists down the following as the inventors: Danja McGoff, David Anderson, Gary Bastian, Trevor Garvey, and Eugene Paik.

At this point, it is unclear if the tailgate will be used for a concept vehicle or a production model. Considering how innovative Ram is, the use of this kind of tailgate in production models does not seem unlikely. Ram is known for a number of pickup innovations, including its RamBox bedside storage system.

The Ram 1500 is expected to undergo a minor update next year and a major one in 2017. If Ram plans to use the new tailgate on a production model, the public (and potential buyers) might see this exciting feature in the near future.

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