When the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) made its debut last year people were shocked that not only was the truck bringing more refinement and technology to the growing pickup truck segment but that it made its debut without the famed “crosshair” grille design. The crosshair grille design had been featured on the Dodge (errr Ram) trucks since the 1981 model year. However, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the Ram brand wanted to push their way past their former Dodge Truck brand self, into their own thing.
This brought a lot of talk to the fan base of how someone should make an aftermarket grille featuring the crosshair design for the new truck. Photoshop designs started popping up all over the internet. Now that a year has passed, much of the Ram fan base has embraced the new grille design. But eliminating the crosshair grille design was not part of the original plan of the Ram (DT).
5thGenRams got our hands on a couple of the original design drawings from the Ram design studio. Now, we get to see what might the 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) would have looked like with that crosshair grille design.
The truck in the design sketch appears to be equivalent of the production 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie trim level. The first thing we see is that the overall design of the sketch made it into the production. The front bumper design is clearly the same on the production model. However, it’s the bold grille design that stands out. The overall front shape is still the same, but the vertical crosshair bar was designed to be a lot thicker than the one on the 4th generation Ram 1500 the truck was to replace. The horizontal crosshair bar stretches across the grille and stops inside the headlamp design. It explains why the premium headlamps found on Laramie Longhorn and Limited models, have the indention of the grille trim pieces into the headlamp design.
We see that the panels below the headlamps and above the bumpers don’t just stop at the grille as the production models do. Instead, the trim continues above the bumper and below the grille and extends to the other side. The grille texture has an aggressive design, giving the sketch a much more imposing design than the truck that came to market. One element not present in the front end design is the indention on the top middle of the grille that goes into the hood.
The body lines are the same from the side. However, this sketch shows that just like the Laramie Longhorn models the Laramie would have badges on the doors next to the “RAM” badging as well. We also see it was in the plans all along to move the 1500 badging to the hood.
From the rear, we see that the tail lamp design was changed a bit when the (DT) truck came to production. While the rear bumper design virtually made it until unchanged to the production version. The tailgate design was updated from the production sketch. Where the sketch has the tailgate lines come up from under the tail lamps, the production has a solid straight line at the lower part of it. Halfway up the tailgate, we see a similar body line in the sketch, except it’s reversed to curve down under the “Ram’s Head” logo. We also see that the badge on the tailgate is in the same place that the current trim badges are in. However, it appears to be the 4th generation Ram 1500’s Laramie logo which was changed to just text in 2019.
While design sketches usually take anywhere from three to five years before a vehicle makes it into production. We were surprised to see that those wheels from the sketch did make it into production, on the 4th generation Ram 1500 Limited models.
So what do you think of the crosshair design that was originally planned for the 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) trucks? Let us know in the comments below.