Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America hosted a virtual sketch battle last week to build publicity for its FCA Drive for Design high school program. Held on Facebook and Instagram, the contest brief was inspired by FCA Drive for Design in that entrants had to create their “wickedest and most outrageous designs for a Ram truck,” and the winners delivered.
Selected by Ralph Gilles and Mark Trostle, two of FCA’s most important designers, the winning sketches were unique from one another, but featured a few common themes. Many took a vintage tack, including a futuristic Power Wagon concept, a skeletal hot rod, and a Challenger/Ram mashup that looks production ready.
Others were decidedly modern. A “Dodge Ram Cabover Electric” highlighted the packaging flexibility to be gained from EV powertrains, boasting what looks like impressive bed and passenger space and relatively short, maneuverable proportions. One of our favorites is a very contemporary off-road pickup. Its skateboard-style electric chassis makes way for a picture window where one might expect a grille, providing impressive visibility for off-highway excursions. The cab-forward design fits in well with FCA’s history, but the concept’s styling is firmly rooted in the 21st (or 22nd) century.
Also found in the winner’s circle is a fun Rampage concept that looks for all intents and purposes like the return of the Dodge Dakota. The single-cab pickup features softer, rounder styling than some of the others, but butch wheels and tires, geometric wheel arches, and headlights that recall the Dodge Demon roadster concept keep the thing looking appropriately aggressive.
In order to be considered, entries into the informal sketch battle needed to have FCADriveForDesign.com somewhere on the canvas. Unlike the open-entry contest from last week, Drive for Design is limited to high school students, who receive an impressive prize package from FCA if they win. Among the gifts is a trip to Detroit to visit the FCA design studios, a winner’s dinner with the FCA design team, the opportunity to judge the EyesOn Design Car Show, and a scholarship to attend the College for Creative Studies Precollege Summer Experience Transportation Design program.