Ram’s latest couterattack in the pickup wars is coming from the rear.
The automaker has unveiled a clever new tailgate with a 60/40 split and side hinges that allows it to be opened in a variety of ways.
Each side can be swung out like a door, either individually or together, to offer closer access to the bed floor, and the entire unit can be dropped down like a traditional tailgate.
Despite the complex design, Ram says it has a load rating of 2,000 pounds.
It’s available across the Ram 1500 lineup as a $995 option that includes a spray-in bedliner and can be paired with a new rear accessory step from Mopar for $295.
The Honda Ridgeline features a similar side-hinged tailgate, but without a split, while GMC recently debuted a new MultiPro Tailgate, which has a secondary gate that can be used to provide a number of cargo carrying configurations and also a step.
Ford has been offering tailgates with a small pop-out step since 2008, but recently filed a patent for a design that uses extendible rails to turn the entire tailgate door into a step. It has not confirmed any plans to put it into production, but an all-new F-150 is due in 2021.