The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is due for an extensive redesign for the 2019 model year, coinciding with the release of an updated RAM 1500, in a bid to snatch up as much leftover full-size pickup market share as possible after Ford’s best-selling F-150. Brand loyalists can be counted upon to look no deeper than the badge on the hood, but for those who will cross-shop the Silverado against the RAM, the latter truck might have at least one big trick up its sleeve.
According to our sister site, Fiat Chrysler Authority, the 2019 RAM 1500 could debut a new split tailgate feature that FCA patented back in 2014. The patent described a tailgate that could not only drop down as usual, but also open “barn door”-style, with each side of the tailgate swinging open horizontally to provide cargo bed access. It may seem like a small thing, but such a system could add meaningful flexibility when it comes to loading and unloading certain cargo, and the latest Ram 1500 spy shots show a truck whose tailgate FCA engineers obviously took great pains to obscure.
Of course, we really can’t say with any certainty whether the 2019 RAM 1500 will feature a split tailgate, but the feature could lure a great many on-the-fence truck shoppers – especially because the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado likely won’t have it. Previous spy shots of that truck didn’t contain any of the big, heavy tailgate cladding deployed on some RAM prototypes.
The 2019 RAM 1500 is reportedly set to debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, around the same time as Chevrolet’s new Silverado. We’ll find out then which light-duty pickup truly has what it takes to attract the brand-ambivalent truck shoppers.