Ford and General Motors may cumulatively have the most fans out there for their fullsize pickups, but with innovations like rear coil-spring suspensions, eight-speed transmissions, and the first half-ton diesel in more than two decades, there's no question that Ram has been an innovator in the truck market and has the market share gain to show for it. Based on a patent application recently revealed by Chrysler-enthusiast site Allpar.com, it looks like Ram isn't letting off the throttle when it comes to innovation. Patent number 8,740,279 shows a multi-function tailgate design that allows at least six different opening configurations, enabled by dual side and bottom hinges.

The tailgate can be lowered like a conventional tailgate, the right or left sides can be lowered individually, or either side can be opened from the right or left sides, known as a "Dutch door" in industry lingo. The patent description somewhat awkwardly describes the function as "The doors can be coupled to the respective frames to selectively pivot about a second axis perpendicular to the first axis and relative to the frames and can be selectively coupled to the frames via respective door latches.

We think the patent drawings give a much better conceptual idea of the function. What do you think of Ram's patented tailgate? An innovative and useful functionality enhancement, or an overly complicated configuration that will be trouble-prone down the road?

Source: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Allpar