Detroit Goes Unibody, Dodge Dakota to make the switch
September 29, 2008
Rumor has it the next Dakota will be a unibody design (like the Ridgeline), ostensibly to save weight and add rigidity, though many unibody replacements for body-on-frame SUVs weigh as much or more than the vehicles they replace (Acadia versus Envoy XL, for example). We can't imagine Chrysler would spend the development money on Dakota sales volume, so it will likely share similarities with the next Durango (and Aspen if there is one) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (and Commander, ditto). Expect power choices to include a V-6 diesel.
Similar thinking is going into the next Explorer, to be a unibody far removed from the original Explorer concept. A derivative of the Flex and Taurus X hardware makes the most sense, and it will probably offer a turbocharged V-6 as the top engine.