Ram Patents New Tailgate Design – Innovative or Ridiculous?

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A new split, swinging tailgate design could be coming from Ram in the next few years. This design is pretty radical. Is it too much or a really smart idea?

Ram Patents New Tailgate Design - Innovative or Ridiculous?

These new tailgate illustrations are from a patent Chrysler Group filed with the U.S. Patent Office. Pretty interesting idea.

The U.S. Patent Office says patent #8,740,279 was filed on February 20, 2013 by Ram engineers according to an AutoEvolution.com story. It features illustrations of a split tailgate that can fold down separately or together AND swing open. This new design idea is pretty revolutionary for the stalwart tailgate.

Referred to as the “Multi-Functional Tailgate” the design reminds us of the Honda Ridgeline design of a swinging tailgate. Although, it has the added idea of splitting the tailgate and opening one or both sides.

Another part of the patent is the doors will be operated by a touchpad. We assume this would be similar to how large SUVs have fold down seats that are operated with a button.

The touchpads are an interesting idea, but are they inside the cab or outside? If they aren’t outside, how useful would they be? And if they were outside they lead one to wonder about long-term reliability. If rain, ice or dirt get into the controls, how will they hold up? Many questions on this one.

Ultimately, this is an interesting idea that could come to market in 2015 when the Ram 1500 is scheduled for a mid-cycle refresh. If it doesn’t happen then, maybe it will in 2017 when the truck is scheduled to be redone.

What do you think? Gimmicky or a good idea?

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. Randy says:

    Well the Neiman Marcus Blackwood had that about 2002. Seems hard to find pictures of it LOL


    I think it is hilarious when companies get patents for something old.

    Back in 2002 I had a friend with one; generally everyone stood around and stared at it…..”What do you use it for?” On the Lincoln it was not very strong, you could not run heavy equipment across it, like a riding mower.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Thanks for the history. I didn’t realize it had that. It looks pretty similar, but it doesn’t seem to lay flat like Ram’s new design. Interesting nonetheless.


      • larry says:

        Just more proof that trucks aren’t trucks any more. Last fall I got my 2006 RAM. On March first a storm took down a 100 foot tall douglas fir tree and crushed the back of my truck. Every part of the bed was destroyed, each side, the bed, bumper, the front wall and the TAILGATE. The insurance adjustor put total repairs at 8000 dollars. Now, add this kind of stupid tailgate and it would have been 9000 dollars. I installed an all aluminum flat bed. It’s wider, has a steel receiver built into it and tool boxes on each side. I can now move more cargo. It also has a ball in the center of the bed for a goose neck trailer. Fully wired. Price,,,,,,, 4300.00 with my 1000 deductible, I got a better setup and pocketed 2700.

        Images of the before and after are at:

        WHO NEEDS a tail gate especially one with that many parts.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          Wow that is some serious damage. I really like what you did with the truck. It looks sharp and perfect for your use needs.


  2. Randy says:

    Here is a little bit better picture. You can barely see the vertical seam in the back of the tailgate.


  3. breathing borla says:

    I would have to see it in person to decide.

    I give Ram credit for being consistently innovative though.

    ps,Randy, the blackwoods gate doesn’t do everything this one shows

  4. stevj says:

    The Blackwood had dual-door tailgate, like the lower right patent drawing for the Ram tailgate, but that was it… no drop tailgate.
    See it a good pic here:


    • Randy says:


      You are correct, my memory is failing…the guy that owned it a couple of blocks away from me tried to have it converted to drop down and door style….it turned into a mess; that is why he could not load a riding mower in it. I think it was fiberglass and aluminum…it all just fell apart.


  5. mk says:

    stupid I see no logical purpose to it. a drop down one piece tailgate is all you ever need if you ask me.

    I can see adding fancy push button down/up for the elderly or lazy people, but that is about it.

  6. Aaron says:

    One thing Ram does consistently is come up with new ideas that change the marketplace. The Ram Box is one of the greatest things to happen to pickups in decades and a chief selling point for many. Something like this may or may not ever make it to market, but I could see it being useful for some applications, such as camping or letting the dog out or whatever.

  7. mk says:

    camping how? letting dog out?

    Not sure I agree or understand how but do agree on Ram coming up with ideas that are a success like the RAM box as well.

    toyota nailed it in 2007 having first slow down opening tailgate that is lighter as well. Nice touch and 6 speed tranny in 2007. Since then, not so much at all really.

    • Aaron says:

      Camping as in a way to access only what you need and keep the cover in place. Also, it would make a good “porch” setup for a camper. It would also be nice for hauling goods that are longer than the bed as a way to keep them in (using one side up and one down) to keep them from sliding around. Might also make tying them down easier. It would also be kind of cool as a shooter’s platform, though I don’t see it being much better than just having the whole tailgate down.

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