How much innovation can you pack into the tailgate of a pickup truck? The American auto industry is endeavoring to find out. First, GMC rocked the tailgate world in 2018, giving the Sierra pickup a wacky tailgate-within-a-tailgate. Now it's Ram's turn, with this dual-hinged, 60-40 split tailgate. We live in fascinating tailgate times.
In addition to normal drop-down tailgate operation, Ram's creatively-named Multifunction Tailgate opens barn-door style, allowing you to swing open one or both sides of the gate. The side-hinge operation means you don't have to reach across the tailgate to reach items in the bed of the truck; as Ram points out, this configuration also makes it easier to load items from the curb, or even to use a forklift to hoist heavy items into the pickup.
Of course, this isn't the first time we've seen a side-hinged tailgate on a pickup: Recall that, way back in 2006, the original Honda Ridgeline offered a two-mode tailgate that could flip down or swing open on hinges on the driver's side of the bed.
Ram's design takes that idea one step further. The split tailgate reduces the amount of clear space you need behind the truck to swing the gate open on its side hinges, allowing you to open the gate even if you've got a trailer hitched up. The Multifunction Tailgate also offers an optional drop-down center step to make it easier to clamber into the bed of the truck.
Like the conventional tailgate, Ram's split gate is fully damped with an optional remote release, and can support up to 2000 lbs. The Multifunction Tailgate will be optional on all Ram 1500 models beginning in the second quarter of 2019, costing $995 plus an additional $295 for the tailgate step.
So, GMC and Ram have shown us what they've got up their tailgates. What do we think Ford will do to upgrade its tailgate game?
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