Last month, Fiat Chrysler held a 24-hour sketch battle open to anyone in the world willing to design the “wickedest and most outrageous” version of a Ram truck. That flash contest was a sideshow to the main event, FCA’s annual Drive for Design competition open to high schoolers in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades who were this year asked to design a Ram pickup for the future. The automaker’s design team judged the entries, led by Ram Truck and Mopar Exterior Design boss Mark Trostle, with outside input from Detroit sculptor Josh Welton.
The contest closed on May 1, and the winners have been decided: Job Skandera, a 12th grader from Santa Clara, California took first place with his Ram Magma; Vincent Piaskowski, an 11th grader from Birmingham, Michigan (home of Autoblog’s headquarters) earned second place with an electric Ram; third place went to the Ram 1500 Series A by 11th grader Alex David Kirschmann from Auburn Hills, Michigan. Kirschmann clearly has a knack for this since he earned second place in last year’s Drive for Design competition.
The Ram Magma’s name is suggested by the translucent polycarbonate windows that forego traditional tinting for a crystalline red privacy sheen “inspired by volcanic igneous rock.” The Magma also showcases multiple light bars stretched across the roof, a UV water purifier system between the cab and bed, and a stove embedded into the tailgate. Thankfully, the feature set includes an adjustable suspension that lowers the cab to mortal levels of ingress.
The electric Ram protects its extremities with a lightweight graphene hardcoat, offers side storage outside the bed, more storage under the bed floor, a heavy duty power station tucked into the bed wall, and the sandwiched tailgate can form a two-tier shelf system for organization on the job site. That tailgate gives us some real ideas.
The 1500 Series A is Judge Dredd’s truck when he leaves his Lawmaster motorcycle at the office. The RamBox storage compartments and retractable tonneau cover would represent sentimental historical touches when he’s running errands — and moving everyone out of his way — in Mega-City One.
Due to social distancing, the traditional awards ceremony and visit to FCA design HQ to talk with team members had to be canceled. Instead, the three top place-getters will get “virtual networking and design sketching demonstrations with members of FCA design team along with electronic creative tools of the trade.” Skandera will be sent a Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 tablet, Piaskowski and Kirschmann will enjoy Apple iPad Pros with Apple Pencils.