RAM’S ProMaster City van will start to ship to dealers in December, with a market launch of late February to early March.
The ProMaster City will replace the Ram CV and is designed to compete with the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV 200, and Chevy City Express.
Ram said it was developed to satisfy the purchasing reasons of cost of ownership, cargo space, quality, reliability, durability, and payload.
The ProMaster City targets countless businesses in a variety of industries, including delivery, service and repairs, construction, transportation/shipping, large-medium-small businesses, and agriculture.
Built either as a five-passenger van or a cargo model, it will provide 131.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and 1883 pounds of payload. ProMaster City will offer backup camera, roof rack with 154-pound load rating, and a Class 3 receiver hitch.
The ProMaster City is built in Bursa, Turkey, at Fiat’s joint-venture TOFAS plant. TOFAS is Turkey’s largest auto assembly plant and was awarded a World Class Manufacturing Gold Medal. The optional ProMaster City Cargo van configuration is upfitted at a Chrysler Group Transformation Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
Like its larger sibling, the full-size ProMaster Cargo van introduced last year, the 2015 ProMaster City is based on a commercial truck platform provided by Chrysler’s parent, Fiat.
The Fiat Doblo is now in its third generation and has sold over 1.3 million units. The front-wheel-drive ProMaster City, which will be offered in both cargo and passenger configurations, has been specifically adapted for North America with its own powertrain and a number of suspension and other modifications.
Unlike the diesel-powered Doblo, the ProMaster City carries Chrysler’s new 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Using a variable electro-hydraulic valve actuation system, it’s the same engine just introduced in the new Ram 1500 full-size pickup. It produces 178 hp and a peak torque of 174 lb-ft at 3900 RPM. Also unique to North America is a 9-speed automatic transmission, the first in a commercial van application, according to Ram.
Other changes included revisions to the front MacPherson strut suspension and independent bi-link rear suspension to handle typical North American road conditions, air bag and impact control modifications to meet US safety standards.
With a wheelbase of just 122.4 inches, the ProMaster City can hold up to 131.7 cubic feet of cargo and has a payload capacity of 1883 lbs. The flat-floored cargo area measures 87.2 inches long by 60.4 inches wide. For users carrying standard building materials, it has 48.4 inches of space between the wheel wells. Rear doors are split 60/40 and open 180 degrees, and dual sliding side doors are standard.
The cargo Tradesman model will come in two trim levels, as will a 5-passenger wagon configuration
Ram began offering vans in the early 1960s, when it was known as Dodge. And even before that, dating back to 1918, a series of panel delivery trucks that were precursors to the modern vans. The segment has since evolved from a standard size van with basic capability and tolerable efficiency to a variety of purpose-built cargo haulers with engineering and execution that combines desirable sizes, low total cost of ownership and upfit solutions.
There are roughly 175,000 Class 1 cargo vans in US service today, mostly in fleets. Overall Class 1-4 van volumes are expected to be nearly 400,000 units per year over the next five years with small vans representing approximately 25 percent of the segment. Class 1 industry sales data show an increase in cargo van demand of 86 percent, which can be attributed to commercial customers right-sizing van purchases for their businesses.
Ram also announced at the Truck Product Conference that beginning with the 2015 model year, Ram will become the first automaker to adopt the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2807 standardized tow rating practices across all three full-size pickup truck segments, including the ½-ton Ram 1500, ¾-ton Ram 2500 Heavy Duty and one-ton Ram 3500 Heavy Duty.
SAE J2807 towing capacities:
- Ram 1500 V-6 with 3.6-liter gasoline Pentastar: 7600 pounds.
- Ram 1500 V-6 with 3.0-liter EcoDiesel: 9200 pounds.
- Ram 1500 V-8 with 5.7-liter gasoline HEMI: 10,650 pounds.
- Ram 2500 V-8 with 6.4-liter gasoline HEMI: 16,300 pounds.
- Ram 2500 with 6.7-liter Cummins diesel: 17,970 pounds.
- Ram 3500 V-8 with 6.4-liter gasoline HEMI: 16,420 pounds.
- Ram 3500 with 6.7-liter Cummins diesel: 30,000 pounds.
Bob Wind, of commercial vehicle electrical engineering, gave an update on some electrical changes:
- Relocated under-hood upfitter wires. “Historically if you could even see them, they were difficult to access. We have moved those wires from the left inner fender area to a new location. It’s gone from very difficult access to extremely easy access. To access these wires, release and rotate the Power Distribution Center upward and the wires will be visible.”
- Reactivated Vehicle System Interface Module (VSIM) upfitter module circuit for the 2015 model year.
- Added VSIM module AC circuit that allows you to control the AC from the rear of the vehicle. “It turns on the AC system, turns the blower on low, and prevents freeze-up of the condenser.”
- Added new circuits for 2015: hazard flashers on signal, diesel regeneration active signal, and AC selected signal.
- Added snowplow lighting circuits. Located under the PDC are six snowplow lighting-control circuits.
- Auxiliary switches are now programmed in the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC). ♦
Find the NTEA Truck Product Conference Report archive with articles from 2012 to present