The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is Ram Commercial's latest addition to its commercial vehicle lineup. ProMaster takes its place in the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with a number of best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer.
Coming from a strong background of commercial vehicles produced by Fiat Professional, the ProMaster is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production for more than 30 years.
Ram Truck is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, offering more than 110 years of experience. The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, which is the most popular full-size van in Europe.
The 2013 Ram ProMaster is the company's first shared truck collaboration with Fiat Professional.
The Fiat Ducato is now in its third generation with more than 4.5 million sold worldwide.
Additionally, the ProMaster is the only offering in its competitive set to provide both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory.
Engineered for the North American market
Conceived and developed in Italy, Ram's new van also spent quality time proving itself on this side of the Atlantic undergoing extensive, extreme-duty testing to prepare for its North American debut as the Ram ProMaster.
Engineering the new ProMaster for the Ram Truck brand required a number of changes for new capabilities, powertrains, environments, duty cycles and customers.
The 2014 ProMaster is available in two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four body lengths.
Additionally, the ProMaster offers both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. Its unibody frame architecture makes it significantly lighter than the competition. As a result, the ProMaster boasts a payload capacity up to 5,145 pounds and a maximum towing capacity up to 5,100 pounds. The gross combined weight rating for the 3.6-liter V-6 is 11,500 pounds and 12,500 pounds for the 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel.
A unibody structural has additional advantages, including stability and strength from front to rear, a reinforced plenum area for optimized engine packaging, and “truer” tuning of chassis systems and related hardware when compared to more common body-on-frame applications.
The unibody system under the cab is an enabler for the ProMaster's segment exclusive frontwheel-drive system. The body-integral construction and multiple configurations allow Ram's new 2014 ProMaster to be up-fitted for virtually every conceivable job.
Thanks to its unique front-drive system, body-integral construction and the multiple of configurations offered, Ram's new 2014 ProMaster can be upfit for virtually every conceivable commercial need.
The ProMaster is available in two roof heights, 90 or 101 inches with best-in-class standard roof height and the most vertically oriented side walls in the cargo van category (nearly 90 degrees in relation to the cargo compartment floor).
The ProMaster features a standard sliding door on the passenger side with an optional sliding door on the driver's side. The sliding door openings are based on roof height – 49 inches by 60 inches for the low roof model and 49 inches by 70 inches for high roof models.
In the rear, an available two position rear clamshell door swings open up to 260-degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van. All three door openings enable fork lift pallet loading and unloading.
The Ram ProMaster features an integrated cab configuration for unmatched up-fitter/conversion solutions. Adding to the ProMaster's design for adaptability, virtually all primary vehicle systems are packaged forward of the cargo area.
Electronic stability control
The standard electronic stability control system on the new Ram ProMaster is a four-channel (independent control to all four corners of the vehicle) active handling system that links the vehicle's dynamic control systems to assist the driver in maintaining control under demanding or adverse conditions such as wet, snow-covered or icy roads, tight turns, and evasive maneuvers.
In effect, the ESC determines the driver's intentions and optimizes overall vehicle control to keep the dynamic forces within select limits in any driving situation – nearly transparent so control seems almost intuitive.
The 2014 Ram ProMaster van's powertrain lineup features standard equipment, gasoline-fueled V-6 and a torque-laden, I-4 EcoDiesel engine. The engines are paired, respectively, with a proven six-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled six-speed automated manual.
The 2014 Ram ProMaster marks the North American introduction of the potent 174-horsepower 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 pounds-feet at just 1,400 rpm.
The engine features a number of refinements, including internal engine components, turbo and emission controls.
Helping to reduce the total cost of ownership, an oil-level sensor contributes to an oil-change schedule of up to 18,500 miles.
The standard-equipment 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is rated at 280 horsepower with peak torque of 260 pounds-feet, the dual overhead cam, 24-valve Pentastar delivers the capability required of a commercial van without compromising refinement – hallmarks that have contributed to its ranking among Ward's 10 Best Engines for three years running.
Reducing vehicle operating costs was paramount in the minds of the powertrain engineers who contributed to Ram ProMaster's development. Recommended oil-change intervals range up to 10,000 miles. But an intelligent oil-servicing system that monitors vehicle usage will trigger an alert when service is most appropriate.
The smooth-shifting 62TE automatic transmission is upgraded to accommodate the Ram ProMaster's prodigious weight ratings. Specifically, its 3.86 final-drive ratio enables comfortable grade transit under full freight.
The transmission more readily adopts the most appropriate ratio for a given driving situation. The numerically lower overall top gear ratio delivers a more economical highway operation.
The trailer/tow program comes standard with 62TE and the new M40 automated manual, which is not only exclusive to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel.
The unique M40 gearbox delivers the efficiency of a manual transmission with the functionality of an automatic.
At its core, it is a manual, but gear shifts and clutch functions are accomplished with electro-hydraulic actuation system. However, the driver can opt for manual shift-lever inputs when desired. But the driver needn't do all the work.
Gearbox software delivers a unique response to driving conditions.
Shift logic is adjusted according to grade steepness. The result is a well-connected driving experience that delivers the fuel economy required of a commercial van such as the Ram ProMaster.
The Ram design team started with a functional exterior and interior, adding distinct Ram styling while adapting the new full-size van for North America.
The front of the new ProMaster is identified by visually durable bodylines, a broad wraparound bumper and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. True to the Ram Truck brand, the ProMaster leads with a bold, hexagon-shaped crosshair grille.
The cab-forward, short dash to front axle design pushes the nose inward and the headlamps upward. This design provides higher passenger seating positions and better visibility – obviously important for commercial users – thanks to a more confident vantage point from which to operate the vehicle.
The front bumper is a three-piece styled modular design, resulting in reduced repair costs and downtime. Durable front-wheel arches are styled with the bumper to protect the doors.
A unique step is designed into both front bumper corners, making it easy to clean the windscreen from either side.
The new full-size van features plenty of real estate on all four sides. This space allows for businesses to post signage and graphics, making the van a rolling billboard to help promote the owner, trade or vocation.
The functional and innovative features continue inside the Ram ProMaster. Although much was borrowed from the Fiat version, Ram designers made alterations for U.S. customers.
Interior design and function is of primary importance for a light commercial vehicle in which the driver normally spends long hours at the wheel, often under demanding conditions. The cabin of the ProMaster was therefore designed with comfortable driving ergonomics, important because the ProMaster is a place of work.
Because goods always need to be transported in total safety, the new Ram ProMaster van is fitted with accommodations to hold down goods on the floor. Up to 17 tie-down rings with 1,000-pound rating fold away to maintain a flat floor, easing loading and unloading operations.
Available partitions also offer passengers excellent protection against the possibility of load shift the cabin.
Safety and security were two of the guiding principles followed by engineers throughout the development of the new 2014 Ram ProMaster van. Ram's new full-size van offers more than 35 active and passive safety and security features. The ProMaster also includes standard ESC, hosting a number of technologies such as trailer-sway control.
Security also means notification of the traffic around you. Ram ProMaster features ParkView backup camera and ParkSense with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering a large van.
Start of production for the 2014 Ram ProMaster is scheduled for third quarter of 2013. All configurations will be produced at the Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.