Ram ProMaster Big Van to Debut in 2013

Ram logo ProMaster pic II
Ram Commercial lineup ProMaster II

Ram Truck has officially announced it will develop a new full-size van for the North American market  called the Ram ProMaster but will not release images or specifications of the exact product until later in 2013.

The full-size van, the newest asset in the newly born Ram Commercial division, will go on sale near the beginning of the third quarter in 2013. PUTC readers have been seeing spy photo stories of the Fiat Ducato (the ProMaster's name in Europe) for several months. No announcement has been made about a smaller Transit Connect-fighter, currently running the Fiat Doblo marque. 

Joining the smaller Ram Cargo Van, the 2014 Ram ProMaster will compete with other full-size commercial vans in the U.S. market, such as the Nissan NV, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the coming Ford Transit.

"The Ram ProMaster further strengthens our commercial lineup, offering a full line of work trucks and vans," said Fred Diaz, Ram's president and CEO. "As the Ram Truck brand continues to gain share and grow sales in the retail truck market, we will be just as aggressive in our goal to be a commercial truck market leader.

"We feel that from a product-feature and launch-timing standpoint, the all-new Ram ProMaster van is going to be a home run with commercial customers," added Diaz. "Our relationship with Fiat, one of the world’s foremost commercial truck makers, has given us access to great products and technology that will resonate with our U.S. and Canadian Ram Truck customers."

Based on the Euro Fiat Ducato, the Ram ProMaster will have a significantly redesigned face with familiar Ram styling cues, and the Ram Truck guys assure us they'll be offering multiple features and powertrains tailored to North American commercial customers.

The word on the street is the coming Ford Transit is likely to debut at the North American International Auto Show (Detroit, MI) in January, while the ProMaster is more likely to show up at the Chicago Auto Show or NTEA Work Truck Show later next year.  

 

FIAT DUCATO

Fiat-ducato-560 II

Comments

In Europe and Australia.Fiat uses The Ducato for smaller Vans and smaller Motorhome bases. IVECO is used for larger Vans and MDT/HDT trucks.
Fiat Ducato Motorhome.
http://service.ultimate.net.au/ubs_mtaq/Modules/lib/global/showimage.asp?IMAGEID=8434058&w=120

Robert R.: thanks for the link, that looks like a nice unit, and the front bumper even looks like it is oxi approved! even though it is made out of aluminum instead of heavy steel, I like the idea of dual rear axles, and no dual wheels, just for the reason they save floor space, and width of the vehicle, and you still get the increase in GVWR, and another set of brakes!, but is this FWD? not that it matters much, but to have two driven axles in the rear would be nice! I have seen the same type of rig here in America made out of a Sprinter, and the owners love them! but they have dual rear wheels, and loose floor space, and it is a real bitch to change an inside rear flat! but they drive great and get good mpg, but are not exactly quick, but do allright, thanks again, and safe motoring out there.

@Sandman- yes, the Ducato is fwd. This is good in several ways. The load floor can be lower with no live axle underneath. When fully loaded, half the trucks weight is on the drive wheels. That gives you decent traction, though a little less than a fully loaded rwd truck. Unloaded however, the truck maintains good traction, while an empty rwd truck loses it. CV joints and other fwd components have gotten much stronger, so that a properly engineered fwd van can be just as durable and low maintenance as a rwd one.

@sandman4X4
I see alot of those Fiat Ducato RV's up here where I live. We call those people Grey Nomads. They are similar to your RV set who tour around NA. They travel around Australia for years touring, seems like an attractive lifestyle.

The Ducato's we have are FWD and are powered by a 2.3 litre turbo diesel. I would expect yours to be powered by a Pentastar since small diesels are nearly regulated out extistence in the US.

I followed one up here earlier in the year and he was sitting between 75-80mph. So they can move along at a fair rate of knots. I would think also they should be able to climb hills okay with the diesel.

Over here they also come with a cab chassis arrangement so you can drop upto a 13' tray (flat bed) or pantech on the back. I also think they can have loads up to a couple of tonnes, I check that out.

We are starting to get quite a few of these style of vehicles, ie. Transits, Volkswagen etc. They are intermediate in size between our light duty trucks and our utes. Our light duty trucks start at around 5 500lbs load.

@sandman4X4
Our Ducato's are getting about 33mpg, which quite good for a vehicle of this size. I just hope you guys can get the same engines. By our standards they are quite affordable too.


http://www.carpoint.com.au/news/2012/fiat/ducato/euro-v-upgrade-for-fiat-ducato-vans-28593

It's just not possible to make one of these things look good

Are all Ducatos FWD? I think they are. It's a shame. They need a RWD version to compete with the Sprinter, Transit, and Express. VM Motori 3L V6 diesel, with 8 speed auto would be good too. Plus AWD option!

The critics are usually dogging on Fiat, but if they did this

http://www.gizmag.com/ducato-motorhome-base-vehicle-award/11440/

then the couldn't have been too bad, recently?

Interesting unit since it is front drive. I can't see them going that route in NA due to the conservative nature of truck/van commercial operators. A tag axle would be a good way to increase capacity without going to the width of dual wheels.

@Big Al from OZ
The Motorhome units by Trakka and Jayco(Affiliated but not owned or part of US Jayco) are from 26-27ft long have the THREE LITRE engine.
The Campervans have the 2.3 Litre engine.
TRAKKA with a single rear axle about 25 ft long.
http://www.myrv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Trakka-RWR-system-side-view.jpg
Jayco with a 26ft body. Europeans take them to 29ft on their motorhomes.
http://www.myrv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/2011-Jayco-Optimum-Motorhome-exterior-slide-out.jpg

@TRX4 Tom. Correct bulk of European Motorhomes use the Fiat Chassis whether the Ducato(extremely smooth) or IVECO(takes heavy loads)

A Ducato Van going over 125mph on a Freeway
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCk_-1XWS5c&feature=related

how about solid front axle on front wheel drive? i am sure it would have its benefits.

It appears some of you have forgotten (oor never knew about?) the early '70s GMC motorhome that used the big 455cid Toronado engine and front-drive system. Was quite stylish and reasonably popular because of the lower floor (no driveshaft front to rear) and better handling due to lower center of gravity.

In all honesty, I can easily see this as everthing from big family van to delivery truck to even a Class A, B or C motor home.

@DWFields - I remember them but I only recall seeing a few of them. I didn't know they were FWD.

@RR: I was making the point that the typical American driver has simply forgotten that this isn't the first time we've had a decent-sized Front-Wheel-Drive rig in the States. In many ways the old GMC didn't look all that different from this new platform, either.

@DWFields Agree totally. Most would be scratching their head about a FWD Van.

I think that there is the unfortunate association of FWD with the very first econoboxes that hit NA in the '70's.

Here is a shot of a Ducato Motorhome towing a Porsche sportscar and a Pontoon boat.
http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/561723_441698429207387_984468055_n.jpg

here is the 4x4 Ducato Version for Europe

http://www.dangel.fr/Boxer_Jumper_Ducato.html

Just bought a Ducato (UK spec) to carry out a bespoke conversion.
http://www.fiatprofessional.co.uk/uk/Models/Ducato_Passenger_Transport

Does anyone know of any common problems/ potential pitfalls in converting Fiats in general?

Fiat Ducato and Iveco Daily are the best vans in Europe, expecially Iveco for heavy duty 4x4 models.. I think it's a very good choice. When I was in Italy for my vacations, I saw many Iveco trucks working hard in construction works, including old models of the 80s still in good conditions.. and it's not an easy life, because Italian buildings are completely made of heavy and durable materials, to build a small home it's necessary to move a lot of tons of cement, bricks and steel.
In my opinion, Fiat is the best alliance for Chrysler.. Italians are very expert in all the mechanical field and they demonstrated to be able to improve American cars keeping an higher respect for our tradition, differently from Germans. Germans are only able to do sedan cars.. the previous alliance with Daimler group has thrown on Chrysler a mountain of crap!



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