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2015 Ram ProMaster City

Ram Trucks just announced its newest product headed for the U.S. marketplace, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City. For American buyers, the ProMaster City might be all-new, but in actuality, the Class One light van has deep roots in Europe as the Fiat Doblò. The Fiat was introduced in 2000 and saw its second generation come in 2010. Now in its third generation, the Fiat is dawning a Ram grille, rear trim pieces, and an Americanized powertrain we’re familiar with in other Chrysler products.

The jump across the Atlantic Ocean makes perfect sense for Ram as its competition have developed some small vans of their own, namely the Chevrolet City Express, Ford Transit Connect, and the Nissan NV200. The American van market hasn’t been this hot since the 1970s when full-size conversion vans and hippy machines were all the rage. Now smaller yet more mature, these vans are taking care of work rather than pleasure. You won’t find any shag carpet or chrome side pipes here — it’s all about cargo capacity, interior volume, fuel economy, and overall cost of ownership.

Though Ram hasn’t release many of the important data facts like price and fuel economy, brand CEO Reid Bigland says the ProMaster City will lead the class in several key area, making it a top choice for small businesses and delivery services across the country.

Click past the jump for the full rundown on the 2015 Ram ProMaster City

2015 Ram ProMaster City

Exterior

Ram ProMaster City
Ram ProMaster City
Ram ProMaster City

The old expression about putting lipstick on a pig seems to be rather applicable here. The ProMaster City is basically unchanged from its European tour except for a big swatch of Ram draped across the front. The European cues are still heavily visible like the high-mounted headlights that keep the away from low-speed impacts, its sloping hood, and stubby front overhang.

The ProMaster City is basically unchanged from its European tour except for a big swatch of Ram draped across the front.

That headlight thing is actually an interesting feature. It seems Ram (or Fiat before them) shows true concern about customer usage and how these vans will likely live hard lives bumping into stuff and hauling things around crowded city epicenters. The replacement cost for the front bumper and grille should be much less than those plus two headlights.

The customer focus carries around the rear as well, with 60/40 split rear doors that open at 90- and 180-degrees for easy access. Two sliding side doors also make entering and exiting the ProMaster City very easy. Also easy should be driving the van around in tight spaces with its large windshield and sloping hood. Decently-sized side mirrors help the driver keep watch on things around the ProMaster City’s sides.

2014 Fiat Doblò

Ram ProMaster City

Interior

Ram ProMaster City
Ram ProMaster City
Ram ProMaster City

Inside the Ram ProMaster City, there is loads of functionality — and not just in the back end. The dashboard is all business with a large center console for the available Uconnect infotainment system. The center-mounted gear selector not only looks good but helps define the driver and passenger seating spaces. The Steering wheels has controls for the various menus within the center gauge cluster and Uconnect system. In front of the passenger is a small cubby space for storing odds and ends like gloves or keys.

The rear cargo area is large enough for a pallet to fit between the wheel wells.

The real story with the ProMaster City, is of course, with the back end. The large cargo area is designed to fit plenty of equipment and goods, from welding tools to wedding cakes. Even the space between the fender wells measures 48.4 inches wide — big enough for a loaded pallet of goods to be placed between. The high roof and low load floor give 51.8 inches of cargo height to work with, while 87.2 inches of length ensures plenty of stuff will fit between the front seats and rear doors.

Now the ProMaster City does come in both the cargo and passenger van configurations. It’s no 15-passenger church van, but the second row bench seat accommodates three extra people, bringing the total passenger count to five. Behind the second row is still a respectable four feet of cargo room. It’s easy to imagine the ProMaster City being an excellent airport transporter or even a taxi.

With the cargo version, Ram knew customers would be throwing in custom shelving and tool racks. Not only does Ram Ram offers some ‘plug-n-play’ equipment made for the van, but the van’s actual design makes it easy for aftermarket upfitters to install shelving. The side walls are nearly vertical and the high roof design gives plenty of extra storage space.

Drivetrain

Ram ProMaster City

Moving the ProMaster City down the road is the familiar 2.4-liter, Tigershark, inline-four-cylinder engine. While it’s a new powertrain for the van as European models come with different equipment, you’ll remember the Tigershark from the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200.

Ram is quick to point out the Tigershark wins the numbers game with the competition in terms of horsepower and torque

In this application, the 2.4-liter produces 178 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 174 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm. Ram is quick to point out the Tiger Tiger shark wins the numbers game with the competition in terms of horsepower and torque. It’s also best in class in payload capacity at 1,883 pounds and interior volume at 131.7 cubic-feet.

Mated to the 2.4-liter I-4 is Chrysler’s nine-speed automatic transmission. Those extra gears combined with the Tigershark’s good levels of efficiency, and the ProMaster City should return some decent fuel economy numbers. Ram is touting it will be best-in-class. The drivetrain powers the front wheels while the rear wheels simply trail behind, connected via coil springs and twin trailing arms.

2015 Ram ProMaster City - Drivetrain/Specifications

Type2.4-LITER 24-VALVE DOHC I-4
DescriptionInline four-cylinder, 16-valve MultiAir2 with multiport fuel injection
Displacement144 cu. in. (2,360 cc)
Bore x Stroke3.46 x 3.82 (88 x 97)
Valve SystemSOHC, four valves per cylinder (16 total)
Fuel InjectionSequential, multi-port, electronic, returnless
ConstructionCylinder Block -– high pressure die cast aluminum.
Aluminum alloy cylinder head
Compression Ratio10:1
Power (SAE net)178 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque (SAE net)174 LB-FT @ 3,900 RPM
Max. Engine Speed6,300 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel RequirementUnleaded regular, 87 octane
Oil Capacity5.5 qt. (5.2 liter)
Coolant Capacity7.1 qt. (6.7 liter)

Pricing

Ram ProMaster City

Ram hasn’t released any data on pricing, but Ram CEO Reid Bigland kept saying the ProMaster City would have the lowest overall cost of ownership in comparison with the competition. With the least expensive competitor staring at $20,290, expect the Ram ProMaster City to start around the $19,000 mark.

Ram says the ProMaster City will be become available around December 2014 and into the early months of 2015. It will be built along side the current Fiat Doblò at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey.

Competition

Chevrolet City Express / Nissan NV200

Chevrolet City Express

The Chevrolet City Express and Nissan NV200 are essentially the same vehicle, just different badges on the front. The pair do have their own pricing scales, which places Nissan Nissan nearly $1,000 less expensive than the Chevy. Perhaps Chevy has to cover the cost of renting the Nissan design and slapping a bowtie atop the obvious Nissan steering wheel.

Power comes from Nissan’s 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder that makes 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, while CVT puts power to the front wheels. The Nissan NV200 has a starting price of $20,290 while the Chevrolet comes in at $21,955.

Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit Connect Cargo

The Transit Connect can also trace its roots back to the not-so-distant past in Europe. In fact, the van is still sold over there. The recently-revised Transit Connect is easily the best looking van of the bunch, while its interior is definitely the most high-class.

Power for the Ford come with your choice of a 2.5-liter, inline-four-cylinder engine that makes an estimated 175 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque or the 1.6-liter. turbocharged inline-four-cylinder making and estimated 178 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

Pricing for the Ford Transit Connect starts at $22,000 and grows from there depending on options, one of which is a two-row passenger van like the ProMaster City.

Conclusion

Ram ProMaster City

We already know the Ram ProMaster City will be a good van — its Fiat corporate twin has already been voted the Van of the Year two times in Europe. Though with a different powertrain that’s technically unproven, the Ram will have to work hard to earn customers’ hard-earned cash. With a solid design and loads of interior cargo room, the Ram is sure to be a strong rival against Ford and Chevy. It’s just so nice to see the ‘Big Three’ battle it out over the van market again. It’s certainly been a while.

LOVE IT
  • Good cargo capacity
  • Nine-speed transmission
  • Already proven Fiat model
LEAVE IT
  • Not very pretty
  • No diesel option (yet)
  • Limited to five seats with wagon version

Press Release

Ram ProMaster City

June 26, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is Ram’s newest addition to its commercial vehicle lineup, and contributes to the expanding, purpose-built, van segment with a number of best-in-class, functional elements tied directly to commercial customer demand. The new Class 1 entry opens a door for incremental growth of Ram’s brand sales volumes.

Joining the larger and highly capable Ram ProMaster and popular Ram C/V as a Class 1 van offering, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City will compete with compact commercial and passenger vans with best-in-class attributes in the areas that count: payload capacity, cargo area, performance and fuel economy.

“As businesses strive for lower costs, the demand for a smaller, more efficient van has increased and Ram Commercial is answering the bell with the all-new ProMaster City,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Years ago, the selection of delivery and cargo vehicles was limited and those offerings didn’t focus on cost of ownership. Today all of that has changed with the recent introduction of the full-size Ram ProMaster, and the now the Ram ProMaster City.”

Ram Truck is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, backed by more than 110 years of experience. That knowledge has helped Ram Truck enter new segments and expand its product line.

Based on the successful Fiat Doblò, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold, the Ram ProMaster City will incorporate familiar Ram Truck design elements and offer features, systems and powertrains preferred by North American customers. The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is the brand’s second shared collaboration with Fiat Professional. The 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size van was the first.

Engineered for the North American market

Ram ProMaster City

Whether the job is delivering packages, organizing and hauling the tools of a professional tradesman or carting the band’s gear to the next gig, the all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City van is designed and engineered to tackle big jobs with best-in-class cargo area, payload capacity and standard fuel economy. It does so while delivering versatile functionality, durability and superior ride and handling.

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City shares its basic design with the highly successful, two-time International Van of the Year Fiat Doblò, which is sold around the world. Now in its third generation, the Fiat Doblò is the preferred workhorse for business and commercial uses, a status gained via its ideal size for crowded urban environments and a host of thoughtful and innovative features.

Starting with a winning template, Ram Truck engineers subjected the front-wheel-drive van to the full spectrum of severe-duty use expected of commercial vehicles in North America. The lessons from millions of combined development miles make the 2015 Ram ProMaster City more robust, durable, functional, comfortable and cost effective for any use.

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be offered in two-seat Tradesman cargo van and five-seat passenger Wagon configurations.

Unibody design: rugged and weight smart

Ram ProMaster City

The foundation of the 2015 Ram ProMaster City is a steel unibody design. The unibody architecture helps minimize curb weight, a key contributor to the ProMaster City’s best-in-class payload capability of 1,883 pounds. A best-in-class wheelbase of 122.4 inches offers impressive ride and handling while creating the space needed for the largest cargo area in the segment.

Suspension
The Ram ProMaster City’s front axle uses a proven, durable and compact MacPherson strut suspension, tuned for rougher North American roads and class-leading payload capacity.

In a departure from standard practice in the Class 1 van category of using rear leaf springs, the Ram ProMaster City upgrades to an independent, coil-sprung bi-link rear suspension. The ProMaster City’s rear suspension incorporates a category-unique independent bi-link configuration that increases driving comfort, enhances stability, and ensures maximum safety characteristics in all load situations.

Front-wheel drive
The Ram ProMaster City uses a front-wheel-drive layout that provides several benefits:

  • Fewer mechanical parts, resulting in less weight, lower maintenance costs (in large part because there’s no rear differential), enhanced mechanical efficiencies and enhanced fuel efficiency
  • Optimal cab and cargo compartment space, attributable to the absence of a transmission/prop shaft tunnel – a key enabler to achieving a flat floor in the cargo compartment area
  • More predictable handling in emergency maneuvers (reduced over- and under-steer characteristics)
  • Enhanced traction in rain, mud and snow, a result of the engine weight being situated over the drive wheels
  • Greater payload capacity due to lighter overall vehicle weight

Dimensions
The Ram ProMaster City is thoughtfully designed with working people in mind.

The hard-working credentials start with a 48.4-inch span between the rear wheel wells, the widest in the class. Construction tradesmen know that 48 inches is a common dimension for building materials and loaded pallets – yet those materials rarely measure exactly 48 inches. The width between the ProMaster City’s wheel wells provides an extra margin of capacity so that building materials and pallets can be loaded quickly and easily, without concern over whether the load fits.

Above the wheel wells, the ProMaster City’s nearly vertical side panels give it a best-in-class width of 60.4 inches. Combined with an interior roof height of 51.8 inches, the result is best-in-class volume of 131.7 cubic feet for the cargo van version of the ProMaster City. The vertical side panels are upfitter-friendly and simplify the attachment of shelves or storage racks for specialized commercial use.

The floor of the ProMaster City cargo van measures 87.2 inches in length and is fitted with six standard equipment D-ring tie downs to secure cargo in place.

Each side of the Ram ProMaster City is fitted with a sliding door with a 26-inch opening to access the cargo compartment. The roof of the Ram ProMaster City is prepped for load rails or roof racks, available through Mopar with a weight capacity of 154 pounds.

The rear of the Ram ProMaster City is fitted with 60/40 split swing doors. Using lessons learned from European customers, the larger door swings open toward the traffic (driver) side of the van, making it easy to quickly access larger cargo items and not block the path to the curbside of the van. Both rear doors initially swing open 90 degrees, and – for dock loading – can swing to 180 degrees with a simple press of a release button on the door latch. The latch automatically re-engages when the door is closed.

The passenger wagon version of the Ram ProMaster City is equipped with a three-passenger second row. The second-row seating is split 60/40, with each section capable of folding and tumbling forward to expand cargo room. With the seats in place, the ProMaster City passenger wagon offers close to four feet of cargo length to the rear doors. With seats folded and tumbled, Ram’s new van provides nearly six feet of cargo length.

Upfitter friendliness
Ram Truck is known industry-wide for being the most upfitter-friendly brand in the truck market. The Ram ProMaster City continues the tradition and features a variety of available upfit systems through Mopar. Adding to the design for adaptability, virtually all primary vehicle systems are packaged forward of the cargo area, leaving the box open to creativity.

Powertrain
The 2015 Ram ProMaster City’s powertrain combines MultiAir2 engine technology and an exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission to deliver best-in-class performance and best-in-class combined fuel efficiency.

Tigershark
The all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4. The engine generates a best-in-class 178 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, while its peak torque – 174 lb.-ft. (231 N•m) at 3,900 rpm – is greater than any standard-equipment engine in the ProMaster City’s segment. The engine’s thoughtful construction also suits its Tigershark moniker, while benefiting the ProMaster City’s rugged duty cycle.

The engine’s four-valve aluminum head hosts advanced valve-actuation technology that is exclusive to Chrysler Group in North America. Dubbed MultiAir2, the acclaimed electro-hydraulic fully variable system uses a column of oil in place of the traditional mechanical link between the camshaft and intake valves. As a result, it affords precise control of the intake-valve events – beginning and end – which reduces engine-pumping losses, increases volumetric efficiency and cuts carbon-dioxide emissions.

Engine accessory drives tighten the ProMaster City’s grip on best-in-class fuel efficiency. “Smart alternator management” and a variable A/C compressor tap the most efficient times to initiate a duty cycle. Unlike most alternator systems, which operate continually, the ProMaster City’s smart-charge system uses moments of deceleration or braking to run at capacity when necessary. The variable A/C compressor has the ability to operate at multiple speeds rather than full-capacity and off. By reducing the need for full-capacity compressor cycles, engine load is decreased, giving efficiency a boost. Load reduction also translates into overall performance.

Transmission
The centerpiece of the all-new ProMaster City’s powertrain is its segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission. The ProMaster City is the first commercial van ever to feature a nine-speed automatic, and one of the first vehicles to be so equipped in automotive history.

Also known as the 948TE, the transmission is part of the ProMaster City’s standard equipment list. Leveraging its wide gear ratio spread and 3.73:1 final-drive ratio, the advanced-technology transmission and well-matched engine will combine to deliver fuel economy ratings unsurpassed by any standard-equipment powertrain in the ProMaster City’s segment.

The 948TE delivers the right response at the right time. Its 4.70 first-gear ratio delivers the kind of acceleration required of nimble delivery vans: 0-to-30 mph in an estimated 3.7 seconds and 0-to-60 mph in an estimated 9.8 seconds.

The new transmission also delivers power smoothly, a result of optimized gear-ratio steps, which provide the perfect balance of power, comfort and fuel economy. While the 948TE is plenty efficient on its own, Electronic Range Select (ERS) offers hands-on control of its unique capabilities. ERS allows customers to manually set the highest available gear for a particular task, such as operating under heavy loads. The result is enhanced throttle response when it is needed most.

Design
The Ram design team started with a functional exterior and interior, adding distinct Ram styling while adapting the new van for North America.

Exterior
The exterior design and related body systems on the all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City collectively deliver outstanding versatility, practicality and a level of refinement unexpected in the commercial small van category. Exterior styling is identified by smooth body lines, wraparound bumpers and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. Although the cargo area is carry-over from the previous model year Fiat Doblò, from the front door cut forward the Ram ProMaster City is all new, encompassing the signature crosshair grille and ram’s head logo as the focal point.

The fluid body lines give ProMaster City a strong, modern and professional representation and assure its presence in the Ram Commercial lineup. The tucked front-wheel-drive packaging is compact allowing for a short hood. This design provides a better vantage point of the front corners, useful when maneuverability is key and important to commercial customers.

Borrowing from its big brother, the ProMaster City’s front and rear bumpers run high on the body to keep functional lighting out of danger, resulting in reduced repair costs and downtime.

The new van features plenty of real estate on all sides. This space allows for businesses to post signage and graphics – a rolling billboard to help promote the owner’s business or sponsor. Three different window options are available on both trim levels.

The Ram ProMaster City may be loaded and unloaded multiple times a day, leaving impressive dimensions and capacities as must-have features. The Ram ProMaster City offers a cargo area width of 60.4 inches, a cargo area height of 51.8 inches and a step-in height of 21.5 inches. In addition, on each side of the vehicle there is a small, practical step that allows the user to get into the load area.

Interior
The Ram ProMaster City Tradesman and SLT trim levels use a simplified color palette with durable fabrics. Inspiration for the all-black with gray accents came from items that can be found in a vocational environment: tool boxes, hand tools and lumber. The new van achieves a commanding presence that promotes roominess, ergonomics and practicality for increasingly demanding customers who depend on their vehicle as a partner for vocational use or to transport passengers.

Interior design and function is paramount for a light commercial van in which the driver may be on the road for most of the day, sometimes under harsh conditions. The cabin of the ProMaster City was therefore designed with comfortable driving ergonomics, important because the van may be a mobile office and/or small work shop.

ProMaster City cargo models offer a load compartment with an easy, four-way access, best-in-class cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet and cargo width of 60.4 inches. Because goods always need to be transported securely, the new van is fitted with accommodations to hold down goods on the floor. Six tie-down rings, with a 1,000-pound combined rating, fold away to maintain a flat floor for easy loading and unloading operations. A high roof height allows ease of movement when working in the cargo area and contributes to best-in-class standard cargo capacity.

Ideal for locksmiths, caterers, package delivery, telecommunications, heating and cooling, painters or florists, the best-in-class 48.4-inch width between wheel wells allow the ProMaster City to load up a full-size pallet. Wagon models feature four tie-down rings, a full length headliner and carpet that covers the floor. Panel moldings cover the rear of cargo area, up, over and around the wheel wells and additional storage trays at seated shoulder level incorporate a retractable cover to keep cargo out of view.

Safety and security
Safety and security were two of the guiding principles followed by engineers throughout the development of the new 2015 Ram ProMaster City. Ram’s new Class 1 van offers 34 active and passive safety and security features. The ProMaster City also includes standard ESC, hosting a number of technologies to assist the driver. Security also means notification of the traffic around you. Ram ProMaster City features available ParkView backup camera and ParkSense with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering in the city.

Electronic stability control
The standard electronic stability control (ESC) system on the new Ram ProMaster City is a sophisticated 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.

Uconnect
ProMaster City customers can make the best use of their valuable time by leveraging Uconnect’s easy-to-learn, easy-to-use interface – acclaimed for its convenience and sensible design. Handsfree calling in the all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City is made convenient via reliable Bluetooth technology. A full-color, five-inch touchscreen is available with global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation, providing Ram ProMaster City customers the ability to chart time-saving routes to their destinations. Uconnect Web, powered by Autonet Mobile, is available to U.S. customers. This system delivers continuous Internet connectivity, creating an efficient workspace and real-time information access on the go.

Best practices
In total, the Ram ProMaster City test fleet accumulated millions of miles enabling Ram and Fiat teams access to real-world data. This includes testing performed in laboratories in Turin, Italy and Auburn Hills, Mich., at Fiat and Chrysler Group proving grounds, as well as reliability testing on public roads in many different climates in Europe and the United States.

The 3/36 Reliability Testing, appropriately named as each test car accumulates 36,000 miles (equivalent to three years of use) in about three months, is conducted day and night by teams of drivers. To reflect typical daily driver scenarios, the test drivers do not originate from the engineering ranks and are intentionally chosen from diverse backgrounds to represent customers of different ages, sizes and ethnicities. The test drivers scrutinize all the customer functional aspects of each vehicle as well as overall driving evaluations. This includes radio and navigation system checks, seat-belt buckling, heating and ventilation operation and opening and closing storage compartments and windows.

Configurations
The 2015 Ram ProMaster City offers eight different configurations:

Tradesman Cargo with security panels
Tradesman Cargo with rear windows
Tradesman Cargo with rear and side windows

Tradesman SLT Cargo with security panels
Tradesman SLT Cargo with rear windows
Tradesman SLT Cargo with rear and side windows

Wagon with rear and side windows
Wagon SLT with rear and side windows

Manufacturing
The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be assembled at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey. Awarded the World Class Manufacturing Gold Medal, this 3.6-million sq. ft. (83.7 acre) state-of-the-art plant also assembles the Fiat Doblò. The optional cargo van configuration is upfitted at The Chrysler Group Transformation Center in Baltimore, Maryland.




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