In the world of cargo vans, manufacturers tout capacity, maneuverability, efficiency, dependability, and durability. Ram’s ProMaster cargo vans live up to all of the above and then some. ProMaster offers front-wheel drive and a secure cargo arrangement.
Based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, ProMaster’s offerings (models 1500, 2500, and 3500 with wheelbase options from 118 inches to 159 inches) allow for better traction in certain surface conditions. Without a rear driveshaft or rear differentials, the drive system—according to Ram—creates a number of advantages: best-in-class fuel economy, best-in-class step-in height, and lowest load floor, best-in-class standard ceiling height, and lower maintenance costs.
ProMaster boasts a payload capacity up to 5,145 lbs and a maximum towing capacity up to 5,100 lbs. The gross combined weight rating for its standard gas engine is 11,500 lbs—12,500 lbs for diesel. Its uni-body structure has additional advantages, including stability and strength from front to rear, a reinforced plenum area for engine packaging, and easy serviceability.
ProMaster is available in 91-inch and 101-inch roof heights. It 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—47-inch x 60-inch for the low roof model and 49-inch x 70-inch for high roof models. An available three-position rear clamshell door swings open up to 260 degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van. The three-door openings enable forklift pallet loading and unloading.
ProMaster is designed for versatility in upfitting capabilities and vocational applications. Its delivery vehicle capability matches its quality as a mobile worksite in the service sector. “From a mobile worksite perspective, the ability to have high-roof vans, to have longer vans where you can step in and work inside and have organized storage, is an important aspect for mobile worksite workers,” says David Sowers, head of Ram commercial marketing. “For the delivery side, we have parcel delivery, expeditors, and other vocations like catering that make use of this vehicle.”
The standard-equipped 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is rated at 280 hp with peak torque of 260 lb-ft. Recommended oil-change intervals range up to 10,000 miles. The optional 174 hp 3.0-liter inline four-cylinder EcoDiesel engine generates peak torque of 295 lb-ft at just 1,400 rpm.
The engines are paired, respectively, with a six-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled six-speed automated manual. The 62TE automatic transmission is upgraded to accommodate ProMaster’s cargo-hauling capability. A trailer/tow program comes standard with 62TE and the M40 automated manual. The automated manual is not only exclusive to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, but it also stands alone in ProMaster’s competitive set. The unique M40 gearbox delivers the efficiency of a manual transmission with the functionality of an automatic. Gear shifts and clutch functions are accomplished with an electro-hydraulic actuation system; however, the driver can opt for manual shift-lever inputs.
The front of ProMaster is identified by visually durable body lines, a broad wraparound bumper, and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. 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.
The front bumper is a three-piece style modular design, which simplifies service and reduces 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 full-size van features plenty of real estate on all four sides to post signage and graphics.
Above: The 260-degree rear fold-out, clamshell doors offer easy access to a forklift for faster, more convenient loading and unloading.
ProMaster’s cabin is designed with comfortable driving ergonomics. For transportation security, ProMaster is fitted with accommodations to hold goods on the floor and sidewall. These accommodations include up to 12 tie-down rings with a 1,000-lb rating that fold away to maintain a flat floor; five sidewall tie-down rings with a 550-lb rating; and easy loading and unloading operations. Available partitions also offer passengers protection against the possibility of load shift in the cabin.
ProMaster offers more than 35 active and passive safety and security features. It also includes standard electronic control, hosting a number of technologies such as trailer sway control. The ESC system 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.
Security also means notification of the traffic around you. ProMaster features ParkView rear backup camera and ParkSense rear-park assist with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering a large van.
ProMaster customers can make the best use of their time by leveraging Uconnect’s easy-to-learn, easy-to-use interface. Hands-free calling is convenient via reliable Bluetooth technology. A full-color, five-inch touchscreen is available with GPS navigation. Uconnect Web, powered by Autonet Mobile, is available to US customers. This system delivers continuous Internet connectivity, creating an efficient workspace and real-time information access on the go.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
To learn more about ProMaster and other Ram products, visit www.ramtrucks.com
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: October 2015 Issue
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