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The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Ram ProMaster City is Upfitter Friendly, Business Ready

March 2015, by Mike Antich - Also by this author

The Ram ProMaster City cargo models offer a load compartment with a cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet and a cargo width of 60.4 inches. (PHOTO: RAM TRUCKS)
The Ram ProMaster City cargo models offer a load compartment with a cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet and a cargo width of 60.4 inches. (PHOTO: RAM TRUCKS)

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is Ram’s newest addition to its commercial vehicle lineup. It is available in cargo and five-passenger wagon configurations, built on a 122.4-inch wheelbase.

“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 Bob Hegbloom, president and CEO at Ram Truck Brand.

Based on the successful Fiat Doblo, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold, the Ram ProMaster City is the brand’s second shared collaboration with Fiat Professional; the 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size van was the first.

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be assembled at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey. This 3.6-million square foot (83.7 acre) state-of-the-art plant also assembles the Doblo. The optional cargo van configuration is upfitted at The Chrysler Group Transformation Center in Baltimore.

The ProMaster City competes with the Chevrolet City Express, Ford Transit Connect, and Nissan NV200.

FWD Architecture
The Ram ProMaster City uses a front-wheel drive (FWD) 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.
  • Greater payload capability due to lighter overall vehicle weight. 

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 payload capability of 1,883 pounds.

The unibody architecture also gives the ProMaster City’s body a high degree of structural rigidity to minimize noise, vibration and harshness, and enables the suspension to be tuned for a smoother ride.

Upfitter Friendly
The Ram ProMaster City cargo models offer a load compartment with a cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet and a cargo width of 60.4 inches.

The van has a 48.4-inch span between the rear wheel wells, which provides an extra margin of capacity so that building materials and pallets can be loaded quickly and easily, without concern over load fit, according to Ram.

Above the wheel wells, the ProMaster City’s nearly vertical side panels give it a width of 60.4 inches. The vertical side panels simplify the attachment of shelves or storage racks for specialized commercial use.

The ProMaster City is also ergonomic with an interior roof height of 51.8 inches. A high roof height enables ease of movement when working in the cargo area, which is ideal for locksmiths, caterers, package delivery, telecommunications, heating and cooling companies, painters and florists. In addition, ingress and egress is easy with a step-in height of 21.5 inches.

In addition, on each side of the vehicle there is a step that allows the user to get into the load area.
The floor of the ProMaster City cargo van measures 87.2 inches in length. The Ram ProMaster City load compartment offers six cargo tie-down rings arranged on the floor with a 1,000-pound system capacity. There are also pre-threaded mounting locations on the roof for roof rack mounts with 154 pounds of total load capacity. A cargo partition — solid or with window — also offers passengers excellent protection against the possibility of load shift in the cabin. A 51.4-inch roof height allows ease of movement when working in the cargo area.

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 van is fitted with 60/40 split 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 to 90 degrees, and for dock loading can swing to 180 degrees with a press of a release button on the door latch. The latch automatically re-engages when the door is closed.

A tow package is available on the ProMaster City with a 2,000-pound towing capability.

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.

Other key changes for North American customers include:

  • Ride height is increased. North American roads are rougher than other parts of the world. Increased ride height enables the Ram ProMaster City’s suspension to manage the greater vertical loads.
  • Chassis components and anchor points are upgraded to ensure that the Ram ProMaster City’s durability exceeds the demands of customers.
  • Engine box and front track are widened to accommodate the standard 2.4L Tigershark four-cylinder engine and 9-speed automatic transmission.
  • Several structures in the unibody are strengthened for the Ram ProMaster City to comply with U.S. safety regulations.
  • Standard all-season tires, mounted on 16-inch wheels, are rated to handle higher weight loads.

Powerful & Fuel Efficient Tigershark Powertrain
The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is powered by the 2.4L Tigershark I-4. The engine generates 178 hp at 6,400 rpm, with a peak torque of 174 lb.-ft. at 3,800 rpm.

The centerpiece of the all-new ProMaster City’s powertrain is its segment-exclusive 9-speed automatic transmission. Also known as the 948TE, the transmission is part of the ProMaster City’s standard equipment list. The ProMaster City is the first commercial van to feature a 9-speed automatic transmission, and one of the first vehicles to be so equipped in the automotive industry.

The 2.4L Tigershark engine combined with a 9-speed automatic transmission delivers 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined.

The van has a powertrain warranty of five years/100,000 miles.

Safety Features Galore
Standard safety features include seven air bags: driver and front-passenger, side curtains, seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax, and driver’s knee.

A four-channel electronic stability control (ESC) system is also standard on the Ram ProMaster City. Built on a foundation of anti-lock brakes and traction control with independent control at each wheel, the Ram ProMaster City’s ESC system leverages a variety of sensors and controls to deliver an entire suite of active handling technologies.

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City includes a number of other technologies, such as all-speed traction control, trailer-sway control, hill-start assist and anti-lock brake system (ABS), panic brake assist, brake-lock differential, roll-over mitigation, autonomous brake lamp activation, and drift compensation. The system computes the degree of slip on the basis of wheel rpm calculated by the ABS sensors and activates two different control systems to restore traction.

The new van also offers a ParkView back-up camera and ParkSense rear park assist with audible warning.

The ParkSense rear park detects stationary objects while driving in reverse at low speeds.

The ParkView rear back-up camera provides a wide-angle view of the area immediately behind the vehicle when a reverse gear is selected. The camera displays a grid line to assist with maneuvers, such as backing into parking spaces or aligning a trailer with the vehicle’s trailer hitch. 

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