|2015 Ram ProMaster City. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler’s Ram brand introduced the 2015 Ram ProMaster City commercial van. The Ram ProMaster City is based on the Fiat Doblò, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold. The new, smaller van joins the ProMaster and Ram Cargo vans, and is intended to provide incremental growth for Ram’s brand sales volumes.
The front-wheel drive 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be offered in two-seat cargo van and five-seat passenger wagon configurations and is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4. The engine generates 178 hp (133 kW) at 6,400 rpm with peak torque of 174 lb-ft (236 N·m) at 3,900 rpm.
As a comparison, the 2015 Ford Transit Connect small van, when equipped with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, also delivers 178 hp (with premium fuel) and 184 lb-ft (249 N·m) of torque. The Transit equipped with the 2.5L delivers lower performance: 169 hp and 171 lb-ft. (As a subjective aside, the short-wheelbase Transit Connect with the EcoBoost is a blast to drive; we’re assuming the same can hold true for the comparable ProMaster City.)
The Ram ProMaster City’s engine’s four-valve aluminum head hosts MultiAir 2 advanced valve-actuation technology. The 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.
|2.4L TigerShark I-4 and 9-speed transmission. Click to enlarge.|
Engine accessory drives enhance the ProMaster City’s 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.
ProMaster City’s powertrain features a 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, Ram claims.
The 948TE’s 4.70 first-gear ratio delivers 0-48 km/h acceleration in an estimated 3.7 seconds and 0-to-96 km/h in an estimated 9.8 seconds.
Electronic Range Select (ERS) allows customers manually to set the highest available gear for a particular task, such as operating under heavy loads. The result is enhanced throttle response when throttle response is needed most.
Unibody. 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 854 kilograms (1,883 pounds).
The Ram ProMaster City’s front axle uses a proven, durable and compact MacPherson strut suspension, tuned for rougher North American roads. 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 enhances safety characteristics in all load situations.
Safety and Security. Ram’s new Class 1 van offers more than 30 active and passive safety and security features. The ProMaster City also includes standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a number of technologies to assist the driver. Security also means notification of the traffic around you. Ram ProMaster City features available ParkView Rear Back-up Camera and Park-Sense® Rear Park Assist with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering in the city.
The ESC system on the new Ram ProMaster City 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.
Configurations. The 2015 Ram ProMaster City offers eight different configurations:
Cargo with solid side and rear panels
Cargo with rear windows
Cargo with rear and side windows
SLT Cargo with solid side and rear panels
SLT Cargo with rear windows
SLT Cargo with rear and side windows
Wagon with rear and side windows
Wagon SLT with rear and side windows
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) also assembles the Fiat Doblò. Both the cargo van and passenger wagon will be imported through Autoport in Halifax, N.S.