August 5, 2014
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,” Reid Bigland, President and CEO—Ram Truck Brand, said. “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 Doblo, 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 ProMaster City is the brand’s second shared collaboration with Fiat Professional. The Ram ProMaster full-size van was the first.
Engineered for the North American market
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 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 ProMaster City will be offered in two-seat Tradesman cargo van and five-seat passenger Wagon configurations.
Each side of the ProMaster City is fitted with a sliding door with a 26-inch opening to access the cargo compartment.
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 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.
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.
Unibody design: rugged and weight smart
The foundation of the 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.
The 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 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.
TheProMaster 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
The 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 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 theProMaster 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 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 6 feet of cargo length.
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.
The 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.
The 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 FCA US LLC 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.
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.
The Ram design team started with a functional exterior and interior, adding distinct Ram styling while adapting the new van for North America.
The exterior design and related body systems on the 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 Doblo, from the front door cut forward the 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 ProMaster City may be loaded and unloaded multiple times a day, leaving impressive dimensions and capacities as must-have features. The 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.
The 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 enable 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 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. 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 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.
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 ProMaster City is made convenient via reliable Bluetooth technology. A full-color, five-inch touchscreen is available with global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation, providing 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.
In total, the 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 at Company 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.