Ram introduced its newest member of their commercial lineup, the 2015 ProMaster City, to a gathering of media at their annual vehicle line review last week (June 26) held at the Chelsea Proving Ground in Michigan. The ProMaster City is the latest of the new generation Euro-style vans that have come to North America in recent years.
Based on the highly successful Fiat Doblo, the new ProMaster City will join the line alongside the larger full-size ProMaster (introduced in 2013) and the veteran Ram C/V cargo van - which will remain in the line for customers wanting a traditional cargo van.
The new 2015 Ram ProMaster City (scheduled in showrooms early in 2015) will be available in four versions: Tradesman and Tradesman SLT, Wagon and Wagon SLT and will compete with small commercial and passenger vans now available or soon to be offered in North America. Ram says the ProMaster City will offer best-in-class attributes in the areas that count: payload capacity, cargo area, performance and fuel economy.
As with the larger ProMaster full-size van (which is derived from the Fiat Ducato), Ram has collaborated with Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the world, to take the Fiat Doblo - a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold – and incorporate familiar Ram Truck design elements to offer features, systems and power trains preferred by customers in a city van for North America.
The ProMaster City has a single power train in this first generation model. It is a front-wheel drive vehicle powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 gas engine that delivers 178 horsepower at 6,250 rpm, with peak torque of 174 lb.-ft. at 3,900 rpm. It is mated to the segment exclusive 948TE nine-speed automatic transmission. With this transmission, Ram says they expect this power train to deliver class leading segment fuel economy when it arrives in dealerships.
Designed for the North American market, the ProMaster City Exterior styling encompasses fluid body lines, wraparound bumpers and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. As a Ram, the ProMaster City features the signature crosshair grille and ram’s head logo as the focal point for the compact front-wheel-drive packaging that allows for a short hood. This short hood design gives better front corner visibility for drivers for city driving maneuverability and safety. The ProMaster City also borrows a design feature from the ProMaster full-size – its front and rear bumpers run high on the body to keep functional lighting out of danger, resulting in reduced repair costs and downtime.
ProMaster City cargo models feature a load compartment with an easy, four-way access and best-in-class cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet provided by the roof height of 51.8-inches and cargo width of 60.4 inches. Dual sliding doors enable side access to the cargo area with 26 inches of horizontal opening. In addition, on each side of the vehicle there is a small, practical step that allows the user to get into the load area through the side doors.
The rear doors are vertically oriented, hinged and have feature 60/40 split rear barn-door access offer the largest opening in the segment to provide efficient curbside/dock and loading/unloading characteristics with a 60-percent door opening away from the curb. This feature provides large opening access to the rear cargo area and uninhibited movement to the curb, a segment exclusive. Both rear doors lock open at 90 degrees and reach nearly the height of the van.
With the push of the hinge release on either side, the rear doors open to 180 degrees, parallel with the rear of the van for easy dock loading. Step-in heights at the side (18.8 inches) and rear of the vehicle are among the lowest in their class at 21.5 inches and add to the vehicle’s exceptional cargo load/unload characteristics. Six tie-down rings with a 1,000-pound combined rating, fold away to maintain a flat floor for easy loading and unloading operations.
As with the ProMaster full-size van, the ProMaster City can also handle full pallet loads. It features a 48.4-inch width between wheel wells allowing standard 48-inch pallets to be loaded on the floor. Payload for the ProMaster City is 1,883 pounds.
The ProMaster City continues the extensive upfitter-friendly design found in the ProMaster full-size van with virtually all of its primary vehicle systems located forward of the cargo area, leaving the box open to creativity and to configure the space to the needs of the owner.
Wagon models of the ProMaster City are 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. There are four tie-down rings, a full length headliner and carpet on the floor (instead of load deck). 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.
On the inside at the front row, the Ram ProMaster City Tradesman and SLT trim levels are designed with a simple color scheme of matte and gloss black with gray accents coupled with variations in the seating insert materials. Accent details are in chrome and silver. To round out the interior coloring, the overhead storage system and headliner are light grey.
The Ram ProMaster City also features the Uconnect 5.0 infotainment system. It offers Bluetooth handsfree calling with the handsfree text-reply feature to enable quick deliver one of 18 messages, ranging from “I’m on my way,” to “I can’t talk right now,” to “I need directions”. Navigation is displayed on the full-color, five-inch touchscreen via global positioning satellite (GPS) connectivity. An AM/FM radio, with crisp monochromatic display, comes standard with a four-speaker sound system – two tweeters in the A-pillars and two mid-range speakers in the front door panels. SiriusXM Radio is available as are steering-wheel-mounted mounted audio controls. USB ports are also available including a 2.5-amp USB port on the instrument panel for recharging capability for mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets.
The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be available in nine exterior colors: Bright White Clear Coat, Bright Red, Black Metallic, Silver Metallic, Deep Red Metallic, Blue Night Metallic and Quartz Gray Metallic, with fleet colors of Broom Yellow and Earth Brown.
We were present at the Chelsea reveal and had opportunity to closely examine the new ProMaster City in both the Tradesman and Wagon configurations following the presentation. Ram had on display the base Tradesman without up-fit as well as up-fitted for trades use. The Wagon was also shown configured for family or recreational use with external accessories fitted to handle things like kayaks or bicycles.
We liked what we saw. The new ProMaster City should offer a wide range of utilization choices for both work and play when it arrives in 2015.
Pricing for the new 2015 Ram ProMaster City has not been announced.
Source: Ram Brand