A new day is dawning, folks. The old-guard vans of our youth are being replaced with a new flock of European-inspired commercial vehicles from the likes of Ford, Nissan (Renault) and Mercedes-Benz. Here in Chicago, Ram pulled the covers off its entry into the reborn commercial van market with the 2014 Promaster, based on the well-known European Fiat Ducato.

Ram makes no bones about the Promaster's Fiat underpinnings, though the company claims it has beefed up the machine for US roads and uses with a re-engineered chassis, a more robust suspension setup, improved brakes (from Brembo), additional corrosion protection, improved climate control and additional safety systems.

Power comes from one of two powerplants options, one gas and one diesel. First up is Chrysler's well-known 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 rated at 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. For a bit more pulling power and durability, Ram is offering a new 3.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine pumping out 174 hp and, more importantly, 295 lb-ft of torque at just 1,400 rpm. That engine sends its torquey goodness through a six-speed electronically controlled automated manual gearbox.

If you want the diesel, you'll be interested to know it carries 4,000 miles worth of urea diesel exhaust fluid. Oil change intervals are an impressive 18,500 miles apart, though – a bit odd, no? Ram is offering three different styles – Cargo Van, Chassis Cab or Chassis Cab Cutaway – and three wheelbase options, along with a low roof or high roof with or without an extended body. Max payload sits at 5,189 pounds and the max gross combined weight rating, with the diesel, is 12,500 pounds.

Have a gander at the massive press release below, but not before checking out our live images above.
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2014 Ram ProMaster

New 2014 Ram ProMaster Expands Ram Commercial Offerings with New Full-size Van Featuring Best-in-class Fuel Economy, Cargo Capacity and Payload

• 2014 Ram ProMaster puts Ram Truck back into the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer
• New 2014 Ram ProMaster van developed from the successful, long-standing Fiat Ducato: 30-plus years of reliable service and more than 4.5 million units sold
• Exceptional cargo capability, durability, a unique front-wheel-drive system and outstanding uptime
• Ram ProMaster is a purpose-built, highly customizable van designed to exceed the demands of commercial customers
• ProMaster best-in-class features:

♣ Fuel economy
♣ Cargo capacity
♣ Payload
♣ Total cost of ownership
♣ Turning radius
♣ Interior ceiling height
♣ Step-in height

• North American debut of world-class, torque-rich 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel promises best-in-class fuel efficiency, robust capability and long service intervals
• 280-horsepower output from award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 unmatched among Ram ProMaster competitors
• Proven 62TE six-speed automatic transmission enhanced to suit unique ProMaster application
• North American-first automated six-speed manual controlled by software that responds to road conditions
• Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles
• New Ram ProMaster combines functionality and versatility with modern styling and professional appeal
• Ram ProMaster offers more than 35 safety and security features, including six air bags standard and electronic stability control technologies

The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is Ram Commercial's latest addition to its popular commercial vehicle lineup. ProMaster takes its place in the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with a number of best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer. Coming from a strong background of commercial vehicles produced by Fiat Professional, the ProMaster is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production for more than 30 years. ProMaster boasts numerous best-in-class features that are appreciated by the hard-working customers of Ram's new van. Best-in-class fuel efficiency, cargo capacity, usability and of course total cost of ownership all combine to deliver a proven solution for businesses and fleets.

"As Ram takes a larger presence in the commercial truck market, the 2014 Ram ProMaster is a great addition, contributing to a one-stop shop of commercial-duty Ram trucks and vans," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. "The ProMaster answers to key segment demands with best-in-class features, quality, durability, capability and low total cost of ownership."

Ram Truck is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, offering more than 110 years of experience. That knowledge will help Ram Truck enter new segments and expand its product line. The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, which is the most popular full-size van in Europe. The 2013 Ram ProMaster is the Company's first shared truck collaboration with Fiat Professional.
The Fiat Ducato is now in its third generation with more than 4.5 million sold worldwide. The Ducato platform offers Ram a proven, award-winning workhorse with an incredible combination of durability, value, efficiency, and capability like no other in its class. Additionally, the ProMaster is the only offering in its competitive set to provide both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory.

Engineered for the North American market
Conceived and developed in Italy, Ram's new van also spent quality time proving itself on this side of the Atlantic undergoing extensive, extreme-duty testing to prepare for its North American debut as the Ram ProMaster. Engineering the new ProMaster for the Ram Truck brand required a number of changes for new capabilities, powertrains, environments, duty cycles and customers.

The 2014 ProMaster is available in two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four body lengths. Additionally, the ProMaster offers both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. Its unibody frame architecture makes it significantly lighter than the competition. As a result, the ProMaster boasts an impressive best-in-class payload capacity up to 5,145 pounds and a maximum towing capacity up to 5,100 pounds. The gross combined weight rating (GCWR) for the 3.6-liter V-6 is 11,500 pounds and 12,500 pounds for the 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel. A unibody structural has additional advantages, including stability and strength from front to rear, a reinforced plenum area for optimized engine packaging, and "truer" tuning of chassis systems and related hardware when compared to more common body-on-frame applications.

Front-wheel drive
The unibody system under the cab is an enabler for the ProMaster's segment exclusive front-wheel-drive system. The body-integral construction and multiple configurations allow Ram's new 2014 ProMaster to be up-fitted for virtually every conceivable job. Without rear driveshafts or rear differentials, the proven drive system creates a number of advantages:

• Best-in-class fuel economy
• Best-in-class cargo capacity
• Best-in-class step-in height and lowest load floor
• Best-in-class ceiling height
• Overall weight reduction and lower maintenance costs

Cargo area
Thanks to its unique front-drive system, body-integral construction and the multiple of configurations offered, Ram's new 2014 ProMaster can be upfit for virtually every conceivable commercial need. Proportionally, the ProMaster brings a new standard to the large commercial van-based segment. The ProMaster is available in two roof heights, 90 or 101 inches with best-in-class standard roof height and the most vertically oriented side walls in the cargo van category (nearly 90 degrees in relation to the cargo compartment floor).

The ProMaster 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 – 49 inch x 60 inch for the low roof model and 49 inch x 70 inch for high roof models. In the rear, an available two-position rear clamshell door swings open up to 260-degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van. All three door openings enable fork lift pallet loading and unloading, and spaciousness that leads the competitive set.

Upfitter friendliness
Ram Truck is well known for being the most upfitter-friendly brand in the truck market. The Ram ProMaster continues the tradition and features an integrated cab configuration for unmatched up-fitter/conversion solutions. Adding to the ProMaster's design for adaptability, virtually all primary vehicle systems are packaged forward of the cargo area.

Electronic stability control
The standard electronic stability control (ESC) system on the new Ram ProMaster 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.

The 2014 Ram ProMaster van's powertrain lineup features the award-winning standard-equipment, gasoline-fueled V-6 and a torque-laden, I-4 EcoDiesel engine. The engines are paired, respectively, with a proven six-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled six-speed automated manual.

The 2014 Ram ProMaster marks the North American introduction of the potent 174-horsepower 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb.-ft. at just 1,400 rpm. The engine features a number of refinements, including internal engine components, turbo and emission controls. Helping to reduced total cost of ownership, an oil-level sensor contributes to an oil-change schedule of up to 18,500 miles.

The standard-equipment 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is rated at 280 horsepower with peak torque of 260 lb.-ft., the dual overhead cam, 24-valve Pentastar delivers the capability required of a commercial van without compromising refinement – hallmarks that have contributed to its ranking among Ward's 10 Best Engines for three years running. Reducing vehicle operating costs was paramount in the minds of the powertrain engineers who contributed to Ram ProMaster's development. Recommended oil-change intervals range up to 10,000 miles. But an intelligent oil-servicing system that monitors vehicle usage will trigger an alert when service is most appropriate.

The smooth-shifting 62TE automatic transmission is upgraded to accommodate the Ram ProMaster's prodigious weight ratings. Specifically, its 3.86 final-drive ratio enables comfortable grade transit under full freight. The transmission more readily adopts the most appropriate ratio for a given driving situation. The numerically lower overall top gear ratio delivers a more economical highway operation.

The trailer/tow program comes standard with 62TE and the new M40 automated manual, which is not only exclusive to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, it stands alone in the Ram ProMaster's competitive set.

The unique M40 gearbox delivers the efficiency of a manual transmission with the functionality of an automatic. At its core, it is a manual, but gear shifts and clutch functions are accomplished with electro-hydraulic actuation system. However, the driver can opt for manual shift-lever inputs when desired. But the driver needn't do all the work. Gearbox software delivers a unique response to driving conditions.

Shift logic is adjusted according to grade steepness. The result is a well-connected driving experience that delivers the fuel economy required of a commercial van such as the Ram ProMaster.

The Ram design team started with a functional exterior and interior, adding distinct Ram styling while adapting the new full-size van for North America.

The front of the new ProMaster is identified by visually durable bodylines, a broad wraparound bumper and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. True to the Ram Truck brand, the ProMaster leads with a bold, hexagon-shaped crosshair grille, featuring the Ram's head logo proudly displayed as the focal point of the crosshair. 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 – obviously important for commercial users – thanks to a more confident vantage point from which to operate the vehicle.

The front bumper is a three-piece styled modular design, resulting in reduced 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 new full-size van features plenty of real estate on all four sides. This space allows for businesses to post signage and graphics, making the van a rolling billboard to help promote the owner, trade or vocation.

The functional and innovative features continue inside the Ram ProMaster. Although much was borrowed from the Fiat version, Ram designers made alterations for U.S. customers. Interior design and function is of primary importance for a light commercial vehicle in which the driver normally spends long hours at the wheel, often under demanding conditions. The cabin of the ProMaster was therefore designed with comfortable driving ergonomics, important because the ProMaster is a place of work.

Because goods always need to be transported in total safety, the new Ram ProMaster van is fitted with accommodations to hold down goods on the floor. Up to 17 tie-down rings with 1,000-lb. rating fold away to maintain a flat floor, easing loading and unloading operations. Available partitions also offer passengers excellent protection against the possibility of load shift the cabin.

Safety and security were two of the guiding principles followed by engineers throughout the development of the new 2014 Ram ProMaster van. Ram's new full-size van offers more than 35 active and passive safety and security features. The ProMaster also includes standard ESC, hosting a number of technologies such as trailer-sway control. Security also means notification of the traffic around you. Ram ProMaster features ParkView backup camera and ParkSense with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering a large van.

ProMaster 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 all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster is made convenient via reliable Bluetooth technology. Similarly, the truck's handsfree text-reply feature enables customers to quickly deliver messages. A full-color, five-inch touchscreen is available with global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation, providing Ram ProMaster 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.

Best practices
In total, the Ram ProMaster test fleet accumulated millions of miles enabling Ram and Fiat teams access to real-world data. This includes testing done in laboratories in Turin, Italy and Auburn Hills, Mich., at Fiat and Chrysler Group 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.

The 2014 Ram ProMaster offers 13 different configurations:

ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 118-inch wheelbase low roof
ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase low roof
ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof

ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof
ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof

ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof
ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof extended body

ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 136-inch wheelbase
ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase
ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase extended body

ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 136-inch wheelbase
ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase
ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase extended frame

ProMaster competitors are: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ford Econoline, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savanna and Nissan NV Cargo.

Start of production for the 2014 Ram ProMaster is scheduled for third quarter of 2013. All configurations will be produced at the Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

Ram Commercial lineup
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer. The brand has emerged as a leader by investing in new products, infusing them with durable powertrains, robust chassis, new technology and features that further enhance their capabilities while delivering low total cost of ownership. Commercial truck and van customers have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to work. The Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups; 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs, Ram C/V and Ram ProMaster vans are designed to deliver a total package.

About Ram Truck Brand
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer since its launch as a standalone vehicle brand. Creating a distinct brand for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on how core customers use their trucks and what new features they'd like to see. Whether focusing on a family that uses its half-ton truck day in and day out, a hard-working Ram Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its commercial vehicles every day, Ram has the truck market covered.

The Ram Truck brand has the most innovative lineup of full-size trucks on the market. Ram Truck has emerged as a full-size truck leader by investing substantially in new products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and features that further enhance their capabilities. Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.

Follow Ram and Chrysler Group LLC news and video on:
Ram Trucks: http://www.ramtrucks.com
Ram Zone blog: http://www.ramzone.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/chrysler and http://twitter.com/RamTrucks
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ramtrucks and http://www.youtube.com/pentastarvideo
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RamTrucks
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramtrucks
Chrysler Connect blog: http://blog.chryslergroupllc.com
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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have to admit i am really starting to like this transitioning into euro style vans and watching the traditional archaic american full sized van finally die out. I especially like to finally see Fiat work it's way back into the american market. This should have been done a decade ago. Yeah I know Dodge had the Sprinter but that same vehicle was also sold by Mercedes and Sterling each with a different ballroom mask. There just needs to be a few more RAM'ish details that should be worked into the cosmetics and it will be a perfect contender to the new Ford Transit and the Sprinter. Somehow I doubt GM will jump on this bandwagon anytime soon.
      fred schumacher
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the van I wish I could have had driving for Fedex Ground all over rural southern Minnesota: wide body (wider than a Sprinter), low step up height, quiet engine, front wheel drive for excellent winter traction (no duals, thankfully, which make the back end slide all over the place in deep snow). A lot of complaints below that it's ugly. Hey, that thing looks gorgeous to me, because it's designed for WORK, not a beauty contest. Complaints about FWD? I'm a retired farmer, and I found that my FWD minivans were much better most of the time for farm work than pickups. I'd even drive them all over the fields. This is a FWD Maxivan, and it's got the niche to itself. Complaints of towing ratings? In America, heavy duty towing is overwhelmingly done by pickups, not vans. Fiat-Chrysler is absolutely right at aiming square at the medium duty van market, where a big enclosed box is primary, and good road manners are important. They've got Cummins Rams to do the heavy towing.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will the diesel & automated manual be available in the low-roof short wheelbase?
      • 2 Years Ago
      I\'m wondering if Ram still plans to bring the Iveco Daily over here. It looks like the Ducato will be just a transitional model until they get the details worked out.
        Dick Cheney
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yes, I believe so … the next one will be the little Doblo (ProMaster City) to compete with Transit Connect, and then the Daily in a couple of years (source: Allpar).
      Don G
      • 2 Years Ago
      4k interval has to be a typo. That makes absolutely no sense for a commercial vehicle that would be piling on the miles. Especially with 18k oil changes. Even the Cruze Diesel goes 10k without a urea refill. 40k makes more sense.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think she's beautiful. Can't wait to get one for the bikes. Dr Dan Batchelor Roswell Georgia
      • 2 Years Ago
      Quit forcing this hideous European designed crap down down the roads of America...no one\'s begging for it and it\'s almost as bad as the gay agenda. Knock it off!!!
        • 2 Years Ago
        I've been begging for these vans for years. What's wrong with hauling your stuff in a dry, locked, fuel efficient van? Pickups are great for posing, but the fuel consumption and 4' loading height sucks....and your stuff gets wet and/or stolen.
        • 2 Years Ago
        H.E. Pennypacker
        • 2 Years Ago
        if small panel vans make you angry about the "gay agenda," then i think you might have some issues. you should check your closet.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Dr Freud asks; "Do you feel like someone is forcing the Gay agenda down your throat?"
        • 2 Years Ago
        i surely hope someone shows you the gay agenda in detail
      • 2 Years Ago
      Euro full size vans like these are beyond dumb. The E series is a much better vehicle in every way possible. The Euro vans are simply too big and unwieldy. The E series is much more maneuverable than the Sprinter or other vans. The Euro vans are also ridiculously expensive compared to the E series. An E seizes is much more capable than the Sprinter and similar vans, and can tow more and have a higher payload because of its rugged body on frame construction. The European vans are also painfully slow. There is a reason why American vans come with V8s; Americans drive much faster than Europeans. The Sprinter has a pathetic 180 hp. If Chrysler had any sense at all, they would make a new Ram Van, but keep the basic concept the same. They should have used the Ram's platform and packed a 5.7 with 350 hp, a 6.4 with 400 hp, and perhaps the V10 from the viper( Ford used a V10 too in the E series for people who wanted more torque)
        • 2 Years Ago
        You're stuck in the Jurassic era, just like the E series. Also, you're seriously referring to it as maneuverable? Firstly, like traditional American cargo vans, the new wave of euro vans come in different wheelbases, and lengths. Secondly, they're designed to maneuver in much narrower european streets. From my experience renting them, they have a pretty astoundingly tight turning circle. Also Americans drive much faster than Europeans? You've obviously never been to Europe. I see cargo vans passing me at 90 + all the time on the freeway there. An inefficient huge gas ******* V8 in a cargo van is utterly pointless and wasteful, and the rest of the world agrees. What matters is torque and gearing, and the euro vans have it down. These are utility vehicles, not testosterone enhancing meathead vans to win the stoplight to stoplight races.
          • 2 Years Ago
          Here, since you are too lazy to even look for yourself and think that you are correct: MB Sprinter: http://www.mbsprinterusa.com/files/data-sheets/MB_Sprinter_Cargo_Van_Data_Sheet.pdf Econoline: http://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/eseries-cargo-van/specifications/
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ FuelToTheFire "not necessarily more spacious." The Sprinter has ACRES more cargo space. Are you kidding? Let's look at the smallest, base versions. E Series E Series with passenger seat removed: 278.6 cu. ft. EXTENDED E Series with passenger seat removed: 319.1 cu.ft. Sprinter: BASE (smallest) model, low roof, SWB Transit: 318.0 cu. ft. BASE model, high roof, short wheel base: 371 cu. ft. Your comments are painfully inaccurate and uninformed. That literally took me 30 seconds to find. Also, they are far, FAR more efficient. Our company ditched all of our Econolines over 10 years ago, the fuel efficiency of the Sprinter outweighed the cost of the E Series and our drivers preferred them far more than the Ford.
          • 2 Years Ago
          Have you ever actually driven a Sprinter? I can tell you, I have. I worked part time as a delivery man when I was going through medical school. I have driven E serieses as well as Sprinters. From personal experience, I can tell you that the Sprinter was a slug. The E series was no GT-R in terms of acceleration, but it was perfectly competent, and the competent engine (IIRC 6.8 Triton V10) pulled strong enough so that My van wasn't a complete moving roadblock When my company switched from E serieses to Sprinters, I could feel the downgrade. The Sprinter I drove had only 153 hp, in an 8000 pound package. Granted, the new ones have more power, but it is still extremely underpowered. When I drove the Sprinter, I was always terrified of causing a pileup while merging onto the highway.
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        not necessarily correct, the new Transit, which will be replacing the venerable E-series is testiment to that, it can be had in 3 wheelbases and 3 heights along with substantially superior drivetrains and higher payloads, towing, basically every parameter....and thats Ford replacing their own workhorse.....
        • 2 Years Ago
        Americans drive much faster than Eurpoeans, absolutely Incorrect, Europeans have us beat. Eurovans work and I'm sure the sales figures for the Full size Transit and Ducato/Ram will bear that out, V10s, you my friend are living in the past.
        • 2 Years Ago
        i guess i'm the only one who got your sarcasm even though you are just a troll account.
        • 2 Years Ago
        "Americans drive much faster than Europeans" What planet are you from?
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 2 Years Ago
      So. Much. PLASTIC. And WTF is with those eyelashes...i mean headlights? Holy sh*t, this thing is UGLY.
      • 2 Years Ago
      that FWD van is a gay horrendous!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like sh*t; hauls all your sh*t.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yup, sometimes the best tool for the job doesn't come with Hello Kitty stickers all over it, and I'm ok with that. It will be interesting to see how well the Dodge/Fiat and Ford entries do alongside the Sprinter, which has made some inroads in the past decade.
        XJ Yamaha
        • 2 Years Ago
        I got a good laugh out of this.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The ugliest damn van to ever offend someone's eyes.
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