The Fiat Ducato recently received an extensive refresh. Now its US offshoot Ram Promaster is enjoying the innovations.
The Fiat Ducato is no longer only successful in Europe. Since 2013, the van has also been doing the tough jobs in North America. However, a sister brand adopted it there and gave the child a different name: Ram, the pickup and US commercial vehicle division of the Stellantis group, to which Fiat also belongs, offers the delivery van there as a Promaster. And now gives it that model refreshment that the Ducato recently received .
The Ram Promaster is classified in commercial vehicle class 2 ("full-size vans") in the USA and will have many new safety features for the 2022 model year - many of them as standard. A front collision warning, a crosswind and fatigue assistant, traffic sign recognition and an emergency braking system, which automatically brings the load to a standstill after a crash, are available free of charge. For a surcharge, there are also things like adaptive cruise control with a stop-and-go function, a lane departure warning system and other functions that are bundled by "Active Driving Assist" and thus result in a Level 2 assistance system. There is also a 360-degree surround view camera and a digital rear-view mirror that displays the image from a rear-facing camera.
Ram Promaster now with Uconnect 5
Ram is also upgrading the Promaster when it comes to infotainment. The commercial vehicle is fitted with the fifth generation of the Uconnect system, whose interface between man and machine is either a seven or ten-inch touchscreen. In general, the number "5" plays a special role in the technology: Uconnect should now act five times as fast as the previous system. In addition, five user profiles can be stored. That makes sense, after all, such vans are usually used by several employees. These people can also customize the home screen to suit their needs.
Apple Carplay and Android Auto can be used wirelessly in the new Ram Promaster. There is also Amazon Alexa as a vehicle assistant to organize appointments, provide information about the news or sports results, have the right music playlist ready or even lock and unlock the van remotely or even start the engine. Tomtom navigation uses live data and software updates are possible "over the air" as the Promaster will be equipped with a 4G LTE WLAN hotspot in the future. A wireless charging cradle for the smartphone, a handful of USB ports and a 115 volt/150 watt socket are also on board.
As a "Crew Van" with a second row of seats
Between the instruments, Ram places either a 3.5 or a seven-inch driver information display.Details such as keyless access, engine start at the push of a button or the parking brake operated in the same way should make everyday work easier. The same applies to the new electric power steering, which reduces the turning circle to 11.06 meters. The look of the cockpit has been slightly modified, with the multifunction steering wheel being given a leather cover. So that there is not only space for goods to be transported, but also for up to six people, Ram will in future be offering the Promaster with a "Crew Van" package including a second row of seats and polycarbonate windows at their height.
Fiat Ducato and Ram Promaster diverged early on when it came to drives. While the European relies on four-cylinder diesel engines, the American uses a 3.6-liter petrol engine. The now refreshed Pentastar V6 delivers 284 hp, delivers a maximum of 353 Newton meters and is said to be characterized by lower fuel consumption compared to the previous engine. The new nine-speed Torqueflite automatic should not be entirely innocent of the restrained drinking habits.
From 2023 also with a purely electric drive
Its versatility is also one of the great strengths of the Ram Promaster in the 2022 model year. With two roof heights, three wheelbases and four vehicle lengths, there are a total of 18 body configurations. The loading area measures between 2.44 and 4.11 meters in length, the maximum payload is 2.1 tons and the highest possible trailer load is 3.1 tons. In the fourth quarter, the refreshed US Ducato comes to dealers. The prices are not yet known. Just like the data of the purely electrically powered version, which will be launched in 2023.
What Fiat has already done with the Ducato, Ram is now catching up on with the Promaster. In terms of digitization and assistance systems, the transporter has grown enormously and is also becoming more practical. A modified drive including a new transmission completes the comprehensive facelift.