We’ve now gotten confirmation that Chrysler’s Ram Trucks division will sell a Fiat-sourced full-size van in North America. The 2014 Ram Promaster, which will be based on the Fiat Ducato van range, will arrive at dealerships in the third quarter of 2013. But then, its arrival isn’t actually much of a surprise. Ram has already admitted in early 2011 that it will be offering another Fiat-based van in North America.
Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne also revealed that the large Ducato, which has about the same size as Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Ford Transit, will be added to Ram’s lineup in North America. In a statement, Fred Diaz, Ram brand president, said that its commercial lineup gets a boost from Promaster, with its full line of work trucks and vans.
He also said that its tie-up with Fiat had allowed it to access products and technology that will be appreciated by its U.S. and Canadian Ram Truck customers. The Ducato is a front-wheel-drive vehicle, making it different from the Sprinter, 2014 Transit, or other full-size vans currently available in the market.
Ram said that the model received major design changes and now offers features and powertrains that its North American commercial customers prefer. It has yet to be announced though if Ram will make the change from front- to rear-wheel-drive. Ram said that the final product will get the cues expected from the brand.
So far, the test mules spotted in Michigan have had minimal changes, except for a crosshair grille insert. Chrysler didn’t say which Ducato models will be adapted for the market, but considering the wide range of the current Ducato lineup, Ram may easily offer the ProMaster in cargo, passenger, chassis-cab, and cutaway versions. It also hasn’t been announced yet what engine will be used.
In the international markets, the Ducato is available with several small, turbo-diesel four-cylinders, which range from 1.9 to 3.0-liters in displacement. Considering that the biggest option delivers 175 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque, it’s highly likely that something with more power is being prepared for the U.S.-spec ProMaster.