Some readers may wonder why the Ram ProMaster looks like it does, instead of, well, something like the rendering above. Why, in short, does it look like a Fiat with a single changed body panel, when so many internal modifications have been made? (Much higher capacity, Chrysler engine and transmission, meeting Federal rules, UConnect instead of Blue & Me, and provision for rougher roads with winter salt, at the least.)
There are practical reasons why the van shown above was not produced. According to Ram’s announcement today, the headlights are up-and-back to prevent damage to the expensive assemblies during minor collisions. To ease servicing costs, the front fascia is in three separate parts, so if one is damaged, it can be replaced more easily; presumably, accessing some components within the van is also eased.
Almost missed in the lengthy list of specifications was an oil change interval of up to 18,500 miles (for the diesel; the gasoline engine has a limit of 10,000 miles). Ram pointed out an oil level sensor as one key to this, most likely accompanied by the company’s existing computer-based estimates of oil condition (using temperature, acceleration, and other variables along with extensive research to customize intervals to drivers). An engine block heater is standard on diesels in Canada (optional in the US) and comes with a timer for automatic activation.
Those who find the ProMaster to be cosmetically unattractive may at least be thankful it was not styled by the people at Lexus, who have successfully blended the 1961 Plymouth with a Remington shaver.
Some time ago, Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat Chrysler, said that the only way to reboot Alfa Romeo would be by amortizing engineering costs with Dodge. That’s gone down the memory hole, now. It had to. The Alfisti will have fitsies if they overtly share with Chrysler. The D-RWD platform is now Giorgio, an Italian name for something developed largely in Auburn [...]
We may have the first clear 2017 Chrysler Town & Country minivan spy shots, adding to a small “phone pic” shot posted some time ago. The vehicle, parked with the Chrysler Technical Center in sight, has camouflage and padding, but you can clearly see the openings for the side and front door handles. The photo gives some idea of the relatively length [...]
The Ram 1500 faced down the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 and new Chevrolet Silverado in Motor Trend’s half-ton truck shootout. The three contenders were put through a broad array of testing, including a 260-mile drive through California and Arizona. Measurements included: Testing without load: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip (Ram was Limits-handling without load: closed-course cornering, braking, [...]
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has long expressed his desire to slash the number of Fiat and Chrysler platforms, emulating Volkswagen’s “back to the future” move of putting just about everything onto a single platform. Mr. Marchionne has allowed major exceptions; the combination of an over-ambitious plan and a grip on reality delayed the Jeep Renegade and some other cars, because the [...]
This year’s winners of the prestigious Ward’s Top Ten were (in alphabetical order) the BMW 5-series electric motor, the Corvette Stingray’s 6.2 liter V8, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat V8, the Ford Fiesta three-cylinder, one-liter turbo, Hyundai Tuscon fuel cell vehicle, Mini Cooper 1.5 turbo three cylinder, the Ram 3-liter VM diesel, Subaru WRX four-cylinder turbo, VW Golf 1.8 liter [...]