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Automated System
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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..

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2003 pt cruiser, 1969 D200, 1966 Coronet 500, 1990 LeBaron Coupe
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But they would sell more, in my opinion if it did look like the red van pictured.

The red nose concept on this set up would look cool.
This low boy, in my opinion, should have a optional curtain set up similar to this.



Wouldn't this look better with the nose from the red concept?



Interesting, 2 stall horse hauler. Must be small horses.



I'd never imagine this was a FWD doing this.


Interesting hydraulic ramp. I hope Pro-master might option this. Would make things easier at my work place. Hauling parts on carts or hauling aircraft seats ect...
 

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interesting set up with the wire tail gate - ramp.



interesting shuttle bus. I wonder if they would consider doing something like this to the ram C/V for taxi use?


7 Seats, Special build 14 Ft Beavertail Body with Full Width Double Fold Spring Assist Ramp, Cage to front of body, plus additional cage lockers to underside, Bodywork all Galvd, 7 Seat Crew Cab, 4.0 Tonne Design weight, currently down plated to 3.5 Tonne, but fitted with taco + speed limiter if up rate required, 6 Speed Gearbox, Remote Locking, Electric Windows + Mirrors, Radio CD, Ideal for Mowing Machinery

Cool lift gates for rear and side for the Ducato.
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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I can see the value in the drive wheels being under the load on a commercial truck or similarly-sized vehicle, it means that those wheels are the powered ones, and if one ever drives off pavement, that could be the difference between getting stuck or not.

On the other hand, my guess is that a given business knows if they're going to go off-pavement or not, and can make their buying decision based on that.
 

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My opinions of the Fiat-with-a-Ram-emblem are affected by being the son of a B-van fan (for years my dad wouldn't buy anything else until he got a 2000 Caravan that was easier for "Mum" to get in). So I have around those B-series vans from age 10 (seven if you count the motor homes) to the present; I inherited one of them (Winnebago with B300 front end). I wouldn't trade for a new RV even if I did have the money.

I like the front ends of the Dodge Sprinters. With motor-home bodies like the Winnebago View, they looked almost like they started out as Dodges. (The Winnies used the Dodge version until it was no longer available, switching to the Benz.) However, when the '04 Durango came out, my imagination shortened and slanted the hood, brought the windshield forward...and created a post-B-series generation that would have been an honest-to-goodness Mopar. "If wishes were fishes...." Sigh. My sentimentality clashes with the reality of Chrysler being part of an international company.
 

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Yes, Doc... understood.

Modern B series would be based on Ram 1500, no? I can see it now... but the Ducato is a very clever idea that is far more efficient for most uses ... I can't help but think it's similar to what Dodge would design now...

ProMaster is very different from Ducato, I was told by a guy on the team, which is one reason for the delay. He said Fiat told them they coudl change whatever they needed to.
 

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Dave said:
People get hung up on which wheels are driven. Y'know, in the end it's usually just bigotry or whatever you're used to.
Or it could be bigotry to not take the time to understand payload floor height, driving dynamics, etc. one of the tenants of the forum guidelines is respect.
Calling another point of view bigoted, isn't very respectful to that opinion.
 

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People get hung up on which wheels are driven. Y'know, in the end it's usually just bigotry or whatever you're used to.
I have some skepticism about FWD on a commercial vehicle in that weight class based on performance of the FWD 1972 to 1978 GMC Motorhomes and the windowless, empty-shell, commercial counterpart. Those vehicles were comfortable, had a nice ride, good NVH, and better fuel economy than their RWD competition. But; fully-loaded they had only 30% of the weight over the drive wheels and couldn't climb hills on muddy roads that motorhomes on RWD chassis climbed with ease. I had a Winnebago on a Dodge chassis at the time and kind of envied the sexy looks and interior integration of the GMCs but my envy diminished when I saw a GMC being towed off wet grass.

I sometimes wonder what it would take to add some kind of optional on-demand Ferguson [hydrostatic] drive rear-wheel-drive to similar vehicles. The hydraulic pump, hoses, controls, and motors might have small parasitic friction losses even when disengaged. Those same parts are fairly compact and could probably leave load floor height and distance between wheel wells unchanged.

Such an option would require a PTO output from the transmission. It would certainly help to get unstuck in muddy or snowy conditions and might have appeal to trades that are called on in all weather.
 

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I believe your traction criticism is valid, but also must ask if those old GMC motorhomes had locking differentials for thier FWD (if I had to guess, I would say not).

So the question is, with traction control standard with ABS, would a modern Promaster/Ducato get stranded? Probably less so. And it would probably get less stuck than a Sprinter RV conversion because it would have more weight on the drive wheels.

What is interesting, is that the previous generation of Ducato did have an all wheel drive version based upon locking viscous differentials - probably based on the awd Lancia Delta of the era (and similar to Subarus):

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://www.coes.altervista.org/index.php%3Fid%3D1249&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://www.coes.altervista.org/index.php%253Fid%253D1249%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DGhz%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial

So even though they 'could' make an AWD Promaster, it has been stated there won't be one.
One possible reason is that there is a similar Iveco Daily that has the true 4x4 option (not just all wheel drive, but full diffs)

I doubt there was a Daily next to the 1500 Promaster (under wraps) at the RAM 2013 rollout, but never say never


Cornupenuria said:
I have some skepticism about FWD on a commercial vehicle in that weight class based on performance of the FWD 1972 to 1978 GMC Motorhomes and the windowless, empty-shell, commercial counterpart. Those vehicles were comfortable, had a nice ride, good NVH, and better fuel economy than their RWD competition. But; fully-loaded they had only 30% of the weight over the drive wheels and couldn't climb hills on muddy roads that motorhomes on RWD chassis climbed with ease. I had a Winnebago on a Dodge chassis at the time and kind of envied the sexy looks and interior integration of the GMCs but my envy diminished when I saw a GMC being towed off wet grass.

I sometimes wonder what it would take to add some kind of optional on-demand Ferguson [hydrostatic] drive rear-wheel-drive to similar vehicles. The hydraulic pump, hoses, controls, and motors might have small parasitic friction losses even when disengaged. Those same parts are fairly compact and could probably leave load floor height and distance between wheel wells unchanged.

Such an option would require a PTO output from the transmission. It would certainly help to get unstuck in muddy or snowy conditions and might have appeal to trades that are called on in all weather.
 
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