All regular readers of RVtravel.com know that RVs are hot nowadays, but the fastest growing category in the pack is Class B RVs. You know, vans. I was surprised that Stellantis (the company that used to be Chrysler, then Daimler-Chrysler, then Fiat-Chrysler) paraded their new ProMaster full-sized van and mentioned that it had been specifically upgraded for us.
Among the changes announced were:
- Most safety features ever offered on ProMaster with standard safety features that include Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning, post collision braking, Drowsiness Detection, Traffic Sign Recognition, rear camera with dynamic gridlines, push-button starter and an electric parking brake are offered here too.
- Available driver-assist technologies include Active Driving Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Intelligent Speed Assist, Lane Keep Assist, 360-degree Surround View camera, front parking sensors, auto high-beams and cornering function fog lamps.
- New, unmatched connectivity features include a Ram Telematics Module, 3.5-inch driver’s screen and 7-inch Uconnect touchscreen. Available connectivity features include a 7-inch driver’s screen, 10-inch Uconnect touchscreen and a wireless phone charger.
- All-new Uconnect 5 system is standard, five times faster and features Wi-Fi capability:
- Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Integrated Alexa In-Vehicle Assistant
- Simultaneous connectivity for two Bluetooth-enabled phones
- The available digital rearview mirror displays video in real time in all driving modes from a rear-facing camera and can be turned off to revert back to a traditional reflective mirror. The digital rearview mirror is available on all ProMaster models and provides an unobstructed rear view that enhances safety and reduces downtime.
Ram, Stellantis, Chrysler – or whoever they are this week – also wrote that this new ProMaster uses an updated version of the 3.6 liter “Pentastar” gasoline V6 engine driving the front wheels through a new nine-speed automatic transmission.
Battery electric Promaster will be coming in 2022
The company also added that it does plan to introduce a battery electric model later in 2022.
Interesting, also, was the company’s claim that the ProMaster could tow up to 6,910 pounds and carry a best-in-class 4,680 pounds of payload. It will be available in 18 configurations, including two roof heights, three wheelbases and four vehicle lengths resulting in cargo lengths of 8 feet, 10 feet, 12 feet and 13.5 feet.
The 2022 Ram ProMaster will be available on dealer lots in the fourth quarter of 2021.
It will take a keen eye to spot the difference between a 2021 and 2022 ProMaster, since the exterior remains very, very similar. It’s the instrument panel and transmission that have the most changes – which are welcome.
One thing that surprises me as a Ram pickup owner is the goofy gear shift lever on the ProMaster. It sticks out of the instrument panel like a sore thumb. However, this may be because, in Europe where the ProMaster is the Fiat Ducato, most of them have manual transmissions located here instead of the automatics.
A new Mercedes mini van
Daimler announced a new Mercedes van that’s smaller than the Sprinter and Metris.
Targeted to in-city delivery service, the new Mercedes-Benz Citan (“City and Titan makes Citan”) will get to compete directly with vehicles like the Ford Transit Connect. It features an alphabet soup of safety technologies.
While not all details were unveiled as to whether this vehicle would be available in the U.S., it is known that German versions will be available as either a work-oriented model or a passenger model with a choice of three engines.
There are a very few enthusiasts who have chosen to modify the Ford Transit Connect into campers, so it’s not a stretch to think of people doing the same with this. More details forthcoming.