The Ram truck brand unveiled its new 2012 Ram Cargo Van at the Work Truck Show 2011 in Indianapolis, IN this week. The front-wheel-drive van features the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and six-speed automatic powertrain as its consumer-grade cousin, with strategic improvements to make it suitable for commercial use. The Ram Cargo Van will replace the Dodge Grand Caravan C/V in the Chrysler Group’s product lineup.

Replacing the side glass windows on the regular Caravan, the Ram C/V features a solid sliding door, rear quarter window and backlight privacy panels in place of the glass. Buyers will have the option of equipping their Ram C/V with several combinations of solid and glass panels, including a choice of solid or glass backlight.

Among the upgrades made to make the C/V suitable for commercial duty are a heavy-duty load-leveling suspension, a heavy-duty radiator, heavy-duty transmission oil, and specially-tuned hydraulic power-assist rack-and-pinion steering.

Ram C/V provides a Class 1 commercial vehicle-leading 1,800-lb. cargo payload and category-exclusive towing capability of up to 3,600 lbs. Ram C/V has a maximum Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 8,750 lbs. A 20-gallon fuel tank and 25 mpg highway also deliver best-in-class fuel range.

Further differentiating it from the consumer passenger version, the Ram Cargo Van receives a structural aluminum rear load floor with two flooring options. The optional floor provides through-the-floor access to three exclusive storage bins and load floor tie-downs.

The van will be offered with up to $1000 in commercial upfit or service contract credits, and will go on sale in the third quarter of 2011.

Source: Chrysler