Long a moribund and forgotten market segment, the full-size van market is about to get very interesting, with the addition of another model slated to hit U.S. showrooms in the next 12 months. Chrysler's Ram division announced the name and showed the logo for its new full-size van based on the Fiat Ducato. The 2014 Ram ProMaster will go on sale in the third quarter of 2013.
The one interesting and noteworthy difference with its main marketplace competitors in North America, namely the forthcoming 2014 Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, is that the Ducato is exclusively front drive, and by extension, so will the ProMaster. The Fiat Group does have a heavier-duty rear-drive van in its global arsenal in the form of the Iveco Daily, but it's unknown whether it will supplement the ProMaster in the U.S. market in the immediate future.
Specific information regarding engines and transmissions was not announced, other than the ProMaster will offer "powertrains preferred by North American commercial customers." We're interpreting that as at least one gasoline and one diesel option. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is the top candidate for the gasser option. The top engine currently available in the Euro-spec Ducato is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder producing 175 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.