Ram unveiled a 2023 Ram ProMaster that sees a number of revisions for the new model year. The model was unveiled at the Work Truck Week Trade Show in Indianapolis.
“Ram ProMaster continues to evolve as we listen and respond to commercial customer input, and the 2023 model is a culmination of that effort,” said Mike Koval Jr., Ram brand CEO, in a statement.
Changes for 2023
The changes are basically a mid-cycle freshening, and is now available in 19 configurations, including three roof heights, three wheelbases and four vehicle lengths that accommodate cargo lengths of 8-ft, 10-ft, 12-ft and 13.5-ft. Also new is an available rear roll-up door constructed with anodized aluminum for light weight. Look for a new front fascia that incorporates LED headlights and fog lamps and an optional Black Appearance Package that features a black grille, badges and alloy wheels, to keep the van’s appearance contemporary.
A better tech package
The van’s 7- and 10-inch reconfigurable touchscreens come with Uconnect 5, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Alexa In-Vehicle Assistant, Bluetooth, TomTom navigation with live traffic updates, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight wireless devices. A 12-volt power outlet, USB-A and USB-C outlets, are standard. A wireless charging pad, connectivity ports and 115-volt/150-watt outlet are optional.
For commercial clients, the ProMaster comes with Ram’s standard Telematics Module that includes Firmware Over the Air updates, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Alexa & Google Home-to-Vehicle Assistant and Apps Over the Air. The optional Telematics Package enables vehicle tracking and driver behavior data, and real-time vehicle diagnostics and performance data.
Improving the Ram ProMaster’s safety
Among the more helpful additions could be the optional Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, which joins Speed Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Information, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Drive Assist system, front parking sensors, auto high-beams, cornering fog lamps and rain-sensing windshield wipers on the driver assistance system options list. Buyers can also opt for Active Driving Assist, which provides Level 2 automated driving using lane centering with adaptive cruise control.
Standard safety features include full-speed forward collision warning, Crosswind Assist, rear backup camera with dynamic gridlines, post collision braking, Drowsiness Detection, traffic sign recognition, push-button starter, keyless entry on all doors, and an electric parking brake.
Yeah, but what about capability?
Offered in as a 1500, 2500, and 3500 trim with cargo van, window van, chassis cab, and cutaway bodies, power comes from Chrysler’s familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine paired with a new 9-speed automatic transmission that replaces last year’s 6-speed.
It delivers 276 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, about the same as the Ford Transit’s base engine, but less than its optional 310-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
That’s enough to provide to 6,910 pounds of towing capability and 4,680 pounds of payload capacity, far more than the Ford Transit’s 3,362-pound payload and 6,600-pound towing capacity — unless you order Ford’s cutaway chassis, which tows as much as 7,500 pounds.
But the ProMaster isn’t available with all-wheel drive, like the Transit and Sprinter.
Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz announced Tuesday that the Sprinter will be offering revised models for 2023. Look for Sprinters to have a new all-wheel-drive system, new 9-speed automatic transmission, and 4-cylinder diesel and gas engines that will be available in the U.S. early next year. But the company didn’t release any further specifications.
Nevertheless, Ram claims the 2023 ProMaster possesses best-in-class turning radius, standard interior cargo height, load-floor height, cargo width of 75.6 inches maximum cargo width and more than 500 cubic feet of cargo space.
A Crew Van package is available in six high roof van models, while the Cargo Van features up to 12 foldaway tie-down rings with a 1,000-pound rating and five sidewall tie-down rings with a 550-pound rating. Partitions are available with either model.
Electrification is coming as well
Ram will also introduce a battery-electric ProMaster in 2023, although the company hasn’t released any details about what to expect, except to say that Amazon will be the first commercial customer for the new e-van when it launches. The vehicle is designed with input from Amazon and will feature a number of “unique last-mile delivery features.”
Certainly with input from Amazon and will feature a number of “unique last-mile delivery features.” an electrified ProMaster would keep it competitive, as Ford already offers the 266-hp E-Transit in eight different configurations, including three roof heights and three body lengths, plus cutaway and chassis cab versions. Range ranges from 108 to 126 miles depending on model, with 15%-80% recharging requiring between 34 and 65 minutes depending on the charger.
The battery-electric ProMaster will also face competition from Mercedes-Benz’s eSprinter van which will be built at its new North Charleston, South Carolina plant, as well as its manufacturing facilities in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde in Germany. Production is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2023.
Meanwhile, despite its extensive push towards electrification, General Motors has not revealed its plans on replacing the archaic Chevrolet Express and Savana vans, which date to 1995 — more than two-and-a-half decades ago. But GM has said that it is investing more than $20 billion between 2020 and 2025 to bring “at least 20″ BEVs to market by 2023. But the automaker has only teased about a dozen, so it’s possible a new electrified commercial van is coming.
The ProMaster remains a popular full-size van
Nevertheless, the Ram ProMaster remains a solid seller in the full-size van segment, and these changes should keep it competitive.
It’s based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, but modified in a joint venture Ram Truck and Fiat Professional with help from Chrysler engineers who once worked on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter when the company was a part of Daimler-Chrysler, according to Allpar.com. It’s manufactured at Chrysler’s Satillo, Mexico plant.
But that expertise may explain its popularity in the segment.
In 2021, Ram sold 63,361 ProMasters, second to the Ford Transit, which remains the bestseller in this segment, with 99,745 units having found buyers last year. The Ram is followed by the Chevrolet Express at 44,355 units, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at 42,508 units, the GMC Savana at 17,744 units and the Nissan NV at 11,372 units.
Look for the 2023 Ram ProMaster to hit the streets in the third quarter of 2022