Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a high-top long passenger van to haul my travel trailer. I live in snow country in Southern California (steep roads-Idyllwild, CA). I am amazed that no one offers AWD in these vehicles. Having come from a career in technical publications and having lived in the snow for more than twenty years, I find AWD not just somewhat, but far superior to 4WD. A good example is that more than 15% of the vehicles where I live are Subarus. Someone should pay attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I think that the Ford Transit comes with an AWD model.

Never knew there was snow at all in Southern California. You must be in some mountainous terrain to be getting snow in California.

Have you checked other brands to see if they have AWD options?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
At the moment none of the van companies offer AWD/4x4 in their products from factory.

Sprinter has it coming next year as a factory option. Rumored to cost around 8k, but betting is that it'll come in higher than that once all is said and done.

http://sprinterguy.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/just-a-few-notes-about-sprinter-4x4/

Select models of the Nissan, GM, Ford e-series, Ford transit(in development) can have aftermarket 4wd put in by Quigley Motor Company.

As to why they aren't doing so at the factory.....it's all speculation..........feel free to add your own.....

I do wonder a bit if it's deliberate to keep vans 2wd to support higher 4x4 truck sales. "No Mr. Customer you can't get a 3500 4x4 van, but I can sell you a Ram 3500 and put a space kap on the back".....Again just speculation, maybe there's some government crap that keeps it out, maybe they have studied it extensively and can't make a solid business case for it...maybe the van market has been 2wd since forever and executives can't fathom a reason why that would need to change. maybe maybe maybe......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
The previous generation FIAT Ducato (<2005) had an AWD factory option. It was an adaptation of the Lancia Delta system system. When the new Ducato came out, the AWD was not an option anymore, and only Dangel does conversions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
At the moment none of the van companies offer AWD/4x4 in their products from factory.

Sprinter has it coming next year as a factory option. Rumored to cost around 8k, but betting is that it'll come in higher than that once all is said and done.

http://sprinterguy.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/just-a-few-notes-about-sprinter-4x4/

Select models of the Nissan, GM, Ford e-series, Ford transit(in development) can have aftermarket 4wd put in by Quigley Motor Company.

As to why they aren't doing so at the factory.....it's all speculation..........feel free to add your own.....

I do wonder a bit if it's deliberate to keep vans 2wd to support higher 4x4 truck sales. "No Mr. Customer you can't get a 3500 4x4 van, but I can sell you a Ram 3500 and put a space kap on the back".....Again just speculation, maybe there's some government crap that keeps it out, maybe they have studied it extensively and can't make a solid business case for it...maybe the van market has been 2wd since forever and executives can't fathom a reason why that would need to change. maybe maybe maybe......
Maybe its because most truck / van builders flaunt the Payload. Van "A" can carry fore then van "B" or "C". More drive train parts (AWD) equals less payload. They won't tell you that its useless in the snow, just that it can carry more. My guess is that they have done the research and have found that with most buyers its all about the payload.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
At the moment none of the van companies offer AWD/4x4 in their products from factory.

Sprinter has it coming next year as a factory option. Rumored to cost around 8k, but betting is that it'll come in higher than that once all is said and done.

http://sprinterguy.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/just-a-few-notes-about-sprinter-4x4/

Select models of the Nissan, GM, Ford e-series, Ford transit(in development) can have aftermarket 4wd put in by Quigley Motor Company.

As to why they aren't doing so at the factory.....it's all speculation..........feel free to add your own.....

I do wonder a bit if it's deliberate to keep vans 2wd to support higher 4x4 truck sales. "No Mr. Customer you can't get a 3500 4x4 van, but I can sell you a Ram 3500 and put a space kap on the back".....Again just speculation, maybe there's some government crap that keeps it out, maybe they have studied it extensively and can't make a solid business case for it...maybe the van market has been 2wd since forever and executives can't fathom a reason why that would need to change. maybe maybe maybe......
I think auto execs for the most part are fairly smart guys, so I'm going to guess that if they don't offer more AWD and 4WD vans it's either because there isn't enough of a high-volume demand to make it profitable, or else due to liability concerns.

Full-size vans have a higher center of gravity than pickups, and are also more likely to be loaded with passengers (sometimes not even secured well as in RV conversions), so encouraging any driving off a paved road may be seen by juries as irresponsible.

If I recall correctly a few years ago full-size passenger vans in US were under attack for having a propensity to roll over too easily. There were even calls for 15 passenger vans to be retrofitted with dual rear wheels to increase roll stability.

Granted most buyers would use them to enhance traction in snow and ice rather than go on off-road trails, but even that "may" lead to more accidents and/or injuries if drivers take more risks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
I would bet the take rate on a 4wd or all wheel drive would be less than 5%. With CAFE standards being what they are I seariouy doubt they will offer a AWD Promaster. It would make more sense to farm that out to a 3rd party so as to not effect CAFE. I considered a AWD minivan years ago for the family but it got 3mpg less and cost $2000 more. I'm really glad I didn't because putting snow tires on the FWD van worked way better than I expected. It was better than our 4WD Tahoe with regular tires!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
I agree with your take rate, but commercial vans do not count toward the CAFE average for Chrysler, that is why they don't publish MPG figures for the PM.

I do think that an AWD van would work well in the upper midwest, and New England.

I would bet the take rate on a 4wd or all wheel drive would be less than 5%. With CAFE standards being what they are I seariouy doubt they will offer a AWD Promaster. It would make more sense to farm that out to a 3rd party so as to not effect CAFE. I considered a AWD minivan years ago for the family but it got 3mpg less and cost $2000 more. I'm really glad I didn't because putting snow tires on the FWD van worked way better than I expected. It was better than our 4WD Tahoe with regular tires!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I agree with your take rate, but commercial vans do not count toward the CAFE average for Chrysler, that is why they don't publish MPG figures for the PM.

I do think that an AWD van would work well in the upper midwest, and New England.
Any of the snow states and north to Canada. How big of a market do you suppose that would be? At 8K to add on AWD what would the uptake rate be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
I thought they were going to include light duty trucks and vans in the CAFE standards. Could have sworn that I heard they would soon be including mileage estimates on these too. Might be mistaken...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
My wife and i are sold on the idea of AWD on our vehicles. We've had a couple Volvo AWD wagons and now our Chevy 1500 AWD van conversion. Unfortunately the last one rolled off GM's line some weeks ago. They are great rigs and are nice in our wet road conditions (yes even when it snows)...mount some tall narrow mountain/snow-stamped tires and it is well behaved.

Thom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I haven't any first hand experience in the snow with the FWD Promaster but I'll bet with proper tires and traction control it would get around very well. We have an Audi Quattro with Blizzak's and a FWD 1st gen. Scion xB also with Blizzaks and I swear the Scion gets around better than the Audi, at least until it runs out of ground clearance.


Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Here is a company that makes the AddiDrive system for the Ducato. The company has services in North America. Very simple setup it looks like. The issue would be the pump connection to the Ram power train and if they even will add it to a Promaster. Watch the videos, pretty cool.
http://www.poclain-hydraulics.com/en/systems/light-commercial-vehicles/enhanced-mobility-rear-wheel-assistance-ref29

Hope this system is available in North America. It would be ideal for the Promaster. Better traction then regular 4x4's and AWD's. Also better fuel economy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Here is a company that makes the AddiDrive system for the Ducato. The company has services in North America. Very simple setup it looks like. The issue would be the pump connection to the Ram power train and if they even will add it to a Promaster. Watch the videos, pretty cool.
http://www.poclain-hydraulics.com/en/systems/light-commercial-vehicles/enhanced-mobility-rear-wheel-assistance-ref29
The video is pretty cool. Curious as to price installed for such a system... Group buy?:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
I contacted Upscale Automotive, Inc. (aka sprinterstore.com) as they had Promaster stuff on their site. I asked about Dangel 4x4 systems being installed on the promaster or the possibility of installing an AWD system off one of Dodge's other minivans.

They said they were pretty much out of the conversion business and mentioned Quigley's for the Transit and NV.

Didn't sound too promising for a AWD or 4x4 conversion for the Promaster. I'm sure it will come with time if someone has the $$$
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
The Ducato/Jumper/Boxer Dangel Awd are pretty common in Europe.
Enel is Italy's largest power company and the second largest utility listed in Europe and they have thousands of Ducatos and many are Dangel AWD...
The Dangel system, as well of the Poclain one, is interesting because it doesn't affect the low floor af the van.

http://www.dangel.com/index.html?newlg=E
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
I've just make a call to the italian branch of Poclain Hydraulics and they said that at the moment they prepare only vehicles for big fleets, but in the future they may sell aftermarket kits...
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top