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Discussion Starter #1
PickupTrucks.com finally got their hands on a Ram Promaster-with the 280 hp 3.6L Pentastar 6-They published their first drive late last week.

Notables:

  • AWD or 4WD configuration will not be offered, period
  • The driver sits elevated on a perch to enhance visibility
  • Legroom constrained
  • Narrow brake pedal and throttle very close together
  • Tilting wheel would be useful
  • Plenty of storage in the cab
  • Rear end pitches during cornering while empty
  • Bouncy and noisy while empty
  • Loaded with payload the Promaster behaves much better
  • Suspension and powertrain have been optimized for loaded conditions
  • Power issues showed up during long grade ascent
  • Turning radius is fantastic, 36 foot radius is the same as a midsize sedan
Check out the full first drive http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2013/09/2014-ram-promaster-van-first-drive.html?cid=6a00d83451b3c669e2019aff84ac75970d




 

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The storage capacity looks amazing! The thing that I'm most worried about is the throttle and brake being close together and narrow. That doesn't sound like fun to drive at all. Is there a picture of the pedals out there so that we could see for ourselves about the pedals?
 

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a 36 foot turning radius is amazing for what the ProMaster is and for what it can do, it should make these very practical, more than some bigger moving vehicles that are hard to maneuver at times
 

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Any van that will have a huge variation in weight at the rear between empty and loaded could use air suspension at the rear. This would control both suspension stiffness and ride height. Ram should consider an air suspension option like the Ram trucks'.

For ProMaster vans that will end up as RV Campers, or similar applications where the load is fairly constant, the need is less. In that case the suspension can be calibrated for the "typical" load.
 

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....cut.....
btw, in europe the Ducato has an available air suspension in the rear.
Thanks, good to know. MB are supposed to be offering rear air on some Sprinters for 2014 here in US, so maybe it won't be long for ProMasters. RAM has also gotten a lot of great press from pickup-truck air suspension so maybe that will be an additional incentive.
 

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Thanks, good to know. MB are supposed to be offering rear air on some Sprinters for 2014 here in US, so maybe it won't be long for ProMasters. RAM has also gotten a lot of great press from pickup-truck air suspension so maybe that will be an additional incentive.
They should at least make it optional, people would pay for it, and just make the air bag equipped models built to order to save money.
How much extra would a ProMaster with air bags cost?
 

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fwiw, the passenger version of Ducato is offered in Europe with rear air suspension and automatic load leveling (scroll to the bottom):
http://www.fiatprofessional.co.uk/uk/Models/Ducato_Passenger_Transport

I am sure that if the full passenger version of the Promaster is offered, then it will include the air suspension.



Additionally, the RV motorhome and upfitter markets in Europe also have air suspension conversions (both full systems and 'helper' springs). Just search for 'Ducato air suspension' or 'ducato Luftfederung' to see what is out there. AL-KO has a really nice design that they manufacture for single and dual axle rear:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.al-ko.de/amc-chassis-nutzfahrzeug-luftfederung-air-plus.htm&prev=/search?q=http://www.al-ko.de/amc-chassis-nutzfahrzeug-luftfederung-air-plus.htm&client=firefox-a&hs=yIw&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official




Thanks, good to know. MB are supposed to be offering rear air on some Sprinters for 2014 here in US, so maybe it won't be long for ProMasters. RAM has also gotten a lot of great press from pickup-truck air suspension so maybe that will be an additional incentive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
fwiw, the passenger version of Ducato is offered in Europe with rear air suspension and automatic load leveling (scroll to the bottom):
http://www.fiatprofessional.co.uk/uk/Models/Ducato_Passenger_Transport

I am sure that if the full passenger version of the Promaster is offered, then it will include the air suspension.

Additionally, the RV motorhome and upfitter markets in Europe also have air suspension conversions (both full systems and 'helper' springs). Just search for 'Ducato air suspension' or 'ducato Luftfederung' to see what is out there. AL-KO has a really nice design that they manufacture for single and dual axle rear:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.al-ko.de/amc-chassis-nutzfahrzeug-luftfederung-air-plus.htm&prev=/search?q=http://www.al-ko.de/amc-chassis-nutzfahrzeug-luftfederung-air-plus.htm&client=firefox-a&hs=yIw&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official
I'd prefer magride on the promaster to air suspension, Air suspension has ALWAYS been finicky and costly to fix. Mag ride is much more reliable and provides the same kind of benefits as air ride...

 

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I'd prefer magride on the promaster to air suspension, Air suspension has ALWAYS been finicky and costly to fix. Mag ride is much more reliable and provides the same kind of benefits as air ride...

I'm not following the comparison and/or option. Isn't air suspension about springs and Magnetic Ride about dampers? Seems like apples and oranges. While they can both affect ride, they are not interchangeable, or are they?

When it comes to large variations in load, air suspension can use different amount of air pressure to control spring stiffness and ride height. The other seems to affect only shock (damper) settings. For a van where the rear weight could triple between empty and loaded down, I'm not sure stiffer shocks can do enough. Am I missing something? Honestly not that familiar with Magnetic Ride.
 

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Why don't we start a separate thread about Promaster Suspensions and keep this thread for First Drives, I am sure more are coming in the next month or so!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
heres the Promaster first drive video from the Truth About Cars... this ones a doozy, 20 mins but they doo take the promaster for a good long drive. no cargo loading though.

 
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