Patrick Rall's picture

Chrysler’s Ram Truck brand unveils a new minivan workhorse

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has repeatedly discussed the likelihood of killing off either the Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Grand Caravan as there isn’t a need to have two similar minivans, so it came as a bit of a surprise this morning when Chrysler’s Ram brand announced that they would be offering their own minivan.

The new Ram Cargo Van (C/V) is designed to be an all out work vehicle, with a variety of features exclusive to this new Ram minivan aimed at today’s small business. From the outside, the most obvious features are the unique solid privacy panels in the side sliding door and the rear-most windows, including the back glass. This is ideal for someone who doesn’t want passer-bys seeing what is in the back of their work van but if you want the Ram Cargo Van and you want a little more visibility, buyers can select normal glass windows. Some of my more weathered readers may consider the Ram Cargo Van is being a “panel truck” – a fitting name of the Ram Truck brand.

Along the front end, the Ram Cargo Van bears a striking resemblance to the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, but with the exception of the headlight bezels, all of the chrome from the Dodge minivan has been replaced with a heartier-looking flat black – with the flat black treatment continuing down the sides of the new Ram minivan. Out back, the Ram Cargo Van features Ram brand badging and a set of unique 3D style taillights. The exterior of the Ram minivan is finished off with a set of steel wheels covered with silver hubcaps and buyers can select from four colors for the Ram C/V - Bright Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl, Stone White and True Blue Pearl.

At this point, I imagine that a great many of you are questioning just how much of a “work horse” a modified Dodge Grand Caravan can be but the Ram brand has made a few adjustments to allow their minivan to do things that no other compact people mover in the industry can do. First off, the Ram minivan is only available with the powerful 3.6L Pentastar V8, sending 283 horsepower and 260lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. This drivetrain configuration allows the Ram Cargo Van to tow an unprecedented 3,600 pounds while reaching 25mpg on the highway (when not towing 3,600lbs, for the record).

Next, Ram fitted their Caravan-based Cargo Van with a heavy duty load leveling suspension that allows this work-ready minivan to haul an impressive 1,800lbs and the flat load floor that covers the entire rear cargo area of the Ram minivan makes loading very simple. For those who need more places to stow things, there is an optional load floor that offers in-floor storage – likely based on the more consumer friendly Stow-n-Go system from the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Up front, the Ram Truck brand minivan has just two seats with a variety of option packages that add features like a large touch screen infotainment system, dual zone climate control and pretty much every other basic interior feature of the Grand Caravan that could transfer to the work-horse version of the industry’s bestselling minivan.

Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the new Ram Truck brand Cargo Van based on the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan!

Other Ram News:
Ram announces new 6.7L High Output Cummins Turbo Diesel in Chicago
Chrysler gains 13% over last year as consumers wait for 2011 models
Ram Introducing New Version of Popular Ram 1500
Ram brand announces free Hemi engines for 2011 Ram 1500s
The Ram Tradesman debuts at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show

Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.

Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.