Archive for the ‘fuel economy’ Tag

Ram ProMaster City

With the 2015 ProMaster City, Ram will finally have a small cargo van designed for commercial use — something that’s been missing since the A-vans were dropped. Dodge and Ram have been selling a “cargo-ized” version of the minivans, but it was designed primarily for passengers and never took off among commercial buyers.

With power coming from a four-cylinder Chrysler engine, hooked up to a Chrysler-made, ZF nine-speed transmission, Ram claims best-in-class combined gas mileage, a 1,883 pound payload, and 132 cubic feet of cargo volume. The van is based on the new Fiat Doblò XL, an expanded version of the popular-in-Europe Doblò van.

Made in a two-seat cargo van or a five-passenger wagon (like the original Caravan), the ProMaster City has 48.4 inches of space between its wheel-wells, which, with an 87-inch cargo length, lets buyers easily load in pallets and such; the class-exclusive extra 0.4 inches help with loading and unloading.

Above the wheel wells, the ProMaster City has a best-in-class width of 60.4 inches and an interior roof height of 51.8 inches, for best-in-class volume of 131.7 cubic feet (cargo van). The sides are upfitter-friendly, to help buyers add shelves or storage racks. The roof is prepped for load rails or roof racks, with a weight capacity of 154 pounds.

The cargo van’s 87.2 inch long floor has six standard D-ring tie downs (the wagon has four) and an optional flush-fit, non-slip vinyl mat. The sliding doors latch in the open position, and have a 26-inch opening.

With the seats in place, the five-passenger ProMaster City Wagon has close to four feet of cargo length to the rear doors; with seats folded and tumbled, the wagon has nearly six feet of cargo length.

The rear has 60/40 split swing doors; the larger door swings open toward the traffic (driver) side of the van, making it easy to quickly access larger cargo items without blocking the path to the curb. Both rear doors swing open 90 degrees; with the press of a button, they can open to 180 degrees.



Powertrain: Tigershark Engine and 9-Speed Transmission

Ram claims that the 2015 Ram ProMaster City’s power, torque, fuel economy, and performance will “trump any competitor’s standard-equipment package.”

ram promaster engineThe ProMaster City is the first commercial van with a nine-speed automatic; the standard “948TE” has a wide gear ratio spread and 3.73:1 final-drive ratio. Its 4.70 first-gear ratio delivers 0-to-30 mph acceleration in 3.7 seconds and 0-to-60 mph in 9.8 seconds (estimated). Even without the wide range and nine gears, the fast-shifting nine-speed’s efficient design would make it a worthy choice.

The 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine generates best-in-class 178 horsepower at 6,250 rpm, with peak torque (174 lb.-ft. at 3,900 rpm) greater than any standard engine in the segment and close to Ford’s optional turbocharged engine.

For durability, the engine has a forged steel crankshaft with 53 mm pin diameters, two-bolt main bearing caps, a cast-iron bearing beam to reduce flexing, piston oil squirters to prevent hot spots, powder-forged steel rods, and the ability to cross 12 inches of standing water (slowly) to prevent damage during sudden downpours. To increase efficiency, the engine has MultiAir 2, an electro-hydraulic valve lift and timing system that adjusts each cylinder individually.

Both the ProMaster City and Ram 1500 have variable a/c compressors, “smart alternators,” and pulse-width modulated (PWM) fuel pumps that operate on demand, cutting parasitic demand. The 160-amp “smart alternators” use moments of deceleration or braking to run the alternator at capacity, cutting the load during acceleration and improving fuel mileage.

Using front wheel drive cuts weight and the number of parts, provides more predictable emergency and low-traction handling, and eliminates the prop-shaft tunnel to allow a low, flat floor.



Compact Van Engineering: Body and Brakes

Ram tested the best-selling Doblò for severe-duty use, from the blazing desert heat of Las Vegas to frigid Northern Michigan, from traffic in Los Angeles to mountain roads in Colorado. Key Ram changes include:

-Raising the ride height by 10 millimeters (0.4 inches), to manage the greater vertical loads of bad roads.
-Upgrading chassis components and anchor points for durability.
-Widening the engine box and front track to fit the bigger engine and the nine-speed transmission.
-Strengthening body structures to comply with safety rules.
-Using tires rated to handle higher weights.

The floor pan, cross members, side panels, and (fully boxed) frame rails are welded together for higher structural rigidity, cutting noise and vibration, and allowing better handling; unibody construction reduces weight.

The 12-inch front disc brakes include pad wear sensors; a larger pad-to-disc swept area, combined with thicker linings (compared with competitors) increase durability. The rear 10-inch drum brakes also have thicker long-wear linings.



ProMaster City suspension and steering

The Ram ProMaster City’s MacPherson strut suspension was retuned for rougher North American roads, includes large-diameter shock absorbers, steel springs and a solid stabilizer bar. Stamped steel clamshell control arms are strong and weight efficient. The front suspension components are specifically tuned to handle the ProMaster City’s class-leading payload capacity. An optional package provides a 2,000 pound towing capacity.

While most Class 1 vans including the old Ram C/V use rear leaf springs, Ram ProMaster City has an independent, bi-link rear suspension to increase comfort, stability, and safety under all loads, while enabling the van’s low 21.5-inch step-in height.

The hydraulic-assist rack-and-pinion steering system is connected to a standard tilt and telescoping steering column.

Safety devices



A four-channel electronic stability control (ESC) is standard and includes antilock brakes. The setup uses the steering wheel angle sensor to minimize yaw, and has a brake-lock differential for side to side pressure control and sway control; integrated traction control; rollover prevention; and trailer sway control.

On low traction surfaces, there can be a difference in wheel speeds when the driver lifts off the throttle. Engine drag control senses that difference and sends more torque to the driven wheels to keep them at the same relative speed as the rear wheels to boost vehicle stability.

Using brake pedal sensing and the steering angle sensor, the ProMaster City also senses emergency braking and automatically lights and flashes the tail lamps to alert other drivers.

The van also has brake assist (to engage full braking earlier); and hill-start assist, which holds the van in place for up to two seconds after the brake is released on a hill.

Finally, an optional rear camera and backup alarm can prevent drivers from hitting pedestrians or other vehicles.

Design



Although the cargo area is carry-over from the Fiat Doblò, from the front door cut forward, the Ram ProMaster City is new. Badges are large, chrome-finished, and three-dimensional. The driver can easily see the front corners, while cladding on the side and rear protect the body from knee-level bumps. Doors are durable yet lightweight, with handles designed for easy gripping with gloves. Optional oversized power side mirrors have adjustable wide-angle sections; the standard, segment-exclusive marker lights light dark areas on the side of the van when working from either side.

Step-in heights at the side (18.8 inches) and rear of the vehicle are among the lowest in their class at 21.5 inches. Key fobs have three buttons, for locking all doors, unlocking all doors, or unlocking just the cargo doors.

On the Tradesman, the bumpers and grille are black, with molded-in color to look the same even after being scratched. The SLT Wagon has body-colored bumpers, fog lamps, lower black molded-in-color trim at potential contact locations, optional body-color exterior mirrors, and a silver grille.

To cover both commercial and personal transport, there are three different 16” wheels. Tradesman has “revolver-hole silver” or black with a silver full-face cover steel wheels; SLT has the latter, with an optional aluminum wheel.

Three different window options are available on both trim levels. One has sheet metal everywhere but the front doors and windshield; one adds glass to both rear doors; and the third adds two side windows for passengers.

Colors include white, bright red, black metallic, silver metallic, deep red metallic, “blue night” metallic, gray metallic, “broom yellow” (fleets only), and brown (fleets only).

The wind tunnel helped optimize the mirror design, underbody aero shields, and spoilers to cut wind resistance, reducing noise and raising efficiency. The tires have low rolling resistance; 215/55R16XL tires have higher inflation pressures to handle larger loads; wheels are steel, for impact resistance, on Tradesman and SLT, with optional aluminum wheels on SLT.

Ram ProMaster City interiors



Two seating insert materials are used, with different patterns and feels. The seats have ergonomic padding and many adjustments, including heat; the durable fabric is trench -seamed and designed to be easy to clean and long lasting. One interior is black with gray accents; a carpeted floor is standard.

There are nine forward storage compartments, including overhead storage. Available in urethane or optional leather-wrap, the standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel’s horizontal spokes can be fitted with optional controls for operating cruise and audio controls.

Ram claims to have made major gains in climate control and interior lighting; the elliptical main cluster, placed under an antiglare dome, is designed to reading under all lighting conditions. Amber backlighting prevents the loss of night vision. The gauge cluster includes temperature, speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauges, with a trip computer including a clock, odometer, and trip odometer.

The shifter is in the center console; a secondary console contains two cupholders and two 12V power outlets.

The Ram ProMaster City HVAC system was retuned for the North Americans, with easily operated heat and air conditioning controls that were designed for use with gloves. The oversized handle on the driver-side door panel also enables easy opening with gloves; a large storage compartment at the forward base of the door.

The cargo compartment has acoustic-backed side wall and rear door moldings, and vertical mount locations for flexible up-fit capability. Optional partitions (with a window option) provide protection against load shifts. A high roof makes it easier to work in the cargo area. Wagons get four tie-down rings, a full length headliner and carpet, panel moldings over the rear of the cargo area, and more storage trays at seated shoulder level with retractable covers.

The base radio is a four-speaker AM/FM setup with a monochrome display; tweeters are in the pillars and mid-range speakers are in the front doors). The optional UConnect 5.0 system has a handsfree text-reply setup and hands-free calling, with a full-color five inch touch-screen aiding the navigation system and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. A USB port on the dash is for recharging, while a second port is used to play music from thumb drives. U.S. buyers can use the system as a mobile Internet hotspot.

Mopar claims to be selling towing accessories, roof racks and carriers, customizable graphics packages, theft tracking, a roadside safety kit, tool bags and totes, canvas seat-covers, cargo mats, standard floor mats, and slush mats.



Where ProMaster City Is Built

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be built by TOFAS in Bursa, Turkey, at a 3.6-million squar foot (84 acre) WCM Gold plant, alongside the Fiat Doblò.



How far off were we?

Before the ProMaster City’s official launch, we said that it would be imported from Turkey, with an American powerplant — this was correct. We implied there was a chance it might be built elsewhere, because the Turkish joint venture company said they could not make it with modifications for the US — we were wrong. We predicted fold and flip seats, and thought that the British “XL” model would be sold here either as the standard model (it is) or as an option.

Our rendering was pretty far from the mark, though some may find it more pleasing.

The dashboard seen in our spy shots (well, KGP’s spy shots) turned out to be different in appearance, though not in content, from what we got here.

As read on: https://www.allpar.com/trucks/ram/ProMaster-city.html

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Diesels and minivan hybrids

Sergio Marchionne said that the first production Chrysler hybrids would be minivans; and that Windsor had not yet been selected as the factory which will build them. Windsor “has one of the best workforces around,” but with over a billion dollars of investment needed, the company is still depending on negotiations with the Canadian government before making a final decision.

The first one out will be a Chrysler. “What comes out as a Dodge, I’m not willing to answer.”

The company loses around $14,000 on each Fiat 500e electric car it sells, but needed to develop the technology.

For diesels, the main challenge is the additional cost. The company is focusing on the largest, heaviest vehicles, because those tend to have the largest benefits. “The benefit of diesel will probably run its course through about 2018” unless they can reduce the emissions cost-effectively. The company is working on emissions reductions.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/01/minivans-hybrids-and-the-diesels

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel | Video Tour by Ram Trucks’ Chief Engineer

That truck enthusiasts in certain niche markets would request more information regarding the industry-first light-duty diesel-powered pickup truck surprised exactly no one at Chrysler Group HQ. What came as a surprise was just how many people would call or write in wanting to know more about the 2014 Ram 1500 with available 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine.

Anxious to provide all interested parties with as much information as possible, the Ram Trucks brand recently produced a short video featuring Ram Trucks’ Chief Engineer Mike Cairns.

In this video-part one of a two-part series-Mr. Cairns reveals as much as he can about the truck’s fuel efficiency and availability, among other things. Spoiler alert: the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will get best-in-class fuel economy; it will be available at your closest dealer before the end of the current calendar year.

Stay tuned to The Working Blog for part two in this short video series devoted to Ram Trucks’ newest light-duty option: the highly capable, highly efficient 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

*http://blog.chryslercommercialvehicles.com/2013/07/23/2014-ram-1500-ecodiesel-video-tour-by-ram-trucks-chief-engineer/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=CSJul2413Facebook2&ism=CSJul2413Facebook2

Fuel Conservation Tips – NINE WAYS TO CONSERVE YOUR GASOLINE

With the help of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), we put together nine easy ways to save on gasoline.

1. Slow Down
One of the best ways to save on gas is to reduce your speed. According to the DOE, every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph represents a 7 percent decrease in fuel economy.

2. Check Your Tire Pressure
Under-inflated tires have more rolling resistance, which causes you to burn more fuel to keep the car moving. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (if equipped), or the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) label on or near the driver’s side door. Properly inflated tires may improve your fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent.

3. Accelerate With Care
Fast acceleration wastes fuel. Accelerate modestly so the transmission can shift up into the higher gears more efficiently. Rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gas mileage by up to 33 percent on the highway and up to 5 percent during city driving.

4. Drive A Consistent Speed
Follow the lead of trucks and keep a consistent speed. Constant slowing down and speeding up reduces fuel economy. Consider using cruise control when appropriate.

5. Avoid Excessive Idling
Idling your vehicle gets 0 miles per gallon.

6. Stick With Stock
New wheels and tires may look cool, but if they’re not the same as the OEM specifications, they could create more resistance, thereby reducing fuel economy.

7. Clean Out Your Car
Carrying around extra baggage — or anything that you don’t need for that trip — only adds extra weight to your car and impacts fuel economy. For example, depending on your vehicle’s weight, an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could decrease your MPG by up to two percent.

8. Plan Your Trips Better
Consider grouping your trips instead of making several trips to accomplish your daily tasks. Several short trips may use twice as much fuel as a single, longer trip that covers the same distance.

9. Use The Proper Maintenance Fluids and Replacement Parts
Always use the engine oil, replacement parts and any other fluids that the manufacturer recommends. Change your oil at the recommended intervals and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for all routine maintenance.

As read on: http://www.dodge.com/en/owners/fuel_conservation_tips/index.html?pid=HR&adid=DodgeQ2eNews&sid=Ram&channel=e_News

The Nissan Rogue, More Car than SUV

By Nikki McLaughlin

The new Nissan Rogue is one of Nissan’s newer SUV models. However, to the surprise of many SUV owners, after driving the Rogue, it seems to be more car than SUV. With the Rogue, the evolution of the car-based SUV seems to have hit an all time high! It’s mostly car, but does seem to retain plenty of the utility of a SUV.

It rides like a car, very smooth and comfortable. It handles like a car, taking curves with well-controlled lean. It accelerates from 0-60 mph in 8.3 seconds which is an amazing accomplishment considering its four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission. The 2.5L churns out 170 horsepower and drives the front-wheels. All-wheel drive is available for mainly on-road usage.

The Rogue also comes nicely equipped for the driver, the lightly bolstered seats are high for a good driving position, and the radio has only one round knob not two. It also has two large, truck-like, side view mirrors. Don’t forget the ample passenger space and the large luggage storage that makes this SUV perfect for everyday driving or long distance travel.

The four-wheel disc brakes are anti-locking to go with vehicle dynamic control.

This SUV also comes competitively priced starting around $21,000 but not skimping on the equipment. The base model comes standard with tilt steering column, cruise control, A/C, trip computer and what Nissan calls “Mood Lighting.”

Even the premium package won’t break your budget, at $25,400 you add an amazing sound system, fog lights, built in navigation system, and audio controls on the steering wheel. There is pre-wiring for a towing hitch, but the maximum weight is only 1,500 pounds, which is still not bad for all the other great features you are getting.

Don’t forget one of the highest fuel economy ratings for an SUV at 22 city and 27 highway, except for when towing.

Now you can have the best of both worlds, and SUV for extra interior room plus all your utility needs, and the benefit of higher fuel economy and sharper handling for everyday city driving. Nissan has really out done themselves on this one of a kind SUV!

Top 20 Tips For Increasing Fuel Economy

Found on Michigan.Org

  1. Combine trips for shopping and errands
  2. Avoid unnecessary trips. Use the telephone or e-mail to communicate
  3. When possible, don’t drive-walk or ride a bike to your destination
  4. If possible, join a carpool or use public transit to and from work or school
  5. don’t idle the car for more than one minute
  6. Drive the speed limit, or below, for better mileage
  7. Overdrive gears improve the fuel economy of your car during highway driving
  8. Avoid sudden bursts of speed, tailgating and pumping the accelerator pedal. Gradual starts and stops result in less fuel use and less wear and tear
  9. Out on the open highway, keep windows rolled up to reduce drag
  10. Using a vehicle’s air conditioner on a hot summer day can decrease mileage. Use the flow-through ventilation on your car instead of the air conditioner
  11. Travel during off-peak hours when possible. Anticipating traffic conditions ahead and not tailgating can improve gas mileage by 5 to 10 percent. This driving strategy is safer, and reduces wear on tires and brakes
  12. Take the shortest rout with the best roads
  13. Use the cruise control – – it can save fuel by maintaining a steady speed
  14. Keep tires at the recommended air pressure
  15. Keep your car engine properly tuned. Improve mileage by up to 40 percent by replacing a faulty oxygen sensor
  16. Check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing a clogged or dirty air filter can improve your car’s gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, and a clean filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine
  17. If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage
  18. Excess weight uses more fuel. Remove unnecessary items from inside the vehicle, trunk or truck bed. Remove bicycle and ski racks when not in use
  19. Use the lowest octane gasoline recommended for your vehicle by the manufacturer
  20. When buying, leasing, or renting a new car, make fuel efficiency a priority. Don’t buy a bigger engine or vehicle than you need