Ram to battle Ford E-Series with Fiat Ducato-based commercial van

Suppliers have revealed that Ram will likely get a large van based on the Ducato in 2013.

Following news that the Ram brand will receive a Fiat Doblo-based small van to take on the Ford Transit connect, Ram's suppliers revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show something long suspected: the brand will sell a large van derived from the Fiat Ducato to take on segment heavyweights like the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express.

Chrysler plans to build 30,000 units of the van per year in Mexico, supplier sources told Automotive News yesterday. The new truck will plug a gap created in Chrysler's lineup when the company's split from Daimler resulted in the discontinuation of the Mercedes-Benz-derived Dodge Sprinter van.

When it arrives, likely in 2013, the vehicle will give Ram a total of three commercial vans. The Doblo-based van, to be built by Fiat partner Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi in Turkey, will also arrive in 2013, while the Ram Cargo van, essentially a toughened Dodge Grand Caravan sans rear windows, is set to go on sale in a few weeks.

Just what will power the big Ram van is currently unknown, but in Europe the Ducato's most powerful engine is a 3.0-liter diesel with 177 horsepower and around 295 lb-ft of torque, which is competitive with the oil-burning Mecerdes-Benz Sprinter.

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