INDIANAPOLIS. A brand new cargo van chassis is being rolled out by Ram Trucks for the 2012 model year – a vehicle dubbed the “Ram C/V.”

Unveiled at the National Truck Equipment Assn.’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis this week, the Ram C/V features a solid sliding door, rear quarter window and backlight privacy panels in place of clear glass windows. However, buyers have the option of equipping their Ram C/V with several combinations of solid and glass panels, including a choice of solid or glass backlight, the company noted.

“We see growth in the Class 1 light commercial vehicle market,” said Fred Diaz, president & CEO of Ram Trucks, who also serves as lead executive for U.S. sale at Chrysler Group LLC, Ram’s parent company. “The Ram C/V is going to be a great vehicle choice for small businesses and commercial fleets.”

The Ram C/V comes equipped with a structural aluminum rear load floor but will offer two other “main floor” options, including one with a flat, uninterrupted, high-capacity surface. A second, optional floor provides through-the-floor access to three storage bins and load floor tie-downs.

This van also offers a 1,800-lb. cargo payload and category-exclusive towing capability, up to 3,600 lbs., with a maximum gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 8,750 lbs. It also comes with a heavy-duty load-leveling suspension, radiator, and heavy-duty transmission oil cooler to help meet heavier powertrain demands, the company said.

At the heart of the new cargo van is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine offering 283 hp. and
260 lbs.-ft. of torque, mated together with a 6-spd. automatic transmission.

Built at Chrysler’s Windsor Ontario Assembly Plant in Canada, the Ram C/V is projected to go on sale in the third quarter of this year and will replace the Dodge Grand Caravan C/V in Chrysler’s product lineup. Pricing will be announced closer to launch, the company noted.