Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 8.55.31 AMWhy do you need to know about the European commercial van the Fiat Ducato? Because it’s design in the genesis for next year’s splashiest new cargo van, the Ram Promaster — introducing front-wheel drive to the North American cargo van market.

While most American cargo vans are all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, due to high fuel costs in Europe, European manufacturers have had to develop smaller, more fuel efficient cargo vehicles with front-wheel drive. On top of lowering fuel costs, a front-wheel drive vehicle also provides increased cargo space in the cabin, as well as lower the step-in height to help decrease driver fatigue during loading and unloading.

The Ducato starts at $30,000, while its Ram counterpart will be priced just below at $28,630.

H/T: Truth About Cars