The sixth generation of this hugely successful LCV, which has notched up 2.6 million sales since it was first launched in 1981, will continue to set the segment benchmark not only in Europe but also in the 80 international regions in which it is now on sale, including Russia, Middle East, Australia and Latin America, as well as North American where it is marketed under the RAM brand. A truly global vehicle, the new FIAT Ducato will be a key element in the growth of FIAT Chrysler Automobiles in the light commercial vehicles sector.
The new exterior style brings sophisticated ‘car design’ to the light commercial vehicle segment, conveying a strong sense of dynamism, quality, safety and robustness. The all-new front end features new DRL headlamps, with optional LEDs, and a bold new grille design, available in satin silver or piano black, as well as a new three-part front bumper which helps to reduce repair costs. A new bonnet, skid plate and new alloy wheels complete the revised exterior style.
Inside, the new FIAT Ducato offers two cabin environments – Classic or Techno – offering different levels of refinement and elegance. New seats offer car-like comfort levels on all models, while other enhancements include large new cup holders and a new, segment-exclusive Multifunction Tablet Holder which can safely secure any one of a variety of devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as normal pads of A4 paper.
With the new Ducato, FIAT Professional has worked to reduce emissions and improve economy by around 10 percent across the Euro 5+ engine range. It now boasts best-in-class emission and fuel consumption figures, with emissions for the entry-level 2.3 MultiJet II 110hp as low as 170g/km and an impressive fuel economy figure of 44.1 MPG on the NEDC cycle. The 2.3 MultiJet II 130, which produces 130hp and 320Nm, and the 2.3 litre MultiJet II 150, with 150hp and 350 Nm, both return even better economy and emissions figures when equipped with optional Start&Stop – just 164g/km and 45.6 MPG for both engines! The heavy-duty, 3.0 MultiJet Power 180, with 180hp and 400Nm of torque, has CO2 emissions of 203g/km and returns 36.7 MPG on the NEDC cycle. All models are equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, while the ComfortMatic transmission is available on all but the entry-level 2.3-litre unit. Further improvements to efficiency and running costs have been gained by working on kerb weight reduction and increased payload through, for example, the use of composite materials in the rear suspension.
As a global product, the Ducato must prove its reliability and robustness in a wider variety of contexts than ever before so an extensive test programme for the 2014 FIAT Ducato saw it tested extensively throughout the world. Combined with the experience and know-how of FIAT Professional’s engineers, this has resulted in body and chassis reinforcements, improved braking and performance, and enhancements to the lifespan of the suspensions and clutch. The new FIAT Ducato now boasts the best Gross Vehicle Weight (up to 4.25 tonnes); best weight on the rear axle (up to 2.5 t) and best van payload (up to 2.1 t) of the ‘single wheel’ segment.
The enhancements don’t end there. The new FIAT Ducato is packed with high-tech content, such as state-of-the-art safety and driving assistance devices, as well as new infotainment systems. All versions continue to offer an electronic stability control (ESC) system as standard, but it now integrates a rollover mitigation system, to increase comfort and protect the load from unexpected motion, in conjunction with Load and Centre of Gravity Detection (LAC), Hill Holder, anti-slip (ASR) and electronic braking assistance (EBA) systems.
Additionally, to ensure greater manoeuvrability and enhanced driving comfort, dual-mode Servotronic power steering continues to be offered as standard, while further driving assistance systems are available on request, such as Traction+ (complete with Hill Descent Control), lane departure warning system and road sign recognition system.
There are also developments in the field of infotainment, where the new model offers Bluetooth technology and MP3 playback as standard and top-of-the-range versions include a five-inch colour touchscreen, reversing camera, built-in navigation and DAB digital radio.
Finally, the new Ducato from FIAT Professional offers the widest front-wheel-drive range on the market: with 10,000 variants available to customers across its commercial vehicle, passenger transport and conversions chassis versions. Within the van range, you can choose from between eight different load capacities, ranging from 8 to 17 m³, four lengths and three different heights. Five lengths are offered for the chassis cabs, one more than the current range.
Market-specific details and pricing for the UK FIAT Ducato range will be announced shortly.