1 Feb 2007
FIAT launched its all-new Ducato commercial line-up with bigger payloads, larger interiors, more powerful and economical engines in the beginning of 2007.
Initially buyers could choose between two third-generation Euro IV compliant Multijet turbo diesel engines of 2.3-litre and 3.0-litre capacities, mated to six-speed gearboxes. For the motor home market Fiat also offers a 97kW 2.3 turbo-diesel.
The 2.3-litre JTD is a development of the previous Ducato engine, with increase performance and torque, as well as lower running costs. Its 88kW is developed at 3200rpm and 320Nm at 2000rpm. The new 3.0-litre engine develops 115kW at 3500rpm and 400Nm from 1700rpm to 2500rpm.
Payloads are up across the range, and interior volumes have increased from eight to 15 cubic metres. Visually the new Ducato was designed by the Fiat Style Centre and borrows some passenger car cues. The designers have paid attention to aerodynamics, ensuring low cost repairs, as well as providing a functional interior.
The bumper is divided into three parts in order to ensure lower repair/replacement costs in the event of an accident.
The windscreen pillar rake also offers one of the best drag coefficients in its category (0.31) while sharp, squared-off lines contribute to a more linear load compartment with greater load volume.
Inside, there are fresher colours, fabrics and seat, dashboard and door panel designs.
Importantly for its market the Ducato grows in size and also in load capacity (GVW and payload).
Models are now available with GVWs up to 4.0 tonnes and a payload of up to 2.0 tonnes. Depending on the model there are volumes up to 15 m3 and interior length of more than 4m.
Loading and unloading is made easier thanks to a reduced load platform height, down 300mm compared to the previous model.
Running costs have also been reduces with lower fuel consumption, up to 16 per cent less than the previous model, and increased service intervals (45,000km for a major service with oil and filer change at 22,500km).
Safety is also improved with crumple zones, new braking systems with four disc brakes, ABS with EBD and driver’s airbag throughout the range. The medium roof vans and the cab chassis have, additionally, a passenger airbag and ASR traction control.
The Ducato is available with 15-inch or 16-inch wheels and tyres gross vehicle weights from 3 tonnes to 4 tonnes payloads from 1500kg to 2000kg three wheelbases, three lengths and two heights for van versions plus three load compartment volumes from 8m3 to 15m3.
The commercial range consists of: low roof panel van medium 3000 mm wheelbase, 2.3-litre 88kW engine, 3510 GVM medium roof panel van long 3450mm wheelbase, 2.3-litre 88 kW engine, 4000 GVM medium roof panel van, extra long 4035mm wheelbase, 3.0-litre 115kW engine, 4000 GVM and cab chassis medium 3800mm wheelbase, 2.3-litre 88kW engine, 4000 GVM.
The motor home versions are "made to order only". As with the previous range, the standard equipment list is extensive.
All versions are equipped with driver’s airbag, ABS with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), electric mirrors and remote control central locking, with a front passenger airbag and ASR traction control standard on the medium vans and the cab chassis.
From late 2008 Fiat added an automated manual transmission option on 3.0-litre Multijet turbo-diesel versions.
The clutch pedal-less robotised six-speed MTA (Manual Transmission – Automated) gearbox is available on selected van and motor home variants.
Fiat says the lightweight self-shifter reduces emissions and fuel consumption, and requires less maintenance.
However, there is no requirement in Australia for commercial vehicle manufacturers to provide specific fuel consumption or emissions data.
Mated to Ducato's 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, the MTA is claimed to be a completely new self-shifting manual rather than a manual gearbox adapted to work automatically.
When it was new