All photos (12)
Here comes the new Fiat Ducato, also on CNG!
Introducing this new Fiat Ducato, pompously called the sixth generation Ducato (including all the facelifts made along the way), cost the Italian manufacturer over €700 million spent during 5 years of research. The project involved 6.5 thousand people and test cars covered more than 10.5 million kilometers. Various tests of individual components and the entire car took 11 thousand hours. Simulations conducted reflected a 10-year life of a car. The effects of work done by Fiat’s engineers and designers were revealed during press show in Cracow.
Changes to the body
During Polish premiere of the new Fiat Ducato, the company’s representatives presented changes introduced in this new version of Ducato. The first thing that strikes the eye when we see the new Ducato, is its entirely new front. This current styling was inspired by a Spartan helmet. As explained by the designers, it symbolizes strength, determination and protection. But let’s leave marketing issues and focus on things that are really important.
The new Ducato has a wider and longer bonnet with new rib, new headlights with LED lights for daytime drive, and a new bumper. The whole thing is nicely incorporated into the already existing body of the car. Bigger bonnet improved access to engine’s accessories and headlights. But changes done to the car’s body end with the first pillar – the rest is left unchanged. It must be noted that both hold (with a maximum capacity of 17 m3 and practical, regular cubic shape) and driver’s cab are well-designed and any change done to their shape would be art for art’s sake. Especially that the Cx drag coefficient for Ducato is 0.31, which is a great result for a delivery truck.
Cab full of novelties
Driver’s cab is slowly becoming the brand’s and this model’s flagship. The number of available color combinations of the equipment, as well as of additional systems is really admirable. It’s clear that in the commercial segment, equipment previously restricted to passenger cars is becoming increasingly important. The company from Turin offers three types of interiors – Standard, Techno and Lounge – they differ in colors, dashboard, upholstery and multimedia systems. Attention was also paid to modern work tools available to drivers. Ducato’s center console was equipped with a smartphone/tablet/notebook holder. USB port and AUX jack are also provided. There’s also an option of having a storage space for a 15-inch laptop. There are also holders for 0.75 l bottles and special places for a phone or a smartphone, which can be connected using Bluetooth with an on-board handsfree car kit.
Be safe with electronics
The list of systems that actively support safe driving is long – starting from stability programme (ESP) and traction control (ASR), through anti-rollover system (ROM) and load control (LAC), to the lane control systems (LDWS) and a system that recognizes traffic signs (TSR). Ducato may also be equipped with Traction + system (equivalent to the differential lock) known from other Fiat models.
Weigh as little as possible to carry as much as you can – this is every commercial vehicles manufacturer’s dream. The new Ducato has curb weight reduced by 20 kilograms due to changes in its body structure. When selecting composite springs (extra charge), the car’s curb weight is reduced by further 15 kg.
Power transmission system
Under the bonnet of new Ducatos there are currently three types of engines with four different power values. The smallest engine – MultiJet – has a capacity of 2 liters and can reach 115 hp (and torque of 280 Nm ). A bigger MultiJet unit – 2.3 l – is available in two different power variants – 130 and 150 hp – and can reach torque of, respectively, 320 and 350 Nm. The biggest engine is a 180 hp, 3 liter MultiJet engine known from Iveco Daily. It’s torque reaches 400 Nm. The weakest engine works with a 5-speed gearbox, the other ones work with 6-speed gearboxes. Automatic Comfort-Matic gearbox is also available. Changes to the transmission system were restricted to strengthening the clutch and changing gear rations.
Natural Power due next year
The first bi-power (petrol-methane) engine in Ducato was installed in 2002, with the launch of the then new generation model. The newest version of Ducato powered by CNG will be available in the first quarter of 2015. It will be equipped with a 3 liter, 136 hp engine known from Iveco Daily and current Ducato versions. It’s torque is 350 Nm. It’s a bi-fuel engine powered by either petrol or methane. It will be the first Ducato model that, thanks to its modernization, has a chance of meeting Euro 6 emission standard.
Fiat Ducato and CNG
The company admits that in 2013, only about 20 CNG-powered Fiat Professional cars were sold in Poland. But despite the introduced excise duty on compressed methane and the lack of CNG filling stations, Fiat sees their chance in this type of fuel. Observing the market, it’s possible that CNG may potentially experience dynamic growth due to increasing environmental awareness and still attractive prices of gas. A good example comes from the Czech Republic where the country’s mail company bought almost 1500 CNG-powered vehicles, hoping for a 50% reduction in fuel costs.
Photo: gazeo.pl – Sixth generation Fiat Ducato
Photo: gazeo.pl – Dashboard. Instead of space for documents, we have holders for cups, phone or smartphone
Photo: gazeo.pl – Changes made to the body end on the A pillar
1 – Polish premiere of sixth generation Fiat Ducato
2 – That’s what Ducato A.D. 2014 looks like
3 – New bonnet, bumper and headlights with LED lights for daytime driving
4 – Ducato’s cab
5 – The hold is still a strong point of Fiat’s delivery van
6 – The characteristic line of Ducato is still there
7 – Drag coefficient (Cx) is just 0.31
8 – Photo: Fiat – Panorama version of Ducato
9 – Photo: Fiat – Ducato Panorama with components manufactured by Mopar
10 – Photo: Fiat – That’s how Panorama may look like. Rails in the floor allow for single-handed setting of seats. We can see large pockets and power points in side panels, plus storage compartments above the passenger’s heads
11 – Photo: Fiat – Tablet holder. It can also be used to hold smartphones or regular notepads
12 – Photo: Fiat – Dashboard. There’s a holder with a smartphone as well as a new holder for cups or a phone in place of document cubby-hole
- LPG and CNG cars
- Hybrids and EV's
- News and tips