New stars shine for Nissan
NISSAN used the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany, as the launchpad for its new Primastar.
This van is a rebadged Renault Trafic/Vauxhall Vivaro light van and will hail from the IBC plant at Luton, while left-hand drive versions will be built in Barcelona. The Primastar, bar the entry-level model, will come with a rear parking sensor system that aims to reduce rear damage to the vehicle and will cut fleet repair costs.
The UK is the first European country to get the vehicle and it will be launched here next month. It replaces the old Nissan Vanette Cargo.
Nissan executives hope the vehicle will achieve first full year sales of 2,100 units.
'It's aimed at fleets and individual users,' a Nissan spokesman said. 'We hope current Vanette drivers will move into a Primastar.'
It will initially be powered by two 1.9 dCi engines and a 2.0-litre petrol engine will come next year. An LPG version, a long wheelbase version and a bigger diesel engine are on the cards.
Nissan describes its new family member as 'spacious and efficient'. It requires servicing every 18,000 miles and comes with a three-year warranty against mechanical, electrical or paintwork defects and 12 years' warranty against corrosion. On-the-road prices for the vehicle start at £14,279 and rise to £15,959. Both prices are inclusive of VAT. Nissan said it expects the Primastar to prove 'a strong competitor in the medium van market'.
It was joined on the Nissan stand by the recently-launched Interstar, a rebadged Renault Master, which was launched in April.
The Interstar is offered with a choice of three lengths, heights, engines and gross vehicle weights.
Engines are 1.9, 2.2 or 2.5-litre common rail diesel units offering between 80 and 115bhp and between 147 and 213lb-ft of torque. Load volumes vary from eight to 13.9 cubic metres and gross vehicle weights are between 2.8 and 3.5 tonnes.
The thoughtful new Sprinter with a mind of its own
MERCEDES-BENZ and Volkswagen have announced that the follow-up models of the Sprinter and LT2 will be built on a common platform.
The major differences between the two vehicles will be in the engines, the front, the rear and the instrument panel. Mercedes used the Hanover show to display a range of vehicles including the face-lifted Sprinter.
It says its new Sprinter van, thanks to longer intervals between routine maintenance inspections, is more economical to run than the current version.
It is also offering as an option an Electronic Stability Program (ESP). The system means the van will 'feel' when a driver is losing control of the vehicle and will correct the errors and stop skidding on wet or loose surfaces.
While ESP, which was tested by Fleet NewsNet in August, will be a paid-for option on panel vans, in the UK it will be standard specification on crewbuses and minibuses.
The Sprinter gets a smart new front end, with new shaped grille edged in the body colour of the van and clear glass headlamps which boost headlamp power. In the cab, an overhead document and parcel shelf has been added.
The in-vehicle information system has also been upgraded with the addition of a sat-nav system and a parking sensor has been added to the options list, along with a heated front screen, sensors which automatically turn on the wipers when rain is detected on the screen, and metallic paint.
Renault's latest Trafic aims high
RENAULT has unveiled a high-roof version of its Trafic van. Made in Barcelona by the manufacturer's alliance partner Nissan, it will be available in both standard and long wheelbase form when it comes to the UK next spring.
A 100bhp version of the 1.9 dCi common rail diesel with six-speed manual transmission will power the latest Trafic model.
Renault said: 'The high-roof van is intended mainly for use by commercial operators looking for a large load volume for various uses, package delivery (rapid delivery services) or vehicles fitted out at workshops (standing position possible with the interior height of almost 190cm) as well as other adaptations which allow the volume, height and load length of the vehicle to be used in 'an optimum manner.'
Revamped Ranger a real all-rounder
FORD has spruced up its Ranger pick-up with a number of new enhancements, including a smarter front end design and a pillarless, four-door Super Cab. It has also made improvements to safety features, braking steering and ride quality.
Steve Parker, Ford of Britain's commercial vehicles director, said: 'The introduction of a new Super Cab is of particular significance. We believe there is now a Ranger to suit every need – from the rugged dependable workhorse to the versatile, dual-purpose vehicle that can be used with confidence and pride for both work and leisure.'
The Ranger Super Cab has a reverse opening rear door, eliminating the need for a B pillar and freeing up interior and load bed space in the process. Side impact safety and body stiffness is unaffected, Ford says.
Parker added: 'We believe the new enhancements will extend the Ranger's appeal, by confirming it as a stylish and versatile choice, with an exceptional package and unbeatable value.'
The Ranger goes on sale at the end of the year. Prices are not yet available.