Some 8,000 sales of the new Ducato are anticipated for 2007, representing a 12.5% increase on 2006.
Available in 25 versions from launch, priced from £14,475 – £24,575 + VAT, the new 2006 Ducato Panel Van range encompasses panel van, dropside truck and crew cab truck variants, chassis cabs as a base for conversion and a nine seat commercial passenger vehicle, the Combinato.
It features larger dimensions, both within the passenger cab and to the length, height and width of a load compartment which now offers a maximum volume of 17m3. The new Ducato range offers an increase in Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) to a maximum of four tonnes, and a driver-inclusive payload of up to 1850kg.
The new Ducato LCV range comes with a choice of three Fiat MultiJet common rail, direct injection, 16-valve turbodiesel powerplants – a 2.2-litre 100bhp unit, a 2.3-litre 120bhp variant, and a 3.0-litre engine producing 157bhp.
To reduce nitrous oxide emissions, all three engines are fitted with an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, with cooling of exhaust gases by recirculation controlled directly by the engine ECU. The exhaust gas post-treatment system completes gas oxidisation to ensure Euro IV emission limits are met.
All three powerplants are transverse mounted, providing front-wheel drive through manual gearboxes. Both 2.3 and 3.0-litre MultiJet engines are mated to new six-speed manual transmissions, whilst the 2.2-litre MultiJet unit is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
The new Fiat Ducato is available in one trim level, and offers a standard equipment specification which includes Servotronic variable power assisted steering, remote central locking with deadlocks, ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), a dual stage driver’s airbag, electric windows, cargo area side panelling and load restraining belts, wax protection and a stereo radio/CD/MP3 player.
Options include manual and automatic climate control, supplementary heaters, ESP with Load Adaptive Control (LAC), front foglamps, cruise control, a rear view video camera, Fiat’s unique Blue&Me handsfree phone system, a heat reflective windscreen, a shock absorbing driver’s seat, swivelling driver and passenger seats for camper van conversions, alloy wheels, headlamp washers, a ceiling-mounted storage shelf, rain, dusk and parking sensors, and passenger, front side and window airbags.
In addition, the working capabilities of the new Ducato range may be further enhanced through self-levelling suspension, a second sliding door, 270 degree rear door opening, larger door mirrors, a fixed, full width steel bulkhead, a larger fuel tank and a tachograph, (standard equipment on versions above 3500 kg GVW).
The new Fiat LCV also offers the full range of braking, traction control and stability systems: ABS anti-lock brakes, with electronic brakeforce distribution, ASR to limit wheel slip during acceleration, MSR to modulate brake torque whilst changing down, and ESP to control stability through bends, which incorporates Fiat’s Load Adaptive Control (LAC) for the first time. Vehicles fitted with ESP also benefit from hydraulic brake assistance and a unique Hill Holder function to facilitate smooth hill starts.