Last week, Fiat Group Automobiles Belgium presented its series of commercial and professional vehicles, and it certainly scores very high in terms of variety, quality and last but not least state-of-the art environment friendliness. Fiat has become a world leader in (light) commercial vehicles, and deservedly so. Just read on…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The Strada stole our hearts…
One of the new stars is the Fiat Strada Pick-up, which we already tested in the “Adventure” version, of which more soon. Fiat presents this charming car in single, long and double cabin versions, and is also available besides a “Working” version. One of the strong points of this compact pick-up (4,40 meters) is the high payload of 705 kg in the single cabin version. The dimensions of the loading floor are quite generous: 1.300 mm large, 1.685 mm long and 540 mm high.
This “Working” version is also available in the long cabin version, with room for four workers. The occupants are treated to airco, radio with CD/MP3 player.
Suffice to say that it was the “Adventure” version in its double cabin version which we came to like very much. We keep the best memories of its performance, pleasant ride, comfort, space and enormous versatility. It came in very handy to move our garden furniture… The “Adventure” version sports not less than 665 kg.
We were also most impressed by its engine and (frugal) performance. The Strada in all its versions is wisely equipped with a single engine, the 1,3 litre MultiJet Diesel, in a 95 HP version with 200 Nm torque. The Pick-Up reaches a top speed of not less than 165 km/h and sprints very spiritedly through the gears. Being by no means a sluggard, it was nevertheless quite easy to reach consumption figures well below 5 litres/100 km.
Thanks to the electronically controlled MultiJet injection, the turbo and intercooler, this advanced engine reaches the Euro 5 norm easily. The car only emits 140 g/km CO2. But soon more about this Strada in a longer test report…
The Doblò Cargo: the most complete range on the market…
One should not forget that the Doblò Cargo model is the first and only vehicle in its category to make a decisive break with the car-derived production model. This vehicle was conceived from the design stage as a commercial vehicle in every sense, not simply a small van but a genuine LCV that can be adapted to all working missions and different types of outfit.
The key player is the new Doblò Cargo XL, another specialty from the Doblò family, which, with more than 500 variants, combining bodies, doors and engine versions, boasts the widest range in the segment.
The new "XL" version offers similar dimensions to those of the Cargo Maxi version, permitting easier access to the load compartment, thanks to a height of 1455 mm for the rear door and of 1550 mm for the load compartment. Moreover, thanks to the rear bi-link suspension, the vehicle can confidently handle considerable maximum permitted axle loads: 1,200 kg on the front and 1,450 kg on the rear. Despite demonstrating values typical of higher segments - including a volume of 5 m3 (5.4 m3 with passenger seat folded down) - the new Doblò Cargo XL proves a vehicle which takes reducing fuel consumption and environmental sustainability to heart.
The engine range of the New Doblò XL comprises three turbodiesels - 1.6 MultiJet 105 HP, 1.6 MultiJet 90 HP MTA and 2.0 MultiJet 135 HP - for the Cargo versions, while the Combi versions are characterised by the 2.0 MultiJet 135 HP engine version. The engine range is completed by the petrol-fuelled 1.4 TJet 120 HP, again for Cargo versions. All Euro 5 type-approved, the diesel engines are marked out by satisfying driving, excellent performance, quiet running, low running costs (consumption and maintenance) as well as reliability and environmental sustainability, also thanks to the availability of the Start&Stop system and the particulate filter.
In the field of safety, the New Doblò XL admits no competition. To ensure optimum dynamic behaviour, comfort and active safety in all road surface and load conditions, the vehicle has been equipped with innovative mechanical features, in particular a bi-link rear suspension system. The constant and predictable road-holding is also ensured by the adoption of the most advanced electronic stability control devices as standard, including ABS with electronic brakeforce distributor (EBD)
Besides the XL, also a Doblò “Work up” version…
The Doblò Work Up is the first light truck in the segment built entirely by the manufacturer to guarantee quality and reliability. With a load surface of 4 m2, a load capacity of 1,000 kg and thanks to the practical movement of the sides and a host of practical features (tool compartment, retaining hooks, load pole rack/ladder structure, footboard, etc.), the Doblò Work Up is the ideal solution for the agriculture, building and civil or park maintenance service sectors, as well as the transport of doors, windows, shutters and glass.
The engine range of the Doblò Work Up comprises three turbodiesels: the 1.3 MultiJet 90 HP, 1.6 MultiJet 105 HP and 2.0 MultiJet 135 HP. The Start&Stop system and particulate filter as standard.
To ensure load performance, sturdiness, lightness and lower fuel consumption, a box has been adopted with a high-strength steel frame, slip-resistant plywood floor and light aluminium alloy sides.
the Doblò Work Up is the ideal solution for the agriculture, building and civil or park maintenance service sectors, as well as the transport of doors, windows, shutters and glass. To give an example, 3 Europallets or 33 crates of fruit can be loaded with ease.
The Ducato “Green Van of the year 2012”
We already treated you to an extended test of the Fiat Ducato, which won last year the coveted award of being the “Green Van”. We already reported to you on this elsewhere on this site.
We just mention that the Comfort-Matic robotized automatic six speed gearbox is now available on the 180 Multijet Power, MultiJet Eco 130 and 150 versions. This gearbox is technically a so-called MTA, or “Manual Transmission Automated”. It consists of a conventional manual transmission without clutch pedal, where the operation has been taken over by a actuator, which is electronically triggered by a ‘TCU’ (Transmission Control Unit).
To satify the needs of mobilhome users, which drive the Ducato generally at full load, there is a special “UP” button, which keeps power up on steep hills. In the automatic mode, the driver still has the choice between several other modes:
This transmission is available at an extra of about 2000 Euro.
For fresh delivery the Ducato can be equipped with Carrier Transicold…
Fiat has chosen for the Pulsor cooling system by Carrier Transicold, which makes the performance of the refrigerator independent of engine revs, which is especially useful to keep the cargo at constant low temperatures in dense city traffic.
Passenger transport versions of the Scudo and Ducato range…
The Scudo and Ducato models boast a complete range of people transport vehicles, based on different outfits intended for specific uses and customers: from teams of workers with their equipment to large families who want the comfort and style which distinguish MPVs, and from customers who enjoy sport in their leisure time to business customer transport agents (hotel / airport shuttle, vehicle rental with driver).
Moreover, thanks to collaboration with the best fitters in the special assisted mobility equipment sector, the two models can be converted in line with the Autonomy Programme, the initiative that Fiat Group Automobiles has been working with since 1995 to create services and means of individual and collective transport for those with reduced motor abilities, always in line with continuous product innovations, and to help facilitate motoring for those with disabilities.
“Double Cabine” version available on the Fiat Scudo 2.0 MultiJet
This version of the Scudo is now available “ex-factory” with this version, offering 5 to six seats. It is based on the long wheelbase version with lateral windows. This version is only available with the 130 HP 2 litre MultiJet.
New Doblò Cargo Natural Power
A pioneer for more than 15 years, Fiat Professional now offers the widest range of commercial vehicles factory-fitted to run on methane (OEM), allowing it to hold a leading position in this market.
The Doblò Cargo Natural Power is equipped with the dual-fuel (petrol/methane) 1.4 T-Jet, part of the new family of T-Jet turbocharged petrol engines, characterised by simple construction, sturdiness, reliability, excellent performance (172 km/h top speed), low consumption and environmental sustainability (134 g/km of CO2).
Turbocharging via intercooler and the presence of a wastegate valve allow the new engine to develop a maximum power of 120 HP at 5000 rpm with both petrol and methane, and progressive torque values (206 Nm at 3000 rpm) that allow good setting off and pick-up even with heavy loads.
The excellent performance is combined with attractive fuel consumption levels (4.9 kg/100 km of methane in the combined cycle) and and remarkably low running costs: in Italy, for example, you can travel over 200 kilometres on only 10 euros of fuel (nearly double that of a 1.6 MultiJet engine). Today, filling up with methane will cost you approximately 16 euros.
The vehicle is configured to default to natural gas. The engine always starts on petrol and then immediately and automatically switches to the methane fuel system. The driver can, however, switch to petrol operation at any time by pressing a button on the central console.
And now also eco:Drive Professional…
Fiat Professional's commitment, always targeted at the true needs of its professional customers, has now achieved a step forward in emission reduction with its new eco:Drive for commercial vehicles. This device, the only one of its kind, allows the journey data of vehicles at work to be analysed in order to suggest more appropriate behaviour for economical and sustainable driving.
There is now eco:Drive Professional, the version of the software specially designed for commercial vehicles which includes typical variables for this category: from the load carried to the various front ends, should the vehicle be a conversion. An "eco:Drive mobile" version is also available, the smartphone app that allows driving and efficiency data to be displayed directly on a mobile with no need for a PC (in the case of a Fleet Manager, data can be transmitted from the smartphone to the Fleet Portal, again without requiring a PC).
As one can see, a very impressive commercial range, which puts Fiat indeed at the (very) top of the commercial vehicle market. Soon you will also read some further test reports of these interesting vehicles.
Hans Knol ten Bensel