07 Jul 2016
Ducato, Travelling with Confidence
As ever, the sixth edition of the best-seller Ducato is the ideal answer for all open-air tourism enthusiasts. The many body variants, the square and regular shape of the loading compartment, the efficient chassis and the car-like driving has made it the first choice chassis for the main European motorhome producers.
Looking back over its history from a technical point of view also means retracing the evolution of motorhome holidaying. Today, the new Euro6 Multijet2 engines are top in class in terms of fuel efficiency and deliver high torque at low rpms, a feature which is highly appreciated by motorhome drivers. The 130, 150 and 180 Multijet2 engines are also available with "Comfort Matic" robotised gearbox for relaxing driving.
Furthermore, in addition to continuous improvements to the vehicle, Ducato is being reconfirmed as the ideal base also for the camper van segment, which is experiencing continual growth.
The brand also offers an array of integrated solutions and dedicated services created with Mopar to travel with confidence.
So, driving a motorhome on a Ducato base means having access to more technological and environment-friendly engines, comfort, a wide range of services and peace of mind.
With Ducato, holidaymakers can enjoy freedom with no worries, direct and exciting contact with nature and the luxury of choosing when to stop: these are all the ingredients of the increasing popularity of the recreational vehicle lifestyle.
Ducato: the only base born to be a motorhome
Thirty-five years ago, Fiat Ducato revolutionised the high-capacity van market with its front-wheel drive, engine power and spacious loading area. And the revolution continued. Today, Ducato is the European best-seller in the large van category (from 2.8 to 4 tonnes) and is the most sold on no fewer than eleven markets. Furthermore, it is the undisputed leader in the motorhome category: approximately three motorhomes out of four in Europe are Ducato-based. Over the past ten years, 500,000 families across Europe have chosen a Ducato-based motorhome.
The various generations of the model have contributed to changing and improving the habits of motorhome users and their holiday experience by providing increasingly more specific answers to each of the many aspects of their lifestyle on-board.
The sixth generation of the model is today the best solution to the requirements of handling, comfort, safety, performance, fuel-efficiency and environment-friendliness.
All the innovations to the engines contribute to consolidating the features of Ducato which have proven to be winning for motorhome owners year after year, specifically its square, box-shaped loading compartment, every centimetre of which can be cleverly exploited to make all the space available for holidays. What is more, Ducato has a small turning circle to facilitate any type of manoeuvre. The compact front end and cab have an extremely contained front overhang to the benefit of handling and optimised available living space.
Another strength of the model is precisely the peerless comfort in the cab and in the day zone for occupants: safe and enjoyable driving, swivelling "Captain Chair" seats, adjustable steering wheel and hydraulic power steering. The exceptionally balanced chassis and specific suspensions ensure safety and dynamic behaviour in all road conditions.
Last but not least, it is packed with active and passive safety devices for travelling with confidence. Finally, Ducato satisfies a fundamental parameter for life on-board: outstanding ergonomics so that all controls are readily at hand and the available services can be easily managed with a smartphone or tablet.
Ducato is packed with the equipment of a vehicle of superior level and state-of-the-art design.
As a whole, the exterior style stems from a cutting-edge "car design" which, teamed with the concept of a genuine light commercial vehicle, conveys a strong sense of dynamism, safety, quality and sturdiness. Consequently, the new Fiat Professional vehicle further develops the concept of "design meets functionality" which has always been a distinguishing feature of this model. Specifically, one of the features is the possibility of customising the styling of the vehicle with a number of solutions: two different front grille colours, skid-plate, headlights with integrated DRL and the 16" alloy wheels.
Safety and infotainment
The Ducato proves to be at the cutting edge also in terms of the range of high-tech contents with next-generation safety and driving assist devices, in addition to a new infotainment system. Equipment includes electronic stability control (ESC), available on request, enhanced with rollover mitigation, to maximise comfort and protect the load from sudden movements, in combination with load adaptive control (LAC), Hill Holder, anti-slip regulation (ASR) and electronic emergency break assist (EBA).,. Driving assist equipment includes Traction + (complete with Hill Descent Control), lane departure warning and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR).
The model offers a wide range of radios with Bluetooth technology and MP3 player. In addition, a 5" touchscreen UconnectTM system is available, as well as reversing camera and built-in satellite navigation system. Last but not least, the whole line-up is available with a decoder for digital audio broadcasting (DAB), as well as traditional analogue.
Engines and transmissions
Technology which characterises the Ducato engines is the best example of the specific work focused on efficiency and eco-friendless. The engines, all Euro6, are provided with Low Pressure EGR technology (LPEGR), which intercepts the exhaust gases after the DPF and returns them to the combustion chamber via a low-pressure circuit. This system has two advantages: it abates NOx emissions by means of a lower combustion temperature and saves fuel by ensuring better efficiency of the turbine.
Furthermore, all the engine in line-up of Ducato are top in class in their power class in terms of fuel efficiency and delivery high torque at low rpms, which is a highly appreciated feature by motorhome drivers. The Multijet2 engine range delivers power from 115 to 180 HP: an offering capable of satisfying the most diverse needs of motorhome producers and end customers.
In detail, the 2-litre 115 Multijet2 is the most economic and eco-friendly of the range, ideal for camper vans. It has 115 HP and 290 Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is reduced by 6 percent with respect to the previous Euro5+ version. It is now available with new six-speed gearbox and a right-hand drive version.
The 2.3-litre 130 Multijet2 engine is the ideal best-seller for medium-sized motorhomes: it is easy to drive in all conditions with a maximum torque of 320 Nm available already at 1800 rpm. It is ideal for mixed use: agile in traffic, brilliant on long hauls. Once again, fuel consumption is reduced by 3 percent with respect to the previous version.
The upgrades made to the 2.3 150 Multijet2 make this engine ideal also for chassis cab or cowl. The maximum torque is reaches 380 Nm, available from 1500 rpm. Also in this case, fuel consumption is reduced by 3 percent with respect to the previous Euro5+ version.
Finally, there is the powerful 2.3 180 Multijet2, ideal for large and heavy motorhomes and for users seeking the highest level of performance. It offers the same levels of torque and power as the previous 3.0 - namely, 180 HP and 400 Nm -, but consumes almost 20% less. This exceptional result is also obtained by means of a series of operations focused on improving the turbocharger aerodynamics, the special steel crankshaft, the reinforced pistons and the larger capacity fuel pump.
Other important news concerns the entire range: a new reinforced alternator available on request which reduces charging time by 10%, and a new dual mass flywheel on 150 and 180 Multijet2, which ensure less vibrations and consequently better driving and travelling comfort.
The robotised "Comfort Matic" transmission is available on all 2300 cm3 engines. In addition to automatic and manual mode, the "Comfort Matic" transmission has "Up" mode, designed to obtain the best performance on the most demanding roads.
Fiat Ducato 4x4 Expedition Camper Van
The world of holidays in the great outdoors is moving in new directions, like the demand for all-wheel drive versions and campervan solutions. The camper van segment today represents over one fourth of the European recreational vehicle market. Also in this case, Ducato is proving to be the most suited vehicle for camper van conversions with its large, regular shaped loading compartment, optimal ratio between overall length and cab length and over 200 available camper van base configurations.
The result is the Van Ducato 4x4 Expedition Show Camper Van introduced at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon last year, an exercise in style which is not for sale. This comfortable, high-performance vehicle is targeted to sporty, adventurous customers who love travelling off the beaten track and want a vehicle which is fast and agile for transfers with a large and comfortable living space at the same time. Built on a Ducato long-wheelbase base with extra overhang and high roof, 4x4 Expedition is made in collaboration with the best partners for interior design, body customisation and four-wheel drives.
On the outside, the Show Camper Van sports a two-colour paint job in two shades of grey, a raised, widened ride and plenty of Ducato Camper customisations, like a front skid-plate and LED DRLs. The outfit is completed by a front winch and raised roof, which is fully equipped for holidays off the beaten track and can be walked on in part, meaning it can be used as a handy outdoor space at over two and a half metres from the ground. Clever technical solutions enhance its versatility and reassert its bold character. The permanent all-wheel drive system with viscous coupling combined with a special raised ride and oversized tyres allows tackling all surfaces safely and confidently.
Innovative services offered by Mopar for tranquil travels
The evolution of Ducato does not only concern technological content: the Ducato based motorhome continuously improves in terms of product, and so do the services which revolve around motorhome holidays. The ability to listen to Customers - which starts in Customer Care and continues in the Fiat Professional workshops - makes it possible to respond efficiently to current needs, but also to anticipate them
In other words, through its partnership with Mopar - the reference brand for accessories, services, Customer Care and genuine spare parts for FCA brands - Fiat Professional is by the side of all customers with comprehensive and novel services. The basic assumption is that purchasing a motorhome means buying a holiday and not just a vehicle. For this reason, the service concept extends from product assistance to caring for customers on holiday with innovative ideas. More specifically, a dedicated extensive network, distributed along the routes most followed by motorhome users, competent and knowledgeable Customer Care dedicated to all motorhome owners and roadside assistance ready to spring into action across Europe and beyond.
Furthermore, there is a wide range of complete services all tailored to the needs of motorhome customers, from the classic Maximum Care Camper extended warranty to more innovative services, like the mobile application "Fiat Ducato Camper Mobile" which also provides tourist information and which has been downloaded by over 80,000 motorhome users. Travelling in a Ducato Motorhome today brings with it the reassurance of having access to over 6,500 Fiat Professional service points, equipped for servicing and repairing Ducato-based motorhomes, of which over 1,800 Fiat Camper are specifically dedicated to motorhomes.
Today, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, users can call the dedicated roadside assistance and Customer Care centre and speak with one of the twenty Brand Ambassadors who have consolidated know-how on motorhome products and are ready to provide answers, in the caller's language, and quickly solve their problems by interfacing and coordinating with other teams within the organisation, if needed.
The twenty Brand Ambassador are constantly trained and updated. They attend the major European sector trade shows to keep abreast and closely follow the world of motorhomes and their users.
Customer Care is increasingly integrated with roadside and workshop assistance: all motorhome end-users can rely on a mobile workshop ready to reach them in no less than 44 different countries. Telephone support provides updates on repair times and methods to the customer and active support to workshops to facilitate troubleshooting and ensure quick delivery of spare parts. These best practices as a whole have cut the average vehicle downtime by one day: overall, the service is extremely useful particularly for holidaymakers travelling abroad.
The service range is truly complete: the Mopar Vehicle Protection offer "Maximum Care Camper" extended warranty is a programme providing servicing coverage for all mechanical and electrical components of Ducato with various time and mileage options, valid all over Europe.
MEC: Mopar Express Care
Ducato's versatility makes it possible to use the vehicle as a mobile workshop too, ready to reach any motorhomes in 44 different countries. MEC, Mopar Express Care, is the authorised care service of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for the brand's vehicles and it supports its customers wherever they may be. In addition to high quality technical support, it offers customers a precious value: time. Maintenance and vehicle repairs can be carried out anywhere: public spaces, companies, homes. Waiting times and car downtimes can be thus reduced, and no time is taken off your holiday. Many services can be performed with the support of Mopar Express: electronic diagnosis and check ups, full car services, scheduled maintenance, check and substitution of filters, brakes, batteries, lamps, oil, air con servicing, tyre service, car window/windscreen repairs and substitutions; passenger compartment sanitation, accessory installations.
Mopar designed the ideal bicycle for all outdoor holiday lovers: the Ducato eCamperina, a perfect 'tender' for the Ducato based motorhome. Produced by Compagnia Ducale, this is a simple yet technological bike: it is as compact and practical as any foldable bicycle, but it also boasts a last generation pedal assist system. Its electric motor, fuelled by lithium batteries, guarantees up to 50 km runs and the three-speed Shimano Nexus gear makes the Ducato eCamperina an agile bicycle on any terrain. The rear rack is very useful for camping life, and day to day life is made simpler by the rear wheels that make the folded bicycle as compact and easy to carry as a trolley. All these solutions ensure maximum freedom of movement and minimal encumbrance.