on Saturday, August 28th, for the opening of the 60th edition of the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf, Fiat Professional held a conference to launch the New Ducato 2021. Visitors to the biggest recreational vehicle trade fair in Europe can see up close and personal all the secrets of the new model with 40 years of success behind it, having been named the best-selling light commercial vehicle in Europe in 2020 and “Best Motorhome Base Vehicle” for 13 years running.
The Fiat Professional stand at the German show is particularly evocative, based on communications guidelines that reflect the journey traveled thus far: “From the past to the future: Ducato, always the leader”. The “past” is represented in the exhibition area by the backdrops, reproducing the characteristic vaults of the renowned Palazzo di Torino Esposizioni, the site in the 1970s of Caravan Europa, one of the first trade fairs in the industry at the time, where the Ducato made its debut in a motorhome version.
The “future” element is represented by none other than the New Ducato and its major technological innovations. With two models on display, it can also be studied in the minutest detail via the virtual showroom (https://www.fiatcamper.com/en/virtual-showroom). Embarking from the physical dimension and location (Torino Esposizioni), the journey moves on to the digital and global, available to users anywhere in the world. In the words of Eric Laforge, Head of LCV Enlarged Europe at Stellantis: “The world of commercial vehicles is facing a new challenge that will enable customers to join in with the successes of our brand’s products, from the comfort of their homes, courtesy of the developments in technology that this company, Stellantis, has also made in the events and fairs sector”.
The Fiat Professional for Recreational Vehicles Virtual Showroom
Designed in conjunction with Studio Navone Associati in Milan, the Fiat Professional for Recreational Vehicles Virtual Showroom is a 3D environment, offering customers an experience that reproduces the feeling of a visit to a physical location. This brand-new platform was created by the “Virtual & Augmented Reality Center of Excellence”, part of the Stellantis Global ICT & Digital department. An exceptional competency center, its know-how has in recent years resulted in major innovative applications in various corporate fields. These have included virtual reality environments for the 3D design of new vehicles, laboratories for the 3D verification of new Production Lines, and augmented reality and 3D visualization applications for Sales & Marketing.
Gilberto Ceresa, Chief Information Officer, Head of Global Convergence, ICT & Digital at Stellantis, noted: “Virtual & Augmented Reality technologies are some of the components that enable the Digital Transformation, where we have also made investments in terms of in-house expertise to encourage the evolution of our internal processes. Most of all, they are designed to improve the purchase experience for our customers, especially motorhome enthusiasts in this case.”
New Ducato 2021: a development in technology for the world of Recreational Vehicles
The Ducato confirms its traditional strengths, adding practical and functional innovations that increase its appeal even further.
Style and Comfort: the major new features in terms of aesthetics include the new vintage Fiat logo, generously sized, to emphasize the sense of identity and belonging. The new grille and engine housing boost the impression of robustness, while the LED headlights are 30% brighter than halogen lamps. Plus, turning to the interior, a real “revolution” is underway in the cabin, aimed at improving quality of life on board and practicality of use. There is also a new, smaller steering wheel with various controls “at your fingertips”, while the door panels have been enhanced with additional compartments. The automatic climate control system has been improved, plus the adoption of keyless startup guarantees time savings and ease of use. The parking brake is now electric, to create more room in the cabin.
Connectivity: another new feature is the all-digital configuration of the internal instruments, courtesy of the Full Digital Cockpit that can immediately and clearly provide practical journey information and alerts, with a great deal of flexibility to meet drivers’ real-world requirements. On top of all this are the new Uconnect interfaces with screens up to 10”, a satellite navigation system including TomTom 3D maps and built-in wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
Performance: The New Ducato range has been completely refreshed, offering engines developed to comply with the Euro 6D-Final regulations, with the most powerful boasting 450 Nm of torque. The new Multijet3 diesel engines offer improvements in efficiency by reducing the weight (for the benefit of the load capacity) and by lowering consumption and CO2emissions. Durability and comfort are also increased, courtesy of improved flexibility and lower noise than the previous generation of engines. The engine range comes in four levels of output (120, 140, 160 and 180 hp) with a new and improved 6-speed manual transmission – offered in all 4 levels, and the “9Speed” automatic transmission, available in the 140-hp, 160-hp and 180-hp variants, chosen by almost half of motorhome owners. To further improve maneuverability, conventional power steering has been replaced with a self-adjusting electrically assisted drive system, to make it easier to park. In the meantime, the traditional “all-forward” Ducato architecture continues to ensure the best load capacity and steering radius in its class, and more generally, greater passenger comfort courtesy of self-leveling air suspension.
Safety and Driver Assistance: with this fully refreshed electrical architecture, the New Ducato adds a great new offer of systems aimed at improving the driving experience and at making the Ducato a safer base for leisure. Indeed, the New Ducato offers a full range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) both on the road and when parking. From speed limitation to braking control for unexpected obstacles such as pedestrians and cyclists, from road sign recognition to driver attentiveness monitoring, all the way to Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go function, Lane Keep Assist and Traffic Jam Assist, the last of which maintains active control over the vehicle’s trajectory, taking into account traffic conditions. To add to these innovative specs, a compartment for wireless cellphone charging and the Digital Central Mirror, which digitally projects and thus improves the rear view to replace the conventional mirror.