Fiat Professional has unveiled the new features of the New Ducato for 2021, to complete the journey embarked on in April with the launch of the E-Ducato, the Stellantis Group’s first full-electric commercial vehicle.
Sharing the honors in a roadshow web conference was Cristina Bowerman – the Michelin-starred chef of a renowned restaurant in the heart of the Rome district of Trastevere, who gave a great account of the requirements and expectations of those who use their vehicle for both professional and recreational purposes. Alongside her were Eric Laforge, Head of LCV Enlarged Europe at Stellantis, Roberto Fumarola, Head of RV Enlarged Europe, and several other Stellantis managers who also took part in the development of the new features for 2021.
The New Ducato is turning 40 and is celebrating this anniversary as market leader, having become the best-selling light commercial vehicle in Europe in 2020 with sales of 149,000 units, 8% up on 2019. But that’s not all: for 13 years running now, the Ducato has been named “Best Motorhome Base Vehicle” by users from all over Europe.
The New Ducato is therefore going strong with these results and is ready to grasp new opportunities, by offering customers its traditional strengths, but also practical and functional innovations based on Style, including the take-up of the new vintage Fiat logo, generous in size, to highlight 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.
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.
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.
Also in terms of Performance, the New Ducato range has been completely refreshed, offering engines developed to comply with the Euro 6D-Final regulations, the best in their class 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 CO2 emissions. 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 the vehicle’s 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.
With this fully refreshed electrical architecture, the New Ducato adds a great new offer of driver Assistance and Safety 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.
Last but not least, the New Ducato is state-of-the-art in terms of Connectivity, via the Uconnect system that can be enhanced in many ways: Uconnect™ Services and the FIAT app will make it possible to manage and monitor your vehicle directly from your devices, wherever and whenever you like.