*Completing the model’s line-up on top of the e-Ducato, the first full-electric Ducato.
The 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 around 150,000 units, 8% up on 2019. Already best-in-class for capabilities courtesy of the broadest “all-forward” range on the market, the New Ducato is aimed not only at confirming its leading position, but also at improvement to ensure it is always ready for every mission and to fulfill all its clients’ cargo and mobility requirements. The same clients have always acknowledged the model’s leadership in terms of efficiency, flexibility and constant development, aimed at grasping the opportunities and driving the new challenges on the market.
The look of the New Ducato remains as familiar and reassuring as it ever has been, but with a further development in the dynamic and elegant style that can be seen to start with in the design of the new headlights with high-performance full LED technology. The lights are divided into three sections, with the lower one dedicated to the LED light guide, which develops the luminosity “signature” characteristic of the Ducato. As always with the Ducato, “style meets functionality”. Not only do the three central lights come with a high-tech and modern look, they also offer 30% more brightness than conventional halogen headlights. Finally, the upper section is dedicated to the direction indicators, the style of which has also been refreshed with an LED light guide with a slider switch, an effect much appreciated and used in cars, now available in a commercial vehicle for the first time. The refresh of the bodywork covers the large grille and the new skid plates, to add to the new, iconic Fiat badge that proudly highlights the model’s production by the Italian brand, at its plant in Atessa. To complete the interventions in terms of style, the brand-new Lanzarote Grey has been introduced as a color at launch, emphasizing the “adventurous” spirit of the New Ducato and specifically dedicated to clients from the recreational sector.
Technology and onboard comfort
Turning to the interior, a real “revolution” is underway in the cabin, aimed at improving quality of life on board and practicality of use: Keyless Entry and Go – to lock and unlock the cabin and load compartment doors and start the engine without the key; electric parking brake to reduce clutter in the cabin and facilitate relocations; the Eat-and-Work passenger seat, which becomes a convenient space to work or for a snack; a compartment to charge mobile phones wirelessly; double USB-A and USB-C ports; a high-voltage 230-V power socket; heated windshield with internal electrical resistance for quick defrost. The refreshed interior design is embellished with a redesigned dashboard and steering wheel, along with a new gear lever, new more functional and spacious door panels, and automatic air conditioning controls.
The seats come with a more contemporary look, new padding and offer more space and comfort; the new electric power steering as standard throughout the line-up adds precision and handling in all driving and load conditions, paired with a steering wheel with a reduced turning circle, which accentuates the car-like driving and redefines the concept of comfort in the Ducato’s new cabin, to the benefit of ergonomics and to reduce the stress of drivers and passengers with increasingly strenuous work commitments.
Also new 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 – from the 3D satnav to the driver assistance systems, and offers a great deal of flexibility, down to the options for reconfiguration and interaction with the Uconnect infotainment system. The vehicle can thus be adapted in the best way possible to the driver’s requirements. On top of all this are the new Uconnect interfaces with screens up to 10.1”, a top-of-the-range full satellite navigation system including TomTom 3D maps and built-in wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. These latter systems provide access to the most commonly used vehicle controls in just one tap. The Uconnect 7” – also with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto – completes the offering.
Also in terms of Performance, the New Ducato line-up has been completely refreshed, offering engines developed to comply with the Euro 6D-Final regulations and broadening the range available with Heavy-Duty type approval. The new Multijet3 diesel engines, based on the new H3 Power architecture developed by Stellantis for Fiat Professional, are now in their third generation. A name that evokes the three special features of the new propulsion units: High Efficiency, courtesy of the reduced weight (for the benefit of load capacity) and the lowered consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 7% compared to the previous generation of engines; High Durability, courtesy of reliability over up to 300,000 km, ensured by its industrial design and use of specific components; High Comfort, resulting from greater flexibility and lower noise levels than the previous generation of engines. Developments in 3 fundamental aspects in the world of commercial vehicles with no compromise on power or performance, long-standing strengths and traditions of the Ducato. The New Ducato is available in four levels of output with two transmissions – 6-speed manual at 120, 140, 160 and 180 hp, and automatic with the much-appreciated “9Speed” automatic transmission, available in the 140-hp, 160-hp and 180-hp variants. The 6-speed manual transmission is new in the 120 and 140 hp models, ensuring a more fluid gear change than the previous version. Available in the three highest levels of output, the Heavy-Duty range with manual and automatic transmission completes the engines on offer, maintaining the same torque as the light-duty models, already best-in-class with 450 Nm of torque from the most powerful engine. “One mission, one engine”, with a total of 13 different combinations in the line-up, to best adapt to all mission specifications.
To further improve the vehicle’s handling, 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 and easier loading and unloading, partly down to the self-leveling air suspension and the adjustable loading threshold.
Safety and Driver Assistance
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 environment for work or play. Indeed, the New Ducato is marketed as the first “Large Van” with level 2 autonomous driving, offering 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. The combined use of the latter three ADAS enables the New Ducato to achieve level 2 autonomous driving, where the vehicle provides independent assistance while driving and during acceleration and braking.
The broad driver assistance and parking system specs are added to by the Digital Central Mirror, which digitally improves and shows the rear view to replace the relevant mirror, plus the ESC system with Cross-Wind Assist, Trailer Stability Control and Active Park Assist, the latter a semi-autonomous assistant for parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers.
Last but not least, the New Ducato represents the state of the art in terms of Connectivity. The gateway to this world is 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. Many services are available, starting from My Assistant, to ensure safety and assistance while traveling, providing geolocated support in the event of an accident or breakdown. Every month, a report is also sent on the health of the New Ducato, with recommendations on how best to take care of the vehicle.
My Remote offers interaction with the vehicle, even when away from it, to lock and unlock the doors, check its location and set up alerts on speed, area and time slots. Plus, if you use a voice assistant, you can send directions straight to the car and receive information on vehicle status, all merely by giving a voice command.
My Car is the services pack to monitor the health of your Ducato at any time, including fuel level, tire pressure and odometer, and to receive direct notifications on maintenance or repairs.
Using My Navigation, you can reach any destination quickly and stress-free, with traffic, weather and speed camera information in real time. The maps are always kept up to date over-the-air, without having to visit a workshop.
My Wi-Fi, with added Wi-Fi Hotspot, enables you to connect up to 8 devices and use the Amazon Alexa Voice Service in your vehicle, for example to search for and configure a destination, listen to live-streamed music or communicate remotely with compatible home automation devices. For alerts if theft is attempted and to receive assistance if your vehicle is stolen, the My Alert pack is available.
Last but not least, the My Fleet Manager tool can be used to simplify corporate fleet management with maximum efficiency and safety, courtesy of advanced tools to monitor, plan and analyze your vehicles, as well as the suite of mobility solutions for Stellantis Group vehicles, offered by “Free2Move”.