New Ducato is here and the order book is open. The fresh faced flagship model of the Fiat Professional range, launched in 1981, wears its 40-year history with pride, having already celebrated its status as the best-selling light commercial vehicle in Europe in 2020.
Already best-in-class for capabilities and broadest range on the market, the New Ducato is aimed not only at cementing 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 customers have always acknowledged the model’s leadership in terms of efficiency, flexibility and constant upgrading, resulting in its status as the best-selling commercial vehicle in Europe after 40 years of continuous success.
The New Ducato reaffirms its leadership and remains one step ahead of the competition, by focusing on technology and connectivity, and even by refreshing the design and overall appearance of the interior. A new 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 satnav to the driver assistance systems – offers a great deal of flexibility, down to the options for reconfiguration and interaction with the UConnect infotainment system. The vehicle can therefore 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-inch, 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-inch screen – also with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto – and the UConnect 5-inch screen complete the offering. The refreshed interior design is embellished with a redesigned dashboard and steering wheel, along with a new gear lever, new door panels and automatic air conditioning controls.
With this fully refreshed 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 leisure. Indeed, the New Ducato is marketed as the first light commercial vehicle with level two autonomous driving, offering a full range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) both on the road and when parking. These will be available from dealerships soon. 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. A unique result, never before achieved by a commercial vehicle.
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 manoeuvers.
In addition, the expected upcoming boom and affirmation of e-commerce and home delivery will entail new requirements and demand in terms of driving comfort. The New Ducato provides a response to these with practical, smart solutions such as: 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 when folded down; a compartment to charge mobile phones wirelessly; double USB-A and USB-C ports; a high-voltage 230-V power socket; larger and more spacious door panels; heated windshield with internal electrical resistance for quick defrost and; self-leveling air suspension, to lower the load threshold, making loading and unloading easier.
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 range is more precise and manageable in all driving and load conditions; the smaller steering wheel with a reduced turning circle redefine the concept of comfort inside the new cabin of the Ducato, to the benefit of ergonomics and to reduce the stress of drivers and passengers with increasingly strenuous work commitments.
New Ducato has fully refreshed its engine range, developed to comply with Euro 6D-Final regulations, and by expanding the range on offer with Heavy-Duty type-approval. The new Multijet3 diesel engines, based on the new and exclusive H3 power architecture proprietary to Stellantis, are now in their third generation and build on their strengths, offering improvements in efficiency by reducing the weight (for the benefit of the load capacity) and by lowering consumption and CO2 emissions (by up to seven per cent, a best-in-class figure). Durability is also increased, as an essential characteristic of an engine dedicated to the heavy-duty usage typical of commercial vehicles and to comfort, courtesy of improved flexibility and lower noise than the previous generation of engines.
The New Ducato will be available in four levels of output (120hp, 140hp, 160hp and 180hp) with a new and improved six speed manual transmission – offered in all four levels and the much-appreciated nine speed automatic transmission, available in the 140hp, 160hp and 180hp variants. 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 450Nm of torque from the most powerful engine. Altogether, New Ducato provides customers with the choice of 13 different combinations in the line-up, to best adapt to all mission specifications.
The designers at Centro Stile have paid great attention to the redefinition of the New Ducato’s lines and the ergonomics of its interior. The front now has a bolder look, featuring the new, iconic Fiat badge in its center, to proudly emphasize the fact it forms part of the Italian brand, as a vehicle produced at the Atessa plant. Similarly, the grid, engine housing and skid plates have been redesigned to give an impression of stylistic uniformity in step with the times. However, the factor that immediately attracts the attention is the design of the high-performance new lights with full-LED technology. The lights are divided into three sections, with the lowest dedicated to the LED light guide, which develops the signature characteristic of the Ducato. The three central lights come with a decidedly sporty look and offer 30 per cent 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 and now available in a commercial vehicle. To complete the interventions in terms of style, the brand new Lanzarote Grey has been introduced as a colour at launch, emphasising the adventurous spirit of the New Ducato and specifically dedicated to clients from the recreational sector.
New Ducato is available in three configurations: Tecnico, Tecnico Plus and Business Edition, and are all wider ranging than ever before. These three configurations can be customised even further by adding other packs with ADAS systems and improved functionality, all of which are designed to make the New Ducato ‘fit for every mission’ and tailor-made for client requirements.
All new connected services can transform the New Ducato. Firstly, the Uconnect system can be enhanced in many ways: Uconnect™ Services and the FIAT app will make it possible to manage and monitor the vehicle directly from various devices. Further services include remote assistance, smart navigation, remote control, fleet management and much more. These create a virtuous circle where all stakeholders can benefit from the advantages of work done in a spirit of constant contact and sharing via the main features on offer, for example My Assistant, to ensure safety and assistance while traveling, providing geolocated support in the event of an incident. 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 using a voice assistant, directions can be sent straight to the car and receive information on vehicle status.
My Car monitors the health of New Ducato at any time, including fuel level, tyre pressure, odometer and receipt of 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 Send&Go, Parking Search and Refuelling Station features help to optimise time: for example, after a destination has been found in the app, it can be sent to the satnav with just one tap, then refuelling stations and car parks can be viewed along the way. 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 the connection of up to 8 devices and the use of the Amazon Alexa Voice Service in your vehicle. The My Alert pack is available for notifications if a theft of Ducato is attempted to receive assistance.
Finally, 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 analyse a whole fleet of vehicles.
The connectivity offered by the New Ducato also means vehicle telematic data and remote controls can be integrated with existing client solutions, to ensure maximum interoperability.