May 18, 2021 – After several months of waiting, the time has come for the New Ducato in the 2021 version. Fiat mechanics are the basis for the vast majority of motorhomes and camper vans sold in Europe and therefore much of what has been made public today concerns also the recreational vehicles that will be delivered starting in the next few months. Technology and connectivity are the watchwords of this new edition, combined with a revised design and interior.
The latter are the ones that strike the most, thanks to the redesign of the instrumentation, now entirely digital and baptized Full Digital Cockpit, and to the renewed Uconnect multimedia systems with screens up to 10 inches. The top-of-the-range version will include a navigation system with TomTom 3D maps and the Apple Car Play/Android Auto interface with wireless system, while the 7-inch Uconnect has no navigator and the 5-inch one loses compatibility with smartphone. The renewed interior design features a redesigned dashboard, new steering wheel and gear knob, door panels and modified automatic climate control.
Level 2 autonomous driving!
Fiat also worked on driver assistance systems, the ADAS. Today we do not know which and how many of these we will find on motorhomes, but the New Ducato wants to be the first light commercial vehicle with level 2 autonomous driving. From speed control to braking for sudden obstacles such as pedestrians and cyclists, from recognition of road signs to monitoring the driver’s driving attention, up to the adaptive cruise control with “stop&go” function, lane maintenance and “traffic jam assist”, which maintains active control over the vehicle’s trajectory taking into account traffic conditions. The combined use of these last three ADAS allows the New Ducato to reach level 2 of autonomous driving, in which the vehicle autonomously assists the driver during driving, acceleration and braking.
Of particular interest, if adopted on recreational vehicles, is the Digital Central Mirror which digitally projects, improving it, the rear image by replacing the rear-view mirror. In addition, the possible features include an improved ESC system with Cross Wind Assist and Trailer Stability Control, as well as an Active Park Assist, a semi-autonomous assistant for parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers.
Many small comforts
The New Ducato also offers small comforts such as the access system and keyless engine start, the electric parking brake to reduce space in the cabin and facilitate movement, a compartment to wirelessly recharge mobile phones or double sockets USB type A and C, the 230 Volt power socket. For the most demanding there will be the possibility of having the windshield heated with internal electrical resistances for rapid defrosting of the glass and self-leveling pneumatic suspensions.
Fiat has also revised the seats, modernizing their look and using new padding that offers more space and comfort. Electric power steering, standard across the range, is now more precise and manageable in all driving conditions, and the smaller steering wheel with reduced turning circle improves on-board comfort and driving agility.
The engines divided between Light and Heavy Duty
Speaking of engines, Fiat refers to the third generation of Multijet systems, based on the new H3 power architecture, which should guarantee reduced weight and lower fuel consumption and emissions, while offering greater elasticity and less noise, even improving durability. The displacement drops to 2.2 liters (2,184cc), but the powers will remain unchanged at 120, 140, 160 and 180 horsepower with six-speed manual gearbox, and with the possibility of having, combined with the three most powerful versions, the nine-speed automatic. These engines are compatible with the Euro 6D-Final anti-pollution regulations.
In the 140/160/180HP versions, the engines will also be available in brand new Heavy Duty versions. In this case the displacement will be kept at 2.3 liters (2.287cc), while the reference anti-pollution legislation will be the Euro 6 Step E.
The lights become Full Led
Externally, the New Ducato features new headlights with high performance Full Led technology. The optical groups are divided into three parts, with the lower section dedicated to LEDs that evolve the luminous “signature” characteristic of the Ducato and the three central groups that have a sporty look and provide 30% more brightness than classic halogen headlights. Finally, the upper part is dedicated to the direction indicator, with a sliding LED light guide. In the color range, Lanzarote Gray makes its debut, which is especially dedicated to customers in the recreational sector.
We can’t wait to find out what choices the producers have made to fine-tune their proposals for the 2021/2022 season.
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