The new Fiat Ducato: giving European transport even better wheels…

There are splendid examples where the European economic market really pays off. Where manufacturers can develop and build commercial vehicles which are just ideal and fitting for our European roads, countries and economies.

Such a car is the Fiat Ducato. Since 1981 it has made its mark. And now it has grown into the European leader for the fifth year running, number one in terms of sales in 12 different countries. European vacation goers have put the Ducato since many years on top of their list.

A bestseller and a familiar face on our roads since 1981…

Indeed, it is the absolute leading vehicle serving as a base for motorhomes in Europe: approximately 3 in every 4 motorhomes sold are Fiat Ducato.

Success has its reasons. And for the new Ducato there are many. It is versatile, thanks to technical features, such as the payload, volume and axle loads, which are record-breaking among front-wheel drive vehicles, teamed with the most extensive choice of wheelbase, length and height variants.

The new Ducato has been perfected further. The engines are all 6D, even more efficient, eco-friendly and high-performing, with various fuel types – even down to the Ducato Natural Power methane-powered version – to the benefit of the environment. The new “9Speed” automatic transmission is also being launched. This is a latest-generation torque converter, capable of best exploiting all the engine’s torque points. It is the best transmission in its category in terms of weight. Last but not least, there is no shortage of the most advanced ADAS driving assist devices and a latest-generation infotainment system.

State of the art engines…

To tell you right away, all the Ducato 2,3 Diesels are industrial type engines, built exclusively for the very heavy work. The entire MultiJet 2 range now boasts a variable geometry compressor, for a smoother drive and the most flexible engine ever from the lowest speeds, with an ensuing reduction in consumption levels in the real usage cycle.

The new turbocharger, thanks to the electronic control, is in a position to adapt its fluid dynamics to the speed of the engine and to the driving style, to provide the right supercharging at all times. This is possible thanks to the implementation of a series of mobile blades situated along the radius of the turbine, which controls the flow of exhaust gas and consequently the speed and force of the compressor.

Access to the Ducato world begins with the 120 HP 2.3-litre MultiJet 2 engine at 2750 rpm with a maximum torque of 320 Nm at 1400 rpm, teamed with the manual gearbox, which improves power and torque by 10% compared to the previous 2.0-litre engine. The 140 HP 3500 rpm drive train constitutes the heart of the range, versatile and flexible with its 350 Nm torque (+9% compared to the 130 MultiJet) at just 1400 rpm, and available with both manual gearbox and the sophisticated “9Speed” nine-speed automatic transmission.

Environmentally-friendly construction and superior performance levels with the 160 HP at 3500 rpm, which distributes up to 400 Nm at 1500 rpm in the automatic transmission version. This power unit implements a specific engine shaft with oversized bearings, special pistons and a specific turbocharger, to the benefit of improved performance and engine durability. The top-end of the range boasts the 180 HP 2.3 MultiJet at 3500 rpm: a torque of 400 Nm with manual gearbox and 450 Nm – + 12% compared to the previous model – with the new nine-speed automatic transmission.

Last but not least there is the Natural Power variant with a 3000 cm3 single-fuel methane engine with 136 HP max power at 2730 rpm and a maximum torque of 350 Nm at 1500 rpm. It is part of a complete range of methane-powered commercial vehicles ranging from Car Derived Vans, to the Fiorino including the Doblò Short Wheelbase and the Long Wheelbase.

9 speed automatic…

The new transmission lets you choose between three driving modes, eco, normal and sport, and there are two operating modes, “D” and the so-called “Autostick” mode. The latter is activated by shifting the gear lever to the left, and then you have simply to put the lever backwards and forwards to change up or down. Ideal for tackling these steep hills under full load…

An EcoPack comes standard…

EcoPack includes the Start & Stop system, the smart alternator; the electronically-controlled fuel pump, which guarantees energy savings and greater combustion efficiency. Last but not least there is an ECO switch that supports the driver in saving fuel.

Top notch drive assist and infotainment…

As a professional vehicle befits, it offers a full range of driver assist systems: Blind spot assist (BSA), Rear Cross Path detection (RCP), Full brake control (FBC), alerting the driver and intervening by automatically triggering an emergency braking. Lane departure warning system (LDWS), Traffic sign recognition, High beam recognition, Rain and dusk sensor, Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

Made a gripping presentation: from left to right, Luca Marengo, head of product marketing LCV EMEA, Davide Valzan, Head of Product Planning LCV EMEA and Stéphane Guigou, head of professional brand EMEA .

An interesting and clever feature is the Engine Idle Preset, which is designed to increase the engine’s minimum revs to power any additional electrical equipment installed on-board.

From the second half of the year, the Ducato MY2020 range will further extend the range of on-board infotainment systems. The new infotainment system is now available: with a 7-inch touchscreen by Mopar®, USB port and Radio DAB tuner and the possibility of specifying the dimensions of the vehicle and possibly trim version to provide indications that avoid streets which are not sufficiently wide or low passages. A real professional feature that addresses other professionals and motorhome drivers.

The new system includes the integration of Apple CarPlay and the compatibility with Android AutoTM.

Last but not least there are very clever and practical finance systems offered by the FCA Bank subsidiary Leasys, serving corporates, small and medium enterprises, self-employed professionals and retail customers.

We also include here a film of the whole presentation of the new Ducato Range made by Helena Menten, a young professional with a heart for greentech, with an educated passion for cars and commercial vehicles for trade and agricultural or “green” businesses, reporting amongst others regularly in Tractor Power (site and GreenTech Power (site . Just press the following link:

You can see your servant making a few interviews, and indeed this report will be followed soon by further information about the people behind the new Ducato, last but least the full electric version…

Stay posted for more!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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