Fiat Professional to display at the 2014 Caravan Salon Düsseldorf

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– Taking centre stage at the German event, the New Fiat Ducato – a bestseller now in its sixth generation, offering even more technology, enhanced comfort and better value;

– Six different chassis options will be on show, representative of the segment’s most extensive range: 600 specific motorhome versions with no fewer than 5 wheelbases, 6 different chassis lengths and 4 engine options;

– During the first six months of 2014, the Fiat Ducato Camper consolidated its leadership of several European markets even further, most significantly in Germany, with more than 13,000 vehicles registered (+10% on the first half of 2013);

– Alongside Mopar – the brand of reference for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brand services, customer care, original spare parts and accessories – Fiat Professional has created a series of dedicated products and services. In Düsseldorf, visitors will get the chance to see a “mobile workshop” prototype on a Ducato base, find out about the Maximum Care Camper scheme, available by the end of the year, discover the “myDucato” reserved area on the new Fiat Ducato internet portal.

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From 30 August to 7 September, the German city of Düsseldorf will host the Caravan Salon, the world’s largest event dedicated to caravanning and open-air tourism. As leisure vehicle conversion sector leaders, Fiat Professional certainly could not miss out on this prestigious event.

The New Ducato is set to be the undeniable star of the German Salon, with six motorhome bases on display to the general public for the first time: from the short wheelbase glazed van to the various chassis cab options, and the chassis cowl versions with lowered chassis, 130 kW (177 HP) turbodiesel engine and Comfort-Matic robotised gearbox. All configured with black grille and door mirror covers, the vehicles on show at Düsseldorf also offer an extensive range of outstanding practical features to make the new Fiat Ducato the perfect motorhome base, such as the navigation system, the rear camera to assist with reversing and the pivoting “captain’s chair” seats.

This is just a small part of the New Ducato’s extraordinary specific “motorhome base” range, the widest and most comprehensive range in its segment, with 5 wheelbases, 6 different chassis lengths and 4 engine options. In total, by combining different bodies, capacities and engines, a record number of 600 specific motorhome versions can be achieved. These figures confirm the model’s unrivalled position: currently, more than three motorhomes out of four sold in Europe are created on a Ducato base.

During the first six months of 2014, the Fiat Ducato was the highest selling vehicle in Europe in the “2.8 – 4.0 tonne” category.  A success which is backed up by the fact that the Ducato base has been at the top of its segment for years, as well as being the chassis of reference for all European motorhome manufacturers. And it’s no coincidence that today more than 500,000 families travel on board motorhomes built on Fiat Ducato bases, enjoying their holidays in complete confidence and total peace of mind. This is the result of the unique experience and constant communication between Fiat – with its engineers, designers and assistance specialists throughout Europe – and motorhome manufacturers, dealerships, journalists and customers. Now it’s the New Ducato’s turn to prove itself worthy of its predecessor’s reputation as the most popular base in this sector on the European market, and the first totals for this year certainly confirm its great potential: in the first six months of 2014, the Ducato base has achieved record sales on several European markets, and most notably in Germany – the continent’s biggest market – where, from January to June 2014, more than 13,000 units were sold, an increase of more than 10% on the first half of 2013.

Fiat Professional’s Düsseldorf display will be topped off by a concept vehicle on a Fiat Ducato base, offered as the ideal “mobile workshop”. The prototype was created in collaboration with Mopar, the brand of reference for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles services, customer care, original spare parts and accessories.  And that’s not all – visitors to the Düsseldorf Salon will also be able to find out about the latest products and services designed and offered by Fiat Professional in conjunction with Mopar.

All the strengths of a new model designed especially for the “open-air” sector

In 2006, Fiat launched the first – and to date the only – motorhome base designed in partnership with all leading European manufacturers in the sector. The resulting slogan: “Fiat Ducato Born to be a motorhome”. The technical base of the Ducato is regularly optimised and made fit for purpose in line with motorhome manufacturer recommendations and in response to evolving customer expectations, as well as presenting exclusive characteristics that adapt perfectly to motorhome outfits. 

The sixth generation of the Fiat Ducato is certainly no exception, boasting the  perfect marriage of chassis and living unit to offer the highest level of quality in the motorhome sector, from any angle: cab roof open and fitted with structural reinforcements, pivoting front seats that become part of the living room, a specific reduced-weight chassis for motorhomes, high rigidity and optimum connection to the living unit and tanks, widened rear track for increased interior space and greater stability, as well as the new rear suspension in composite material and new front springs for “maximum loads”. What’s more the practicality of a pre-prepared electrical connection optimises the integration of the wiring between vehicle and outfit.

The design of the New Ducato satisfies the specific requirements of motorhome customers: high customisability, horizontal lines for optimum integration with the style of the living unit, ease of driving and manoeuvring thanks to limited length in the front section – the best in its category – which in turn increases the living unit dimensions.

Another focus of the New Ducato ‘motorhome base’ was increased comfort at the wheel and on board. The model’s traditional strengths – “automotive” style driving, high visibility, comfortable driving position, etc. are built upon by the addition of improvements to suspension, brakes and Comfort-Matic robotised gearbox, as well as new content such as “captain’s chair” seats developed with specialists in the motorhome sector. Whatever the market segment – from vans to top-of-the-range “A classes” – in any usage location, the Fiat Ducato “motorhome base” range always offers the best and most comfortable solution.

The widest, most comprehensive range in its segment

5 wheelbases, 6 different chassis lengths and 4 engine options combine to create a record total of 600 specific motorhome versions . And that’s not all, the specific motorhome range is extended even further thanks to the model’s new content, much of which is particularly useful for the New Ducato’s role as a “motorhome base”. 

For example, the technology includes:

– rear suspension in composite material to reduce tare;

– total payload up to 4.4 tonnes on the Ducato “motorhome base” Maxi versions;

– the 16-inch wheels now available on the standard Ducato range, also in alloy with new design;

– reinforced front suspension for motorhome versions with high gross weight;

– the introduction in the factory (SEVEL) of another interface variant for the installation of AlKo AMC chassis for further weight optimisation;

– the availability of ESC and TPMS on all versions, including those with AlKo AMC chassis.

Turbo MultiJet Engines, from 115 to 177 HP

Always at the forefront in environmental protection, the New Fiat Ducato motorhome versions offer only turbodiesel engines – from 115 to 177 HP – all extremely economical and, thanks to the MultiJet direct injection, capable of meeting the Euro 5+ emissions standards.

The most popular option in this sector is the Fiat Ducato 2.3 130 MultiJet II, equipped with a 2.3 litre 96 kW (130 HP) four cylinder turbodiesel power unit. With 320 Nm of torque, this engine is perfectly prepared for long distance travel. Or why not try the 2.3 turbodiesel? With its reduced weight, it generates 110 kW (148 HP) maximum power and maximum torque of 350 Nm: the perfect balance between high performance and low running costs.

The 85 kW (115 HP) 2.0 115 MultiJet II with five speed manual gearbox, and the top-of-the-range 130 kW (177 HP) 3.0 180 MultiJet Power, offering maximum torque of 400 Nm (the ideal solution for larger motorhomes) complete the engine range.

Comfort-Matic robotised gearbox

With the exception of the 115 HP 2.0 turbodiesel, which comes with a five speed gearbox, all versions of the Fiat Ducato are equipped with a six speed manual gearbox as standard. Alternatively, for the 130 MultiJet, 150 MultiJet and 180 MultiJet engines, the “Comfort-Matic” robotised gearbox is available, featuring both a specific motorhome set-up and an “automatic” mode for an even more relaxing drive, guaranteed.

In technical terms, the gearbox consists of a “traditional” mechanical transmission on which the manual linkage is replaced by actuators controlled electronically by a “TCU” (Transmission Control Unit) and offers 6 speeds (plus reverse) that work both in fully automatic mode – with specific mapping and ratios for the different types of use for which the Ducato is designed – and manual sequential mode. In manual mode, the driver is free to select the gear using the “joystick” gear lever on the dashboard. Naturally, there is no clutch pedal.

The “Up” button on the dashboard also optimises gear changes in automatic mode when travelling with full loads and on gradients, ensuring the best engine operation for all circumstances.

Comfort-Matic not only makes driving more relaxing, it also reduces fuel consumption by up to 5%. And to reduce fuel consumption even further, all versions of the New Ducato feature the Gear Shift Indicator solution, which helps to optimise driving style by suggesting the correct gear.

Safety and driving assist systems

Electronic stability control (ESC), which intervenes to control the vehicle’s dynamic manoeuvres in emergency conditions, is available throughout the entire “motorhome base” range. A range of important safety functions form an integral part of the ESC, such as the anti-roll system to maximise comfort and reduce the risk of rollover; the gravity detection system (LAC – Load Adaptive Control) to adapt the ESC operation parameters to load conditions in real time; the system that assists uphill starts (Hill Holder); the anti-slip (ASR – Anti Slip Regulation) and drive torque control (MSR) systems, the electronic braking assistance system (EBA) and the anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distributor (EBD) that distributes the braking force over the four wheels to prevent them from locking and to guarantee total control of the vehicle in all conditions.

On request, the New Ducato can also be fitted with additional driving aids. For example, it is the first vehicle in its class to be equipped with ‘Traction+’ with Hill Descent Control. In detail, Traction+ guarantees greater traction even on poor grip surfaces (such as with a wheel on snow or mud) without weighing down the vehicle and increasing running costs (which happens, for example, with 4×4 systems), while the Hill Descent Control becomes operational on steep descents to keep the speed within a pre-set limit. The speed is controlled by the ESC system, which applies the braking torque without the driver’s intervention.

Last but not least, the Lane Departure Warning System and the system that automatically adjusts the vehicle’s high beam based on the distance of the vehicles arriving from the opposite direction (High Beam Recognition) are also available. The Ducato is also the only vehicle in its class to feature the Traffic Signal Recognition system that identifies the speed limits and no overtaking and displays them on the instrument panel.  Lastly, the New Ducato’s equipment is completed with Cruise Control, the programmable speed limiter, and the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Exclusive Mopar-branded products and services

The freedom to travel, the chance to get up close with nature, the luxury of deciding when and where to stop in order to savour a break: these are all ingredients in the growing success of motorhome holidays. The New Ducato adds to these benefits not only the reliability of an unrivalled motorhome base, but the unique value of service, assistance and belonging to a historic brand.

Fiat Professional is offering itself to leisure time lovers as a true “travel companion” that takes care of every aspect of the motorhome holiday, providing a wide range of products and services put together in collaboration with Mopar, the brand of reference for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles services, customer care, original spare parts and accessories.

Mopar Vehicle Protection

By the end of this year, Fiat Professional, in collaboration with Mopar, will be offering “Maximum Care Camper” in most European countries, the new Mopar Vehicle Protection service which allows you to protect your motorhome against electrical and mechanical faults, as well as the handy option to choose different durations according to your needs: from 3 years of warranty (two contractual and one year extension, with 30,000 km) up to 5 years (two contractual plus three years extension, with 100,000 km). The offer includes, for example, specific motorhome roadside assistance, set to be launched at a particularly attractive price.  

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Concept vehicle on Fiat Ducato base

The Düsseldorf showcase will feature a concept vehicle on a Fiat Ducato base, created in conjunction with Mopar, the ideal mobile service centre, with a host of equipment such as diagnostic tools, and compartments for storing spare parts and accessories. There are also extendible canopies on both sides of the vehicle, making it possible to perform checks and maintenance almost anywhere. The mobile service centre can also perform an electronic check-up by tablet (wiADVISOR), thanks to both its internet access and its large 32″ flat screen, which ensures that the customer benefits from complete process transparency.

“myDucato” on the new Ducato Camper portal

The unique services on offer from Fiat Professional to its motorhome customers include a brand new website – www.fiatcamper.com – dedicated entirely to Ducato base motorhomes. Also accessible via tablet or smartphone, the portal contains a wealth of information on topics related to Ducato Base Motorhome products and all the dedicated services. It also contains videos and useful widgets to help you select the best engine for your needs or find your nearest service centre. For lovers of social media, the site will be constantly linked to the dedicated Facebook page.

The “myDucato” reserved area – offered in collaboration with Mopar – allows registered users to access specific services such as chassis checks to ensure total travelling peace of mind, view servicing schedules or benefit from exclusive After Sales offers (such as downloadable coupons to claim an exclusive gadget for eco-friendly holidays, to be collected from the Düsseldorf stand). The site is available in 9 languages and will shortly be updated with new content and services.

Customer Care

The Mopar Customer Care service dedicated to motorhome customers is active throughout Europe, available in 13 languages and accessible via the Universal Freephone Number 00800-34281111. The service offers customers information on dedicated products and services, and can be used to obtain roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The ‘Fiat Ducato Camper Mobile’ smartphone app, again in collaboration with Mopar Customer Care, now is also available to download for free via the App Store or Google Play in 17 European countries.

Dedicated service points

Ducato Motorhome customers can count on the service and professionalism of more than 6500 Fiat Professional dealerships and authorised service centres. More than 1800 of these offer specific structures for motorhomes. With the New Ducato, you can “Travel with complete confidence”, a slogan that neatly sums up a holiday on-board a motorhome outfitted on a Ducato base.

[Source ; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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