Archive for October, 2011

Nissan Show New Electric Nissan Cabstar in Tokyo

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Nissan Cabstar ElectricNissan is adapting the technology the company uses in their LEAF passenger car to be used in the next generation of commercial vehicles.  These vehicles are on show at the 2011 Tokyo Truck show, despite the fact that work only started on the electric vans in July this year.

Nissan is showing the e-NT400 Cabstar Concept and the Cabstar Refrigerated van.

The e-NT400 Cabstar Concept is an EV concept vehicle based on the Cabstar and equipped with Nissan LEAF components. The vehicle also boasts a cruising range of 100 km. Nissan claim that their Cabstar Refrigerated van is the first of its kind in the world. Its refrigerating compressor operates on a combination of an electric motor with a lithium-ion battery power system. The vehicle’s high-efficiency electric compressor makes it possible to keep the chilled/freezer compartments operating even when the vehicle engine is switched off.

The Cabstar Refrigerated van  is scheduled for release in Japan in late 2012.

Clean, ‘green’ flower power from Mitsubishi Fuso Canter

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Mitsubishi Fuso Canter for sale Operating at the same gross vehicle weight as a typical Ford Transit – 3,500kg (3.5 tonner), The Mitsubishi Canter resembles more closely a truck than a van.  This bodes well for durability, but also for green credentials. Windowflowers has taken delivery of more of the flexible tipper 3.5-tonne Mitsubishi Fuso Canters

Windowflowers is the UK’s largest independent supplier of floral and horticultural services to the commercial sector. It grows 1.2 million plants a year at its 34-acre nursery in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, and relies on its eight Mitsubishi Canters to perform a variety of roles.

 Like another pair of vehicles purchased last year, the company’s latest two Canters are powered by engines that not only meet Euro 5 emissions limits but also the more demanding – and voluntary – Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle (EEV) standard.

They were supplied by Aldershot Mercedes-Benz dealer Rossetts Commercials. Both are Canter 3C13 models with 130hp versions of the Canter’s state-of-the-art 3.0-litre diesel powerplant, and bodies by AL Musselwhite of Romsey, Hampshire: one is a box, the other a tipper.

Windowflowers runs 3.5-tonners because they can be driven on a standard car licence and because they are compact and manoeuvrable enough for operation in tight inner-city locations. And it chooses the Canter at this gross weight because it also offers the strength and rugged durability otherwise found only in larger vehicles.

“Most 3.5-tonne chassis cabs are van-based,” said General Manager Jim Lodge. “But the Fuso Canter is built like a proper truck. It has a competitive payload too, so it’s perfect for our needs.” 

He continued: “We don’t cover huge mileages although a lot of the work is of a stop-start nature which can be hard on drivelines. Our Canters have always been very reliable while the latest, Euro 5 versions, with their new six-speed gearboxes, are also much more fuel-efficient than previous models.

“The fact that they are so clean is another bonus, and one that’s sure to pay dividends in the future when we’re operating within the London Low Emission Zone.”

Founded in 1947, Windowflowers supplies and tends to cut flower arrangements, interior plant displays, window boxes and hanging baskets for commercial premises and local authorities located mainly in London but also as far afield as Brighton and Leicester; this summer alone, it installed and watered 10,000 hanging baskets!

The company bought its first Canters from Rossetts Commercials in 2004; one of those vehicles is still in service, although it is due for replacement next year.

The fleet also includes a 2008 chassis on which is mounted a 2,000-litre water tank. However, Windowflowers has since abandoned this fixed configuration in favour of a more flexible system.    

Mr Lodge explained: “Our tippers are essentially multi-role vehicles. The high mesh sides mean they can be used, for example, to transport green waste such as old hanging baskets which have dried out and therefore present us with the challenge of handling a load that is light but bulky.

“In the summer months, however, we can also remove the sides and use these chassis to carry tanks mounted on metal skids, which we then use to water our baskets in situ at customers’ premises.

“The box-bodied vehicles, meanwhile, carry plants on trollies, used to fill window boxes or purchased from Covent Garden Market.”

Mercedes Sprinters Receive New Standard Safety Features

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

A seat belt warning system and secure engine start, are to become standard specification on all Sprinter models straight way.  Mercedes-Benz claim to beahead of the packa s far as safety features are concerned, so they have intoriduced a warning light and buzzer, which are triggered if the driver’s seat belt is not fastened at the start of, or during, a journey. In addition, the engine will now only start if the the driver has their foot pressed down on the clutch pedal.

New 2012 Model Ford Ranger | Specification | Dimensions |

Friday, October 28th, 2011

New Ford Ranger 2012 Mdel - out November 2011The Ford Ranger is out in the UK from November 2011.  The full specifications are detailed below for anyone needing the chapter and verse. Enjoy!

Structure Computer-optimized, high-efficiency, unitary-welded steel, body on frame
Safety elements – Body Optimized frame and body structure to achieve moderate deceleration levels whilst minimizing intrusions into the passenger compartment in offset and straight front impacts, side impacts and rear impacts.
  Front end optimized for pedestrian protection, with energy absorbing material in the front bumper and ‘hexageneous’ under-bonnet structure
Passive safety and restraint system elements Ford Intelligent Protection System (IPS) featuring:
  • Full size driver and passenger airbags 
  • Driver knee airbag 
  • Standard inflatable side curtains for front and second row occupants
  • Standard thorax-protecting side airbags for front occupants
  • Three-point safety belts in all positions
  • Safety belt reminders for driver & front passenger
  • Safety belt pretensioners and load limiters for driver & front passenger
  • Passenger airbag deactivation switch
  • ISOFIX anchor points for the rear outer seats
Security system elements
  • Thatcham Cat1 alarm with interior scanning capability, with Battery Back-up Sounder
  • Advanced Ford PATS immobiliser
  • Remote and manual key operated central locking
Corrosion protection 12 year anti-corrosion warranty.
Aerodynamics Ranger Double Cab
  CD: 040
  A: 2.86 
Suspension Front – Independent front suspension with coil-over-strut design 
  Rear – Rigid leafs springs
Steering Type – Rack and pinion steering, power assisted
  Turning circle (m, Kerb-to-Kerb) – 11.8 (4×2); 12.4 (4×4)
  Turns lock-to-lock – 3.5    
Brakes Front – ventilated discs, 302 x 32mm
  Rear – drums, 270 x 55mm (4×2); 295 x 55mm (4×4)
  Standard: Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Brake Assist.
  ESP system features: Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Trailer Sway Mitigation (TSM), Load Adaptive Control (LAC), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Emergency Brake Light (EBL), Roll-Over Mitigation (ROM)


Wheels & tyres        
Wheel type Pressed Steel  Pressed Steel / Alloy  Alloy Alloy
Wheel size 6.5 x 16″ 7.0 x 16″ 8.0 x 17″ 8.0 x 18″
Tyre size 215/70 R 16 255/55 R 16 265/65 R 17 265/60 R 18
Spare wheel:        
16″ full-size steel spare         


Engine Type 2.2L Duratorq TDCi 150 PS/120 kW 
Displacement (cc) 2198
Bore (mm) 86
Stroke (mm) 94.6
Fuel type, grade Diesel GOPS A10 B10 Gazole EN590 with 10% of FAME EN14214
Max power (ISO kW/PS) 120/150
At engine speed (rpm) 3700
Max torque (ISO Nm) 375
At engine speed (rpm) 1500-2500
Compression ratio 15.7:1
Cylinders 4 in line
Turbocharger Variable Geometry Turbocharger with position sensor
Fuel injection High-pressure common-rail with fuel pressure 1800bar 
Emission controls Coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF)
  Oxidation catalyst
  Water cooled EGR
Emission level Euro Stage V


Transmission type:  Ford MT82 manual 6-speed  Ford 6R80 automatic 6-speed 
Gear ratios     
6th 0.794 0.691
5th 1 0.867
4th 1.223 1.143
3rd  1.721 1.521
2nd 2.839 2.342
1st 5.441 4.171
Reverse 4.935 3.4
Final Drive (4×2) 3.31
Final Drive (4×4) 3.55 3.73
Clutch Hydraulically operated self-adjust clutch with dual mass flywheel 6-speed automatic transmission with manual Sport Mode, Brake Shift Interlock, Grade Control Logic (Automatic modes), Emergency downshift (Manual mode)


4×4 Transfer box Two speed, right hand drop, single offset , aluminium shift-on-the-fly transfer box
4×4 ratios 1:1 (High Range)
  2.48:1 (Low Range)
Max. speed when switching 120 km/h
Engine Type 3.2L Duratorq TDCi 200 PS/147 kW 
Displacement (cc) 3198
Bore (mm) 89.9
Stroke (mm) 100.76
Fuel type, grade Diesel GOPS A10 B10 Gazole EN590 with 10% of FAME EN14214
Max power (ISO kW/PS) 147/200
At engine speed (rpm) 3000
Max torque (ISO Nm) 470
At engine speed (rpm) 1500-2750
Compression ratio 15.7:1
Cylinders 5 in line
Turbocharger Variable Geometry Turbocharger with position sensor
Fuel injection High-pressure common-rail with fuel pressure 1800bar 
Emission controls Coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF)
  Oxidation catalyst
  Water cooled EGR
Emission level Euro Stage V


Transmission type:   Ford MT82 manual 6-speed  Ford 6R80 automatic 6-speed 
Gear ratios     
6th 0.794 0.691
5th 1 0.867
4th 1.223 1.143
3rd  1.721 1.521
2nd 2.839 2.342
1st 5.441 4.171
Reverse 4.935 3.4
Final Drive (4×4) 3.55 3.73
Clutch Hydraulically operated self-adjust clutch with dual mass flywheel 6-speed automatic transmission with manual Sport Mode, Brake Shift Interlock, Grade Control Logic (Automatic modes), Emergency downshift (Manual mode)
4×4 Transfer box Two speed, right hand drop, single offset , aluminium shift-on-the-fly transfer box  
4×4 ratios 1:1 (High Range)  
  2.48:1 (Low Range)  
Max. speed for on-the-fly shifting 120 km/h  


Dimensions and capacities    
Exterior (mm) Single Cab Super Cab Double Cab
Overall length 5274 5359 5359
Overall width 1850 1850 1850
Overall height max (empty vehicle) 1800 (1703) 1804 1815
Wheelbase 3220 3220 3220
Ground clearance 229 229 232
Wading depth (4×4) 800 (600) 800 (600) 800
Front tread (4×4) 1560 (1590) 1560 1560
Rear tread (4×4) 1560 (1590) 1560 1560
Front overhang 905 905 905
Rear overhang 1149 1226 1226
Angles (deg.)      
Approach angle n.a. n.a. 27.7°
Departure angle n.a. n.a. 25.9°
Ramp angle  n.a. n.a. 24.4°
Interior (mm)      
Front (mm)      
Headroom 1024 1024 1022
Max. leg room  1058 1058 1058
Shoulder room 1437 1437 1440
Rear (mm)      
Headroom 938 975
Max. legroom 796 902
Shoulder room 1400 1430
Cargo Bed (mm)      
Width 1544 1544 1544
Width between arches 1139 1139 1139
Length  2317 1847 1560
Height 511 511 511
Loading height 835 (724) 835 835


Different figures for 4×2 versions in brackets.    
Versions Minimum kerbweight (kg) Gross Vehicle Mass (kg) Gross Payload Max. towable mass (kg)
Single Cab        
2.2L TDCi 150 PS 4×2 1791 2925 1134 2500 (750)
2.2L TDCi 150 PS 4×4 1891 3200 1309 3350 (750)
Super Cab        
2.2L TDCi 150 PS 4×2 1835 2925 1090 2500 (750)
2.2L TDCi 150 PS 4×4 1946 3200 1254 3350 (750)
Double Cab        
2.2L TDCi 150 PS 4×4 2048 3200 1152 3350 (750)
2.2L TDCi 150 PS 4×4 automatic 2063 3200 1137 3350 (750)
3.2L TDCi 200 PS 4×4 2073 3200 1127 3350 (750)
3.2L TDCi 200 PS 4×4 automatic 2083 3200 1117 3350 (750)
Minimum kerbweight represents the lightest kerbweight including full fluid levels and 90% fuel levels, subject to manufacturing tolerances and options, etc. fitted 
Towing limits quoted represent the maximum braked towing capacity of the vehicle on a 12 per cent gradient at sea level – unbraked towing capacities in brackets.
The performance and economy of all models will be reduced when used for towing.80 kg roof load for all versions.   220 kg tongue load for all versions.
Economy, Performance and Emissions    
  2.2 litre Duratorq TDCi   3.2 litre Duratorq TDCi   
Performance (PS) 150   200  
Body Styles all   all  
Transmission Type 6-speed manual 6-speed automatic 6-speed manual 6-speed automatic
Euro Emissions Stage Stage V Stage V Stage V Stage V
CO2Emissions (g/km)* 228 (219) 264 264 281
Urban fuel consumption*l/100km (mpg) 27.4 (28.5) 22.6 23 21.6
Extra Urban fuel consumption l/100km (mpg)* 37.2 (38.7) 33.2 32.8 30.7
Combined fuel consumption l/100km (mpg)* 32.8 (34.0) 28.3 28.3 28.7
Max Speed km//h (mph)* 109 (103) 109 109 109
* Figures for 4×2 version in brackets

Prices Announced for New Ford Ranger

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Ford Ranger new model yearThe brand new Ford Ranger has just had its prices announced before it goes on sale in November with prices from £15,515 (on-the-road, excluding VAT).

Ranger will be offered in three cab bodystyles – Double, Super and Regular – along with an extensive list of practical features that are available across XL, XLT, Limited and Wildtrak models. The pickup will also come in 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains.

Totally new from the ground up, Ranger was designed and developed to be best-in-class or amongst the leaders in every area important to customers, especially those whose use spans both work and leisure. Ranger now delivers more payload and class-leading towing capability and, at the same time, is fitted out with innovative and comfort features that a dual user has come to expect.

“The all-new Ranger is a perfect example of how our ‘One Ford’ global strategy works,” said Ford of Europe chairman and CEO Stephen Odell. “Far from producing a vehicle that is compromised by the need to serve different market requirements, it was developed by drawing on resources, facilities and expertise from Ford locations around the world to deliver an excellent product that will satisfy customers everywhere.

“The range of qualities pickup customers demand from their vehicle is far greater than the differences in conditions from country to country. The real challenge has been to build a Ranger that is tough and yet comfortable, rugged yet stylish, safe, technologically advanced and powerful, yet remaining affordable. We believe the team has succeeded in every goal. There is no compromise here.”

Developed for the world
Designed and developed by a global team headquartered in Australia, the new Ranger platform takes advantage of global Ford assets, particularly robust engines and six-speed transmissions proven in tough commercial-vehicle usage. The design and product development teams also had full access to Ford’s global capabilities, testing facilities and extensive pickup truck knowledge.

The collaboration was crucial in developing the all-new Ranger. Everything is new – engines, gearboxes, frame, suspension, steering system, brakes, chassis, exterior sheet metal and vehicle interior. The list continues with brand-new features for safety and passenger comfort.

“Ranger is truly all-new,” said Jim Baumbick, engineering director, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “Developing this pickup from scratch was an exciting opportunity that allowed us to benchmark what our competitors are doing, listen to what truck customers around the world want and deliver a vehicle that meets and exceeds expectations.”

Using latest computer technologies, the product development team conducted about 30,000 computer-aided assessments on areas such as safety, durability, ergonomics, vehicle dynamics and aerodynamics during the virtual phase. Of these, 7,500 virtual assessments were carried out in the under-body to ensure a robust vehicle foundation and more than 10,000 virtual assessments on the upper-body to align styling and functional requirements.

Once Ranger prototypes were ready, they were tested extensively in 15 countries around the world to deliver a vehicle that is tough enough for the harsh conditions of the Australian Outback, provides confidence when driven on high-speed German autobahns and is reliable when driven for hours in the endlessness of the Argentinean Pampa.

Tested in places such as Australia, Dubai, Thailand, North America, Brazil, Sweden and South Africa, Ranger had to face severe heat and cold, monsoon rains, high altitudes as well as rushing rivers, arid deserts and potholed roads. Prototypes clocked more than a million kilometres on the road supported by countless hours of exhaustive testing in state-of-the-art laboratories.

Volume production was initiated in Thailand, for markets in the Asia Pacific region and followed by the newly revamped manufacturing facilities in South Africa, which produces Ranger for the home market and Europe, as well as emerging markets in Africa. Later this year, Argentina will begin production of the pickup for South America. Ultimately, Ranger will be sold in 180 markets, making it one of the farthest-reaching Ford products in the world.

‘21st Century Tough’ styling
Exuding power and confidence in a styling that the designers call “21st Century Tough”, the taut and muscular Ranger is equally at home on a construction site or outside an upmarket restaurant. Its front end features a short overhang with the signature three-bar grille, a global Ford truck design cue.

The windscreen has been raked back for a sportier and more dynamic silhouette, while the traditional square form of the truck has been sculpted to give the vehicle a more modern and aerodynamic look. Larger headlamps, bigger mirrors and stamped-in wheel lips provide an integrated look across all series and contribute to an aggressive and sporty stance.

Designers also raised the beltline significantly, along with the rails of the load box, giving the Ranger a substantive presence on the road while increasing its functionality with the deeper box. The Regular Cab and the Super Cab have the biggest box volume in its class at 1.82 cubic metres and 1.45 cubic metres respectively while the Double Cab is among the top with 1.21 cubic metres.

At 5,359mm long and 1,850mm wide, the new Ranger is bigger than the previous-generation model, but remains easily manoeuvrable on narrow city streets and during parking, thanks to a responsive steering system requiring no more than 3.5 turns of the wheel lock-to-lock – one of the best in the segment.

A smart and comfortable interior
The all-new Ranger offers a contemporary look and feel with features and comfort normally found only in passenger cars. Bold new interior surfaces are finished with materials that will stand up to the demands of a workhorse while delivering a lasting quality appearance.

The B-pillar in the Double Cab has also been moved forward, delivering best-in-class rear leg room and knee clearance. Three adults can easily fit in the second row of the Double Cab while two six-footers can comfortably sit one behind the other.

Making full use of the spacious interior, the Ranger Double Cab offers 23 storage spaces in the cabin – more practical stowage than any competitor. Its deep centre console bin is the biggest in its class at 8.5 litres and can cool up to six cans of beverage in models with a duct from the air-conditioning.

The glove box is large enough to accommodate a 16-in laptop computer, while door pockets can comfortably take 1.5-litre water bottles. Ample storage for mobile phones and other small items can be found in the console and in areas within easy reach of the driver. Underneath the rear seats, a convenient hidden storage area for tools can be easily accessed.

Poised to be a leader in innovation, the new Ranger comes with smart technologies that make the pickup easier, safer and more fun to drive. On selected models with Bluetooth®1, USB and iPod®2connectivity, there is voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, electronic air-conditioning and mobile phone functions. Dual-zone climate control and cruise control are available on the high series while selected models offer a five-inch colour screen with satellite navigation.

More muscle at greater fuel efficiency
The all-new Ford Ranger powertrains have been engineered to give customers a superior combination of power and torque at class-leading fuel efficiency. Three new engines are available to suit every purpose and pocket.

Leading the way is Ranger’s new 3.2 litre five-cylinder diesel engine. With a flat torque curve giving higher levels of torque over a broad rpm, Ranger is able to pull full loads on the highway easily without having to change gear. Ninety percent of its peak 470Nm torque is available from 1,700 to 3,500rpm, providing better engine flexibility. The fuel consumption of the 3.2 litre engine in a combined cycle is ranging from 28.3mpg on a 4×4 manual transmission variant to 28.7mpg on a full-option 4×4 model with automatic transmission*.

For those who require an engine with a smaller displacement, the 2.2 litre four-cylinder diesel engine delivers peak torque output of 375Nm and power output of 150PS by utilising variable geometry turbochargers that allow more accurate control of boost pressure over a wider operating range. This enables lower-end torque capability for improved launch and driveability while deliver the engine fuel efficient. When fitted to a 4×2 model, the 2.2 litre engine consumes 32.8mpg in a combined cycle*.

For the first time, selected Ranger diesel models will be available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission to provide reduced engine rpm and extend its range on long highway trips or in city traffic.

“Our all-new engine family bears out our commitment to make Ranger the clear choice for today’s pickup customer,” said Gary Boes, vehicle line director, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “We know they want more power, more torque, and we deliver all that – as well as increased fuel economy and reduced emissions.”

Class-leading capability
The all-new Ranger has been engineered and tested to ensure it can stand up to the toughest challenge. It can tow more, carry more, wade deeper and climb higher than many competitors.

In fact, Ranger’s towing and water-wading capabilities are right at the top of the segment. Ranger can tow up to 3,350kg on selected models with diesel engines while the 4×4 can wade through 800 millimetres of water even when fully laden. It also boasts outstanding payload capacity of more than 1,340kg on some 4×4 variants, as well as excellent ground clearance of up to 232mm.

For those aiming to go off the beaten track, Ranger’s superior off-road capability has been enhanced by an all-new front differential, a new upgraded rear axle and lower overall ratios. A robust electronically controlled transfer case – for both manual and automatic transmissions – allows drivers to shift on the fly from 4×2 to 4×4 high anytime via a knob on the centre console.

To give drivers even more confidence when going off-road, selected Ranger models come with a Traction Control System which maintains vehicle stability by maximising traction at each driven wheel. Unlike a limited slip differential, it is able to reduce the level of engine torque to the exact amount that can be delivered to the ground through the wheels as well as brake a spinning wheel completely, allowing all the available engine torque to the wheel, or wheels, with the most grip.

“Ranger’s rugged capability was purposefully engineered and carefully crafted into the pickup,” added Jim Baumbick. “We wanted to give customers a tough truck that they can truly rely on whether in high waters, on challenging terrains, or just commuting to work.”

New levels of ride quality and chassis control
The same level of detail that makes Ranger stand out in a crowd will set it apart from the competition with an entirely new chassis that provides even more capability along with car-like quietness, reduced steering effort, more precise handling and better on-road stability.

Up front, a new coil-over-strut suspension allows for better tuning of the upper and lower wishbone design. The suspension set-up, while similar for two- and four-wheel drive models, has unique capabilities and has been tuned with specific damper valving and spring rates on all models to compensate for weight, centre of gravity, engine torque and drive distribution.

Giving drivers more precise steering control, Ranger’s new rack-and-pinion steering system has been carefully tuned for low-speed manoeuvrability and responsive on-road driving.

Ranger more than holds its own in cabin quietness, an attribute not often associated with a pickup truck. From being better sealed and having stiffer doors than competitors to using sound-deadening materials in the doors, roof and body, Ranger introduces high levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) refinement.

Advanced safety protection
New to Ranger, selected models are equipped with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) using advanced sensors to continuously monitor the path the vehicle is travelling on and compares it to the path the driver want to follow, as indicated by the steering wheel.

Integrated into the ESP are other new control features that assist vehicle stability and control:

■Hill Descent Control: Helps the driver on steep downhill grades
■Hill Launch Assist: Helps the driver pull away on steep climbs
■Trailer Sway Control: Provides stability control when towing a trailer
■Adaptive Load Control: Optimal vehicle stability regardless of vehicle load
■Emergency Brake Assist: Provides additional brake pressure in emergency stopping manoeuvres
■Emergency Brake Light: Signals to other drivers by flashing the indicators when the vehicle decelerates quickly
■Roll-Over Mitigation: Helps prevent the vehicle getting into a roll-over situation
Ranger also offers new passive safety technologies, with the availability and array of airbags dependent on the model. Side curtain airbags are available on all cab styles for the first time.

These airbags deploy from the headliner to provide a protective cushion for the head of outboard occupants in the event of a side impact and the curtain is designed to protect both rows of occupants by covering the upper side structure and glass from the A-pillar to the C-pillar.

Also available are newly designed side thorax airbags which deploy from the driver and front passenger seats, further cushioning the impact and reducing the crash forces experienced by occupants in the front seats. All-new frontal impact airbags are available for the driver and passenger, along with seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters.

“The all-new Ranger is the culmination of four years of hard work by almost 500 engineers in Australia and around the Ford world,” said Boes. “The Ranger has been designed, engineered and produced to lead in its segment. It is capable, comfortable, powerful, fuel-efficient, safe – and it is a pickup that anyone will be proud to own and confident to drive.”

France Orders Thousands of Renault Kangoo Electric Vans

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Renault Kangoo ZE Electric -Van

Thousands of electric Renault Kangoos ordered in France

In a move tha thas put the UK’s green effort to shame, Renault has received orders for a total of 15,637 Kangoo Van Z.E. (electric vans) from the 19 companies taking part in the call for bids, including 10,000 for La Poste, 1,500 for ERDF, 1,200 for UGAP, 510 for Veolia Environnement, 450 for GDF-Suez and 330 for Spie.

Renault has won the first lot in a call for bids initiated 18 months ago by the public authorities, which called on La Poste chairman Jean-Paul Bailly to form a group of orders from large companies interested in acquiring electric vehicles. The invitation to tender was entrusted to the public procurement organisation UGAP.

The first phase of the selection process was referred to as “competitive dialog”. Every month, the manufacturers taking part in the call for bids met with purchasing representatives from the order group to answer their questions, present their range and feedback their needs. This phase was used to build a panorama of the offering and draw up the technical specifications meeting the needs of the members of the order group.

The Kangoo Van Z.E. range, priced from £16,990 excluding VAT, will be available to order in the UK from next month.

Kangoo Van Z.E. is produced at the Maubeuge plant in France along with its internal-combustion sister. The plant has been specialised in the production of light commercial vehicles for 20 years and is able to continuously adapt to the diversity inherent to this type of vehicle (short and long versions, panel version, etc.) and to sales demand. The choice of Maubeuge enables rapid industrialisation whilst ensuring extremely high quality.

Commenting Jerome Stoll, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing & Light Commercial Vehicles said: “This success by Renault confirms the relevance of our electric vehicle offering – products and services alike – with business customers. The 19 large companies acquiring Kangoo Van Z.E. were attracted to its intrinsic qualities and by our original business model, based in particular on battery rental. I would like to thank sincerely the customers in the call for bids that placed their trust in us and the Renault employees that made this possible.”

New Vauxhall Combo 2012 Model | Euro 5 | Fiat Doblo Badge-Engineered | Combo Sportive Available |

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Vauxhall Combo Euro 5Vauxhall have released the details of their new 2012 model year Euro 5 Vauxhall Combo.  If you think it looks a lot like the Fiat Doblo in terms of visual appearance and specification, that’s because behind the Vauxhall badge sits a Fiat Doblo.

The vauxhall Combo Available in two wheelbases, two heights, two gross vehicle weights (2,000kg and 2,300kg) two trim levels and with four engine choices, Combo boasts the highest payload (up to 1,000kg with driver), large load volume (up to 4.2m3), highest rear axle capacity (1,450kg) and longest wheelbase in its sector.

New standards in commercial vehicle exterior design

 New Combo’s steeply raked deep windscreen, together with the low bonnet line, gives the driver exceptional visibility.  Generous panoramic exterior mirrors with integrated indicator repeaters provide outstanding rearward vision. The clear glass wrap-around headlight clusters are functional and efficient, the rear light clusters are high mounted to avoid incidental damage, and the optional front fog lights are protectively recessed.

 Exceptional loading possibilities

New Combo has been designed as a commercial vehicle without compromise and the overall exterior style reflects its rugged and practical nature.

Two lengths (4.39m and 4.74m) combined with two heights (1.85m and 2.10m) offer exceptional loading possibilities. With the L1 the load volume is 3,400 litres whereas the L2 packs in 4,200 litres with load lengths of 1.82m (L1) and 2.17m (L2) and the load width of 1.71m.  New Combo offers a choice of two payloads: 750kg and 1,000kg.

Conveniently low loading height (54.5cm) combined with wide opening sliding side doors enable easier loading and convenient access to cargo. An optional upward opening flap built into the rear of the roof of new Combo L1H1 models enable the secure transport of longer loads such as ladders and pipes.

Economical and powerful engines

The new Combo is available with four diesel engines. The units include a 1.3 CDTi and a 1.6 CDTi, each with 90PS, as well as a 1.6 CDTi variant with 105PS and a powerful 2.0 CDTi engine providing 135PS.  The 1.3 CDTi engines are fitted with five-speed manual transmissions, while the more powerful CDTi units have a six-speed manual transmission. The 1.6 CDTi is also offered with Vauxhall’s ’Tecshift’ automated five-speed manual transmission.  With the exception of the Tecshift units, all powertrains are available with Start/Stop functionality to deliver even lower fuel consumption and emissions.

Interior design features

Driver comfort and convenience are prioritised in new Combo. The stylish dashboard is functional and uncluttered, the steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach and all of the controls are intuitive and within easy grasp. There are deeply contoured front seats, and generous heating and ventilation outlets. Attention has been given to building an environment that is ergonomic, robust and hard-wearing.

In terms of convenience and storage new Combo leads the field with spacious door pockets, dashboard storage and a lockable glove box that can hold a laptop. The Sportive also features an overhead storage shelf in the cabin for additional storage capacity. Standard seat trim is cube black cloth with vinyl black available as a free-of-charge option. 

Two trim levels with a Combo Sportive available for the first time

Standard equipment has been much improved over the outgoing model with a raft of equipment including remote central door locking with deadlocks, full-steel bulkhead, trip computer, electric power steering, driver’s airbag, ABS with EBD, CD/radio and a 12 volt power outlet in the dashboard.

New Combo introduces a Sportive trim level for the first time. These models combine added driver comfort with a uniquely sporty style that is consistent with other Sportive models on Corsavan, Astravan and Vivaro. Sportive will have these additional features over the standard model including air conditioning, metallic paint, body-colour bumpers and door mirrors, nearside sliding door, driver seat with height adjustment, armrest and lumbar support and full wheel covers.

A variety of options to ease the working day

New Combo offers a wide breadth of options and option packs enabling customers to tailor and personalise to best suit their business needs.  Free flow options include cruise control, rear parking distance sensors, automatic climate control and ESP with hill holder.

Front passenger’s airbag and/or side-impact airbags, glazed rear doors or tailgate, longitudinal roof bars and winter tyres are also available.  A choice of three option packs are also available. Load compartment pack includes overhead storage shelf in the cabin, PVC lining for the loading compartment floor, rear auxiliary power outlet and a removable courtesy light.  Winter pack consists of headlamp wash, fog lights, external temperature sensor and electric adjustable door mirrors.  Driver pack includes CD50 multimedia reader (Bluetooth/USB/MP3), steering column mounted audio controls and leather steering wheel and gear knob.

Combo: A tried and trusted name in compact commercial vehicle segment

Order banks for new Combo are open now with the first vehicles due for delivery from February 2012.  Prices start at £14,703.33 on the road (excluding VAT) for the L1H1 2000 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) model.

Vauxhall has offered a Combo model line since 1996 and the current generation has been on the market since 2001.  Even as it nears the end of its lifecycle, the Combo is still a popular choice for both small businesses and fleets, and has all-time sales of nearly 200,000 units. 

L1H1 Panel Van Price (£)
exc. VAT
RRP (£)
exc. VAT
2000 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) 13,855.00 14,703.33
2000 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop ecoFLEX   13,990.00 14,838.33
2000 1.6CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop Tecshift 15,490.00 16,338.33
2000 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 14,790.00 15,638.33
2300 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) 14,050.00 14,898.33
2300 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop ecoFLEX 14,185.00 15,033.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop Tecshift   15,685.00 16,533.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 14,985.00 15,833.33
2000 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) 15,125.00 15,973.33
2000 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop 15,260.00 16,108.33
2000 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 16,060.00 16,908.33
2000 2.0CDTI 16v (135PS) Start/Stop 17,160.00 18,008.33
2300 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) 15,320.00 16,168.33
2300 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop 15,455.00 16,303.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 16,255.00 17,103.33
2300 2.0CDTI 16v (135PS) Start/Stop 17,355.00 18,203.33
L1H2 Panel Van      
2000 1.6CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop Tecshift 16,240.00 17,088.33
2000 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 15,540.00 16,388.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop Tecshift   16,435.00 17,283.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 15,735.00 16,583.33
2000 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 16,810.00 17,658.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 17,005.00 17,853.33
L2H1 Panel Van      
2300 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) 14,855.00 15,703.33
2300 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop 14,990.00 15,838.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop Tecshift 16,490.00 17,338.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 15,790.00 16,638.33
2300 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) 15,940.00 16,788.33
2300 1.3CDTI 16v (90PS) Start/Stop 16,075.00 16,923.33
2300 1.6CDTI 16v (105PS) Start/Stop 16,875.00 17,723.33


Monday, October 17th, 2011

NEW Fiat Ducato Euro 5 2012 ModelAfter three decades and five generations, the new Euro 5 Fiat Ducato goes on sale in October 2011.

With an extended range of completely new engines, the latest Ducato is cheaper to run than the model it replaces. A new interior gives it a much more car-like cockpit while retaining the Ducato’s trademark functionality. And with more versions than ever before, Fiat is offering the commercial vehicle buyer huge variety.

The three power outputs from the previous Ducato’s three engines will be replaced by four outputs from two engine capacities on the new model. With a range of 110, 130, 148 and 177bhp engines, buyers have the opportunity to specify one that’s exactly suited to their requirements.

Whichever engine they choose it’ll benefit from Fiat’s latest MultiJet technology and comply with strict Euro 5 emissions legislation. It’s also more powerful than the engine it replaces and more economical, produces fewer CO2 emissions and has longer service intervals.

The new Ducato’s upgraded interior employs the sort of high quality materials that up until now have been alien to the commercial vehicle sector. New seats mean it’s comfier while a complete re-design of the dash makes it more stylish to look at.

With this new sense of panache comes improved practicality. The re-designed dashboard now has a slot to accommodate the Blue&Me TomTom LIVE satellite navigation unit. The integrated radio/CD and MP3 player not only looks smart but can accommodate the latest generation of Blue&Me. Vehicles specified with Blue&Me can also have eco:Drive Professional, a version of Fiat’s award-winning eco:Drive Fleet. This lets drivers and fleet managers monitor how vehicles are being driven and alter habits accordingly to improve economy and lower costs.

There will be eight different capacities of van ranging from eight to 17 m3. But the Ducato isn’t just a van. The various lengths and Gross Vehicle Weights of the chassis combined with the new engines give converters an enormous choice of base vehicle for anything from a minibus to a motorhome or even a flatbed truck.

When sales are combined with its stablemates from PSA, the Fiat Ducato was the best-selling commercial vehicle in its segment in Europe last year.New Fiat Ducato Euro5 Minibus


The latest Ducato benefits from a significant improvement in engine performance. The new power units make it cleaner, cheaper to run and more economical than the model it replaces. And the engines, which are all Euro 5 emissions compliant, offer a choice of four power outputs enabling buyers to choose the unit best suited to their budget and business.

Available with a capacity of either 2.3 or 3-litre, these engines use the latest generation of Fiat Powertrain Technology’s MultiJet to achieve better economy and carbon dioxide emissions than their already impressive predecessors. But saving money at the pumps isn’t their only benefit. They have longer service intervals so the vehicle spends more time on the road earning its keep and less time in the garage. They’re also relatively light in weight enabling commercial vehicles to carry heavier loads without having an impact on overall tonnage.

All engines have four cylinders in line, with four valves per cylinder and double overhead camshafts. The 2.3-litre engines have the latest MultiJet II technology that employs faster injectors with a new servo valve and balanced shutter allowing them to operate at 1800 bar of pressure compared to the 1600 bar of the previous generation. These new injectors allow faster, more flexible and therefore precise injection strategies including Injection Rate Shaping where two consecutive injections come so close together that there is a continuous, modulated flow of fuel into the cylinders. This improves the combustion process, making it quieter with reduced particulate and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions.

The previous Ducato’s entry level 2.2-litre 100bhp engine is replaced by an 110bhp 2.3-litre. The new unit features an aluminium alloy cylinder head on a cast iron block and uses a fixed geometry turbocharger with an intercooler.

Compared to the engine it replaces, the 110bhp unit is 10 per cent more powerful, and with 300Nm, has 20 per cent more torque, yet is 10 per cent more economical and has 11 per cent less emissions. Perhaps more crucially for business users, the improved economy means the range between fuel stops has been increased while service intervals have also been lengthened from 25,000 to 30,000 miles. So the latest Ducato will spend more time on the road earning its keep, and less time stationary at the pumps or in the garage.

The 130bhp version of the 2.3-litre generates a healthy 320Nm of torque at just 1800rpm making it flexible in traffic and responsive even when the vehicle is heavily laden. Compared with its predecessor it has eight per cent more power, ensuring it’s relaxing for longer journeys, yet emissions and consumption are down by nine per cent.

The engine is characterised by details designed to make it as efficient as possible. The turbocharger’s wastegate valve enables the gradual outflow of some exhaust gases at more than 2200rpm, optimising torque delivery throughout the rev range and making the vehicle easier to drive. The glow plugs are located inside the combustion chamber to reduce cranking and pre-heating time, and to limit the stress put on the engine when starting from cold in low external temperatures.

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve helps reduce emissions sufficiently for the Ducato to meet strict Euro 5 legislation. The gases are cooled using a heat exchanger before being re-injected into the combustion chamber and the system is now electronically rather than pneumatically controlled for more accurate measurement.

The 150 MultiJet II version achieves its power boost courtesy of a variable geometry turbocharger. This makes the 2.3-litre engine a viable alternative to the previous generation 3-litre. Power is 148bhp and it’s only six per cent lower than the much bigger engine, yet maximum torque is a healthy 350Nm at 1500rpm while consumption is reduced by 19 per cent, CO2 emissions by 20 per cent and weight by 40kg.

The most powerful engine in the Ducato range is the 3-litre 180 MultiJet Power unit. This appropriately named MultiJet Power engine achieves its maximum output of 177bhp at 3500rpm and is 13 per cent more powerful than the engine it replaces, making it the best-performing four-cylinder diesel engine in its class. It has the same 400Nm of torque as its predecessor but it’s available from 1400rpm instead of 1700.

This high performance doesn’t come at the expense of either economy or comfort. The early availability of maximum torque makes it a relaxed travelling companion no matter what weight it’s carrying. And consumption is nine per cent better than the engine it replaces.

As with the Ducato’s other engines, service intervals have been increased to 30,000 miles and the timing chain has been designed to last the life of the vehicle. Like the 2.3-litre, the glow plugs are located inside the combustion chamber and the engine has a cast iron block with integrated bearings and a dual-mass fly wheel that softens engine vibrations and greatly reduces noise.

Each engine is available with a six-speed manual gearbox while the 3-litre can be specified with the six-speed Comfort-Matic Manual Transmission Automated. This is a traditional manual transmission except there is no clutch pedal and the manual linkage to the gearbox is replaced by actuators controlled by a Transmission Control Unit. The shift is either performed automatically or the driver can use the gear lever to prompt changes by pulling backwards or pushing forwards.


Fiat has given the interior of the new Ducato a thorough overhaul. Understanding that for many owners the cockpit of a van is an office as well as a driving environment, its existing attributes of comfort and functionality have been improved during the makeover.

The dashboard design has the kind of car-like quality and style that’s never been seen before in a commercial vehicle. It features an integrated radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility as standard and glossy black surfaces surrounding it. These combine with chrome effect plastic that makes elements such as the air vents, gear stick and ventilation controls stand out.

The controls for the sound system are mounted high up on the dashboard so they can be easily reached by the driver and passengers and there are buttons on the steering wheel. The system features the Radio Data System (RDS), Traffic Announcements (TA), and PTY which allows the device to select a specific genre of music automatically. The volume adjusts according to speed, sound settings can be customised using one of seven equaliser bands, and the radio can store up to 30 stations.

Blue&Me TomTom LIVE

The sound system can be controlled hands free using the optional Blue&Me. It can also be connected to Bluetooth devices, an MP3 player and even a text reader. The intuitive Blue&Me user interface allows drivers to connect their mobile phones and MP3 players and control them and the sound system using either steering wheel or voice controls.

Usability is further improved thanks to new hardware. This enables better noise filtration and therefore voice reproduction, ensures full compatibility with Apple products, full playback of iTunes files and minimum indexing time so music will start immediately after connecting an iPod.

The upper central part of the dashboard has been redesigned to create space for the TomTom ‘my port’. With this specified, Ducato owners can then order the Blue&Me TomTom LIVE satellite navigation system.

This is the result of a collaboration between Fiat and TomTom, Europe’s leader in portable navigation devices. It’s based on the popular TomTom Go1000 and sits in a purpose-built cradle that slots into the dashboard. This ensures the device is always fully charged when in the car but means it can also be removed for security reasons or for the driver to use it away from the vehicle.

The TomTom LIVE is controlled with a practical touch screen that allows the driver to use the satellite navigation, sound system and access traffic information which provides real-time updates on traffic jams and road closures.

eco:Drive Professional

Fiat’s award-winning eco:Drive and its application for commercial vehicle drivers, eco:Drive Professional, are available on any vehicle fitted with Blue&Me and help drivers learn to use less fuel, thereby reducing CO2 emissions and saving up to 15 per cent in running costs.

Drivers download eco:Drive to their computer. Then plugging any USB stick into the Blue&Me port allows acceleration, deceleration, gearshift and speed information to be saved onto it automatically. When the USB is plugged back into a computer, eco:Drive converts the data into facts and figures such as mileage, CO2 emissions and money saved.

A development of this is eco:Drive Fleet which allows fleet managers to monitor all the data from the vehicles they supervise via an on-line dashboard. It automatically updates the database with management costs and the mileage count for maintenance intervals. As well as enabling fleet managers to reward efficient drivers, it allows them to see how well their fleet is performing according to an overall eco:Index.

Eco:Drive Professional builds on this further by allowing commercial vehicle drivers to enter various parameters such as the load they’re carrying and the frontal area of the vehicle. The software allows the driver or fleet manager to analyse the impact of the load on the vehicle’s efficiency and suggests the most appropriate behaviour to get the best economy.

New interior

In addition to this new technology, basic practicality remains one of the core attributes of the Ducato’s cab. The glove box gets a new lid with a sturdier lock on it. There’s a clipboard to stop those important bits of paper getting lost; the central compartment is big enough to store a lap top computer; and it can be locked with a key. The refrigerated compartment will hold a 1.5-litre bottle and the drinks holder can also be used to take a mobile phone or ashtray.

The door panels have been remodelled to bring them in line with the rest of the cabin but they retain the practical bottle holder, a place to store the optional Fix&Go tyre repair kit and the mid-height pockets for smaller easy-to-lose objects.

The oval instrument panel, now sitting beneath a more pronounced anti-glare hood, has been redesigned to make it even easier to read. And there’s a Gear Shift Indicator available in combination with Start&Stop to tell drivers the most efficient point to change gear.

Driver comfort is a core feature of the new Ducato. Excellent noise insulation puts it top of the class for quietness thanks to the sort of refinement you’d expect in a medium category car, and a great deal of care has been taken over the seats. These are covered in a new red fabric, have a more luxurious head restraint and the driver’s seat can be adjusted six ways, including up and down. Combined with an adjustable steering wheel and a movable arm rest, these allow drivers of all shapes and sizes to find a comfortable position at the wheel. Climate comfort is assured by manual or automatic air conditioning systems, an additional unit for the rear on passenger versions, all available as an option. In addition to these, a windscreen with reflective glass to keep the heat of the sun at bay is available as an option.

For passengers there’s a choice of a standard two-seat bench featuring a central backrest that can be folded down to make a table if required, or an optional single seat. Both driver’s and passenger’s seats feature handy storage compartments beneath. And all front seats have seatbelts with pre-tensioners and a head restraint.

The full-size two-phase driver’s airbag is standard; those at the side, over the windows and for passengers are an option. The ABS anti-lock braking is also standard and works in conjunction with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. This uses sensors to ensure the braking action is divided over all four wheels to prevent locking and guarantee maximum stopping power. The braking system employs discs all round, with those at the front ventilated for consistently high performance.


The Fiat Ducato has always been a byword for versatility and the new model is no different, with more versions than ever before now available. This diverse range means there will be around 2000 chassis/engine/mechanical variations which will allow for a huge range of vans, minibuses and conversions.

There are two basic mechanical architectures allowing Gross Vehicle Weights (GVW) between three and four tonnes. On 15-inch wheels, the GVW is three, 3.3 or 3.5 tonnes, while on 16-inch wheels the GVW is 3.5 to four tonnes. The Ducato sits on MacPherson front suspension with a rigid-axle and leaf springs at the back. This ensures optimum stability, excellent use of the loading area and cab space, reduced weight and a huge variation of uses.

Payloads can vary between 1000 and 2000kg including the driver, and van buyers have a choice between four lengths, three wheelbases and three heights. Vans will also be available with eight different load area volumes fromeight to 17 m3.

There are three different sizes of robust and practical sliding side doors while the rear doors can be opened to either 90, 180 or even 270 degrees. Inside it remains class leading in terms of maximum volume (17 m3), width between the wheel arches (1422mm), maximum height of the loading area (2.17m), rear door height (2.03m), and load height limit (46cm with the optional self-levelling suspension).

Between the cab and load area the partition can be fully panelled and upholstered in sound-proofed material for extra refinement, or have a sliding glass window to enable communication between the two areas. In the back there are load hooks with fastening rings that fold into the floor and waist level side hooks. The walls of the load area are protected by thermoformed panels up to waist height.

The body structure of the new Ducato is hugely versatile. Not only does it permit a GVW of up to 4000kg, it also allows the track to be increased to 1980mm for motorhome applications. All models can have self-levelling pneumatic suspension. This is controlled via buttons on the dash and makes for easier loading and unloading, improves performance over ramps and makes clearing obstacles easier.

The conversion base range which includes cabs, flatbeds and double cabs will have four wheelbases and five lengths. Maximum permitted loads over the front axle will be up to 2100kg and 2400kg on the rear axle.

The Ducato isn’t just versatile in the load area, and as the basis for a wide variety of vehicles it’s also got a comprehensive range of optional extras including the Blue&Me TomTom LIVE satellite navigation. The 2.3-litre engines (110, 130 and 150) are additionally available with Start&Stop. When the Ducato comes to a halt and is put in neutral, the engine cuts. Releasing the brake or pushing the clutch re-starts it automatically. It’s estimated this can reduce consumption by 15 per cent around town.


Other options include the Traction+ system. This uses the engine’s Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) computer to simulate the behaviour of a self-locking differential. When one of the driven front wheels spins on a slippery surface or over poor terrain, the brakes are applied to that wheel as simultaneously engine torque is transferred to the wheel with better grip.

The system is operated by a button on the dash, can be engaged at speeds of up to 19mph and ensures the best possible traction is maintained over the roughest terrain. And the combination of Traction+ with winter or all-season tyres gives Ducato owners the versatility to drive their vehicle over a wider range of terrains than rival commercial vehicles can cope with.

Traction+ includes ESP, which is also available as a stand-alone option. This important safety device uses information supplied by various sensors to check whether a vehicle is cornering safely or not. If the ESP computer believes the car is going to skid, it brakes the appropriate wheel or reduces engine power. However, ESP incorporates a host of other technologies. There is Load Adaptive Control (LAC) which identifies the size of the load and the vehicle’s centre of gravity to enable the systems to work at peak effectiveness. Hill Holder makes starts on slopes easier by holding the brake on momentarily after the driver’s foot has released the pedal. Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) increases braking pressure under emergency conditions, while Motor Schleppmoment Regelung (MSR) ensures torque remains at the wheels following a sudden downshift on an incline.

Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which have the Ducato’s parking lights turning on automatically with the ignition, will also be available as an option.


In 2011 the latest Fiat Ducato to be launched will incorporate the experience gained over 30 years of being at the cutting edge of van development. During that time, the Ducato has picked up international awards and sold more than 2.2 million examples worldwide. It’s also seen service across a huge variety of business sectors, functioned as the basis for countless motorhomes and been transformed into specialist transportation such as minibuses, ambulances and insulated freezer vehicles.

Even when it was first launched in 1981 the Ducato was a practical and solid machine that majored on flexibility, reliability and economy. It was restyled in 1990 before the third generation was launched in 1994. To accommodate the varying demands of vastly different customers, this model had a family of 500 versions if you take chassis, size and tonnage into account. This innovation was warmly welcomed by customers and it was voted International Van of the Year 1994 as a consequence.

Rather than a radical reinvention, the fourth generation launched in 2002 used the looks and philosophy of its predecessor as a basis and built on those. Just four years later the fifth generation hit the streets and turned the van world on its head. It was more stylish, comfortable, practical and driveable than any van up until then. And it combined safety, reliability, economy and versatility as well ensuring the Ducato became one of the foundation stones for successful businesses all over Europe.

The Ducato is built in the Sevel plant in Val di Sangro between Atessa and Paglieta in the Italian province of Chieti. It’s the largest commercial vehicle factory in Europe covering an area of more than 1.2 million square metres. The bodywork part of the plant creates 300 different types of chassis, paintwork uses around 120 colours, while the assembly line produces more than 6000 versions of commercial vehicle for both Fiat and PSA.

Citroen Vans Win Green Gong

Friday, October 14th, 2011

For a third year, third year, Citroën has won the GreenFleet LCV Manufacturer of the Year award.

Scott Michael, Citroën’s Commercial Vehicle Operations Manager, commented: “We are delighted that Citroën has gained the GreenFleet LCV Manufacturer of the Year award. This accolade recognises Citroën’s continuous focus to minimise the environmental impact and improve the efficiency of its LCV line-up.”

“Now with the full range of Citroën Euro 5 LCVs coming on stream we will be raising the stakes again in the delivery of fuel efficient, ultra-low emission vehicles,” Scott Michael continued.

As part of its ‘5 Star’ Euro 5 LCV programme, Citroën has taken a comprehensive approach to reducing CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency improvements, including:

– The introduction of advanced, fuel-efficient, low emissions Euro 5 petrol and HDi diesel engines
– The launch of unique new e-HDi Airdream micro-hybrid drivetrain, with Stop & Start technology for selected Berlingo vans
– A Diesel Particulate Filtration System (DPFS), with proven, effective self-regeneration capability
– The Citroën Trafficmaster Smartnav and Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking telematics package, which delivers major time savings due to congestion avoidance, more efficient routing, up to 12% improvement in fuel economy, reductions in driver stress levels with associated safety gains, greater vehicle security and a 98% stolen vehicle recovery rate
– The ability of all Citroën HDi engines to run on up to 30% bio-diesel without effect on warranty or the need for technical modification, providing therefore additional, major CO2 reductions over the life of the vehicle.

Buy your Van Racks online

Friday, October 14th, 2011 - design and buy racking onlineIf you have no time to spend during the day considering the layout and design in the back of your van, online racking provider, think that they have the answer.

The company has launched a new online kit converter whereby you can design your own van racking inside your vehicle. This is a completely new feature that has never been done before for an ecommerce site. Tradesman are able to design their ideal van racking to fit into their own vehicles online within seconds. The configurator will show a wide range of internal racking options, along with and scaled image of their vehicle with dimensions, weights and pricing.

Van Supplies has been selling roof storage equipment for the last few months while working on the internal racking range. The company wanted to launch the product giving the customer a lot of options with as much information as possible, and understanding that knowing the remaining load space and payload is very beneficial for businesses.

This new product range has been developed from hi-tensile strength steel – which is 4 times strength of mild steel. This product can only be made using state of the art equipment punching, robot folding and the latest laser equipment, which the company has made massive investments in over the past 5 years. The combination of a complete product re-design and this hi tech equipment has allowed us to reduce the component count dramatically to our storage systems.

Van Supplies recognises that cost is a key factor to all customers when selecting racking systems. With this in mind it has developed a lightweight kit, which gives weight savings of over 33% compared to existing components. This results in improved fuel consumption and allows a greater payload for tools and equipment. All products from have been Life-Time Tested at Millbrook and have passed all simulated crash testing assessments with flying colours.

The companies Sales and Marketing Executive Jodie Rock comments “This is particularly important for fleets customers who can also make further financial savings and productivity gains as effective storage can prevent operators from having to spend valuable time searching for tools, materials or equipment in the back of a cluttered van. Prevention of damage to fragile components not only directly saves money, but improves first fix rates time and improves customer retention”.

Jodie also mentions, “We are very pleased with this new feature and think customers will appreciate the amount of effort and research involved so that customers can obtain information on product before purchase. We are confident that this internal racking range is one of the highest quality, strongest and lightest on today’s market so we wanted to launch it with style”.