Couriers are about to get a touch more Italian style - the new Fiat Ducato has been revealed.
The Italian company's commercial vehicle offshoot Fiat Professional claims the new model - which comes in more than 10,00 variants based upon van, cab-chassis and passenger transport models - sets a new standard in the large van class. The Ducato competes with the likes of the Renault Master and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
The new sixth-generation Ducato now gets far more tasteful front-end styling, with new headlights and daytime running lights sitting atop a revamped and neatened three-piece front bumper that has been designed to lower repair costs, while the new grille is available in silver or black. New alloy wheels complement the changes.
Inside, Fiat says the van offers "two cabin environments", Classic or Techno. No details of the differences are available, but the new van has upgraded seats, larger cup-holders and a tablet/smartphone holder.
Safety takes a step forward, with electronic stability control with rollover mitigation now standard, with the safety system able to sense where the load is inside the cabin. Hill-hold assist is also standard, and a hill descent control system can be optioned.
The new range also gets Bluetooth connectivity, with a 5.0-inch colour media screen able to be optioned with a reversing camera, satellite navigation and digital radio reception. Other driver assist items such as lane departure warning and road sign recognition systems are set to be offered in Europe.
The base grade 2.3-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine is available in two specifications, the lower version producing 97kW of power and 320Nm of torque, and the higher version boasting 112kW/350Nm. Both use less fuel than the models they replace, at 5.2 litres per 100km. The high grade 3.0-litre turbo diesel produces 135kW and 400Nm, and returns a claimed fuel use of 6.4L/100km.
A six-speed manual gearbox is standard for all models, while a robotised manual transmission known as ComfortMatic can be optioned on the entry level engine range. All Ducato models are front-wheel-drive.
Other changes to the new Ducato include revised rear suspension with lightweight components, chassis and body reinforcement, revised brakes and more hardy clutch units. For the load-conscious, the Ducato boasts a gross vehicle weight of up to 4.25 tonnes, and can handle up to 2.5 tonnes on the rear axle.
The van range in Europe will be available in eight different load capacities, with capacities ranging from eight to 17 cubic metres. In Europe, there are four body lengths and three different heights available.
Fiat Australia told CarAdvice the new model will launch locally mid-year, but local specification and pricing is still being finalised.