One of the country's most hardcore off-road utility vehicles, the 2016 Iveco Daily 4x4, has concluded its Australian testing ahead of its launch in the coming months.
The local testing regimen included 13,000 kilometres of testing at "almost full GVM" (4495 kilograms), and saw the Iveco Daily 4x4 encounter temperatures of 48° Celsius. The loop included the renowned Strzelecki track and the Finke Desert, as well as outback New South Wales and up near the Gulf of Carpinteria.
Iveco Australia claims that about 85 per cent of the 13,000km of testing - which equates to just over 11,000km - involved "rough gravel roads with corrugations and heavy bulldust".
If you're not familiar with the Daily 4x4, it has a hardcore offroad drivetrain that includes a Euro6 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine producing 125kW of power between 3000-35000 rpm and torque of 400Nm between 1250-3000 rpm.
Helping get the drive to all four wheels is an Iveco six-speed synchromesh double-overdrive manual transmission "for superior vehicle control off-road". Essentially that means you've got 18 gears at your disposal to ensure that you can get out of tough situations.
It comes as standard with front, centre and rear differential locks, with the double low-range transfer case also offering an ultra-low 1:101 final ratio for "unparalleled crawling ability".
The new model adds a high-tech stability control system (the previous version didn't have ESC), as well as revised brakes.
Iveco Australia product support manager Claus Hoffman said the updated Daily 4x4 showed noticeable differences over its predecessor.
"One thing that really strikes you about the new vehicle especially in rough terrain is that the cabin is a much nicer and more comfortable place to be," Hoffman said. "The noise levels are significantly reduced compared to the earlier model, while dust
suppression is also far superior and next to none. Adoption of the new cab design has also improved visibility, driver appointments and ergonomics.
"And despite the test vehicle being a darker coloured dual cab with a considerable space to cool and not having tinted windows, the air conditioning did an excellent job, even when the mercury reached almost 50°," he said.
The company says there were "no operating issues to report" and that the updated model has "now started its next stage of review with local Iveco engineers examining componentry for wear and tear".
Expect the new Daily 4x4 - which will be offered in single- and dual-cab bodystyles with three or seven seats. The company doesn't expect many mainstream ute buyers to opt for one of these over a Ranger Wildtrak, for example, with pricing to be close to $100,000.
Instead, Iveco Australia is looking for "strong penetration of the current Daily 4x4 into markets such as emergency services, remote area maintenance as well as for hardcore recreational touring" when the vehicle launches in the third quarter of this year.