Part one of our Van Round-Up looked at commercial vehicles from across the spectrum of what’s on offer, from electric vehicles to vans with smart functions and vans capable of handling both tough terrain and the mundane. In Part Two we’re bringing you just as much variety to complete an overview of what’s the latest and greatest in commercial vehicles.
A new version of the Fiat Ducato – the Shadow Edition
If you struggle to choose between style and practicality, look no further. Fiat Professional has launched a new limited version of its Ducato large van – the Shadow Edition, with just 100 examples of the LWB version being be made available across the UK. Orders opened in June. With so few available in the UK, the Shadow Edition might have to serve as inspiration. Why can’t a commercial vehicle be stylish and practical?
The Ducato Shadow Edition receives an exclusive exterior look with a new pastel grey paint, painted front bumper and black alloy wheels. Inside, the limited-edition model receives the new seven-inch DAB radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and full air conditioning. For those awkward manoeuvres, the rear parking sensors should also come in handy, which are also fitted as standard.
All these extras are all on top of the standard trim’s high specification list, which includes a fixed full width steel bulkhead, side loading door, electric heated mirrors, deadlocks and electronic stability control.
The Ducato Shadow Edition is only available in LWB form combined with a 140hp 2.3-litre multijet II engine. The large panel van returns 40.9mpg and generates CO2 emissions as low as 183g/km (WLTP) in this trim. The Ducato Shadow Edition is available to order now, priced at £32,800 +VAT. It represents a customer saving of £1,745, 45% less than if the options were added to the standard trim Ducato.
For full details of the Ducato Shadow, visit the Fiat Professional website here.
Ford Fiesta EcoBoost Hybrid
Ford is adding a new electrified option to the Fiesta Van line-up with an EcoBoost Hybrid model that introduces intelligent mild hybrid technology for the company’s compact van customers.
Available to order from August, the Hybrid model is powered by Ford’s advanced 48-volt EcoBoost Hybrid powertrain. The new Fiesta Van variant is designed to deliver responsive petrol engine performance and reduced cost of ownership for urban hatchback van owners and operators.
The Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid is also designed to allow continued access to areas restricting or banning diesel vehicles. The mild hybrid system does not compromise Fiesta Van’s 1.0m³ load area in any dimension and the payload is 531kg.
In addition, the Fiesta Van features advanced connectivity and driver assistance technologies to help drivers stay on schedule and avoid costly prangs when operating in busy urban environments.
Electrified powertrain helps save fuel
The Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid’s powertrain features technology similar to that introduced to the International Van of the Year award-winning Transit Custom EcoBlue Hybrid in 2019.
A belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG) in place of the standard alternator enables recovery and storage of energy usually lost during braking and coasting to charge a 48-volt lithium-ion air-cooled battery pack.
The more powerful BISG also enables the Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid’s Auto Start-Stop technology to operate in a wider range of scenarios for even greater fuel savings, including when coasting to a stop below 15mph and even when the vehicle is in gear with the clutch pedal depressed.
Technology to boost productivity
The Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid’s interior is well-suited to modern commercial use. Drivers who use mobile devices to plan routes, track deliveries and stay updated benefit from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility included free-of-charge as part of the standard SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system.2
Supported by an 8-inch central touchscreen that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures, SYNC 3 features a new interface with larger buttons that are more intuitive and easier to use.
Internet connectivity is available with standard FordPass Connect modem technology – enhancing productivity with the ability to create a mobile WiFi hotspot and enabling owners to keep their vehicle safe, secure and running efficiently using the FordPass Pro app.
Ford’s new range of protection shields
Finally, Ford customers will be pleased to hear Ford’s announcement of a new range of protection shields that can be quickly and easily fitted to a wide selection of the company’s commercial vehicles. Designed to help operators meet social distancing requirements and deliver additional peace of mind for occupants, the shields are a part of the official Ford Accessories range.
Customers will be able to order the shields – which have passed Ford’s rigorous safety, quality and durability testing – through Ford dealers as well as via the Ford Online Shop in selected markets.
The impermeable shields are made of transparent polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic with integrated straps for simple installation and can be sanitised as part of operators’ interior disinfecting procedures.
Removable suction cups attach to the window interiors to provide unobtrusive fixing points for the straps, which also attach to existing fittings in the cabin. Customers can quickly and easily fit, adjust and remove shields without requiring interior modifications, and the design allows the shields to pack down flat for storage.
The shields can be fitted to offer four separate configurations, splitting cabins from front to rear and from left to right as desired, to provide the ideal configuration for each operators’ requirements.
Initial availability is for Transit and Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom vans and people movers. Shields for Transit / Tourneo Connect, and Transit Courier will follow later this year.
Rally-inspired MS-RT Transits now available direct from Ford dealers
Ford Transit Custom and Transit Connect vans developed by vehicle design specialist MS‑RT will soon be available direct from Ford Transit Centres, proving once again that a practical commercial vehicle can also be eye-catching and a pleasure to own. The MS-RT Transit Custom and Transit Connect deliver radical sports styling inspired by the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Fiesta WRC car, while retaining the popular commercial vehicles’ practicality, durability and the full Ford warranty.
A comprehensive range of bold and distinctive colour options from the Ford Special Vehicle Options (SVO) palette is also available for the MS-RT Transit Custom to further enhance its appearance and complement the spectacular body kit. MS-RT Transit Custom and Transit Connect will be available to order from September.
Wide wheel arch extensions are filled with new, bespoke 18-inch OZ Racing anthracite alloy wheels, complemented by sporty side skirts that create a lower profile. At the rear, an integrated diffuser element and roof spoiler emphasise the rally-bred character. MS-RT Transit Custom receives a twin-pipe sports exhaust, with MS-RT Transit Connect gaining a distinctive quad-exit system; customers can specify optional Ceramic Black exhaust tips.
Bespoke interiors feature handcrafted MS-RT Nappa leather and suede seats, MS-RT sports steering wheels with carbon fibre inlays, and MS-RT branded instrument clocks and floor mats.
Standard features also include Ford’s SYNC 3 voice-activated connectivity system with a colour touchscreen – allowing drivers to connect mobile devices and plan routes for optimum productivity – and a FordPass Connect modem delivering Wi-Fi connectivity for up to ten devices. Drivers also benefit from standard sat-nav, rear-view camera and bi-xenon headlights.
Fiat Professional Doblo Cargo available via pay-as-you-go leasing
Already a firm favourite with small business users across the UK and Europe, the appeal of the Fiat Professional Doblo Cargo has been further enhanced with the introduction of an innovative pay-as-you-go leasing deal that makes it more affordable than ever.
Inspired by the cost-effective and user-friendly financing options for everyday items like mobile phones, the new product from Leasys – the contract hire division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – is perfectly suited to owner-operators trading in the ‘new normal’ and makes the award-winning small van even more practical and competitive.
The premise of Leasys Miles is simple: after making a small initial payment and then paying monthly, the balance of the lease is charged by the mile. The less a customer drives, the less they pay.
The pioneering scheme is made possible by black box technology that tracks vehicle movements and calculates payments.
In the case of the Fiat Professional Doblo Cargo L1 DIESEL 1.3 80, that means an initial rental of just £149, followed by 47 monthly payments of £149 (excl. VAT on business contract hire) and a pay-as-you-go charge of 0.25 pence per mile*. What’s more, the first 500 miles are included at no additional charge.
The Fiat Professional Doblo is also available for personal contract hire (PCH) with Leasys Miles. For more information, please visit Leasys’ website here.