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View Full Version : Fiat Ducato: most probable next-generation Ram Van



cripple_rooster
12-01-2010, 02:08 PM
A model that had been offered in bi-fuel CNG/gasoline versions in the 2nd generation, then currently offered with a dedicated-CNG option would be a good option to american market.
http://www.autohaus-weindel.de/inhalt/nw-erdgas-tank-3.jpg
http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2009/03/23/454275.1-lg.jpg

It's different from the usual vans currently offered in the U.S. since it's front-wheel drive (however, it saves a lot of space that can be used to mount a CNG setup above the floor, contributing to a low center of gravity and improving stability). Van versions, including cutaway versions widely used as motorhome bases, are unibody, but there are chassis-cab and bare chassis versions with a ladder-type frame.

Post-facelift 2nd-gen is still being made in Brazil, and at least for me it looks more suitable to meet american customers' design preferrances, more conservative for commercial vehicles than european current 3rd-gen.
http://static.blogo.it/autoblog/fiat-ducato-140-natural-power/FiatDucato140NaturalPower_03.jpg

However, I could bet the european bare chassis version would be more suitable to the american market, since it would avoid the Chicken Tax and allow american customers to use regular step-van bodies assemblied in the U.S. and passenger vans could also be fitted with locally-assemblied bodies to meet local market preferrances about design and safety features.
http://listino.omnifurgone.it/400/FIAT/DUCATO/2009/0WH.JPG

Some people say that RWD Iveco Daily would be the most logical option but I don't share this view, since Ducato's improved handling would represent a lower risk of accidents that could turn customers to have lawsuits agains Fiat. Also, some ambulance officers told me that Iveco Daily suspensions are horrible.

John Mitton
12-01-2010, 04:55 PM
Fiat had this van in the Ride & Drive last summer at the Clean Fuels Ohio conference, along with a little bi-fuel sedan. They were assessing the market opportunity in the US.

cripple_rooster
12-01-2010, 06:29 PM
Fiat had this van in the Ride & Drive last summer at the Clean Fuels Ohio conference, along with a little bi-fuel sedan. They were assessing the market opportunity in the US.

I suppose the little sedan was a Siena TetraFuel, powered either by pure gasoline, brazilian gasohol (between 20 to 25% ethanol), pure ethanol, any blend of them and CNG. A cousin of my dad owns one and is very satisfied.He told me that it could reach 110mph with the 1.4L 8-valve engine (he told me it was on CNG but I believe he was telling a fish tale). Actually, the Siena loses 30% power and about 15% torque when running on CNG and still uses an older head design without rolleted camshaft. In the case of the Ducato, however, since it uses a diesel-based block and is dedicated-CNG it already doesn't have a power loss comparing to its diesel counterpart due to a high compression allowing the CNG use to be optimized.

cripple_rooster
05-18-2013, 11:58 PM
Now that Ram is releasing the US-spec Ducato as the ProMaster, with the Pentastar V6 as standard, let's just sit and wait. Its platform is already suitable to a dedicated-CNG version, so if Fiat is still willing to consolidate its leadership position in the CNG field worldwide, this is the right moment.