Light ‘n’ Easy: Iveco Eurocargo and Daily Van

By: Steve Brooks


Iveco1 Euro 6 Eurocargo comes in three models, all 4x2 and all with inherently high safety and emissions standards Iveco1

Short stints behind the wheel of a new Euro 6 version of the medium-duty Eurocargo and a couple of smart additions to the increasingly popular Daily line-up confirm Iveco’s ongoing commitment to cover all bases in the commercial vehicle sector

 

While the big news out of Iveco in recent times has been the much anticipated announcement that it will once again add the International brand to its product portfolio, there can be no question the lighter classes continue to be an intense focus for the European conglomerate.

And rightly so!

After all, it’s in the lighter ends of the commercial vehicle business where Iveco has kicked the greatest goals over recent years, notably with the sales volumes of its versatile Daily range.

By comparison, the big end of the family has largely languished. This year up to the end of April, for instance, Iveco held just 4.8 percent of the heavy-duty market, putting it only one short step ahead of the lowest ranked European brand in the heavy-duty class.

For the record, DAF currently holds the wooden spoon but with a new model and new energy on the rise, it’s pushing hard to be rid of the timber.

Still, Iveco has good reason to hope International will add a strong string to the bow and in the process generate interest and impetus across its broad range of heavy-duty models, from the seemingly ageless ACCO to the Stralis cab-over and the somewhat under-rated Powerstar.

Likewise, the medium-duty market so completely dominated by the Japanese hasn’t been a particularly happy hunting ground for Iveco.

However, with a new and highly advanced Euro 6 version of the Eurocargo now partnering the current Euro 5 model, Iveco has the ability to target those applications demanding top-shelf standards of safety and emissions compliance.

But it is, of course, the lighter league where Iveco is again most likely to find the greatest growth thanks to the arrival of additional Daily van and bus models.

The new Eurocargo and Daily models were previewed for the first time at Iveco’s expansive Dandenong (Vic) headquarters before the various versions were made available for short stints behind the wheel.

More comprehensive test runs are scheduled for the near future but in the interim, here’s a run-down on each model, starting with the latest Eurocargo. 

Safer & Smarter

It may not count for much in our neck of the woods, but Europe’s annual International Truck of the Year award is a very big deal indeed. Big deal or not though, Iveco’s Euro 6 Eurocargo was the winner in 2016, and for good reason given the extent of safety and efficiency features contained in the new model. 

Keen to press the point, Iveco’s local leaders say the latest Eurocargo raises the safety benchmark in the medium-duty truck market with a range of innovative features not normally seen in this segment, especially amongst its Japanese competitors.

Adding more sting, Iveco’s Australia and New Zealand product manager Marco Quaranta commented, "Notable safety advancements in recent years across light commercial vehicles are leading buyers to question why many of these features have not been available in the medium-duty market.

"These changing attitudes combined with increasingly stringent OH&S requirements particularly among the larger fleets, were two of the catalysts for making the latest generation Eurocargo an extremely safe vehicle.

"The safety equipment in the Eurocargo is comparable to what you would find in high end European passenger cars," he asserted in a prepared statement.

Simply put, the new Eurocargo with its distinctive cab design has the stopping power of front and rear disc brakes with ABS anti-lock as well as an anti-slip regulator (ASR), electronic stability program (ESP), hill-hold function, driver’s airbag and daytime running lights.

Pushing the safety mantra to a significantly higher plane is an advanced emergency braking system (AEBS) using radar technology to measure the distance to a vehicle in front and if necessary, applying the brakes to prevent or at least minimise impact with another vehicle.

Adaptive cruise control and a lane departure warning can also be specified as part of AEBS.

All 4x2 rigid configurations, the three models in the Euro 6 line-up are the ML120, ML160 and ML180 with respective gross vehicle weight ratings of 12, 16 and 18 tonnes, and each available in day cab, sleeper (with a high roof option) and crew cab layouts.

Powering all versions is Iveco’s latest 6.7 litre ‘Tector 7’ turbocharged six cylinder engine, using high pressure common-rail fuel injection to produce peak outputs in the ML120 of 250 hp (185 kW) at 2500 rpm and 627 lb ft (850 Nm) of torque at 1250 rpm, and 280 hp (206 kW) at 2500 rpm and 738 lb ft (1000 Nm) at 1250 rpm in ML160 and ML180 models.

Apart from strong claims for sharp performance and thrifty fuel economy, Iveco emphasises the engine’s ability to achieve Euro 6 emissions compliance – a standard not yet mandated in Australia and as yet, no firm indication of a possible introduction date – without requiring any EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) input.

Instead, the engine uses what Iveco calls its ‘Hi-SCR’ selective catalytic reduction system combined with a passive diesel particulate filter, or DPF.

The ‘passive’ tag simply points to the fact that no driver involvement is required for regeneration of the particulate filter.  

Describing ‘Hi-SCR’ as simple, lightweight and efficient, Iveco insists the system provides many benefits over those designs using a combination of EGR and SCR to achieve Euro 6 compliance.

Other reported attributes of the Tector 7 engine are generous oil change intervals of up to 80,000 kilometres and an electronically-controlled, two-speed electro-magnetic engine fan which is automatically engaged or disengaged according to cooling requirements to further assist fuel efficiency.

Coupled to the engines is a choice of a ZF nine-speed overdrive manual transmission with a dash-mounted gear shift or Allison’s S3000 five-speed automatic.  

Critical for a truck intended for city and suburban work, access to and from the cab is made easy with well-placed steps and doors opening a full 90 degrees.

There has also been a major make-over on the inside with Iveco citing a quality Isri suspension seat for the driver, practical placement of all controls and switchgear, a linear dashboard design featuring an electronic anti-glare instrument panel, and a relatively unobtrusive engine tunnel allowing the driver to move easily from one side of the cab to the other.

Storage space and driver convenience also rated highly in the design process according to Iveco. The centre console, for instance, has space to comfortably accommodate a laptop, tablet and the like while there are two USB connectors and a 12 volt power socket for charging electronic devices.

For fleets wanting to run telematics, Iveco says the new Eurocargo features the necessary hardware for easy integration of third party systems, allowing operators the versatility to choose the system best suited to their requirements.

Underneath a chassis designed to make body fitment for up to 14 pallets as simple as possible, the new Eurocargo models ride on a combination of parabolic springs on the front and electronically controlled air assemblies under the rear; two bags under the ML120 and four under the ML160 and ML180.

All models also have a front stabiliser bar as standard equipment.

As Iveco’s Marco Quaranta mentioned, the Euro 6 Eurocargo will be sold alongside existing Euro 5 models which in due course will adopt the new cab exterior design and many of the new model’s interior appointments.

Daily Deliveries

Continuing the Euro 6 push is a new high volume Daily van which like the new Eurocargo, uses SCR for emissions compliance and will be sold alongside its current Euro 5 siblings.

With a hefty gross vehicle mass (GVM) rating of seven tonnes on a long 4100 mm wheelbase, this version of the highly successful Daily is available in cavernous load capacities of 16, 18 and 19.6 cubic metres.

With such spacious load volumes, Iveco is in no doubt the latest Daily represents a viable alternative to pantech-bodied light trucks.

The new Euro 6 Daily van occupies a unique position in the market and according to Marco Quaranta, "… is the only van available in the Australian market with a seven tonnes GVM and provides up to 4 tonnes of payload.

"In terms of carrying capacity, it is a potentially more affordable alternative to a light truck cab/chassis (and) also provides advantages such as superior safety features, more comfortable driving, and lower fuel use thanks to superior aerodynamics and more sophisticated engine technologies, while still providing the strength of a full C-section chassis."

Additionally, he says a walk-through option also makes this van model suitable for recreational applications such as motorhomes.

Under the snout is a revised 3.0 litre turbo diesel four cylinder engine producing  180 hp and 430 Nm of torque; increases of 10 hp and 30 Nm respectively over the current equivalent model.

Equipped with a 25 litre AdBlue tank, Iveco estimates the vehicle will consume around three litres of AdBlue for every 100 litres of diesel, meaning AdBlue will only need to be topped up every seven or eight tanks of diesel.

However, aware that many van users may not be familiar with SCR and AdBlue requirements, Iveco emphasises that if the AdBlue tank falls to less than 5 per cent capacity, engine torque will be reduced by 25 per cent. Worse, if the AdBlue tank is allowed to run dry, the vehicle will be limited to a maximum speed of 20 kilometres per hour.

Back on the driveline, transmission choices are a six-speed synchromesh double overdrive manual, or Iveco’s slick eight-speed full automatic.

Additionally, safety is further enhanced with an optional lane departure warning system while Iveco also points out the new van contains some of the noise reduction and aesthetic upgrades which will be introduced to the broader Daily van and cab/chassis range later this year.   

Maintaining the momentum, the versatile Daily is also the platform for an impressive minibus range also due later this year, comprising three models with seating capacity for 11 passengers plus driver or 16 passengers plus driver.

All models are powered by Iveco’s Euro 6 four cylinder ‘Unijet’ common rail engine delivering 170 hp (125 kW) and 400 Nm of torque through the same eight-speed fully automatic transmission used in the new high volume van.

However, Iveco says a slightly more powerful Euro 6 engine is on the cards, again later this year.

Smallest of the three models is the 11-seat (plus driver) ‘Shuttle 12’, a unit with a GVM of 4.5 tonnes built on a 3520 mm wheelbase and with what Iveco calls the H2 roof providing standing height of 1820 mm.

Then there’s the ‘Shuttle 16’ based on a longer 4100mm wheelbase and seating for 16 occupants plus the driver. GVM for this derivative is 6.1 tonnes and it, too, has the H2 roof.

Offering the same seating capacity is the premium ‘Executive 16’ with a 6.5 tonne GVM variant and the H3 roofline for 2010 mm of standing room.

Furthering its upmarket appeal, seating for the ‘Executive 16’ can be specified in leather in addition to a range of luxury interior and exterior upgrades for an even higher standard of premium appointments.

Along with standard internal luggage racks, all minibus models have a generous rear overhang to provide an extensive area behind the last row of seats for additional passenger baggage, and according to Iveco, reduce the need to tow a dedicated luggage trailer.

Given the critical need for occupant safety, it’s no surprise all models are equipped with front and rear disc brakes with ABS and electronic stability program.

Yet taking safety to an even higher level is Iveco’s extensive ESP9 safety package while further adding to the safety equation are three-point passenger seat belts, a driver’s airbag, daytime running lights, pneumatic suspension and a lane departure warning system.

For ride quality, all models are equipped with an independent torsion bar front suspension and rear air suspension while the driver has a heated, air suspended seat.

Standard on all models is the ‘Iveconnect’ touch-screen multimedia system containing radio, CD player, MP3 and DVD player, GPS and reversing camera.

Other standard features include air conditioning including individual passenger air conditioning on selected models, delivered through air channels in the luggage racks.

Whether it’s big trucks, smaller trucks or vans and minibuses, Iveco is obviously intent on ticking all the boxes.

As one smiling senior executive quipped, "There’s something for everyone."

It certainly seems so!

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