It’s Italian for fabulous, spectacular and terrific, and it sums up the new IVECO Daily range perfectly
It’s been the Italian van of choice since 1978 when it appeared on European roads in its first generation with 2.5-litre diesel power and a range of outputs of 72 to 75 hp and peak torque ratings of 141 to 161 Nm.
IVECO states the latest release for 2015 is the third generation for the brand, but in Delivery Magazine’s reckoning the tally makes it the sixth generation in an evolving product range that has borne the same name for 37 years.
The second-generation Daily arrived on the scene in 1990 and stayed for a decade before the third generation in 2000, which in turn was followed by the fourth generation in 2006 and the fifth generation in 2011.
The Daily is a “global” vehicle – more than 2.6 million Daily vehicles have been sold to date in over 110 countries worldwide. It is produced at the IVECO Suzzara plant, near Mantova in Italy, where the company has recently made substantial investments to renew the production lines.
As Delivery Magazine previewed in the August issue last year, 2015 will see generation six arrive on Australian shores, and it does so having already gained substantial accolades from the European commercial vehicle press.
The New Daily was named the International Van of the Year 2015 at the IAA Show in Hanover. That in itself is no mean feat, considering the award results from impressing a jury panel of 23 leading journalists from major international commercial vehicle publications. The winner is the van that, according to the Jury, “has made the greatest contribution to the standards of efficiency and the sustainability of transport of goods by road with respect to environment and safety of people”.
In the most competitive year ever since the awards programme was established in 1991, the IVECO New Daily won by a margin of 17 points over the shortlisted finalists from Fiat, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Renault/Opel. In voting, New Daily was the first choice of the 23 jury members.
New Daily comes on sale as a completely renewed vehicle of which 80 percent of components have been redesigned. The company claims it offers load volume efficiency at the top of its category, best in class for volume and capacity, car-like comfort, plus further optimisation of drivability and fuel consumption.
The New Daily has preserved its classic ladder frame chassis structure, which has long been a key part of its DNA and ensures its sturdiness, versatility and durability over time, including maximum bodybuilding flexibility for chassis/cab versions.
The New Daily features important technologies that aim to limit consumption: fuel savings equate to an average of 5.5 percent, depending on the different vehicle versions, and can reach up to 14 percent with EcoPack for urban uses. The aerodynamics have also been enhanced, especially on van models, with the drag coefficient (Cd) reduced by almost six percent (from 0.335 to 0.316).
The new front suspension QUAD-LEAF provides the option of higher load carrying ability, and, when combined with the new HI-MATIC eight-speed automatic transmission, it creates a light commercial that immediately heads to the top of the specification charts for ease of driving, lower fuel consumption and reduced driver fatigue.
The New Daily incorporates new advanced and integrated telematics services, improved customer services instruments and the most advanced road safety features, such as IVECONNECT – the exclusive system that allows for simple and integrated management of the infotainment and navigation systems and the advanced driving assistance and fleet management instruments.
The ongoing quest for efficiency is also embodied in a range of intuitive control devices that help businesses to create a productive working environment. IVECONNECT is equipped with a 7″ touchscreen built into the dashboard and comes complete with radio, CD player and iPod/iPhone and MP3 compatible USB port, along with Bluetooth connectivity with steering-wheel controls and an AUX/video port.
IVECONNECT DRIVE includes a navigation system with truck navigation function, the Driving Style Evaluation system, which acts as an on-board driving instructor whenever you need it, and the Driver Attention Support safety device, to protect the driver from fatigue and drowsiness.
During a preview drive in Italy, Delivery Magazine found the interior of the new Daily was noticeably quieter that its predecessor. A redesign of the cabin features has produced probably more storage options that most drivers will actually need, and the seat comfort and ergonomics when using the vehicle are certainly class leading. The air conditioning system has also been upgraded and is noticeably more efficient than in the previous model.
IVECO has really moved ahead in regard to climate control, and, unlike the Australian Federal Government, already has alternative fuel source options in place with the availability of very fuel-efficient diesel engines plus providing buyers with alternatives that include natural gas and electricity.
IVECO has established its leadership in the natural gas vehicle sector with a complete range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles and buses. The company has delivered more than 12,000 units in total, including 2,000 units in 2013 alone.
The New Daily CNG, presented in Hanover at the IAA Show last year, maintains the same strongpoints as the diesel version in terms of reliability, comfort, and useful payload. The ladder-frame chassis featured in all the New Daily models makes it relatively easy for the CNG cylinders to be mounted within the chassis without affecting cargo volume. The electric version is expected to be launched in early 2015 and will be available in vans and urban buses.
The New Daily evolution range will also include a new 7.2 tonnes top range version, which offers the highest payload in the category (up to 4.9 tonnes), and two different 4×4 models (an all-road version available in twin-wheel versions of 3.5 tonnes and over with van, chassis cab and crew cab bodies and a pure off-road version that will adopt the same technical scheme of previous Daily4 x4).
Mercedes-Benz created a class-leading product with its Sprinter, and by including the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed fully automatic transmission it set a new benchmark for light commercials.
As expected, IVECO took up the challenge and literally went one better, offering the new HI-MATIC eight-speed automatic transmission developed with ZF.
The ZF HI-MATIC changes faster and more precisely than even an expert driver, needing less than 200 milliseconds for a gearshift when greater acceleration is required. With an input torque rating of up to 470 Nm and electronic control of the gear changes, the HI-MATIC becomes the first eight-speed automatic transmission to be applied to the light commercial vehicle sector.
Electronic management allows the driver to select the best driving mode for the various requirements of the route. The driver can select Eco mode, during which smooth and low-speed gear changes reduce fuel consumption, and Power mode, enabling quicker gear changes at higher engine rpm or road speeds to enhance driving performance.
The new automatic transmission offers the same maximum towing limit as its manual gearbox alternative at 3,500 kg for a braked trailer, adding a Hill Holder system (the anti-rollback system for uphill starts) as standard.
The cargo capacity of the van has been greatly improved by redefining the ratio between wheelbases, overall length and loading length. These changes in cargo volume have resulted in models in 8 and 20 cubic metre sizes, along with the 10.8 cubic metre version – best in class for loading efficiency.
This new architecture, with elongated wheelbase and reduced rear overhang, ensures that the New Daily offers excellent drivability without compromising on the vehicle’s agility in tight spaces.
The new Quad-Leaf front suspension, standard on all models up to 3.5 tonnes, constitutes the excellent blend between the two previous single- and twin-wheel versions, guaranteeing increased load carrying capacity of the first, and ground clearance and maximum allowed payload on axles of the latter.
For single-wheel models, the rear suspension has also been re-designed – decreasing the height of the load platform by approximately 55 mm to facilitate vehicle loading and unloading, and reducing oversteer in load transfers when cornering. The combination of the new front and rear suspension systems, and the new longer wheelbases for the van, produce a dynamic, category-leading performance in terms of safety and stability.
Stand by for some new challenges that will result in a few battles for market share between European chassis/cab variants and the more traditional Japanese-sourced light truck brigade.
Intent on making inroads into what has been the Japanese light truck domain, IVECO has upscaled the New Daily with a top weight rating of 7.2 tonnes GVW, and payloads of up to 4.9 tonnes.
This weight rating pits the New Daily into contention with the long-established light truck products from Japan while introducing what can be a benefit for the driver and operator of a factory-supplied van body, removing the need to arrange for secondary bodywork fitment.
The new generation of the Daily Minibus offers all the advantages of the New Daily, including new architecture, a new range of longer wheelbases, new interior and exterior design, and a new driver’s seat with ergonomic dashboard, across four different models for four main activity types: intercity, tourist, urban and school transport.
The on-board safety and comfort of both the driver and passengers is a top priority for IVECO Bus. The driver can rely on safety systems, like the ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and the LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System).
The lower position of the new driver’s seat and the smaller steering wheel make vehicle handling much easier and more pleasing. New, modern interiors are tailored to passenger comfort, with improvements to the climate control and ventilation systems, whilst the improved air suspension system on the rear axle offers a much smoother ride.
The top-of-the-range 6.1 tonnes version with a longer 4,100 mm wheelbase seats up to 22 passengers plus the driver and a guide (the maximum seating capacity for this class of vehicles) and 30 percent more storage capacity in the luggage compartment compared to previous versions.
In the European market the New Daily Minibus is available in four versions, the most versatile version being called the Daily Line. This is ideal for interurban transport or school bus services and is available in three different wheelbases with two door types and different seating layouts. The Daily Line seats up to 22 passengers and can be equipped with optional equipment such as a wheelchair ramp.
The Daily City has been exclusively designed for transport in small urban and suburban areas. Also available in a CNG-fuelled version, it features a central double door and a rear door with wheelchair access via a dedicated ramp. The New Daily Minibus Pop is the school transport vehicle dedicated to the Italian market. Available in diesel and CNG versions, it has a maximum seating capacity of 45 primary school or 32 high school students.