Set to storm the market
Iveco’s New Daily arrives in South Africa as you read this. Elvis Mutseura, product marketing manager at Iveco SA, tells us why this is the best Daily ever.
The name Daily is something of a byword for heritage. Since being launched in 1978, it has seen numerous firsts introduced to its class. The Daily was the first light commercial vehicle in the world to sport independent front suspension back in 1978.
Direct injection was introduced in 1985, while common-rail diesel technology, developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies, was also a first for the Iveco Daily that was voted Van of the Year in 1999. In 2006, the Iveco Daily became the first light commercial vehicle fitted with the ESP8 electronic stability program.
“When Iveco’s engineers set out to create a new Daily, they certainly had their work cut out for them – but they were up to the task,” says Mutseura. “The Van of the Year 2015 title was awarded in recognition of Iveco once again pushing the boundaries in this tightly contested vehicle segment.”
He explains, by way of example, that the new Daily is the first commercial vehicle to have an eight-speed fully automatic transmission.
“Dubbed HI-MATIC, it is the perfect solution to protect the engine and transmission, with maintenance and repair costs reduced by ten percent (compared to a manual transmission) and has exceptional reliability and durability.”
The new transmission is available in three versions: Urban, for those who have to face everyday city traffic; Regional, which offers outstanding flexibility that maximises the driving experience; and International, which combines driving comfort and outstanding fuel economy for long-distance journeys.
Re-engineered from bumper to bumper – 80 percent of the body-in-white is completely new – the new Daily continues to use a strong, truck-derived ladder-frame chassis.
“This unique feature in the van segment gives the Daily unquestionable strength – it can easily out-tow all of its competitors and a good many trucks, too, with a braked towing capacity for the five-tonne panel van of 3,5 t,” boasts Mutseura.
The tried and tested 2,3-litre F1A and three-litre F1C powerplants from Fiat Powertrain Technologies are retained, giving up to 153 kW and 470 Nm output.
Iveco has been careful to retain the Daily’s famed agility, with the new model boasting best-in-class turning circles across the range.
“The balance between the length of the cargo bay and the overall length of the vehicle is optimal and wheelbases have been lengthened, while reducing rear overhang. This results in better handling, due to a reduction in the oversteer tendency inherent with rear-wheel drive vehicles,” Mutseura notes.
That said, an extended rear-overhang option pushes the available cargo length to more than
5,1 m. Iveco South Africa will offer two versions with this option, which will also allow for a people-carrier conversion that can carry 25 + 1 passengers.
In this regard, ride comfort – even if it is only for the front passengers of a panel-van derivative – was a priority during the development of the new Daily. Extensive work has also been done to reduce noise levels, which range from better soundproofing to improvements in the suspension.
On single-wheel panel vans, this begins with the new Quad-Leaf suspension system, which adopts a double wishbone scheme with transversal leaf spring. Roll behaviour, noise and vibration, loading performance and manoeuvrability are all improved.
The larger twin-wheel vans sport an improved Quad-Tor front suspension that adopts a double wishbone scheme with torsion bar springs, and achieves similar results on the larger vans.
“Handling is now much more intuitive and predictable, in line with that of a passenger car. Emergency manoeuvres are now also safer under all load conditions. Handling improvement is measured by the increase in lateral acceleration: up 25 percent, corresponding to 0,74 G – an impressive performance for a commercial vehicle,” explains Mutseura.
“Another impressive figure relates to the improvement in aerodynamics. The drag coefficient for the new Daily has been reduced by six percent to 0,316 – a figure that many premium passenger cars would be happy to have, and one that will make a very welcome and significant impression in the pockets of owners and operators whenever they visit a fuel pump,” he continues.
The car-like feel and interior appointments and ergonomics of the new Daily have been lauded in Europe. The driving position has been modified; a lowered hip-point, adjusted steering column angle and steering-wheel diameter and a larger windscreen all aid driving comfort and overall visibility.
“A wide array of practical storage areas and controls, all within easy reach of the driver, impressed the Van of the Year judging panel so much that all 23 judges were completely satisfied. None of the judges found a single fault with the design,” Mutseura smiles.
Driver and passenger airbags, a radio and air-conditioning are all standard. Additionally, the electrical system has been enhanced up to cater for extra load, while the air-conditioning compressor lends itself to power roof-mounted air-conditioners that are fitted by many customers.
“At Iveco SA, we believe in giving our customers the best value available for their investment. The whole vehicle is covered by our standard two-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, and we have managed to keep our pricing at unbelievably favourable levels,” notes Mutseura.
How favourable? You’ll have to wait for the launch report to find out – but Mutseura is confident it’ll be tough to resist …
“We are going to offer some outstanding finance deals on the new Daily. Our order book is open and customers will do well to place their orders now to secure theirs!”