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THE OFFICIAL IRISH JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL VAN OF THE YEAR & INTERNATIONAL PICK-UP AWARDS

Volume 9. No 1. Spring 2012

Exclusive Report from Arctic Van Test in Finland

Mercedes-Benz Citan on Winter tests

Pick-Up Test: Toyota v Volkswagen


On the move at Windsor Airside Windsor Airside has appointed Daniel Kavanagh as its new Commercial Vehicle Sales Executive. Daniel however is no stranger to commercial vehicles and comes with the necessary experience and knowledge to promote the new range of Nissan NV400 commercial vehicles. He has experience in selling a broad range of commercial vehicles such as Isuzu, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz and Renault. Daniel is always ready to find the van that suits his customers needs. He takes the time to discuss all options with his customer's and to find a van that fits budget requirements and also the daily needs of his customers. Commenting on the move, Daniel said, "I am delighted to be joining the team in Windsor Airside. I am looking forward to the new challenge working with both new and existing customers in the North and Greater Dublin area. With my knowledge and experience, I am fully prepared to help customers with any queries they may have from a Dry Goods van, Fridge, Crew-Cab, Dropside, Tipper, Box-body, Mini-bus." Call into Windsor Airside and speak with Daniel about your requirements – he is on hand to advise on all aspects of commercial vehicle purchasing. Windsor offers the full range of finance and contract hire options. If you’ve got a question Daniel is ready to help. According to Daniel, “I would like to thank all my previous customers for their valuable custom in the past and I look forward to meeting you all again very soon and hopefully securing your new business!” Windsor Airside is the main dealer for Nissan and Peugeot Cars and Commercials Used vans are always in stock plus Windsor offers full Aftersales Service.

Opening hours: Sales: Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 6.00pm Saturday: 10.00am - 3.00pm Service and Parts: Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 1.00pm & 1.30pm - 5.00pm

Call Windsor Airside today on 01-8708700 or Daniel 086-7911820 anytime!!


www.fleet.ie

contents SPRING 2012

P5

Fleet Van&Utility Magazine, D’Alton Street, Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)94 9372819 Fax: +353 (0)94 9373571 Email: enquiries@fleet.ie Subscription Hotline: 094 93 72827 Editor: Jarlath Sweeney Contributors: Gerry Murphy, Cathal Doyle, Rob Van Dieten

Photography: Jarlath Sweeney, Gerry Murphy, Cathal Doyle, Rob Van Dieten, Richard Kienberger, Newspress, Matko Jovic, Carsten Tiener Administration: Orla Sweeney, Denise Vahey Advertising: Mary Morrissey, Orla Sweeney Design: Eamonn Wynne Printed in Ireland

Cover Pic: Richard Kienberger Disclaimer: Fleet Van&Utility Magazine management can accept no responsibility for the accuracy of contributed articles or statements appearing in this magazine and any views or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Fleet Transport management, save where otherwise indicated. No responsibility for loss or distress occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by the authors, contributors, Editors or publishers. The Editor reserves the right to make publishing decisions on any advertisements or editorial article submitted to the magazine and to refuse publication or to edit any editorial material as seems appropriate to him. Professional legal advice should always be sought in relation to any specific matter.

4 NEWS Volkswagen’s Crafter offer and Extended Warranty Package • Ford launches Tourneo in Geneva • New Renault engine for Kangoo • Mr. Tayto’s crisp new Fiat Vans • Ford Transits for Tokheim • Champion Contact Wipers • TomTom supports Van Excellence 6 INTERVIEW With Joanne Harrison-Gross, Opel Commercial Vehicles Europe 8 COMPARISON Toyota Hilux vs Volkswagen Amarok

P 20 16 WINTER TEST II Joining the new Mercedes-Benz Citan in frozen Sweden 18 LAUNCH PAD I Sortimo looks to the future 19 LAUNCH PAD II Mitsubishi Pajero & L200 just arrived 20 FLEETING SHOTS Snap shots from Land Rover, Fiat, Northgate and Nissan 22 REVIEW Geneva Motor Show from a commercial perspective

11 WINTER TEST I Exclusive Report & Pictures from the 2012 Arctic Van Test

FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012 3


NEWS 1

Great Countdown Offer on Volkswagen Crafter

C

ontinuing into April, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle’s 4-3-2-1 offer on the Crafter is attracting great attention. All new Crafter registered before the end of this month will avail of the following: 4 Year's Warranty (including Roadside Assistance), 3 Scheduled Services and 2 Years Road Tax on the No.1 Continental Irish Van of the Year 2012. “The Crafter has been a huge success for us in Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and we are

Extended Warranties offered Meanwhile, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are taking the worry out of ownership by offering new low-cost warranty add-ons for Caddy, Amarok, Transporter, Shutt le, Caravelle and Crafter models. “For all Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle customers, an extended warranty offers peace of mind against unforeseen vehicle repairs. Th is also helps to ensure that the vehicle is maintained according to Volkswagen

the Irish Motoring Writers Association. Th is offer celebrates this by adding the assurance of an extended warranty, three scheduled services included and two year's road tax on what has been voted by the critics as the number one Van of the Year,” said Niall Phillips, Sales and Marketing Manager of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

particularly proud of the fact that it was voted the 2012 Continental Irish Van of the Year by specification, thus extending the life of the vehicle,” stated Niall Phillips. Customers can choose to extend the standard two-year warranty by either one or two years across the commercial vehicle range. Prices start at just €499.87 to extend the Caddy, €598.64 to extend the Transporter’s warranty by one year or €623 to extend the pre-2012 Crafter warranty by one year. Customers who choose to extend their warranty by two years can avail of even greater value.

For more details on this and the rest of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles range contact your local Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles retailer. Two extra years on a Caddy will cost just €704.18, €861.12 on a Transporter or €900 on the pre-2012 Crafter. For 2012 the latest model Crafter enjoys a three-year warranty as standard, but this can also be extended by one- (€623) or two-years (€900). “Th is is a small price to pay for extended piece of mind on Volkswagen’s superb range of Commercial Vehicles. Contact your local Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles retailer for more information,” he advised.

Ford Tourneo Custom Concept premiered in Geneva

T

he new Ford Tourneo Custom Concept made a grand entrance to the world’s media at the Geneva Motor Show as it transported the ‘blue-oval’ brand's most Senior Executives into its stand in Hall 5 in the lead up to the introduction of the all new B-Max compact MPV. Mr. Alan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company and Mr. Stephen Odell, Chairman & CEO of Ford of Europe (pictured) were the fi rst passengers to officially travel in this new people carrier that will share its dramatic new look and style with the forthcoming Ford Transit which will make its Global debut at the CV Show in Birmingham in the third week of April.

gives us the opportunity to appeal to new customers with a fresh new direction, and we have seized that opportunity with both hands. We are excited to present this significant new concept in Geneva. The Tourneo Custom’s car-like qualities will be appreciated by a broad range of business and leisure customers, and this is a fitt ing venue to present the vehicle for the fi rst time,” he said.

“One look at the Tourneo Custom Concept is enough to tell you that it will inject an exciting new spirit into the personal use segment,” said Stephen Odell, in an interview with Fleet Transport. “Our forthcoming new range

“2012 is a tremendously significant year for Ford as we begin the roll-out of a completely new range of commercial vehicles,” added Steve. “Our market-leading commercials have established a tremendous reputation for value and durability, and our new range is destined to raise this to a new level.”

New recording beating fuel economy Renault Kangoo

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enault brings its Formula 1 technology to the Kangoo van with the introduction of new 1.5 litre Energy dCi 90 and 75 engine versions that will be the most frugal in their class. The new diesel blocks set a new fuel consumption record of 4.4 litres/100kms with an impressive output of only 115 g of CO2/km. In keeping with its eco-friendliness, oil change intervals have been extended to every 40,000 km/two years, instead of every 30,000 km/two years, the longest in engine class. As a result, running cost savings amount to 14%. Th is latest engine development also 4 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012

specifically to enhance driver and occupant comfort. Peak torque of the 90 bhp version is 200 Nm which is available from 1750 rpm while maximum power of the Energy dCi 75 version has torque values of 180 Nm available from 1,750 rpm.

come with ESM (Energy Smart Management) braking/deceleration energy recovery, plus latest generation Stop & Start developed

Among the interesting aspects of the Start/Stop system installed is that the vehicles speed must exceed 4 km/h before the engine is re-triggered following a stop. There is also less noise, since the ventilator’s fan speed is reduced when the engine stops.


NEWS 11

Mr. Tayto Snax-up Fiat Doblo Cargo Maxi!

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egendary figure Mr. Tayto was on hand to give the thumbs-up to a recently signed fleet deal with Fiat Group Automobiles Ireland. Eight new Fiat Ducato Cargo Maxi vans were delivered to Mr. Tayto’s representatives at Tayto Park in Ashbourne, County Meath. In keeping with Mr. Tayto’s environmentallyfriendly beliefs, the long-wheelbase Fiat Doblò Maxis are powered by Fiat’s ultra-efficient 1.6-litre MultiJet II engines which not only produce extremely low levels of CO2 but also reduce running costs thanks to their long

According to Mr. Tayto, “The Fiat Doblo’s Maxi’s crisp handling and tasty performance ensures that every pack of delicious Tayto crisps is delivered swiftly and safely to our thousands of fans all over Ireland.” For its part, Fiat Group Automobiles Ireland is extremely proud to be associated with a successful, home-grown brand such as Tayto and to share in even a few slivers of Mr. Tayto’s immense celebrity limelight. service intervals and low fuel consumption figures.

Ford Transit Fleet Keeps Business Flowing for Tokheim ord main dealer, Dooley Motors in Carlow, has supplied fi fteen new Transit models to Tokheim, the world’s leading manufacturer and service provider of fuel dispensing equipment.

F

Commenting on the new contract, Casey King from Tokheim Ireland said: “The Transit is our favoured work vehicle which has proven to be dependable and fuel efficient, helping to keep our costs down. Our drivers love its comfort and versatility.”

The deal which was arranged with a total fleet management and maintenance package covering road tax, tyre replacement, Anthony Dooley, Dealer Principal of Dooley Motors, with Casey servicing, vehicle replacement and King of Tokheim Ireland at the handover of the new fleet of 15 repairs, will help Tokheim with its work Ford Transit vans. in supplying and servicing installations at fuel retailers across Ireland.

Anthony Dooley, Dealer Principal, added: “Our relationship with Tokheim stretches back more than five years and we are delighted to be again providing them with an expanded fleet of Transit models and a total care package that provides round the clock 32 county support for their fleet.”

Champion Contact flat-blade wipers fit more LCVs

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ederal-Mogul is now offering the aftermarket a range of Champion Contact flat-blade wipers for light commercial vehicles (LCVs). With some of the most popular LCVs, such as the Citroën Berlingo, Mercedes-Benz Vito and Volkswagen Caddy, now fitting flat-blade wipers as original equipment. Champion’s flat-blade range covers more than 40 of the most popular LCVs with only 13 part numbers. Vehicle manufacturers fit flat blades as original equipment because their aerodynamic design pushes the wiper blade onto the windscreen to ensure better contact, improving the blade’s efficiency. The slim structure also allows manufacturers to design wiper systems that sit

below the bonnet line to improve the vehicle’s appearance and pedestrian safety. Federal-Mogul has also launched a retro-fit option that is available as part of the Champion Contact range, which allows owners of vehicles with conventional wipers to upgrade to flatblades. This gives customers better performing wipers and creates additional business opportunities for workshops. Federal-Mogul’s single-packed Contact range, with its unique master connector system, gives distributors and workshops maximum coverage from a modest investment as well as fast turnover of stock. “Flat-blades’ share of the wiper aftermarket grew from 0.5% in 2003 to 18% in 2010,” said

Jonathan Allen, Federal-Mogul. “In 2012, flat blades’ share is predicted to reach 30%, a trend that Federal-Mogul expects to accelerate in the coming years as the growth in the OE market filters through.” Federal-Mogul also markets a midpriced range of just 14 flat blade references to satisfy most customer requirements. Champion’s Easyvision programme provides a high quality, cost optimised flat wiper blade for consumers seeking a mid-market product. This range also incorporates the retro-fit feature and provides substantial vehicle coverage.

TomTom backs FTA push for Van Excellence

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omTom has reaff irmed its commitment to promoting safety and efficiency among van fleets by launching a new partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTA). The link-up will see the market-leading supplier of fleet management systems provide their support for the FTA’s Van Excellence programme, which aims to promote best practice through self-regulation.

representatives will use the FTA’s best practice guides to help van managers strive towards Van Excellence, using TomTom’s technology to underpin efforts to achieve this status.

TomTom and its network of fleet consultant resellers will promote best practice in van fleets across the UK and Ireland. The local

“The programme offers an ideal fit with TomTom Business Solution’s own values in promoting greener, safer, more efficient

“We are delighted to join forces with the FTA, as the Van Excellence programme represents a significant move to raise standards throughout the industry,” said Giles Margerison, Director UK & Ireland TomTom Business Solutions.

drivers. Self-regulation is important in ensuring high levels of operational best practice and our technology can help to provide the framework companies need to maintain those standards.” More than 40 organisations have already signed up for Van Excellence and members will be accredited through a robust auditing process. The programme is designed to improve safety and efficiency among van drivers, and help to scrap the outdated ‘white van man’ image. FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012 5


COVER

One-to-One

JS. And are there any other changes you need to work on that you haven’t made yet?

Joanne Harrison-Gross, Group Marketing Manager Europe Commercial Vehicles, Opel-Vauxhall with Jarlath Sweeney, editor@fleet.ie

JHG. We have our own alloy wheel programme now, obviously we’ve done a European 3 trim for the passenger car and that’s slightly different from Fiat, so we’ve built it into the Opel range basically in the way it’s offered. JS. Fiat has just introduced the Work-Up which is a dropside version of chassis cabbed Fiat Doblo. Do you plan to introduce something similar? JHG. We’re still thinking about the flatbed and the dropside, we haven’t yet made a decision on that so we’re at the moment more concerned on the van version.

JS. How did the new Opel Combo project come about to replace the 11 year old model and note that you have changed partners too? JHG. Well we’ve added a partner in Fiat Professional. Yes, obviously we’ve always worked with Renault for heavy and medium vans but the Doblo Cargo is the award winning van in the segment as far as we’re concerned. With the Cargo you’ve got up to one tonne payload, you’ve got the volume up to 4.8 cubic litres with the long version, the flexibility of the high roof and the long wheel base, so, from that point of view we were keen to work with the Fiat product.

and we are part of the overall Opel Automotive strategy on that. It’s slightly different too on the commercial vehicle with the Movano and Vivaro, but Ecoflex for us on the European markets is basically lower CO2 output for petrol, for diesel, and for CNG, although the German market has a slightly different interpretation of that. JS. But the CNG Natural Gas/Natural Power version will be Fiat’s as well? JHG. Yes.

JS. So the new Combo is basically the same product with an Opel badge? JHG. Not quite, we’ve done changes to the front grille and also the bumper, at the rear we have our changes done to the tailgate and also, we’ve got, our version of fabrics inside, so it is 'Opelised' let’s say, in its space, but also in the interior. JS. As you enter into various markets with this new van line, Fiat Professional has a strong hold in this arena, so how will you market it differently to what Fiat is already doing? JHG. Well, we’ll be marketing the Combo through the whole of our passenger car network so we have a different strategy than the Fiat Auto Group. Fiat has the Professional range where they sell the Cargo and they have the Fiat passenger car dealership network. We will sell the Combo through all the passenger car dealerships in Europe and mainly our commercial vehicle dealership or a subset of the passenger car network. There is a very very broad range of well over 4000 dealers and we expect our penetration to go up compared to the current Combo passenger version. As you rightly said it has got older, having said that we’re still surprised how well it sells because it is going since 2001, and even now we get a lot of demand for it. JS. Is the driveline the same as Fiat?

JS. Now in relation to the Zafira MPV that we see here, and this particular version of the new Combo passenger, they are both family orientated cars so how are you going to differentiate both? JHG. It doesn’t make a difference in terms of the actual architecture regarding let’s say the 7 seater Combo. We don’t expect the penetration to be particularly high on the 7 seats but you can’t fold down the 7 seater in the Combo- you have to take them out, so it’s a bit of a different target group. It’s not quite as flexible and I think also that there’s a difference in image. The purpose built van segments are practical, I mean you’ve seen our slogan here “Built for Real Life”- it’s a very practical orientated group: people who are not so concerned with their image. Not everybody is looking for a flashy car, but one with a high degree of practicality, where the Zafi ra I think is a different target group.

JS. Is the new Opel Combo on sale across the EU now? JHG. The order books opened in Germany on the 14 October and we had our dealership launch in February so, yes, the answer is yes! JS. So how’s your relationship with Fiat and has the new collaboration affected your long established links with Renault? JHG. To be honest our ongoing projects with each manufacturer ran completely parallel with each other and we enjoy working with Fiat too. They are very professional, helpful and it’s working very well with them. We have the interface with the Turin organisation but then also an interface with the Tofas plant as some of the things goes directly into the plant rather than into the Turin organisation. It’s amazing how may good young people are working in Fiat and who speak excellent Engish which helps us if we don’t know how to speak French or Italian! JS. My final question in relation to your home country and Vauxhall? JHG. Vauxhall are of course selling the Combo but they are only selling the Cargo version. We don’t see a large market for the passenger car version in the UK so yes, they have just launched as well.

JS. More value for money orientated? JHG. Yes JS. And it will be built in Turkey along side the Fiat Doblo? JHG. Yes in the Tofas plant in Bursa.

JHG. Yes. We have the Fiat powertrain but with our Ecoflex strategy in Europe for all cars 6 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012

Text: Jarlath Sweeney – editor@fleet.ie


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COMPARISON

Head-to-Head

Toyota Hilux versus Volkswagen Amarok models don’t get Bluetooth phone connections or sockets for connecting iPods or MP3 players, however it is the absence of either parking sensors or a reversing camera that is most keenly missed on such a large vehicle.

Verdict:

Hilux - The reversing camera alone tips the balance in the Toyota’s favour, but overall the Hilux comes better equipped than its German rival.

W

hen we first drove the Volkswagen Amarok, our reaction was that this was a game changer in the pick-up market, offering better refinement, interior layouts and load carrying capabilities than its direct rivals. So we were not surprised when it duly collected the inaugural International Pick-up award back in 2010 The problem for Volkswagen is that it has been nearly two years since that first drive, but it was only last autumn that the Amarok finally arrived on Irish shores. That’s a long time coming to market and needless to say the opposition haven’t been idle in the meantime. A plethora of new or facelifted pick-ups are here, or on their way, from the likes of Mitsubishi, Ford, Isuzu and Mazda (in certain EU countries). Chinese brand Great Wall is soon to enter the market here too. If there is one vehicle in particular though that the Volkswagen engineers at Ingolstadt will have been keeping a close eye on, it is the famously indestructible Toyota Hilux. Now there’s a new one; so how does the hitherto top dog Hilux in its latest incarnation fare against the young upstart to its crown? Fleet Van & Utility put both to the test.

EXTERIOR & INTERIOR Toyota Hilux

Inside the cabin is much improved too. Better seating, more modern technology like the excellent Toyota Touch colour touch screen system which houses the audio controls, the secondary controls and the screen for the reversing camera – a real plus compared to its competitors. You also get more room in the rear and better seats in the second row making it more car-like and a more comfortable place to be for passengers.

Hilux Interior 8 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012

ENGINE Toyota Hilux You instantly know that the Hilux has all the power you need from the 145hp 2.5-litre D-4D engine (although if you do need more power there is a 171hp 3.0 litre option as well). The common-rail, turbo charged intercooled unit delivers 345Nm of torque from 1,600 to 2,800 rpm with smoothness and less lumpiness. You get a 5-speed gearbox that is precise and suitably spaced for every job. The four-wheel drive is selected via a traditional manual shift lever that is easy to engage. Toyota claim combined fuel consumption of 7.3L/100km. 8.5L/100km was achieved under regular driving conditions on the road.

Volkswagen Amarok Volkswagen Amarok Chrome may be distinctly absent on our Trendline spec Amarok (you need to stretch to the Highline for that) but appearance wise, the Volkswagen doesn’t lose anything to its Japanese rival with a handsome if understated design that should age well. The interior is classic Volkswagen, with the emphasis on functionality. The plastics are quite hard to the touch, but will undoubtedly wear very well, and as you’d expect are extremely well put together. In the rear Volkswagen deserves kudos for being the first to come up with properly designed seats in a pick-up, and the Amarok is a comfortable place to travel as a rear seat passenger. Surprisingly even the top of the range

Amorak Interior

Toyota has added an extra of chrome that brightens up the exterior. A prominent chrome grille and giant chrome-backed, heated door

mirrors with integrated indicators and front fog lamps add to the bling effect making the Hilux more luxurious. With the growing popularity of pick-ups as recreational vehicles the Toyota leads the field by delivering a bright, attractive double cab that is rather handsome without losing its workmanlike status.

It may only have a two-litre engine versus the 2.5l in the Toyota, but the Volkswagen trumps the Toyota in headline figures. 163 bhp (there is also a lower powered 122 bhp version) and 400 Nm of torque are impressive but more importantly in real life this is a willing unit, well able to pull from low revs whether laden or unladen, or with a trailer behind. A six-speed gearbox has well spaced ratios, while Volkswagen’s four wheel drive 4-Motion system is selected electronically offering low and high ratio gearing options. ESP is standard on all models. Fuel wise, Volkswagen claims a combined cycle of 7.8 l/100 km. In the real world we have been averaging around 8.6 l/100 km for regular driving, although inevitably that figure shoots up significantly when towing.


COMPARISON a button to lock the rear differential, as well as an off-road function that calibrates the ESP and traction control systems to provide optimum traction and grip.

Verdict:

Honours even, both vehicles are pleasant to drive on-road and more than capable off it.

COSTS Toyota Hilux

Verdict:

Amarok - Volkswagen proves a big capacity engine isn’t necessary in a vehicle of this kind.

LOAD CAPABILITIES Toyota Hilux The deck length is 1,545mm, width 1,515mm and height 450mm. However, unlike the Amarok, 12 cu.m wide Europallet will not fit between the wheel arches. It has a towing weight of 2,500kg (braked) and a payload of 1088kg. Side sills are standard too, as is the flat coloured rear steel step and a multiple of cargo anchor points. The rear view camera is mounted on the tailgate and comes with a clear screen as part of the Toyota Touch system.

Volkswagen Amarok The Amarok was the first pick-up to offer a load area capable of taking a standard Europallet between the 1,222mm wide rear wheel arches. It narrowly beats the overall load length and width figures of the Hilux with 1,555mm and 1,620mm respectively, but while it boasts greater towing capabilities - up to 2,800kg (braked), its load carrying capability of 1,047kg is bettered by 41kg by the Hilux.

more precise than ever. You do have to have your wits about you, but this is much less complicated and safer than the pick-ups of old. That’s down to the balance of power to weight ratio and the engagement of Active Safety technology. ABS, Brake Assist and especially Toyota’s Vehicle Stability Control (VCS) system which checks twenty five times every second where the driver is steering and the actual track the vehicle is taking. When the VSC detects a skid or slide, it instantly applies a correction via the traction control and ABS system without further input from the driver. Off-road the Hilux is an ultra-capable machine. The lockable rear differential added to the VCS will get you out of most tricky situations and deep mud. You also get hill assist and crawl control for even power distribution over more challenging terrain.

Volkswagen Amarok

Toyota Hilux

It is meant as a compliment to say that the most thing you notice driving the Amarok is its size (it is over 100mm wider than the Toyota). Pickups don’t have a great reputation for on-road manners, but the Volkswagen is surprisingly easy to drive, with little of the wavering handling often associated with the breed. Yes, ride is a bit bumpier than in a car – leaf springs tend to do that – but even on bumpier terrain passengers are surprisingly cosseted. You need to be aware that the back can be quite light unladen, but like the Hilux, the standard ESP and ABS do a good job of keeping it all together if any slippage is detected.

Overall the driving experience of the latest generation Toyota pick-up is much improved. Driving the Hilux becomes less of a fight and

Take it off road, and the Amarok also performs well. Apart from the four-wheel drive there is

Verdict:

Amarok - its ability to take a Europallet puts the Volkswagen clearly ahead in this test.

ON & OFF -ROAD

Three versions of the Hilux double cab - DLX, SR5 and SR Premium are offered, while there is also a single cab version that gives greater load space. Automatic versions are also available. Prices start at €24,620 for the single cab, with the Double Cab ranging from €31,440 to €41,085. Our test vehicle in SR5 specification retails for €33,875. A 3 year/100,000 km bumperto-bumper warranty is standard with 3 years breakdown assistance, whether in Ireland or elsewhere in Europe.

Volkswagen Amarok At present there is no single cab version of the Amarok, though one is due later this year. Prices for the basic double cab version with 122bhp start at €31,640 with the Highline 163bhp retailing at €38,110. Our test vehicle with 163bhp in Trendline trim costs €36,920. Volkswagen commercial vehicles come with a two year unlimited mileage warranty and three year paint warranty, and a two year Volkswagen Assistance breakdown service.

Verdict:

Hilux - if purchase costs and warranties are the bottom line, the Toyota represents better value for money.

OVERA LL VERDICT If proof were ever needed that time waits for no man or machine, this is it. That the opposition would catch up with the Volkswagen Amarok was inevitable, what is perhaps surprising is how comprehensively the Toyota has addressed the shortcomings from the previous generation to make this latest model a more refined and allround better vehicle. On pure specification it offers more for your money than the Volkswagen while being over €3,000 cheaper as tested. It is also a fair assumption that like its illustrious predecessors the Hilux will take whatever abuse is thrown at it, and keep on going. On the other hand though, the Volkswagen outscores the Toyota in a few critical areas, notably the larger cargo area, while the twolitre engine is more than a match for the larger capacity unit in the Hilux. Very little in it then; if price is the critical factor, the Hilux will probably appeal, but if you are looking for the ultimate in load carrying and pulling, combined with a well-designed and practical cabin, the Amarok remains a hard act to beat.

Text: Cathal Doyle & Gerry Murphy Photos: Cathal Doyle

FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012 9


EXCLUSIVE!

WINTER TEST 1

Ford Transit wins Arctic Van Test 2012

A

rctic Van Test 2012 had one of the best line-ups of contestants in recent years. Minus 25 degrees Centigrade was the average temperature that the nine examples from eight of the leading brands had to endure during the four-day

assessment. For the eighteenth running of this unique comparison test LCV manufacturers of panel vans with cargo volume between 10-12 cubic metres and with circa 140 hp from their Euro 5 engines were invited to Helsinki, Finland to participate. The light commercial vehicle industry reacted favourably and latest examples of the Citroen Relay/Jumper, Fiat Ducato, Ford Transit, Iveco Daily, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Nissan NV400, Opel Movano and Volkswagen Crafter were all present ready to face the challenges set by the organising team where they were joined by journalists from the Nordic countries, Germany, Bulgaria and Ireland. Such is the high esteem that the van manufacturers hold this event that representatives from Mercedes-Benz and Iveco sent vehicles and representatives direct from the factory to honour their commitment. Day 1 began with a short road test around the Mäntsälä area as part of the acclimatisation process for the vehicles and driver team. The next day, things got more serious with a series of urban handling tests and measurements, with the latter looking at the entry/exit to and from each vehicle, all round visibility, storage and durability. The urban drives took in Mäntsälä, Järvenpää, Vantaa, Helsinki and Espoo. An early start under a cloud of darkness and with the mercury levels dropping towards minus 20 degrees Centigrade, the first of three cold start and heater tests began. As an Arctic Test ‘rookie’, this was an interesting learning process and after experiencing two severe winters here in Ireland during 2009/2010 with lots of snow and ice, the ease with which the Nordic community deal with the conditions is commendable. As a necessity, all of the vans were fitted with auxiliary Webasto cab heaters, which were kicked into gear once the timing was done on the windscreen demisting, and the manufacturer’s heater got up to a comfortable temperature. This was timed on all vehicles as part of the test over three days. After the regulated idling time of 4 minutes the remaining part of the 760-kilometre journey began from the Rahtarit Professional Driver Club base at Mäntsälä. Heading north on the E75, the first leg was a short run to Renkomäki before the driver/van swap over. On average the distance covered in each van was around 70 kilometres. Practically all of the stopping off/exchange cum coffee/meal breaks were at ABC service stations, which impressed us with the high quality and variety of service available. With a keen eye on the legal speed limits (in order to avoid steep fines) most of the driving was done between 80 and 100 kp/h, which was surprising considering the road conditions. Par for the course here, I have been told. Trucks, trees were continuously met and passed as the van convoy carved its way along the snow banked roads. Mostly Volvos and Scanias with a few Sisu, the native brand, thrown into the mix. The majority of the towns and cities were by-passed as we travelled on past the signposts, all spelling out names that are unpronouncable such as Jyväskylä, Anneoski, Viitasaari and Phyäjärvi Pulkkila as we headed towards the west coast city of Oulu. From there we took an easterly route to our overnight halt at Syöte. As the crow flies, we were not too far from the Arctic Circle, not FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012 11


WINTER TEST 1 to mention Santa’s headquarters at Rovaniemi. The dedicated route was prett y straight and flat which brought on drowsiness despite having to keep concentration levels high on the white blanket type surface. It was not until the final leg after turning off from the main road that hills and valleys appeared which made the journey a little more challenging and exciting. By the time we arrived there, nightfall had come down three hours earlier at 4.30 p.m. More significantly the freezing temperatures had dropped to minus 28 degrees Centigrade and a snowy mist began to fall that continued on through the night. No serious issues arose from the vehicles (or drivers!) other than a slow puncture in the Daily (on the outside right twin wheel) and a malfunction on the full beams switch on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Another pre-dawn wake-up call was on the cards the next morning for the second cold start/heater experiment. “In heater evaluation analysis the most important factor is how soon cabin temperature rises to 20oC. Other factors are the cleanness of the windows and mirrors. Starting is also a factor in evaluation. There was no major issues with cleanliness, but in this test both the Ford Transit and the Volkswagen Crafter had some problems when starting," stated Pentti Mustonen, one of the test coordinators. The reason? “We asked the participants to use engine oil which is recommended for winter weather conditions. Ford and Volkswagen however specified standard oil from their factory suppliers. The other vans had used winter oils. These factory oils had a viscosity of 10 W - winter oils must have a viscosity starting from 0W or 5W.” From the parking lot at Pikku, 60 kilometres or so was driven to the privately owned Pudasjärvi Airport. This former military base has been used by the organising team for the handling, visibility and suspension tests and measurements. The driver panel was therefore broken up into three teams to carry out these day-long activities. As each vehicle was put through its paces, each member of the driver panel had to rank a score card from the many aspects of the vehicle’s performance under review. One of the first tasks before any of the above tests were undertaken, the 600 kg on board (consisting of 25 kg gravel bags had to be unloaded … manually). Kept the blood circulating at least! As witnessed, some of these drivers need more exercise, as the process took longer than expected! By lunchtime we were all fit for the local traditional dish – reindeer stew with mash. Back to the hotel then at Pikku-Syote for the points calculation and evaluation discussion. This meeting went on for 90 minutes and preliminary results were announced – the third element of the pre cold start/heater test was to be undertaken early the following morning. From the provisional standings, the Ford Transit came out on top, marginally – as per results chart. To those in the know, this was not a surprise, as at the launch of this Stage/Euro 5 version in Munich last year, we are aware that everything but the bodyshell has been modified and that all of the underpinnings of this latest but last of the current generation Transit will feature in the new Transit Custom due for its world premiere at the CV Show at the NEC, Birmingham in April. We were told then that what you do see is the outgoing Transit and what you don’t see is the new Transit. Mercedes-Benz representatives were none too pleased that the Sprinter (which is soon to have a new 7 speed autobox available) was beaten to the finishing line. Especially after leading the points table throughout the contest. Some members of the driver panel from the Nordic region penalised the Sprinter for having ‘an ESP – (Electronic Stability Programme) that was too strong!’ In other words, for the conditions like these, which are normal for Finland, the ESP9 system used by Mercedes-Benz (which is the latest provided by its supply partners Bosch), kicks in too soon before the aligned ASR (Anti-Skid Regulator) gets to do its job fully. It’s all down to when and how much torque reduction is aportioned to the offending skidding wheels. Volkswagen has a similar system fitted in the Crafter. As one jury member explained, “In winter driving, when overtaking the centre section of the road is usually covered with a higher level of compact snow and ice. When the vehicle with ESP9 hits this, the electronics kick-in immediately and 12 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012


WINTER TEST 1

reduce the torque, which in their opinion can slow down the overtaking manoeuvre, making the pass on the 25.25m truck for example that more difficult and possibly dangerous.” That said, under normal circumstances the ESP9 system is excellent and certainly enhances road safety. The Opel Movano and sister van, the Nissan NV400 suffer from the same plight according to the panel that carried out the ‘slalom’ tests on the airport’s runway. Both the Ford and Mercedes-Benz reported some problems with the extreme temperature, which resulted in a reduction in engine power for a short while. Both brand representatives stated that if grille covers were fitted it would eliminate the problem as per what Fiat and Citroen had done. Those issues aside, the broad selection of vans available for this year’s Arctic Test made it one of the best comparison trials in years. All credit must to go to Heikki Laurell and Pentti Mustonen, the main organisers, from the Auto Tekniikka ja Kuljetus publication group, for their excellent organisational and logistical skills. 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the Arctic Tests, which began with trucks, with vans introduced 18 years ago. Pick-Up trucks were added to the test match programme later. Next year, it has been proposed to feature new compact vans including the new Mercedes-Benz Citan, Opel Combo and possibly the Renault Kangoo ZE electric, the current International Van of the Year. By all accounts the ‘rookies’ passed the driving endurance test too. Once in the laps of Lapland, the calling to return will be difficult to refuse. Roll on Arctic Test 2013!

Nokian studded tyres do the business! For the Arctic Van Test 2012, Finnish tyre producer Nok ia n re-f it ted all the vans with its latest (7th generation) Hakkapoliita C Cargo studded tyres. On the compacted snow and ice, grip and braking power was impressive. Maintaining high average speeds was achieved in a controlled fashion, which was down to the new square shaped steel stud application on the tyre. Each ‘C’ Nokian tyre has almost 200 studs applied. Said Matt i Morrii, Manager Technical Customer Services at Nokian, explaining the successful development of this tyre range designed specifically for light commercials. He was keen to emphasise that car tyres do not best suit vans, as they are not made to cater for the load and braking factors. Nokian’s tyre manufacturing process, which was demonstrated by video showed the installation of an additional side strip which acts as a strengthener to the tyre's build quality and lessens vibration on the road. FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012 13


WINTER TEST 1

Arctic Van Test 2012 - General Assessment in brief Make/Model Citroen Relay/Jumpy 2.2 litre HDi (130 hp) L3H2 Fiat Ducato 2.3 litre MultiJet (130hp) H1L2 Ford Transit 2.2 litre TDCi (140 hp) 350L Trend Iveco Daily 3.0 litre FPT (146 hp) 35C15V Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2.2 litre (130 hp) 313 CDI BE Trend Nissan NV400 2.3 litre dCi (125 hp) L2H2 Comfort Plus Opel Movano 2.3 litre CDTi (146 hp) L2H2 Volkswagen Crafter 2.0 litre (163 hp) Pro 35 Volkswagen Crafter 2.0 litre TDI (143 hp) BlueMotion 35

Positives • Steering feel • Strong bulkhead • Mirrors & adjustments • Braking System • Fuel Economy • Smooth Engine • Mirrors & Adjustments • Fuel economy • Low engine/road noise • Ventilation system • All-round visibility • Handling • Interior lighting • Passenger seat comfort • Steps for cleaning windscreen • Air suspension seat • Mirrors/visibility • Cornering lights • Stability on icy roads • Quality Build • Low engine noise • Driving position • Easy to repair • Good storage areas • Spacious passenger seats • Easy to drive • Steps for cleaning windscreen • Fuel consumption in urban area • Fuel consumption in rural roads • Stronger engine (hp) • Good storage areas • Spacious passenger seats • Easy to drive • Steps for cleaning windscreen • Fuel consumption in urban area • Driving position • Large cabin • Easy to repair • Low engine noise • Driving position • Large cabin • Easy to repair • Low engine noise • Fuel economy

Negatives • Foot pedals off centre (to right) •Foot pedals too close • Entry/Exit • High engine & Road Noise • Hard suspension • Foot pedals off centre (to right) • Foot pedals too close • Entry/Exit • Engine & Road Noise • Hard suspension • Seating position • Walk through ability • High driving position • Air intake at freezing temperature • Mirror adjustments • Fuel consumption • Payload (turn-wheels) • Steering feels light • Small windscreen • No spare wheel • Steps for cleaning windscreen • ESP too strong for conditions • Air intake for freezing temps • Kerb/nearside visibility • Steps for cleaning windscreen • Harsh vibration on rough surfaces • Suspension over bumps • Fuel consumption in rural roads • Harsh vibration on rough surfaces • Suspension over bumps • ESP too strong for conditions • Big A Pillars • ESP too strong for freezing temperatures • Big A Pillars • ESP too strong for freezing temperatures • Stop/start non-function (due to freezing temperatures)

Preliminary Results TEST POINTS

Factor

CITROËN FIAT Relay/Jumper Ducato

FORD Transit

IVECO Daily

Mercedes NISSAN Sprinter NV400

OPEL Movano

VOLKSWAGEN Crafter PRO

VOLKSWAGEN Crafter BMT

8,2

8,2

8,2

8,4

8,5

8,2

8,2

8,4

8,4

2

16,4

16,4

16,4

16,8

17,0

16,4

16,4

16,8

16,8

7,9

7,9

8,1

8,3

8,6

8,0

8,1

8,4

8,4

3

23,7

23,7

24,3

24,9

25,8

24,0

24,3

25,2

25,2

7,6

7,8

8,0

7,7

8,7

8,0

8,3

8,7

8,7

1

7,6

7,8

8,0

7,7

8,7

8,0

8,3

8,7

8,7

7,5

8,3

8,9

7,5

7,2

8,3

8,0

7,2

7,2

1

7,5

8,3

8,9

7,5

7,2

8,3

8,0

7,2

7,2

8,8

8,8

8,7

8,9

9,1

9,2

9,2

9,3

9,3

8,8

8,8

8,7

8,9

9,1

9,2

9,2

9,3

9,3

8,50

9,00

9,00

8,75

8,00

8,50

9,00

8,75

8,00

1

8,5

9,0

9,0

8,8

8,0

8,5

9,0

8,8

8,0

8,0

8,5

9,0

8,5

9,0

7,5

7,5

9,0

9,5

4

32,0

34,0

36,0

34,0

36,0

30,0

30,0

36,0

38,0

7,5

8,0

9,0

8,5

8,5

8,0

7,5

8,5

8,5

1

7,5

8,0

9,0

8,5

8,5

8,0

7,5

8,5

8,5

9,8

10,0

10,0

7,3

9,0

9,3

9,0

8,5

8,5

2

19,5

20,0

20,0

14,5

18,0

18,5

18,0

17,0

17,0

132

136

140

132

138

131

131

138

139

Driver points Urban area test test points Road test test points Drive without load test points Handling test test points Measurements Cargo space test points

1

Acceleration test points Heating test points Noise in cabin test points Use and service Fuel economy test points TOTAL

14 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012

Text: Jarlath Sweeney – editor@fleet.ie Photos: Richard Kienberger


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WINTER TEST 11

Citan – new urban van from Mercedes-Benz

• On Winter Test Drives in Northern Sweden

E

very vehicle that wears the Mercedes-Benz ‘triple-star’ badge must earn its stripes before going into the sales batt lefield. It is a badge of honour to those working at Mercedes-Benz. To customers it is a symbol of prestige and quality. That message was delivered strongly by Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans to the International Van Jury assembly in Northern Sweden. The object of the exercise was to demonstrate how the new Citan project has advanced since our sneak preview in Germany in February. Mr. Mornhinweg is confident that the transformation of the Renault Kangoo into the new Mercedes-Benz Citan has been successful. Apart from the door, side panels and the engine, practically Volker Mornhinweg

everything else has been changed. Much time and effort has been put into fine tuning and moulding the van into the MercedesBenz DNA. Citan has to feel and drive like a Merc – fit comfortabably into the family and above all wear the badge with honour and pride. Details of the test drives will be revealed next month after the official launch of the Citan prior to the RA I Amsterdam Show (16th April). Meanwhile, at Mercedes-Benz' own Test Centre near the Arctic Circle the Citan has been going through extreme tests at sub-zero temperatures. As we saw and experienced, the Citan successfully came through sub-zero temperature tests on designated carved out tracks with metre-high snow banks. Situated nea r t he sma l l town of Arjeplog, Mercedes-Benz has its own test centre with fully equipped workshops, offices and a variety of test circuits including one on a frozen lake as well as a challenging

mountain route. These test focus on cold start behaviour, heating and ventilation systems, seat heating, windscreen defrosting etc. Materials used are put through their paces too, for example, how do items such as door seals perform at below zero? Will they go britt le or crack? Th is region also provides an ideal opportunity to trial and fi ne-tune the suspension control systems. The latest Adaptive ESP – Electronic Stability Programme comes as standard on the Citan and from our experience in the Sprinter where the system has been perfected, it is a magnificent system and can save lives on the road. In reality ESP covers an array of functions that aid the control of the vehicle such as anti-lock braking, acceleration skid control, drive and braking, torque control, engine friction torque control, under-steer control and rolling movement intervention. As experienced in Arjepleg with the Sprinter, ascents of 10 to 20% incline were driven. Covered on one side with high-grip heated asphalt and slippery ice on the other, the van navigated the inclines and descents safely. With one of the Mercedes-Benz engineers

IceMaker testing the depth of the ice.

16 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012


WINTER TEST 11 alongside, patience was all that was required as it takes just a lifetime for the wheel spin to cease and the traction to kick in. With the aid of hill start, the brakes remain on for 0.8 seconds to allow foot movements from the brake pedal to the accelerator. Other courses tried during the day long exercise included driving on compacted snow at high speeds and undertaking brake tests, pushing the loaded Sprinter to the limit. As expected, it responded safely and predictably at all times. The Sprinter's new 7-speed automatic transmission was appraised

here too on the vast frozen lake, prepared by the Icemakers, a company that specialises in creating precisely defined courses for Mercedes-Benz over the years, including a circuit with a diameter of 500 metres. Here and on the various handling circuits with their sweeping and tight bends, both the Sprinter and Citan had to demonstrate their grip and handling stability. The brand’s hallmark tuning of suspension and control systems became apparent under these conditions. Volker Mornhinweg also got involved in the test programme. He spent two days in Arjeplog behind the wheel of the Citan putting

the newest member of the Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle family to the test. And he left impressed. “Our new suspension and our control systems are now perfectly tuned. It’s something you notice on the various handling courses and when moving off or braking. I’m also extremely happy with the changes in the interior – both in terms of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as the robust materials selection. The Citan is now a bona fide Mercedes-Benz after all the tests and work our development engineers have done. And so it’s ready for series production.”

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter continues to evolve • New Autobox • Enhanced ESP functions

I

n a world fi rst, the new Mercedes-Benz 7G-Tronic transmission is now available in the Sprinter. With a full electronic control, this auto gearshift has already proved itself on Mercedes-Benz cars but has been adapted to meet specific requirements of van usage. “The great advantage of the new transmission with its seven gears is that it combines a wide spread between the lowest and the highest gears with closely spaced ratios,” explained Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz vans. The 7-speed torque converter automatic transmission delivers smooth shift action, which is complimented with practically no interruption in power delivery. And that was proven when driving on the long straight stretches of compacted snow on metre deep ice on lake Udjaur. Of course, the driver can intervene manually whenever necessary – to make use of the engine braking effect during descents, for example. Together with R&D partners Bosch MercedesBenz has introduced the next generation of Adaptive ESP, called ESP9i, that feature a Text: Jarlath Sweeney - editor@fleet.ie

number of additional functions :-

engine compartment.

Brake Disk Wipe: in the wet, this system builds up a low level of brake pressure, and wipes the fi lm of water off the brake disc so that the full braking power is available straight away if it should be required. Electronic Brake Prefill: if the driver releases the pressure on the accelerator suddenly, it is interpreted as the fi rst step of an imminent braking process. The system then reacts to this by gently applying the brake pads to the brake disc, and the reaction time for any braking is reduced. Since Mercedes-Benz passenger cars were fitted with ESP, driver related accidents fell by more than 42% between 1998/1999 and 2002/2003. For other brands, the number fell by around 13% during the same period. Another major development in the ESP9i is the integration of the sensor cluster into the ECU– Electrical Control Unit. Here-tofore the sensor was placed separately under the passenger seat with the ECU within the FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012 17


LAUNCH PAD 1

Sortimo brings Van Storage Systems into Space Age

Reinhold Braun, CEO of Sortimo International GmbH

The protrusion process for manufacturing Globelyst C

W

hen it comes to fitting out work vehicles with properly equipped shelving and storage facilities, here in Ireland we lag some way behind our European neighbours. Too often, we’re happy to just throw expensive equipment loosely into vans, while even in cases where shelving is installed, it is often poorly designed or constructed of heavy steel or timber that can have a significant impact on the payload and running costs of a vehicle. That mindset is changing though, with more and more people recognizing the needs – and benefits – of properly designed and fitted storage systems for their valuable tools and equipment. Apart from meeting increasingly stringent health and safety requirements, modern systems are lightweight but extremely robust, providing flexible fitting arrangements using off-the-shelf parts to meet exact customer needs, no matter how specialist the application. When it comes to storage solutions, few can match German company Sortimo. Europe’s largest manufacturer of secure van racking systems has almost forty years experience behind it, and produces everything from service cases to extension drawer systems and shelving systems, to lockers and workbenches. The company has continually adapted and refined its product offerings to meet customer demands. Its current Globelyst M range, introduced last August, uses modular construction and intelligent use of materials such as aluminium, steel, plastic and composites, resulting in flexible products with reduced weight and high strength. 18 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012

But it is its latest offering that the Bavarian company believes will move the goalposts entirely for in-vehicle storage systems. Globelyst C is a brand new range of products made entirely from fiber composite materials. It marks the first time that a company has offered such advanced technology, more often associated with advanced industries such as Formula One, for storage system use. Its main advantage over conventional designs is in weight saving, with Globelyst C being over forty percent lighter than all other in-vehicle equipment produced up to now. It is also extremely strong compared to the more conventional metal and plastic designs. Additionally it is extremely stable, water resistant and liquid tight, and resistant against corrosive oils, cleaning agents, even acids.

Chris Jones, Sortimo Sales and Marketing Director for the UK & Ireland believes that increasing fuel and operating costs are forcing operators to be more eco-friendly, and this is where the latest Sortimo ranges will make increasing sense. “Weight is now becoming such an issue. The new material mix with Globelyst M, and then going even further with the composite Globelyst C is dramatically reducing the weight. This leads to either more fuel efficiency or more equipment in the vehicle, and it fits in perfectly with what the customer wants.” Sortimo is well established in Ireland, with a full time Area Manager Peter O’Connor based here. Five retail partners in Dublin, Belfast, Abbeyleix, Cork and Galway offer full product and installation services. Chris Jones is excited about the growth potential of this market sector here. “In the past three years safety has become a real issue. We’ve been providing crash testing and educating the market, and we are seeing a real uptake in people looking at what we do. The next stage is going to lightweight composite materials, again making sure we get the right vehicle for the right job while integrating the safety.“ For further information about Sortimo products contact Area Manager Peter O’Connor on 0044 (0)7810 876363 or poconnor@sortimo.co.uk.

Sortimo will offer the Globelyst C range alongside the Globelyst M products using the same modular assembly design system. Underlining its commitment to this new technology, the company has invested around €10 million in the development of a new pultrusion production plant at its factory in Zusmarshausen in Germany. Acknowledging that the company is entering unchartered territory, Reinhold Braun, the CEO of Sortimo International GmbH describes Globelyst C as a revolution compared to Globelyst M being an evolution. “Though fiber composites are considerably more expensive than metal parts, we invest in future-proof technology,” he said. Reinhold is confident that the composite products’ ability to withstand greater abuse than metal, combined with the weight savings, will convince end-users of the benefits to adopt the new technology. Text: Cathal Doyle - cathal@fleet.ie


LAUNCH PAD 11

More power to the Mitsubishi Pajero & L200! the market for the new Pajero, we talked at length with Irish owners. We found that more than ever, people are looking for low cost ownership, reliability, performance, fuel economy and good residual values when considering a new vehicle. While the market has changed drastically over the last few years, these criteria are more important than ever. We are confident that the new Pajero will remain one of the most popular choices in the segment.” Shortly after the arrival of the refreshed Pajero into Mitsubishi’s dealer showrooms, the new model L200 Pick-Up truck was launched which is said to be bigger, better and stronger all-round. As per the Pajero, the latest L200 sports the new Mitsubishi family look. Under the bonnet lies Mitsubishi’s 4-cylinder 2.5 litre common-rail intercooled Euro 5 turbocharged diesel with 178 hp that provides 31% more brake horsepower and from its 400 Nm, 27% more torque than the outgoing version. While it is the most powerful Pick-Up in the market, fuel economy has improved by 12%.

T

ucked away in the corner of Mitsubishi's elaborate stand at the Geneva Motor Show were the new Pajero and L200, gleaming in white. Both models in Commercial form are now available on the Irish marketplace. With over 10,000 sold, the Pajero has become a tried and trusted workhorse in Ireland for over 25 years. New Pajero is the strongest, quietest, safest and most innovative ever built. Its 3.2 litre DI-D diesel now boasts 200 hp (up 25%) that delivers 441 Nm of torque (+16%) and has a towing capacity of up to 3500 kg. Emission levels of 207 g/km (CO2) lowered by 15% is best in class. Thanks to the option to switch between its Super Select 4 Wheel Drive and 2 Wheel Drive system at speeds of up to 100 km/h superior traction is guaranteed. Wading depth extends to 700 mm. The new Pajero is one of the safest vehicles on or off-road as standard features include ABS with

EBD, electronic traction and stability control with brake assist, passenger, curtain and side airbags. Prices for the new Pajero start at €32,262 (ex VAT) plus €200 VRT for the Short Wheel Base version and progresses to €34,328 for the LWB model. There is also a 7 seater LWB passenger with automatic transmission, retailing at €63,020 (incl VAT). All models come with cruise control, automatic air conditioning, Bluetooth connection, 18” alloys and the above mentioned safety items. In order to reduce the total cost of ownership, Mitsubishi Motors Ireland is offering up to five years warranty. While the Pajero comes with a 3 year / 100,000 km warranty as standard, the option of two additional years is now available in dealerships. The Pajero also comes with three years home and roadside assistance. Commenting to Fleet Van & Utility’s Jarlath Sweeney at the Geneva Motor Show about the new Pajero, Robert Guy, General Manager for Mitsubishi Motors Ireland said: “While studying

The L200 is built for work and leisure and now owners will appreciate its longer load area (+18cm) and resulting greater load capacity with no reduction in passenger cabin space. The cargo area is also higher and squarer at the rear. In addition, towing capacity has increased to 2.7 tonnes. Payload is up to 1,045 kg. As per the Pajero, the L200 comes equipped with the brand’s Super Select 4WD system and safety features as standard. There is now an option of a new electronically controlled 5 speed automatic transmission with Sports mode (which has a premium of €2,831) over the manual version. Prices for the new L200 Double Cab start at €32,742 (incl VAT/VRT). As with the competition, the standard level of equipment fitted is getting higher and the new L200 comes with cruise control, Bluetooth, auto air-con, electric, heated and folding door mirrors, 17” alloys, privacy glass, side and rear steps. Its warranty package is the same as the Pajero.

Spec Check - Pajero Commercial

Spec Check - L200 Double Cab

Engine:

Engine: Max output: Max torque: Max speed: Acceleration (0-80kph): Fuel Consumption: Transmission: Payload: Towing Capacity: Cargo Area: CO2:

Max output: Max torque: Max speed: Acceleration (0-100kph): Fuel consumption: Transmission: Payload: Towing capacity: Cargo area: CO2:

3.2L DI-D Common Rail Intercooled Turbocharged 4-cylinder in-line, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder 200bhp @ 3,800rpm 441Nm @ 2,000rpm 180kph 9.7 sec. 7.8L / 100km / 36.2MPG combined cycle 5-speed manual 540 – 645kg 3,000kg (SWB), 3,500kg (LWB) Length: 1,262mm. Width: 1,395mm. 207g/km

Text & Photos: Jarlath Sweeney - editor@fleet.ie

2.5 DI-D Common Rail Diesel 178bhp @ 3,750rpm 400Nm @ 2,000rpm 179kph 8.6 sec 7.7L / 100km. (36.7mpg) combined cycle 5-speed manual 1,045kg 2.7 tonnes Length: 1505mm. Width: 1470mm 204g/km FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012 19


FLEETING SHOTS

Rugged Defender!

Fiat Strada striding along

I

lthough manufactured in Brazil and sold in South America and selected EU countries, there is much talk in the trade about the new Fiat Strada Pick-Up truck. Now in its fi ft h generation, the sub-one tonne utility has broadened its range to take in the growing leisure sector att racted to this type of vehicle. New Strada (4x2) now comes in short, long (extended) with a four seater crew cab added to the model line-up.

reland and Leinster loose head prop Cain Healy aka ‘DJ Church’ needed a specific car to suit both his lifestyles. Apart from the day job with the oval ball, Cian entertains dance and music fans in clubs and outdoor venues. So he consulted with Patrick Dennis, HB Dennis Airside and they came up with a rather unique Land Rover Defender. In keeping with Cian’s rugged appearance the Defender is specified with Old Man Emu shocks and springs that raise the vehicle ride height, Trxus Mud Terrain Tyres 37” / 12.5” Bigfoot Flared Wheel Arches, Light Force spot lights, stainless steel extended brake lines, wheel spacers to widen the track, Safari roof rack and ladder, light guards and chequer plating, leather seats, privacy glass, A-Frame and LR spots and even a snorkel. With his music in mind, Cian got fitted and fully professional sound system featuring Pioneering 200 watt in car DVD/Stereo, driving a twin 12” 1500 W sub woofer cabinet.

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With an overall length of 4,409 mm, it is powered by the Fiat Group’s 1.3 litre MultiJet (95 hp) Euro 5 16V diesel that develops 200 Nm up through a 5 speed box. Gross payload extends from 630 kg to 705 kg. An optional E-locker selectable electronic differential lock is available if required for slippery terrain. From the entry level short cab working trim level, the other two fit-outs are Trekking and Adventure. Fleet Van & Utility will have the opportunity to test drive the new Strada this summer. Full report then.

Northgate opens Limerick branch

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ue to increased demand from customers in the Mid-West region, Northgate Vehicle Hire and Fleet Solutions has opened a new depot in Limerick. Located on Cathedral Place in Limerick City, the new branch is ideally equipped to serve the needs of the growing fleet parc in the area and will also cater for rentals and private hire contracts. To date Northgate has recruited two new local staff members and is looking to take on five new positions in the next 12 months. Darren McNamara, Branch Manager of Northgate Vehicle Hire’s Limerick depot, commented on the development: “The launch

of the new site in Limerick is a fantastic

with a wide variety of efficient fleets but we’ve also brought employment opportunities to the city too.” He continued: “We’re also pleased to include our retail hire offering at the Limerick depot, which enables our customers to hire a vehicle for personal use even if they don’t have a business account with Northgate.”

opportunity to better service the needs of our customers. We already have a depot in Dublin but, due to increased demand, we knew we needed to address our locations. Not only are we able to provide the local area

Northgate’s vehicle supply network is from leading manufacturers such as MercedesBenz, Volkswagen, Ford, Peugeot and the company is investing in thousands of new vehicles this year to provide the most efficient fleet in the market.

Nissan NV400 gets a load of help!

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issan UK has turned to its heavyweight commercial vehicle relatives to help publicise its new NV400 panel van range to potential business customers. Fifteen trucks and semi-trailers are emblazoned with 96-sheet High Dimension truck wraps of the new Nissan van under the titles of ‘The New NV400 – Speaks Volumes’ and ‘The New NV400 - We’re Changing the Face of Vans’.

20 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012

150,000 miles per month, putt ing Nissan’s new NV400 in front of an estimated 18 million drivers.

The trucks travel daily up and down 10 of the country’s main motorways covering

NV400 is Nissan’s new large panel van that replaces the popular Interstar is available with either front or rear wheel drive with a choice of four load lengths, three load heights, a load volume of between eight and 17 cubic metres and a choice of four gross vehicle weights and powered by Renault’s 2.3.litre dCi engine. Text: Rob Van Dieten - rob@fleet.ie


www.volkswagenvans.ie

4 year warranty 3 scheduled services 2 years road tax No 1 Irish van of the year 2012 *

Need more reasons to choose a Crafter? Did we mention that it’s available from just €349 a month?† And it’s Ireland’s most fuel-efficient large panel van? So save yourself money, spend even less at the fuel pumps and drive happily ever Crafter. But hurry, this limited offer is only available until 30th April 2012.

Terms and conditions apply. * Includes roadside assistance. Available at participating dealerships only. Awarded Irish Van of the year by the IMWA. †Typical Finance example: Crafter 30 109BHP RRP €27,060. Deposit/Part Exchange €8,339.86. 60 monthly payments of €349. Total cost of credit €2,369.86, including acceptance fee (€75) and completion fee (€75). Typical APR 4.9%. Min. deposit is 10%. Subject to lending criteria. This offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. Volkswagen Bank is regulated by the German Financial Regulator. Warning: you will not own these goods until the final payment is made.


REVIEW

82nd International Motor Show, Geneva, Switzerland. 8-18 March 2012

Bentley A Bentley like never before! SXP 9F is its futuristic dramatic new Sport Utility Vehicle concept. A VW Group 6.0 litre, twin-turbo 600hp W12 engine and 8-speed propels the all-wheel-drive system.

Blue Bus The almost 100% recyclable bus from Bollore. This 22 seater PSV is 100% electric with its batteries 100% recyclable and its aluminium – steel body is 98% recyclable. It is made in France in association with the Gruau Group.

Citroën Apart from the revised Berlingo, Citroën showcased the Tubic, termed a high-tech executive shutt le. Heir to the famous Type H Van (tub) this 9-seater vehicle is designed to make travel meaningful again.

Isuzu Following our exclusive reveal of the new Isuzu D-Max Double Cab at the Tokyo Motor Show, Geneva provided the platform for the new single cab version. Behind the seats there is full width storage capacity as well as an extended load-bay.

Ford With the original model launched in Geneva four years ago, the next generation Kuga debuted here also with its stylish and spacious new look. New Kuga features bigger load space, which will be beneficial to the Commercial version.

Mini Described as a compact ‘lifestyle van’ the Mini Clubvan concept was premiered to the world. The flat load area reaches from the split rear doors right up to the mesh bulkhead. Another feature is the ‘clubdoor’ on the kerbside.

Mitsubishi Bigger in shape and size, the third generation Outlander SUV from Mitsubishi will be also offered in Commercial form. It will be powered by a 2.2 litre Mitsubishi 150hp clean diesel engine and have a new 6-speed auto box.

Nissan e-NV200 previews Nissan’s next 100% electric vehicle. Based on IVOY winning NV200 van it accommodates up to 7 people. Concept InnitInvitationation is Nissan’s new crossover SUV due to enter the market in 2013 and features around view monitor (360°).

Peugeot Both the Expert and Partner from Peugeot get a mid-life facelift with modifications to its appearance and technology in terms of engines and equipment levels. Euro 5 plants and eHDi (with stop & start) reduce CO2 emission levels.

Ssangyong The Actyon sports pick-up truck was among Ssangyongs debutants. Its production ready and aims to appeal to business and leisure users. Featuring a refreshed design it also gets a new e-XDi diesel engine.

Volkswagen Amarok Canyon demonstrates the VW Pick-up truck’s versatility when it comes to customisation. This 2.0TDi 180 PS Bi Turbo 4MOTION concept is taller and wider than the production version – raised 40mm with a body lift kit. Like the spotlamps on the roof too!

Ringspeed/ Dock & Go Backpack – another clever idea from Swiss designer Frank Rinderknect. Dock & Go is a trailer or two wheeled backpack which can be att ached on to a smart for two car and serve as an additional boot or EU range extender. 22 FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Spring 2012

Text & Photos: Jarlath Sweeney – editor@fleet.ie


The Nissan Commercial Vehicle Range.

It’s The Business. Nissan 5 Year Warranty as standard with the PRIMASTAR and new NV400.

With the Nissan PRIMASTAR from €15,060* (ex VAT) and the new NV400 from €17,907* (ex VAT), not only will your commercial vehicle be covered until 2017, but with other features as standard like hands-free Bluetooth and ABS brakes, we have a lot of the other costs covered too. *Prices for business users only.

nissan.ie


WE’RE BACK IN BUSINESS

Our previous model Sorento was a great success with commercial users and now, due to consumer demand, we are delighted to announce that the stylish new Sorento is now available as a commercial vehicle. The Sorento is powered by a 2.2 litre (194 hp) diesel engine and is priced at €31,995 for the EX model and €33,995 for the GSe model. For more information, please contact your local kia dealer.

Sorento Commercial. Now available from €31,995 (inc .VAT).

www.kiamotors.ie Official fuel consumption figures in l/100km for the Kia Sorento are: Urban: 9.3 – 8.3, Extra Urban: 6.2 – 5.5, Combined: 7.4 – 6.7. Official CO2 emissions are: 194 – 177g/km. Warranty is for 7 years / 150,000km and is subject to terms and conditions as defined in the owner’s warranty and service handbook. See kiamotors.ie for more details. Model shown may not be to Irish specification. Delivery and related charges are extra. Metallic paint extrawww.kiamotors.ie

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