Vans shone bright at the Commercial Vehicle Show 2016 at Birmingham in UK.
Story by: Team CV
As the Commercial Vehicle Show 2016 held at Birmingham, UK, between April 26 and April 28, 2016, opened its gates to the people, it did not take long to understand that vans would steal the show. Occupying a place of prime discussion and display at over 430 of the 500 exhibitors, it were vans that made news at the fair. And, this would not have come at a better time than to acknowledge the fact that over four million vans are operating on UK roads. This figure was recently released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) as part of the Motorparc data. The data revealed that a total of 4,007,331 vans are in use on UK roads, a 4.3 per cent increase since the previous year. Demand for new vans in the UK is at record levels on the back of sustained business confidence and the continuing surge in demand for online deliveries. No wonder, Toyota and LDV returned to the CV show for the first time in eight years.
Citroen unveiled the Dispatch van alongside with vans from Peugeot and Toyota that share the same platform. The Peugeot van is called the Expert and the Toyota van is called the Proace. The Dispatch looks elegant, and is powered by a 16-litre diesel engine that could be had in 94 hp and 119 hp guise; a 2.0-litre engine could be had in 114 hp, 148 hp and 178 hp guise. Both are Euro 6 compliant and include a SCR with 22.4-litre AdBlue tank. Transmission is a choice of six-speed auto or a six-speed automated manual unit. Offering a neat dash, that is functional and ergonomically well sorted, the van offers a slew of safety and convenience features. Available in three load lengths corresponding to 5.1 cu. m., 5.8 cu. m. and 6.6 cu. m., the Dispatch features head-up display, infotainment on top-spec, seven-inch touchscreen display with sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth, auxiliary input, mirror screen for smartphone, voice command, driver drowsiness alert and blind sport warning among others.
LDV, courtesy SAIC Maxus, displayed the EV80 – a large, fully electric version of the V80 panel van, and a smaller G10 panel van. The EV80 is fitted with a battery of up to 75kWh (depending on the wheelbase), and is claimed ti provide a range of over 180 miles. While the real world estimates are said to be around the 100-mile mark, the EV80 is expected to be a competitive offering when commercially launched. A charging time of two hours at best may not allow high-mileage drivers to operate smoothly given their need for a quick top-up in the middle of the day. An electrified version of the V80 panel van, itself a simple facelift of the LDV Maxus, the EV80’s payload ranges from 900 kg to 1,250 kg. The G10 is a mid-sized panel van, that is also available as a luxurious MPV. It is powered by a 105 hp, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. A 2.0-litre diesel engine will follow. A manual transmission is also expected soon.
The Peugeot Expert, like the Citreon Dispatch, is offered in three load lengths and two engines sizes. Styling of the van, except for some detailed changes and a Peugeot logo, are not overtly different. Neither in terms of the ability to cheat the wind, or to make more space for storage. Available with a gross weight of 2.7-tonne, 2.9-tonne and 3-tonne, the Expert features driver assistance and comfort systems like automatic side loading doors, which open when one waves his or her foot underneath the rear bumper. There’s also a seven-inch touchscreen display offered. It has the ability to mirror certain applications on the smartphone. Also offered are front and rear parking sensors.
The second-generation Toyota Proace van – based on the Citreon Dispatch, features distinctive lights, grille and bumper. The seating position is high, and the driver’s seat does not slide back as much. The dashboard is also raised and could hamper visibility for those that are not as tall. Available in two trim levels, the van includes three front seats, driver’s armrest, stereo radio with Bluetooth and USB, central locking with speed limiter. Top-spec comfort gets driver’s seat-height adjustment, combination cloth and vinyl upholstery, an upgraded radio system, air-con, cooled and illuminated glovebox, remote central locking among others. The Smart Cargo system with an opening bulkhead and lifting passenger seat clears 1,160 mm extra load length. The 1.6-litre engine is available in a 94 hp and 113 hp power rating. The 2.0-litre engine is available in a 122 hp, 148 hp and 178 hp power rating. Transmission on the smaller displacement engine could be a five-speed manual, six-speed manual and a six-speed automated unit. The 22.5-litre AdBlue tank should last around 9,300 miles. Load volumes on offer are 5.1 cu. m., 5.8 cu. m. and 6.6 cu. m.
DFSK displayed a C Series Combi Van along with some big cab models. Putting a Chinese van producer in the thick of competition in a market that is saturated and fiercely competitive, the C series has more space for loads and can handle greater weights. The narrow dimensions means it can reach areas where conventional commercial vehicles cannot. Targeted at both, rural and inner city tradesmen, the van is powered by a 115 hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine mounted under the front seats. No plans for a diesel engine have been revealed yet. Designed for shorter trips, the C31 is expected to be the most popular.
Iveco put its largest ever line-up of trucks and vans on display. At the forefront was the new Daily Euro 6 with new 2.3- and 210 hp, 3.0-litre diesel engines with low-pressure EGR. A shift to SCR will follow in 2017 for 2.3; 3.0 is already SCR fitted. Promising higher fuel efficiency and longer service intervals apart from a reduction in noise inside the cab for its vans, Iveco also displayed the Style van. It is available in a range of 3.5- to 7.2-tonnes. Load space range from 7.3 cu. m. to 19.6 cu. m. To assist van users in their business, the Italian company has also developed a range of apps. that link to tablets and smartphones, and range from infotainment to driving style evaluation, sat-nav and roadside services. Apart from the Daily Euro and Style, Iveco displayed a zero-emissions new Daily Electric; new Daily 4×4, which looks like a halfway house between the Mercedes Unimog and a Land Rover Defender, and a new Eurocargo mid-weight truck for the road sweeper industry. The Eurocargo mid-weight truck is available as a running chassis as well. It will be offered in 7.5-, 12-, 15- and 18-tonne variants, and in left-hand drive, right-hand drive and dual steer configurations.
Volkswagen displayed a Crafter tipper conversion and a transporter van. Renault used the design, technology and conversions theme to demonstrate the many attributes of its van (LCV) range. Eleven models illustrated the diversity and versatility of the extensive Renault LCV range with models on display including the Master LHL35 RWD with a massive 17 cu. m. load space. The most innovative were the Twizy Cargo and Kangoo Z.E. electric vehicles. Ford did not bring anything new to the show. It however more than endorsed its strong position in the van space with models like the Transit Custom, Fiesta Sport Van, Transit Courier Kombi Base, Transit Connect Trend, and Transit Trend. Ford also unveiled the next-gen 2.0 TDCi VI compliant engines, engineered to meet strict Euro 6 emissions standards. These would be available in 105PS, 130PS and 170PS power outputs. Fiat Professional displayed its range of vans.
Fiat Professional’s new Fullback pickup is its first ever one-tonne pickup. It is based on the Mitsubishi L200 Series 5, and is powered by a 152 hp, 2.4-litre engine mated to a six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions. Towing capacity is 3.1-tonne. Ford also unveiled the new Ranger XL pickup. Celebrating 100 years of operations, Isuzu teamed up with Iceland-based Arctic Trucks to offer a special-edition model of the D-Max called the D-Max AT35. The pickup features upgraded suspension (raised by 125mm), attractive styling cues and specialist off-road Nokian Rotiiva AT tyres. The D-Max Centurion pickup also debuted at the fair. Only 100 will be made available, finished in ‘Fjord blue’. They will feature 19-inch black and silver ‘Hurricane’ alloy wheels, leather trim, an 8-inch touchscreen and a rear view camera apart from a ceiling mounted 10.2-inch monitor at the back.
Toyota displayed the eight generation Hilux pickup. Available in different cab types, single and double, the Hilux cabin is more car-like. There’s double glovebox, a touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav among a host of other functions. New engine is a 150 PS, 2.4-litre turbo-diesel unit mated to a six-speed manual and a six-speed auto transmission. With a towing capacity of 3500 kg, the Hilux features pre-collision system, lane departure warning, ‘auto’ high beam and traffic sign assistance. With plenty of accessories to offer, the Hilux chassis is 20 per cent stiffer than that of the earlier generation model. Rear continues to flaunt a leaf spring suspension with two shock absorbers. Expected to carry over a tonne, the Hilux pickup features a wider load bed at 1645 mm. The tail gate is stronger, and the hinges have been suitably strengthened too. Ssangyong displayed the Korando pickup. Volkswagen displayed the Amarok pickup. It is powered by an all-new six cylinder 3.0-litre turbo-diesel unit and measures 5.25 m in length and 2.23 m in width. The pickup offers a load volume of 2.52 cu. m.