The French-Italian Sevel partners have taken the wraps off a trio of new heavy vans, James Dallas takes a look at the new releases
Citroen, Peugeot and Fiat have revealed details of their respective revised Relay, Boxer and Ducato large vans ahead of their arrival later this year.
The models are all built at the Sevel Sud plant in Italy as part of the longstanding partnership between PSA Peugeot/Citroen and Fiat that began in 1981.
The brands are promising class-leading payloads from 1140kg to 1995kg and load space capacities from 8.0m3 to 17.0m3 for the vans coupled with some of the lowest load deck heights in the sector.
All three manufacturers say the new products deliver higher levels of standard equipment, such as DAB readio and Bluetooth, extended service intervals, up to 15% more fuel efficient engines and lower emissions – as well as a new range of options to improve safety and driver comfort.
The Relay, which goes on sale in the third quarter of the year, features a new front end with high-mounted headlights incorporating daytime running lights, a new grille and chevron logo and a multi-piece front bumper to minimise accident damage – a feature shared with the Boxer and Ducato.
Components subject to high levels of wear and tear such as the rear doors have been reinforced and higher strength door hinges are now used. Similarly, the sliding side load doors have benefited from reinforced rails, re-designed runners and improved door locks – all of which raise durability and security standards, according to Citroen.
Underbody updates include re-designed shock absorber mountings for reduced road noise.
Citroen said it has improved the Relay’s braking performance with dimensional and tolerance changes, which also reduce noise levels. It also claims the vans across the range will deliver combined cycle fuel economy of at least 38.2mpg and sub-200g/km CO2 emissions.
Like the Peugeot Boxer, the Citroen model will be powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine with outputs of 110, 130 and 150hp – the 130 can also be specified with stop/start with official combined cycle fuel consumption of 42.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 175g/km. All the Sevel partnership vans come in four lengths and three roof heights.
Peugeot has given its Boxer model a new frontal appearance inspired by the 308 passenger car and is confident enhanced specification levels will move the large van upmarket.
The brand says the facelifted Boxer will go on sale in the second quarter of 2014. It says the new van’s durability, liked those of its partner models, has been improved with a strengthened body structure for greater rigidity, a redesigned front scuttle, new mechanisms for the sliding side doors and strengthened rear doors, larger brakes and a new design for suspension damper brackets.
The Boxer is powered by the same 2.2-litre HDi engines as the Relay with power outputs ranging from 110hp to 150hp and a revised injection system. But Peugeot also offers a 3.0-litre 180hp drivetrain on the Boxer, which is not available on the Citroen product. The 2.2 130hp unit, like that on the Relay, can be specified with stop/start.
The manufacturers claim to have tested the new models over 2.5 million miles in extreme conditions in temperatures ranging from -20°C to +40°C to ensure resistance to ageing by the components and materials used in mechanical, plastic and electronic parts.
ESP is offered as standard on all the new models and safety equipment includes hill start assist, grip control and hill descent control. They also get load adaptive control, lane departure warning systems, traction control and tyre pressure monitoring.
While the sixth generation Ducato is essentially the same van as the PSA versions bar its new front end and Fiat badge, the Italian manufacturer has installed its own Multijet engines into its line-up.
Emissions for the entry-level 2.3 MultiJet II 110hp are put at 170g/km with combined cycle fuel economy of 44.1mpg. The 2.3 MultiJet II 130, which produces 130hp and 320Nm, and the 2.3 litre MultiJet II 150, with 150hp and 350 Nm, both return an official 164g/km and 45.6 mpg when equipped with optional Start&Stop. The heavy-duty, 3.0 MultiJet Power 180, with 180hp and 400Nm of torque, has CO2 emissions of 203g/km and returns 36.7 mpg on the combined cycle. All models are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, like the PSA vans, while the Comfortmatic automated-manual transmission is available on all but the entry-level 2.3-litre unit.
The Ducato will go on sale in the UK in July.