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Ducato diesel gets automated manual option

Self-shifter: Fiat's full-size Ducato is no longer an all-manual affair.

New robotised manual gearbox for Fiat Ducato is aimed at motor home buyers

3 Nov 2008

FIAT has introduced an automated manual transmission option on 3.0-litre Multijet turbo-diesel versions of its Ducato in Australia.

The clutch pedal-less robotised six-speed MTA (Manual Transmission – Automated) gearbox adds $2420 to the recommended retail price of the selected van or motor home variant.

First revealed in the Ducato at the Dusseldorf Caravan Show in August 2007, Fiat says the lightweight self-shifter reduces emissions and fuel consumption, and requires less maintenance.

However, there is no requirement in Australia for commercial vehicle manufacturers to provide specific fuel consumption or emissions data.

Mated to Ducato's 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces 115.5kW of power at 3500rpm and 400Nm of torque at 1700rpm, and whose standard gearbox is a six-speed manual, the MTA is claimed to be a completely new self-shifting manual rather than a manual gearbox adapted to work automatically.

Fiat Australia expects to attract most interest from the motor home conversion market, which forms the Ducato's largest single buying sector in Australia and New Zealand via converters like Jayco, A’Van, Trakka, Winnebago, Sunliner and Horizon.

“With the majority of the MTA gearboxes expected to be fitted to motor homes, Fiat honed the gearbox to the specific needs of motor home drivers, making it the perfect gearbox for Australian users – as economical as a manual on the open road, as easy to use as an automatic around town,” said Fiat Australia general manager Andrei Zaitzev.

“The MTA gearbox also has significant advantages for van users, as it eliminates driver wear and tear on the clutch and gearbox and ensures that the Ducato is always operating at its optimum economy, a significant advantages in tough economic times when every dollar counts.”

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