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Two vans in one

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Iveco’s Daily has undergone many refreshes since it was first launched in 1978, but by Iveco’s count this new model is on its third generation. Whether you count the tweaks in between or not, whatever generation of Daily we are now on with, a total investment of €500m, including product development and industrial expenditure, the new Daily is a significant reboot of the model.

The reason, according to Lorenzo Sistino, Iveco head of commercial vehicles, is simple. He says: “We are not talking about a restyling or a new engine – we are talking about a new generation vehicle – something that in our industry happens every 15 years. Moreover, this is not just a new product, but two, developed on the same platform but with a different purpose. Thanks to this investment, we can offer the best chassis cab on the market and a van born to be a van.”

Visually the changes are obvious. There’s a new front end, created at Iveco parent company CNH Industrial’s design studios in Turin, while the rear section gets revised plastic protection and a new construction to remove vertical pillars along the body. The grille sweeps upwards, merging with the headlights and the base of the blackened A-pillars, merging with what the Iveco designers call “a continuous glazed surface” that runs from window-to-window across the windscreen. The affect is a strong looking vehicle, but one that looks far less intimidating in person than in the pictures.

The range consists of five body lengths and three heights with GVWs up to 7-tonnes, giving buyers the option of load volumes from 7.3m3 to a massive new 19.6m3. The new largest sized van, on a 7-tonne chassis, represents more than a 2m3 increase in load volume from the highest cube variant of the outgoing model, enough, Iveco says, to cover the workload of three average sized 3.5-tonne vans. The Daily has not only got bigger, its maximum payload is also up, with 7-tonne Dailys now capable of taking up to 4.7 tonnes. Increases at 3.5-tonnes have also been made, thanks to revisions to the suspension adding 44kg to the overall maximum payload, making the most weight efficient models capable of moving 1,900kgs.

Iveco says the new Daily is made up of a total of 80% new body parts that have been totally redesigned. Only sections of the loadspace floor and wheel arches have been carried over from the previous model, while the front crash safety structure has been modified for the new vehicle. The rest of the bodywork is entirely new.

On the inside, the cab design has been altered to make the dash more usable and practical. There is plenty of storage, with the usual cup holders and door pockets, but also overhead storage, and locations within the dashboard. The Daily is also fitted with two 12v connectors as well as USB and auxiliary ports, and the centre seat folds down to create an armrest, writing surface and provide additional storage as well as a detachable clipboard that can be mounted to the steering wheel.

Iveco Daily interior

​The interior also has a link to the outside appearance of the van, with the wraparound glass mimicked by a sweeping line connecting the air vents. One of the most noticeable changes to the interior is the 40mm increase in the windscreen height, which makes the cab much lighter and visibility far greater. The driver’s position has also been changed, the seat is now 15mm lower, while the steering wheel angle has been reduced by 7-degrees. The wheel has also been made 20mm smaller, all of which helps contribute to a more dynamic and slightly less truck-like driving feel.

While Iveco hopes these seating and steering position changes might contribute to a more car-like feel, the most noticeable and important alterations to the Daily are found at the front axle. There’s a new steering geometry, to minimise oversteer and improve comfort, while lower GVW vans, below 3.5-tonne, get a new Quad-Leaf suspension that not only improves the ride quality, but also adds measurably to the feedback from the road. Higher GVW models get the slightly less refined Quad-Tor (torsion beam) solution that significantly increases payload potential with up to 2.5-tonnes permissible on the front axle of 5-tonne GVW or higher models, and 2.1-tonnes on 3.5- to 5-tonne variants. Single rear-wheel models also get a new rear leaf spring suspension which lowers the ride height, making access to the loading bay 55mm lower, at 675mm.

Power comes from a choice of two four-cylinder engines, 2.3-litre and 3-litre, both of which have been improved over the outgoing models. The smaller displacement unit will be available in three outputs of 106hp, 126hp and 146hp with torque outputs of 270Nm, 320Nm and 350Nm, respectively, each of which meets the Euro-5+ light duty engine emissions requirements. The larger 3-litre engine gets power outputs of 146hp, 170hp and 205hp at Euro-5 and by incorporating an SCR system onto the vehicle, meets Euro-6 heavy duty cycle requirements with 146hp and 170hp outputs.

Iveco claims its mid-ranged 10.8m3 van will achieve a combined fuel economy of 38mpg, but the range as a whole sees a 5.5% reduction in fuel consumption for the new Daily over the previous model thanks to a combination of smart alternator usage, low rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic changes contributing to the saving. Furthermore, Iveco claims that the EcoPack, which includes stop/start, decreases fuel consumption by 14% over an urban route. Economy is clearly at the forefront of the new Daily’s objectives, which is why it can also be specified with a choice of 15 rear axle ratios.

Summary

The Daily has become a lot more competitive, and the competition should take note

There’s no doubting that by splitting the range in two, separating the lighter end of its range from the heavier side, the Daily is now able to better compete with its rivals. While the ladder frame chassis used to be a disadvantage of the Daily at lower weights, making it a rougher more utilitarian vehicle, the new setup goes some way to balance that former weakness, whilst maintaining its all important payload advantage. The new 19.6m3 body will continue to present a convincing argument for 7.5-tonne truck operators to consider panel vans as a more economical option, and the extensive range of engine powers (as well as CNG and a forthcoming electric option) throws open the doors to markets other manufacturers aren’t able to compete in.

The aims of the new Daily are clear, and summed up by Lorenzo Sistino when he said, “we would never make the European Daily longer, less load efficient and less manoeuvrable only to standardise production across the world and make manufacturing easier”. Whatever generation you regard this new Daily as, it has built upon a core principle that has defined its role in the European light commercial vehicle market since its introduction. By separating light vans from heavy vans, the Daily has just become a lot more competitive, and the competition should take note.

 

Iveco Daily 35S15 panel van
Power: 146hp @ 3,600rpm
Torque: 350Nm @ 1,500 – 2,750rpmEngine: 2.3-litre, four-cylinder
Transmission: ZF six-speed, manual
Wheelbase: 3,520mm
Height: 2,620mm
Width: 2,030mm
Length: 5,650mm
GVW: 3500kg

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