08 February 2012

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The “Comfort-Matic” robotised gearbox offer has been expanded on the New Ducato

Fiat Professional is extending the offer of New Fiat Ducato versions equipped with the innovative "Comfort-Matic" 6-speed robotised gearbox, today also available in combination with the lively and reliable 130 and 150 MultiJet engines, which join the top-of-the-range 180 MultiJet Power engine.

The "Comfort-Matic" gearbox is an innovative robotised transmission that combines the advantages of a manual gearbox (simplicity and efficiency in fuel consumption and performance) together with the practicality and comfort of an automatic transmission. It is therefore an extremely interesting offer both for professionals in this sector and for those who love leisure, such as motorhome owners for example.

The new gearbox meets the demands of all those customers interested in the specific features of automatic transmissions, and contributes to increasing the New Ducato's already consolidated values of flexibility and versatility. The "Comfort-Matic" gearbox provides a concrete answer for various uses: from recreational vehicles (caravans, motorhomes and camper vans) to urban delivery vans, and from urban people carriers (Panorama, minibuses) to public service fleets (postal services, local authorities, urban couriers).

Great attention was paid to adapting and customising the gearbox for "recreational" vehicles during the development stage. Proof of that is the use of motorhome prototypes for the tuning and testing stage, with faithful reproduction of the configurations of front surfaces, gross vehicle weight and the typical usage conditions of this vehicle class. In addition, to respond to the mobility needs of caravans and motorhomes, which, by their nature, are used in maximum load conditions, there is a special "UP" button on the "Comfort-Matic" gearbox panel. It automatically optimises the gear shift points to ensure optimum engine rpm in any condition and improve performance in particularly harsh conditions or on a steep slope.

Technically, the gearbox is defined as an "MTA" (Manual Transmission Automated) and consists of a conventional manual gearbox on which the manual linkage is replaced by an actuator, controlled electronically by a "TCU" (Transmission Control Unit).

In detail, the gearbox offers 6 speeds (plus reverse) that work in both fully automatic mode and in a sequential manual mode with actuation. This is how it works.

In manual mode, the driver can choose the ratio to engage freely by means of the "joystick" gear lever on the dashboard. Naturally, there is no clutch pedal.

In automatic mode, the customer can make use of the numerous and useful functions typical of electronic transmission management:

  • Uphill-Downhill Mode: gearshift logic managed by software to ensure the best ratio depending on road gradient;
  • Warm Up Mode: emission reduction strategy during cold starts;
  • Brake Assistance Mode: ratio reduction to support vehicle deceleration;
  • Kick Down Mode: reduction in the ratio following abrupt action on the accelerator pedal (for example, during overtaking);
  • Fast Off Detection: gearshift inhibition if the accelerator is released quickly.

Bear in mind that the Comfort-Matic gearbox, used in automatic mode, offers a number of advantages over a manual device. For example, it offers maximum driving comfort, particularly under heavy town traffic conditions, and great driving satisfaction due to the smooth gear shifts. If you press the "UP" button on the gearbox panel, it is possible use a special profile for driving in mountainous areas or under heavy load conditions. And there's more: the Comfort-Matic gearbox ensures efficient engine braking on steep roads, while the lever and gearbox control systems ensure maximum reduction in transmission noise.

Compared to conventional automatic transmissions, the New Fiat Ducato "Comfort-Matic" device offers lower weight (approximately 30% less), greater fuel economy, improved energy efficiency and also a significant reduction in maintenance and repair costs.

The innovative "Comfort-Matic" robotised gearbox, available on the 130 and 150 MultiJet versions, intends to express the great care that Fiat Professional has shown for its customers.

Its ongoing commitment, aimed particularly at the target of motorhome owners, is tangible not only in product development terms, but also from the perspective of services offered: a dedicated website, a single multilingual freephone number for info on products and services, and a network of about 1700 Fiat Camper Assistance workshops throughout Europe.

 

Turin, 08 February 2012

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