The Magazine for LCV Fleet Operators
Van manufacturers were out in force at the CV Show. Dan Gilkes takes a look at what they had to offer. With Vauxhall... CV Show Review

Show stoppers

Van manufacturers were out in force at the CV Show. Dan Gilkes takes a look at what they had to offer.

VAUXHALL

With Vauxhall now one of three PSA companies at the show, the firm was first to take to the stage, launching the British-built Vivaro. The company has invested £100m in the Luton plant, taking capacity to 100,000 vans, so Vivaro needs to succeed. It will be offered in three trim levels, with six powertrain options and on two wheelbases. Vauxhall will add an electric Vivaro to the line-up in 2020 and a battery electric Combo by 2021.

The van will also come with Vauxhall’s Connect Box, providing access to a range of connected services, including e-call. The system should be added to the smaller Combo van in 2020. The company will also be updating its Movano van, following the recent unveiling of a facelifted Renault Master.  The overhaul brings updated engines and a new look to the heavyweight van, both inside and out.

Vauxhall is enjoying massive van growth since being taken over by the French parent company. Managing director Steve Norman said that the company’s van sales are up 28% year on year in 2019, while new Combo sales have jumped by a massive 70% so far this year. The company will be hoping that the new Vivaro can repeat this performance.

PEUGEOT | CITROËN

Peugeot and Citroën pulled the biggest surprise of the show, with electric versions of their Relay and Boxer heavy vans. Citroën’s Relay Electric and the Peugeot Boxer Electric are converted by Turkish electric vehicle specialist BD Auto. The vans are offered with two battery options, the L1 and L2 vans will deliver up to 141 miles of range (NEDC), while the larger battery in L3 and L4 models will provide a 169-mile range. The electric vans will come with an eight-year battery warranty.

The vans should be on sale later this year and PSA has said that it will launch electric Expert and Dispatch models in 2020. Partner Electric and Berlingo Electric will be updated to the latest model in 2021.

Diesel engines have not been forgetten however, with Partner, Berlingo, Expert and Dispatch all moving to Euro 6d specification, which means a change from 1.6-litre to newer 1.5-litre engines in some of the smaller models. Relay and Boxer come with new 2.2-litre engine, offering 120bhp and 140bhp in panel vans and 165bhp in chassis cabs. All four of the mid-weight and heavy vans will also move to the four trim level line-up that has been launched on Berlingo and Partner, including models such as Worker and Grip alongside the normal Enterprise and Professional lines. Berlingo and Partner also now come with PSA’s connection box, providing access to a range of telematic and connectivity solutions. Dispatch and Expert will get the connectivity box in the summer.

LDV

With sales of LDV’s EV80 continuing to grow, including an order for 150 of the electric vans from Milk&More, the company will launch a second model in its electric van line-up in 2020. The EV30 has a 5m3 load capacity in the standard model, rising to 6.3m3 in the longer wheelbase version. With an aluminium monocoque construction, the van boasts a full 1-tonne carrying capacity. Full details will be available nearer the January launch, but importer Harris Automotive said that prices will start from just £22,000, despite a high trim specification.

The EV30 will be offered with two battery options, a 53kWh battery offering up to 200 miles of range, or 127 miles from a 35kWh battery. The company claims a rapid charge time of just 45 minutes, with a full AC charge of five hours.

LDV has also updated the diesel V80 and electric EV80 larger vans. They get an improved interior with a 10” touchscreen with standard reversing camera and Apple and Android compatibility. They also finally come with a Euro 6b diesel engine.

FORD

Ford will update its full-size Transit later this year, with a range-topping 185bhp version of the 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine to be offered in both Transit and Transit Custom. Larger rear-wheel drive models will be available with a 10-speed automatic transmission. There will also be the option of a 48V mild hybrid driveline, that Ford said can deliver up to an 8% fuel improvement in stop/start travel, cutting CO2 emissions to 144g/km.

Unladen weight has been reduced on Transit, thanks to an aluminium bonnet, a composite bulkhead, spin-formed wheels and a real focus on weight cutting. This results in an additional 80kg of payload for some models. The company is also incorporating a range of connectivity features, through the FordPass Connect on-board modem that is now standard on many Transit models.

TOYOTA

Toyota will launch the Proace City in 2020, based on the PSA Berlingo/Partner/Combo van. Proace City will be offered in two body lengths and two trim grades. Petrol and diesel engines will be available, with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions. The vans offer payloads of 1,000-1,400kg in both wheelbases.

Toyota will offer a higher Active trim level in the Land Cruiser Commercial models. Originally only offered in a basic worker trim, there will now be a second level with an automatic transmission, satnav, 17” alloys, dual zone air conditioning and a rear camera and parking sensors. The company will also introduce a third trim level for Proace later this year. The range-topping Proace Design will come with alloy wheels, a 7” ProTouch navigation system, Toyota Safety Sense and front and rear parking sensors.

Toyota’s Hilux gets a cosmetic update in Invincible X form, while additional equipment will now be offered in lower grade models. This includes standard Toyota Safety Sense equipment in lower trim models and the availability of vinyl seating in Active grade single and extra cab models.

VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen is launching electric vans later this year, starting with the e-Caddy later this year. This will be followed by e-Transporter in 2020 and e-Crafter in 2021. Converted by partner company ABT, the e-Caddy Maxi delivers a 4.2m3 capacity and a 636kg payload. The range is said to be 136 miles, from a 37.3kWh battery pack.

The e-Transporter will also be offered with the 37.3kWh pack, offering a 129-mile range, or with a 74.6kWh battery delivering up to 250 miles. The single battery model offers a payload of 1,186kg, with the larger battery pack reducing carrying capacity to 695kg.

ISUZU

Isuzu has added yet more models to its D-Max pick-up range, with the launch of the D-Max XTR and the D-Max SAFIR, from Arctic Trucks. The XTR will sit between the standard Blade model and the Arctic Truck-modified trucks, with a suspension upgrade and an aggressive body kit amongst the specification changes.

Working with Strongs Plastic Products, Isuzu and the RAC have developed a breakdown patrol vehicle that can carry the RAC’s All-Wheels-Up recovery system. This allows the trucks to tow stranded vehicles up to 2.8-tonnes in weight, covering 90% of today’s passenger cars. Fifty of the Heavy Duty patrol vans have been ordered to date.

MAN

MAN Truck & Bus has added the Flatframe Chassis Cowl to its TGE van and chassis cab line. Built for converters, the front-wheel drive chassis cowl has a frame that is 190mm lower than a standard TGE chassis cab. This should prove ideal for high volume Luton and box body conversions and the chassis cowl can be easily integrated into bespoke bodies.

The company has also introduced a 17-seat minibus TGE conversion, built by Minibus Options. The 5-tonne TGE 5.180 can be configured to carry the driver plus 16 seated passengers, 14 seated passengers and a wheelchair user or 10 passengers and two wheelchair users.

MITSUBISHI

Mitsubishi has maintained its links with the emergency services since the dropping of the previous Shogun and Shogun Commercial last year, with a Police-liveried version of the new Shogun Sport on the stand. Also on show was a concept Shogun Sport SVP model, that previews an SVP styling pack that will be offered on Shogun Sport later in the year.