Fiat Professional is increasing the number of New Fiat Ducato versions that can be equipped with the innovative Comfort-Matic 6-speed robotised gearbox. It is now available in combination with the lively and reliable 130 and 150 MultiJet II 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, fuel efficiency and performance) with the practicality and comfort of an automatic transmission. It is therefore an extremely interesting option both for professionals in this sector and for those who love leisure, such as motorhome owners.
The new gearbox meets the demands of all those customers interested in the specific features of automatic transmissions, and increases the New Ducato’s already consolidated values of flexibility and versatility. The Comfort-Matic gearbox provides an ideal solution for a variety of uses: from recreational vehicles (motorhomes and camper vans) to urban delivery vans, and from urban people carriers (Combi, minibuses) to public service fleets (postal services, local authorities, urban couriers).
Great attention has been 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 the most appropriate engine rpm in any condition and improve performance in particularly harsh conditions or on steep slopes.
Technically, the gearbox is described as an MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) and consists of a conventional manual gearbox in which the manual linkage is replaced by an actuator, controlled electronically by a TCU (Transmission Control Unit).
In detail, the gearbox offers six speeds (plus reverse) that work in both fully automatic mode and in a sequential manual mode with actuation. In manual mode, the driver can choose which ratio to engage by means of the ‘joystick’ gear lever on the dashboard, and there is no clutch pedal.
In automatic mode, the driver can make use of the numerous 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.
The Comfort-Matic gearbox, used in automatic mode, offers several advantages over a manual device. For example, it offers maximum driving comfort, especially in heavy town traffic conditions, and great driving satisfaction due to the smooth gear shifts. Pressing the UP button on the transmission tunnel, makes it possible to 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 gradients, while the lever and gearbox control systems ensure maximum reduction in transmission noise.
Compared with conventional automatic transmissions, the New Fiat Ducato Comfort-Matic 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 II versions, further illustrates Fiat Professional’s ongoing commitment to its customers, and particularly motorhome owners. This is tangible not only in product development terms, but also from the perspective of services offered to motorhome owners: a dedicated website, a single multilingual freephone number for info on products and services, and a network of 1700 Fiat Camper Assistance workshops throughout Europe.