Dispatches Do Brasil: Hanover Vans

Marcelo de Vasconcellos
by Marcelo de Vasconcellos
dispatches do brasil hanover vans

The bi-annual IAA Nutzfahzeuge, or, roughly, commercial vehicle salon, in Hanover, Germany is in its 65th edition. Efficiency, connectivity and automation seem to the main themes of the current fair. Picking and choosing among the various van, truck, bus and supplier offerings, I chose three to highlight.

The first is the Hyundai H350. For now a Euro-special only, this one is especially interesting to Brazilians as there are strong rumors it will soon be built here in our tropical country. It follows traditional European van design, while adding some Hyundai visual cues. Its interior is quite simple, offering up enough content to be a contender. It can be equipped with independent air conditioning, refrigerated glove box, rain, darkness and parking sensors, Android-based multimedia center, and cruise control. Hyundai highlights construction flexibility possibilities, coming in three body styles (Bus, Cargo and truck) and two lengths (5.5 and 6.2 m). The rear-drive van makes either 148 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque or 168 hp and 311 lb-ft from its 2.5L 4-cylinder diesel engine. The sole transmission option is a 6-speed manual.

FCA showed off its Fiat Doblò. Taking the RAM ProMaster City as its inspiration, changes are concentrated in the frontal design and interior. The grill is now larger as are the headlights, and the bumper is new and more conventional in design than before. The interior continues the spread of the interior FCA first bestowed in American Chrysler offerings. Also new, there is a three-person, multifunctional front seat arrangement. Engines are turbo and naturally aspirated, gasoline, diesel or methane and include 1.3s, 1.4s and 1.6s, ranging from 75 horses to 120 hp. Traction comes from the front wheels and the model can be equipped with a new traction control system for slippery surfaces. Body styles are very configurable, being four and it can be had with two different lengths and heights.

Finally, Iveco, FCA’s world commercial vehicle division (light and heavy duty trucks and vans) presented its version of what future Euro vans may look like. Called “Vision” it is, of course, an environmentally-friendly van that Iveco claims is a laboratory for future solutions and technical innovations.

The Vision is equipped with two modes of propulsion. One is purely electrical with zero emissions, and the other is a hybrid that reduces consumption and CO2 emissions by 25 percent. Making true to its name, the concept van has large windows, the front pillars are see through and there is a backup camera that projects its image onto a panoramic screen at the top of the windshield.

Inside there is a sensor based cargo management system that identify its placement in the hold and fire off contention systems impeding movement of larger items.

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Sep 29, 2014

    I'm curious Marcelo, which would van would you prefer the Hyundai or the Fiat?

    • See 2 previous
    • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Sep 29, 2014

      @28-Cars-Later NP. This Hyundai and Doblo are incomparable. Depends on application. As is, for our market, the Ducato is highly adapted. seems to be doing well in the US, too. Commercial buyers are relatively more rational than private ones. If the Hyundai gains traction in Europe, means it's a good van. If not, would think not.

  • Slow_Joe_Crow Slow_Joe_Crow on Sep 29, 2014

    That Hyundai van looks a lot like knock-off Sprinter, I wonder if they will try selling it in the US. If they do then the next question is what badge, Hyundai, Kia, Bering (medium duty trucks comparable to Isuzu or Mitsubishi Fuso), or some combination?

    • See 1 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on Sep 30, 2014

      Looks like a typical Euro commercial van - whether it be MB, Ford, etc.

  • 56m65711446 Well, I had a suburban auto repair shop in those days.
  • Dukeisduke Yikes - reading the recall info from NHTSA, this sounds like the Hyundai/Kia 2.4l Theta II "engine fire" recall, since it involves an engine block or oil pan "breach", so basically, throwing a rod:"Description of the Safety Risk : Engine oil and/or fuel vapor that accumulates near a sufficiently hot surface, below the combustion initiation flame speed, may ignite resulting in an under hood fire, and increasing the risk of injury. Description of the Cause :Isolated engine manufacturing issues have resulted in 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures involving engine block or oil pan breach. In the event of an engine block or oil pan breach, the HEV/PHEV system continues to propel the vehicle allowing the customer to continue to drive the vehicle. As the customer continues to drive after a block breach, oil and/or fuel vapor continues to be expelled and accumulates near ignition sources, primarily expected to be the exhaust system. Identification of Any Warning that can Occur :Engine failure is expected to produce loud noises (example: metal-to-metal clank) audible to the vehicle’s occupants. An engine failure will also result in a reduction in engine torque. In Owner Letters mailed to customers, Ford will advise customers to safely park and shut off the engine as promptly as possible upon hearing unexpected engine noises, after experiencing an unexpected torque reduction, or if smoke is observed emanating from the engine compartment."
  • Dukeisduke In an ideal world, cars would be inspected in the way the MoT in the UK does it, or the TÜV in Germany. But realistically, a lot of people can't afford to keep their cars to such a high standard since they need them for work, and widespread public transit isn't a thing here.I would like the inspections to stick around (I've lived in Texas all my life, and annual inspections have always been a thing), but there's so much cheating going on (and more and more people don't bother to get their cars inspected or registration renewed), so without rigorous enforcement (which is basically a cop noticing your windshield sticker is out of date, or pulling you over for an equipment violation), there's no real point anymore.
  • Zipper69 Arriving in Florida from Europe and finding ZERO inspection procedures I envisioned roads crawling with wrecks held together with baling wire, duct tape and prayer.Such proved NOT to be the case, plenty of 20-30 year old cars and trucks around but clearly "unsafe at any speed" vehicles are few and far between.Could this be because the median age here is 95, so a lot of low mileage vehicles keep entering the market as the owners expire?
  • Zipper69 At the heart of GM’s resistance to improving the safety of its fuel systems was a cost benefit analysis done by Edward Ivey which concluded that it was not cost effective for GM to spend more than $2.20 per vehicle to prevent a fire death. When deposed about his cost benefit analysis, Mr. Ivey was asked whether he could identify a more hazardous location for the fuel tank on a GM pickup than outside the frame. Mr. Ivey responded, “Well yes…You could put in on the front bumper.”