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Doblo to be a Ram

by David Zatz on

The Fiat Doblo van, which would compete directly against the popular Ford Transit, will be coming to North America, according to Chrysler Canada. The small commercial van, made in Turkey, will be exported for sale in both the U.S. and Canada.

Ram Doblo

The Doblo was part of the Five Year Plan announced in late 2009. Last year, however, the Turkish joint venture company that makes it said they did not believe sale of the van in the US was feasible.

A large van, either the Iveco Daily or Fiat Ducato, is being re-engineered by Ram to be a better match to American markets. It is reportedly to be built in the United States, and will compete head-on against the Sprinter, which despite (or because of) several re-badgings has not caught on with buyers. Daily or Ducato would likely be less expensive and better adapted to American uses than the Sprinter.

Fiat Doblo

For 2011, the Fiat Doblo has a 108 inch standard wheelbase. The European Doblo has four engines: a 95 bhp gasoline (petrol) and three low-noise diesels with 90 to 135 hp. A Natural Power dual fuel (gas and methane) is to be added along with another Dualogic diesel. Start & Stop is optional; it shuts down the engine while standing idle.

The rear suspension is bi-link, calibrated for each model. Stability control, ABS, and hill-holder are standard. Doblo Cargo has sliding side doors and an inner length up to 2.2 meters, width between wheel arches of 1.23 meters, and volume from 3.4 to 4.2 cubic meters (120-148 cubic feet). Combined gas mileage is around 4.8 liters / 100 km with the smallest diesel – around 49 mpg. The range includes short and long wheelbase vans with high roof versions.

The Doblo’s suspension uses McPherson struts in the front, while the rear features a solid axle with leaf springs, the same setup found on early generation Chrysler minivans.

Doblos sold throughout the world are equipped with the Fiat motors and transmissions which are common to each regional market’s Fiat passenger cars. It is possible that the engine power has been a sticking point for the joint venture plant; while adding a 2.4 liter Chrysler engine would help it for the US market, it would greatly increase the cost (due both to engineering costs and manufacturing issues) and may not be feasible.

Further Fiat Doblo and Fiat Ducato information is at our Ram-Fiat Van Plan page.

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