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Small van spy shots (updated)

by David Zatz on

Doblo van spy shot

In addition to the Ram Ducato recently caught at a Chrysler testing facility, Brian Williams of KGP Photography spotted and snapped a worked-over Ram Doblo mule. This would compete against Ford’s popular Transit Connect courier vans.

In 2009, Chrysler officials discussed the possibility of using the Fiat Doblo in North America, with minimal federalization (changes to make the van legal for sale in the United States and Canada). This test mule uses the Qubo crossover body with two welded sections to lengthen the body, either as a clever disguise or an indication that Fiat’s original plans of “minimal change” may have been altered. It’s even possible that the Doblo, though recently (2011 model year) updated, may get another mid-cycle upgrade, this time at the hands of Ram. Changes made to the Fiat 500 for American sale were pushed back to Europe, and the Dodge Dart, based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta (according to press releases), ended up being sold as a Fiat in some markets.

Ram Doblo spy shot

The current Fiat Doblo had a 108 inch standard wheelbase. The EuroDoblo 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 being added, along with another Dualogic diesel. Start & Stop, which shuts down the engine while standing idle, is optional. For the United States, one would expect the 2.4 liter Chrysler gasoline engine, if it is available and fits; the 1.4 liter “light turbo” Fiat engine, at around 130 horsepower; and, later, a small diesel, if VM can produce one that is legal for the United States.

ram ducato interior

In response to reader mail: yes, we know this is a modified Qubo body, at least in terms of the sheet metal. It has been widened and lengthened. It might be that they’re looking at an SUSW or SCSS body for, say, the Chrysler 100, very cleverly disguised; but we suspect it’s a Doblo covered in very different sheet metal, much as the Dart and Cherokee have been covered by Alfa Romeo sheet metal, widened and lengthened.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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