Vauxhall to share Fiat know-how for new Combo van

Vauxhall's will use a re-badged version of the award-winning Fiat Doblo Cargo as its new Combo, due to arrive in showrooms in 2012.

The Combo will be available in a choice of two wheelbases – 2,755mm or 3,105mm – giving an overall vehicle length of 4.39 metres and 4.74 metres respectively, as well as two roof heights, 1.85 metres or 2.10 metres.

For easy access to the cargo area, van variants can be ordered with one or two optional sliding doors. In certain panel van configurations, an additional rear roof hatch can be installed to transport ladders, for example. The passenger version pictured (wearing Opel badges), will not be offered in the UK.

The Combo has up to 3,400 litres of cargo space in short wheelbase form and 4,200 litres with the longer wheelbase.

The new Combo is available with four diesel engines. The units include a 1.3 CDTi and a 1.6 CDTi, each with 90bhp, as well as a 1.6 CDTi variant with 105bhp and a 2.0 CDTi engine providing 135bhp. The 1.3 CDTi engines are fitted with five-speed manual transmissions, while the more powerful CDTi units have a six-speed manual transmission.

The 1.6 CDTi is also offered with a 'Tecshift' automated five-speed manual transmission. With the exception of the Tecshift units, all powertrains are available with Start/Stop functionality to deliver even lower fuel consumption and emissions.

Even the entry level Combo includes standard equipment, including remote dead locking, power steering, a height and reach adjustable steering column, electric windows, and a four-way adjustable driver’s seat (also available with optional height adjustment).

Technology partnerships and joint projects are common in the European LCV industry with other parnerships between Opel/Vauxhall and Renault-Nissan, Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroen. A recent deal between Mercedes-Benz and Renault that will result in a Renault Kangoo-based small mercedes-Benz van in 2012, which will also be offered as a battery electric version.

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