Europeans get new Nemo and Bipper compact commercial vans
And you thought U.S. automakers were guilty of the world's worst badge engineerings jobs! It's bad enough that both Citroen and Peugeot took the Mitsubishi Outlander and made the C-Crosser and 4007 clones, but here we have two new compact commercial vans from these companies that are virtually identical. Just pick which logo you'd like on the misshapen schnoz and you're good to go. The Citroen Nemo and Peugeot Blipper (seriously?) are actually pretty interesting to look at. These purpose built mini vans will do the work of a Chevy HHR Panel in Europe and get much better gas mileage to boot. Either vehicle can be ordered with a 75 HP 1.4L gas or 70 HP 1.4L HDi diesel engine, so they certainly can't go as fast or haul as much as what we Yanks are used to, but European commercial customers will likely find them more than adequate. And they can haul thanks to a 1,345 lb. payload rating and useable cargo space that amounts to 66 cubic feet. The front passenger seat can also be stored beneath the floor to increase the cargo room to 107 cubic feet. Just don't come to us asking which one you should buy.
[Source: Citroen and Peugeot]
[Source: Citroen and Peugeot]
THE PEUGEOT BIPPER – THE PERFECT COMPACT VAN FOR THE BUSY URBAN USER
- To be launched in May 2008
- Available with two engine options – 1.4 litre petrol and 1.4 litre HDi diesel
- HDi diesel versions available with an electronically controlled manual gearbox
- Load volume 2.5 m3
- Payload 610 kg
- The Peugeot Bipper is a new compact light commercial vehicle aimed at strengthening Peugeot's rejuvenated range of commercial vehicles.
The Bipper is designed for professionals looking for a vehicle which is easy to drive and can be parked easily. Thanks to the asymmetric hinged rear doors and sliding side doors, the Bipper is also very easy to load and unload, even in the narrowest of spaces.
It is available with a choice of two engines. A 1.4 litre petrol engine developing power of 75 bhp or a 1.4 litre HDi diesel engine developing 68 bhp and emitting only 119 g of CO2 per km. The HDi diesel engine is also available with an optional electronically controlled manual gearbox, the first time this type of gearbox has been available on a Peugeot light commercial vehicle and this offers greater convenience to drivers using the vehicle in busy urban areas.
For professionals who spend many hours in their van, this gearbox will be a huge benefit to them in terms of reduced driving fatigue and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
With a length of 3.86 m, the Bipper is characterised above all by its compact size. Built to make easy work of trips around town, its exterior width does not exceed 1.68 m.
When equipped with roof bars, its height is only 1.78 m, enabling it to use underground car parks without any problems. Fitted with roof bars and a roof rack, the Bipper can also carry a load of up to 100 kg on its roof.
Inside, the cube-like load area has been designed to offer a generous usable space. The effective floor load length is 1.52 m, with a maximum interior height of 1.18 m. The width between the wheel arches is 1.05 m, giving a total usable volume of 2.5 m3 .
Thanks to an innovative folding multifunction passenger seat, it is possible to increase the load capacity even further by using the space normally occupied by the seat. This allows long objects to be carried as far forward as the fascia panel; the maximum effective floor load length is then increased by nearly a metre, to 2.49 m. The effective load volume in this configuration is now 2.80 m3 .
With all this available space, the Bipper can transport a payload of up to 610 kg. Access to the carried load is made easy by means of two asymmetric hinged rear doors (60/40) which ensure all-round access to the rear load space, both heightwise and widthwise. The two doors can open to an angle of 90° or even 180° if required, thanks to an innovative check strap design. IfThe load sill height, thanks to the optimised design of the rear doors and rear bumper, is just 527 mm.
Two optional sliding side doors improve access even further, combined with the low load sill height, making it easy to load and unload, even in the narrowest of spaces.
To protect any carried loads the cab area can be unlocked separately from the load space. Loads can also be securely restrained by six securing rings attached to the load floor and the driver is protected from the load by a driver's ladder frame protector. A number of different bulkhead options will also be available.
Inside, comfort and convenience take pride of place. Modern, bright and functional, the interior has been designed to be easy to use. It is robust and comprehensive with a four dial instrument panel, a multifunction display, warning lights and a centre console. The latter also houses the ventilation or air conditioning controls, the radio and the hands-free phone kit, depending on which options are chosen.
The layout has been ergonomically designed to ensure that each control is within hand's reach and each instrument is in the driver's line of sight. This is also the case with the steering wheel, which is height and depth adjustable. The gear lever, which is located on the fascia panel, as on all of Peugeot's new commercial vehicles, increases the available space inside the passenger compartment.
To ensure good road holding regardless of the load being transported, the Bipper benefits from an optimised design of its suspension and wheels. The front suspension is independent with MacPherson type front struts and coil springs.
The rear suspension consists of a torsion beam with hydraulic dampers and coil springs. Thanks to the design of the rear suspension, the Bipper can carry a payload of up to 610 kg with minimal impact on the ride height.
The Bipper is fitted as standard with 175/70 R14 tyres, but versions will also be available with an optional "site pack" which raises the vehicle ride height by 15 mm and includes 15 inch wheels with 185/65R15 tyres.
Hydraulic power steering is fitted as standard and gives the driver superb versatility in town or on the open road, particularly since the turning circle between kerbs is only 10.2 m.
In terms of braking, the Bipper is fitted at the front with 257 x 22 mm or 284 x 22 mm disc brakes on versions fitted with the electronically controlled manual gearbox. At the rear the vehicle comes with 203 x 38 mm or 228 x 40 mm drum brakes on versions with an electronically controlled manual gearbox. ABS is standard to optimise braking efficiency and directional control.
With its modern design, the structure of the Bipper has been developed to comply with the most stringent standards in terms of passive safety. The front bumper incorporates a high-strength steel impact beam which is mounted directly to the chassis legs by two impact absorbers. In the event of a low speed collision, the impact beam absorbs the impact forces ensuring there is no damage to the chassis legs, thereby reducing repair costs and repair time.
The design of the aluminium front sub-frame, the front suspension mountings, the engine compartment, the pedal box and the steering column all contribute to limiting possible injury to the driver in a high speed collision.
The Bipper has a comprehensive safety specification with 3-point inertia reel seat belts with height adjustment, pretensioners and force limiters; a fastened seat belt monitoring system; optional passenger airbag; optional side airbags; and a system that detects sharp deceleration and, in the event of a collision, instantly disconnects the electrical power and fuel supply, thereby eliminating any fire risk.
Onboard comfort is a key strength of the Peugeot Bipper and of crucial importance to occupants spending many hours driving around busy urban areas. The seats have been designed to offer impeccable performance in terms of both comfort and support, including head restraints, fore and aft adjustment and a reclining backrest. Their functionality can also be supplemented further with height adjustment, lumbar support, an armrest and a heating function.
A new innovation found on the Bipper is the multifunction passenger seat that clearly demonstrates the overall attention to detail of the vehicle's designers. This innovative seat design, which has not been seen before on a Peugeot light commercial vehicle, can be configured, firstly, as a mobile office by folding it into the flat "table" position, or it can be folded into the floor, freeing up additional space for the transportation of long loads (up to 2.50 m). This increases the effective load length by nearly a metre. This feature will become a must for professionals wishing to benefit from modularity and an optimised load volume in such a compact vehicle.
For improved visibility and to facilitate manoeuvring, the Bipper is fitted with large door mirrors. According to the particular version, they can be adjusted electrically and be heated in conjunction with the heated rear screen de-misting function.
When manoeuvring in reverse gear, and also for trouble free parking in town, a parking assistance system is available which uses four ultrasonic sensors located in the rear bumper.
Another extremely useful function for day to day driving is the cruise control - speed limiter. This can be activated by means of a control under the steering wheel.
One-touch electric front windows are available, with the window control switches located on the door panels.
Particular attention has also been paid to the Bipper's ventilation and air conditioning, once again for the benefit of its occupants. De-misting of the windscreen is assured by eight air vents at the base of the windscreen. In the passenger compartment, air is distributed through four adjustable vents, two in the centre and two at the side, and central air vents directed at the floor of the vehicle.
A control for changing the flow of air from outside the vehicle to interior air recirculation is fitted as standard. This is essential equipment when driving in an urban area, since it prevents odours and undesirable particles from entering the passenger compartment.
Manual air conditioning is also available. This also includes a filter for removing pollen, dust and certain particles of polluting gases.
In terms of multimedia equipment, the Bipper offers both audio and hands-free phone systems. The audio range consists of a CD radio which can also play MP3 coded CDs. It has an output of 4 x 10 W and is combined with four speakers (two tweeters and two mid woofers).
An optional hands-free phone kit which allows a Bluetooth mobile phone to be used inside the vehicle is also available to ensure safe communication when on the move.
The Bipper range will be based around a single trim level to which it will be possible to add options and/or equipment packs.
An important factor when choosing a commercial vehicle is the running costs. The Bipper has been designed to keep these costs to a minimum.
It has extended service intervals requiring a service only every 20,000 miles or 2 years, regardless of engine type. To reduce costs and downtime further, the oil change and replacement of certain components such as the air filter, diesel filter, pollen filter and brake pads are all scheduled to coincide with the service interval. All of the above is based, naturally, on normal use of the vehicle. The timing belt is replaced every 140,000 miles or 10 years on the diesel engine, and 90,000 miles or 10 years on the petrol version.
In line with its modern stylish design the Peugeot Bipper will be available in 10 exterior body colours.
Details of pricing and UK specification will be announced nearer the launch date in May 2008.
- SET TO MAKE A BIG SPLASH IN THE COMPACT VAN SECTOR
Today (4 October 2007) Citroën announces an important new addition to its light commercial vehicle range - the new Citroën Nemo. Set to make its public debut at the Amsterdam Motor Show (25 October), Citroën's new, entry level compact van brings innovative solutions to a wide range of business transport applications, and will go on sale in the UK during the second quarter of 2008.
Robert Handyside, Citroën's commercial vehicles operations manager, comments, "The new Citroën Nemo is set to make a real splash in the ultra-competitive UK lcv sector. It neatly complements our existing UK light commercial vehicle range, expanding it to a five model line-up: C2 Enterprise, Nemo, Berlingo, Dispatch and Relay. As such the Nemo will enable the company to provide a seamless range of lcvs from 0.84cu.m through to a massive 17cu.m load carrying capacity. No other manufacturer in the UK will be able to offer such a comprehensive choice."
The Citroën Nemo has been introduced to fulfil a wide range of business transport needs. It is primarily designed for use in urban environments where its compact size, ease of manoeuvrability and low emissions (119g/km CO2 for the 1.4HDi model) characteristics will be of major benefit.
To suit its urban role the new Nemo is just 3.86m long but has a large internal load volume of 2.5cu.m and a strong payload of 610kg. The Nemo is launched with a choice of a 75hp 1.4i petrol engine or Citroën's ultra-economical 70hp 1.4HDi diesel engine (63mpg/4.5 l/100 km on the combined cycle).
A Citroën five-speed automated manual transmission will also be optionally available for Nemo vans powered by the 1.4HDi engine. This option combines the benefits of automatic transmission with the fuel efficiency of a manual vehicle, making it ideal for around-town use.
Other Nemo features include the availability of single or twin sliding, side-load doors as well as twin rear doors that can be easily opened to 180o. In addition, the Nemo introduces an Extenso modular passenger seat and a versatile modular bulkhead system, which provide the vehicle with a wide range of passenger and load carrying configurations.
The Extenso passenger seat allows the seatback to fold horizontally onto the seat cushion, or the entire seat to be stored under the floor, adding almost one metre to the load length. With the Extenso seat folded and stored under the floor the available load length is increased to almost 2.50m and the load volume expanded to nearly 2.8cu.m.
The modular mesh bulkhead between the Nemo's cab and the load bay provides full width/height protection. If long loads are to be carried, the bulkhead section behind the folded Extenso passenger seat can be swung in towards the driver to provide complete protection from the load behind and alongside.
Nemo's looks are more than skin deep - its cheeky external appearance belying a detailed and practical design approach. Its stylish front end incorporates headlamps positioned high-up to avoid minor knocks and a large wraparound bumper for effective protection. The wide, high windscreen provides the driver with maximum visibility and provides a light and airy working environment.
On its sides Nemo has broad mouldings to provide protection against minor knocks, while at the rear a large door aperture and low floor height makes loading/unloading easy. The high set rear lights are also well protected from accidental damage.
Other useful features of the new Citroën Nemo include:-
- a conveniently-located, high-mounted gear lever, close to the steering wheel
- a range of stowage compartments
- a multi-adjustable driving position
- a high-quality audio system with four loudspeakers
- pre-equipment for a Bluetooth® telephone.
The new Citroën Nemo will offer an impressive range of safety and security equipment, will have a very competitive sales price and will provide the cost-saving benefits of long service intervals, innovative design and robust construction. Price and specification details of Citroën Nemo vans for the UK market will be announced in 2008.
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