Fiat Ducato owners could now be assured of greater safety thanks to the installation of ESP (electronic stability program) across its entire range of vans, chassis cabs, combis and minibuses. Fiat Professional has started introducing ESP into all Fiat Ducato models -- except the back-to-back cab range – in April 2013 in anticipation of any possible changes to commercial vehicle legislation.
ESP is a safety device which employs information from various sensors to determine whether a vehicle is cornering safely or not. If the ESP computer assessed that a vehicle is going to skid, it would apply brakes on the appropriate wheel or cut engine power. Aside from that, ESP also integrates a number of other technologies.
One of these is the Load Adaptive Control (LAC) that determines the size of the load and the vehicle’s center of gravity to allow the systems to work at optimal effectiveness. Hill Holder, on the other hand, allows the vehicle to start easier on slopes by holding the brake on momentarily after the gas pedal is released.
Other technologies include the Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), which raises braking pressure under emergency conditions; and the Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) acts on the brakes and/or temporarily cuts power to the engine to offset the effects of one or both drive wheels skidding. Also featured is thh Motor Schleppmoment Regelung (MSR), which ensures that torque remains at the wheels even after a sudden downshift on an incline.
A Ducato owner could also avail of the Traction+ system option, a new traction control system that enhances handling on a terrain with poor grip. Traction+ uses the ESP computer to simulate the behavior of a self-locking differential.
This optional system works by applying brakes to a wheel that is experiencing poor grip on a surface as well as by transferring engine torque to the wheel with better grip. The Traction+ option could be availed at £150, with the choice of multi-season or winter tires, priced at £200. [source: Fiat]