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Fiat Ducato Maxi Professional | Gassit Garage | Long Term

The ‘Up’ button on the Fiat Ducato’s dash may resemble some sort of load catapulting feature, but after pressing it I can confirm that it actually does something far more useful – albeit less entertaining…

This curious gizmo is designed to be used when driving the Fiat with a full payload of cargo on board, and while our lightweight motorcycles and riding gear can’t get anywhere near this LWB Maxi’s two-tonne carrying capacity, we were still able to notice a difference in the transmission ratio when the Up button was connected. It adjusts the engine speed by drawing out the very short first and second gears which in turn influences the van’s performance when you’re travelling up and down hills.

Another unique engineering feature of AMCN’s Fiat long termer is that it uses a robotised gearbox so the driver can select from manual or automatic modes. This is achieved by incorporating a computer on the manual transmission to time the clutch actuation and gear shift, thereby extending the life of the box. When you combine that with a fuel efficient turbo diesel engine and 40,000km servicing intervals, the prospect of a motorhome conversion starts to become very tempting indeed!

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Paul McCann