Fiat launched the third generation Ducato in 2006 as a fully redesigned model offered in various lengths and wheelbases. That model hit the US market with a Ram badge in 2014 when the Ducato was given a mid-cycle refresh. It turns out the Italian automaker is not ready to retire the 17-year-old van in Europe, which could hint at further upgrades for the Ram Promaster in North America. We have the first spy photos showing a Ducato prototype with a facelifted front fascia.
While exterior design is not the most important buying factor in the van segment, the Ducato depicted in the gallery below appears to hide a new bumper with a new grille. The headlights don’t seem to have been changed, though there’s camouflage covering the bonnet and the side panels, hinting at tweaks to those elements. The only visible disguise at the back is some black tape covering the vehicle’s make and model.
Gallery: Fiat Ducato facelift first spy photos
More important changes are expected under the skin, though. While the diesel engine is not popular in the United States, Europe’s light commercial vehicle segment is still dominated by compression ignition engines. The Ducato is expected to gain a revised version of Fiat’s 2.2-litre diesel mill with outputs of 120, 140, and 180 horsepower. More importantly, the motor is expected to meet the strict Euro 7 emissions standards on the continent, which probably means the automaker plans to keep the van on sale in its current form for at least a few more years.
For those clocking more miles in urban areas, Fiat is believed to also introduce a hybrid powertrain. Alternatively, customers will have the option for a fully electric version, which was introduced in April 2021. Currently, it is available with either a 47-kilowatt-hour battery pack or a larger 79-kWh battery for a WLTP-certified range on a single charger of up to 170 miles. Improvements on the E-Ducato also seem likely.
On the tech front, word on the street is the refreshed Ducato is expected to receive a new digital instrument cluster, as well as a new round selector for the automatic gearbox. More safety and assist systems could be on the way too, but the infotainment system is likely staying without improvements.
Whether the second major facelift for the Ducato will preview upgrades for North America’s Ram ProMaster when it debuts next year, remains to be seen. What we know so far is that the Italian arm of Stellantis is preparing the model for a debut sometime next year with sales starting later in 2024 as a 2025 model.