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Old 07-14-2012, 01:24 AM   #1
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Default Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

I drove by New-West RV in Québec and spotted a new Class B van. At first glance I thought they might have a new Sprinter based model but it turned out to be a new Fiat Ducato based Westfalia Columbus.
I posted a bit of info here:
http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...hp?f=13&t=2241
and here:
http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...hp?f=11&t=2242

Here are some of the photos I took:























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Old 07-14-2012, 01:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus photos

The windows had a built-in privacy shade / bug screen that was innovative. The privacy shade slides down from the top. The bug screen slides up from the bottom. You can clip the two together and have part privacy & part bug screen. The bed base had these plastic / rubber "springs" that the mattress rested on. Unique, I think.

The Westfalia Columbus I saw had:

4-cylinder turbo diesel
heated floor
led lighting
rear storage heater
both front seats fully swivel

Plus other features. I got a brochure but haven't had time to go through it yet.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

This site - http://www.promobil.de/test/westfalia-c ... tml?show=4 - reports the fuel consumption to be 9.2 liters per 100 kilometers. That would be a bit better than 25 mpg U.S.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

Was it an automatic or manual transmission? Hard to tell from the pics. Almost looks like the stick has a boot around the base.
The article I posted last year described manual transmission problems with the European Ducatos which had been used both
commercially and as RVs.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

The brochure I have says 5-speed manual gearbox.

But I read a review online from a journalist who drove the unit at New West that stated:

Quote:
The model I tested was powered by a turbocharged 3.0L 4-cylinder diesel engine that produces 177 horsepower and 542 lbs.-ft. of torque. According to Fiat, this is the most powerful 4-cylinder in the category. This engine is paired with a 6-speed Comfort Matic semi-automatic transmission. The front wheels receive the power, while the back features a torsion beam rear axle.
and

Quote:
The Columbus comes with a 6-speed transmission with an electric clutch actuator– a little like what you get in Formula 1 cars. However, this configuration has no P position. To stop the vehicle, you have to put it into neutral and engage the hand brake. It’s actually easier to do than to explain – I got used to it in no time.
link: http://m.passionperformance.ca/carguide/articles/15554/
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

So, paddle actuated clutch and shifter?
Interesting, trying to create an F1 version of a class B?

Out of curiosity, I googled Westfalia and it seems they even make a Ford Transit/Nugget version.
The "Westfalia Werkes" company appears to have gone into "wikipedia unconfirmed" bankruptcy.
As indicated, it's Wiki, so may or may not be accurate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westfalia

It's interesting that Daimler/Chrysler had pretty much owned them, and they chose other similar
chassis builders over the Sprinter, probably to keep costs lower.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

Wow, that is totally my favorite layout, it was the one from my old Gulf Stream Vista Cruiser G24, including the Seitz windows that have the blackout shades and the bug screen on hidden rollers and the double paned acrylics. Of course there was a pop out where the rear windows were that allowed someone that is 6'+ to sleep on the raised bed, and it was on the tall Sprinter at the time so I could also walk around w/o hunching over. That front bed made of the dinette is SO Westfalia.

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Old 06-05-2013, 12:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

That's a far cry from the Westie I've got



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Old 06-05-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

I wonder where they got the Ducato from, as I don't think Fiat imports those into this part of the world, unless one drives one up from South America.

It would be nice if they could upfit the Promaster. I love the Westy fridge and the overall design of the rig.

As for the shifter, if that is a gasser, it gets the 62TE hydraulic automatic. The thing I wonder about is the diesel with the MT-40 "Auto-shifting manual" transmission. I've asked three people and gotten four answers. Is it a clutchless manual (where there is no "D", but you just shift it like any other manual except without the pedal)? Does it have a "D" setting where it shifts for you, as sawing through gears in metro areas isn't my idea of a good time? Nobody I've asked has any definite answers. In Europe, it definitely is a manual-shifter, clutch and all. I would be happy with something like the Sprinter's shifter, where it sits in "D" when in town, but on the highway, I can reach over and start manually shifting it if I want to for ascents/descents and to slow down without having to slam on the brakes.

All and all, if Westfalia does decide to upfit Promasters, they would have a big market in the US, just by name alone.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

It's Quebec, so technically the Ducato wasn't imported, as they consider themselves part of the EU.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

I just wish they updated their website... no real news since 2012, and with the Ducato about to hit US shores, if they want a large market, Westy has their work cut out for them.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

Some bad news, it appears to be delayed until late 2014 if not 2015. This is the message I got from New-West:

"At the present time we do not have the Westfalia Columbus in our inventory. We had planned to distribute this product at the beginning of 2013 but because of certification issues, end of 2014 is more probable."
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

I can guess four reasons for the delays:

1: The European Ducatos come in FWD, RWD, or 4WD versions. US ones are front transaxle only.
2: The engines and transmissions are completely different. European ones use true manual transmissions, while the US ones are auto or man/auto ones.
3: The added AC and generator needed for the US market.
4: No Truma heaters, so trying to find something similar is difficult.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Westfalia Columbus on Fiat Ducato photos

Perhaps they'll try using another NA built chassis.
Consider the culture shock of east meets west in a Ford Westy?
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