AS this year’s show season gets into full swing, C-i Motorhomes and Roller Team are the latest to reveal their new models.
Part of Lincolnshire manufacturer Auto-Trail’s portfolio of brands, these two ranges are built by Trigano SPA, using Ford Transit and Fiat Ducato platforms, and come with Auto-Trail’s 10-Year Water Ingress Warranty.
This guarantee not only provides reassurance for people who buy a new motorhome, but also for subsequent owners, as it can be transferred with the vehicle to second or third owners.
Distinctive new graphics set the two models ranges apart. On the Roller Team side there is the Auto-Roller and the T-Line, while in the C-i Motorhomes range you have the Carioca and the S-Line.
Both model lines will feature the latest Euro V engines, providing better fuel consumption and lower C02 emissions.
The 100bhp engine has been dropped for 2012, with the range now starting with the 130bhp model. A more powerful 150bhp model will be available from February and an optional 180bhp engine with automatic gearbox can be ordered as a cost option. The automatic gearbox is also an option on Fiat Ducato based chassis.
There are various bodystyles and interior layouts available, all of which come with a roof light, and some come with a huge 900mm by 800mm Sky Dome which floods the interior with light.
A cleverly designed drop-down bed has proved very popular with European buyers, being a great space saving feature and increasing the number of people that can sleep on board.
French and Island bed models are also available this year as are over-cab beds at the front, an adjustable rear bed which can be raised or lowered depending on how much storage space you need in the “G” area below, or even rear bunk beds with another double over the cab – the choice is yours to make.
Order the Family Pack and you get a drop-down bed. It’s easy to operate and is lowered by simply sliding a handle to the left and pulling the bed down. When not in use, the unit lifts up and out of the way, still leaving plenty of room below. It can also be used at two different heights, so if there were lots of people travelling together, the space below could still be used for seating, although things would be a bit cramped.
Inside, a lot of effort has been made to improve the quality of the fixtures and fittings – and the work has paid off.
The furniture is new and is made from a darker walnut-effect wood, the locker doors are finished in a smart cream colour and the handles have a polished chrome finish. The washroom areas have also been revised and now all feature separate shower cubicles.
There’s lots of new equipment – a passenger airbag is now standard, and the radio has been upgraded to a CD radio head unit.
Low-level LED lighting has proved popular on more expensive Auto-Trail products and has now been included in these models and can be left on all night as they use very little electricity.
The Luna and Chocolat upholstery designs are new, and an Ivory “Eco” leather is an optional extra.
A family pack has been introduced for 2012, which means the side-facing bench seats can be replaced with a half-dinette, which provides forward facing seats with two extra three-point belts.
It really is surprising how much these compact motorhomes can squeeze inside them – some can carry up to seven people with either three-point or lap-strap seatbelts.
A nice feature on the T-Line model is very effective mood lighting, which offers a selection of LED light colours which can be changed by a little remote control pad.
Auto-Trail has introduced a Lux Pack this year, which costs £1,195 but adds around £1,650 worth of equipment, including a reversing camera with a 7in monitor, a removable carpet, a 100 watt solar panel and a bike rack.
Prices are competitive, with the entry-level Carioca 200 starting from £36,790 on the road. The S and T lines start at £42,890 on the road, while the top-of-the range 680 model with the family pack costs £44,390 on the road, so none of these models break the £45,000 barrier.