ROLLER TEAM IS part of France’s Trigano Group and builds its motorhomes in a state-of-the-art factory near Poggibonsi in Tuscany, Italy. It’s also a popular import brand here in the UK, offering Italian style and design flair at affordable prices. Build quality is very good, too, as seen in the presence of Roller Team ’vans on hire fleets, as they’re durable and easy to repair.
Roller Team is distributed in the UK by Auto-Trail, another Trigano Group member, in an Anglo-Italian relationship that’s been going for six years. In that time, Roller Team has increased its market share in the UK, in no small part due to Auto-Trail’s fully engaged approach to the partnership. The British manufacturer makes recommendations based on its knowledge of what will work in the British market, with many of these suggestions taken on board by the design team in Italy.
There are three Roller Team ranges: the entry-level Zefiro, the mid-range Auto-Roller and the T-Line, the upmarket offering. All imported vehicles are available with right-hand drive, although the habitation doors will be on the UK offside, so when used in Britain your passengers will disembark into traffic. Not a problem in Italy or the rest of Europe, though.
New base vehicles
The big news for 2014 is of course the adoption of the sixth-generation Fiat Ducato base vehicle. In addition to the attractive new front end, a range of benefits lurks underneath, including a gear-shift indicator for optimum fuel economy, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity as standard. The new Ducato, in 130bhp flavour, underpins the Auto-Roller and T-Line ranges (150bhp engines are available as a £900 cost option, and Fiat’s highly regarded ComfortMatic transmission is a £1560 upgrade).
The Zefiro, on the other hand, will ride on the new Ford Transit, a benefit of Roller Team’s membership of the Trigano Group. This exciting new base vehicle has been offered exclusively to Trigano for 2015; fellow Trigano subsidiary Chausson is the only other motorhome brand to build on it this season.
The Roller Team line-up is slightly smaller than last year – down from 11 models to nine. However, it incorporates an evolution of 2014’s Extreme Protection System – dubbed ExPS – on all models bar the Ford-based Zefiro. This reduces still further the presence of wood within the vehicles’ construction, with extruded plastic laminates, styrofoam sound-proofing and GRP cladding taking over. Zefiro will, Auto-Trail says, receive the same upgrade for the 2016 model year.
The previous Auto-Roller line-up loses the 200 and 685 models, but the island-bed 695 gets a revised layout including a separate shower cubicle. Prices are £42,490 OTR for the 694 and 695, and £43,990 OTR for the 746 and 707.
The T-Line range loses the end bed 700 model, but gains a new 785, complete with twin rear single beds and a split en-suite washroom. Star of the T-Line range, however, has to be the new 740. The L-shaped lounge and drop-down electric bed are impressive enough, but the rear layout, comprising a ‘floating’ amidships washroom and island end bed, is an ingenious use of floor space.
T-Line models will come with ESC, hill hold and Traction Plus with hill descent as standard; these are optional on Auto-Rollers. The 590 will cost £42,990 OTR; the 740 £46,990 OTR and the 785 £46,990. T-Line models also have an upgraded Fiat radio including TomTom satellite navigation as standard (optional on Auto-Roller models).
Zefiro continues with the same models for 2014, the transverse rear bunks 675 and the transverse rear double bed/overcab double bed 690 G, available for the same price as in 2014 (£39,850 OTR).
Both models are based on the Ford Transit with a 125bhp engine as standard, the 155bhp engine available as a £1000 option. The Lux Pack is now available on the Zefiro and adds items including a colour reversing camera, a 100W solar panel, a bike rack and a 95Ah auxiliary battery, for a very reasonable £699.
The Driver’s Pack (£999) adds cab-centric extras including air-con, cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel and a passenger airbag and can be specified on Auto-Roller and T-Line models, as can the Thermo Pack (£1120), which offers improved insulation performance.