In Brief Fiat at the 81st International Geneva Motor Show


Models that will likely shape SA’s forthcoming product range and the jaw-dropping 500 Coupé Zagato

Fiat Freemont (now with new interior pics)

  • It goes on sale in Europe during the second half of 2011 – it’s currently under consideration for release in South Africa.
  • Built on the base of the Dodge Journey, it is the first Fiat vehicle to come out of the partnership with the Chrysler Group. While it shares basic architecture with its Dodge sibling, it features an all-new Fiat-exclusive interior, Fiat diesel engines and Fiat-tuned dynamics. It is manufactured in the Mexican plant of Toluca, where the Fiat 500 is produced for the US market.
  • It features seven standard seats with a genuine third row of roomy seats that is easily accessible because the doors open to 90° and a simple and easily operated seat slide system. The seats of the third row may be folded down with one simple movement to disappear completely below the floor and create a regular load platform. The seats of the second row are fitted higher than those at the front while the third row is raised in relation to the second allowing all occupants maximum visibility. The second row can also be fitted with the innovative child booster system: booster seats are used to make sure that children on board are sitting correctly, optimising the seatbelt geometry as well as guaranteeing greater protection, practicality and comfort.
  • The storage compartments guarantee passengers a total of approximately 140 litres of additional capacity, (comparable to the luggage capacity of a city-car).The front armrest, for example, is very deep and guarantees maximum capacity, also containing a USB port (which may be used for an iPod®) and a 12 volt PowerPoint. This makes it possible to listen to music or recharge portable devices while ensuring they are concealed when you get out of the car. The passenger seats contain a convenient and easily accessible compartment under the cushion while the floor in the second row contains two compartments under the mats.
  • The front end features brand new bumpers in a softer shape and a revised grille with the Fiat logo. The rear end has been redesigned with the adoption of a new bumper and LED tail lights.
  • The all-new passenger compartment features an up-to-date design more in keeping with the needs of European consumers, and soft touch materials. Features include a wrap-around dashboard with chrome elements, a brand-new instrument panel, a striking central console and an innovative infotainment system with a large colour touchscreen.Many vehicle functions can be controlled with a light touch on the touchscreen, including temperature settings for the three climate-controlled areas and audio system adjustment.
  • To simplify the selection and purchase process, only two trim levels will be provided that are aimed at different customer types. The equipment level for both trim levels is extremely comprehensive and all the main content items comply with the ‘Fiat fair price’ strategy. Both trim levels will offer 7 seats, 17″ alloys, triple-zone automatic climate control system, keyless entry system, cruise control, advanced trip computer, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), fog lights and touchscreen radio with colour screen and controls on the steering wheel. The more metropolitan version will include touchscreen radio with 8.4″ screen, SD card and DVD reader, Bluetooth system, rear parking sensors, folding door mirrors, automatic headlight activation, tinted rear windows and roof bars.
  • The Freemont will have front wheel drive with turbo diesel power units (140 HP/104 kW or 170 HP/125 kW 2.0 MultiJet) combined with a manual gearbox. Later, the vehicle will also be available in 4×4 versions with 170 HP / 125 kW 2.0 MultiJet and 276 HP / 205 kW 3.6 petrol V6 engines, both with automatic gearboxes. With the exception of the powerful 3.6 litre unit from the Chrysler Group Pentastar family and its automatic gearbox, all power units are produced and developed by FPT – Fiat PowerTrain.
  • The vehicle’s dynamic performances have also been improved with the aid of Fiat engineering, which has developed and introduced a special suspension and steering configuration for greater accuracy and directness. Driving comfort is further guaranteed by significant improvements to passenger compartment soundproofing.
  • Safety is top level with 7 airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Hill-Holder and electronic roll mitigation (ERM) as standard on all vehicles.

Fiat launches “Air Technologies” eco-technology brand

  • With its own dedicated space on the stand, Fiat presents the international debut of its “Air Technologies” brand, which encapsulates exclusive Fiat brand eco-technologies applied across the board to the currently marketed range.
  • “Air Technologies” represents and embodies the development of a philosophy that has led, over 20 years, to the introduction of revolutionary products that are also simple with low environmental impact without giving up any of the fun and thrill at the wheel that has always typified Italian cars.
  • Fiat pioneered the design and development of cutting-edge technologies, able to combine driving satisfaction and respect for the environment, such as the MuliJet, MultiAir and the most recent expression of this extraordinary union, the new TwinAir installed on the 500 and destined to be extensively applied to the Fiat range in the future.
  • Fiat has chosen to group all the engine, engineering and conceptual innovations fitted to its current production cars under the heading of “Air Technologies”. This brand will be part of all advertising for the entire Fiat range in 2011, emphasising how a green approach has always come naturally to the brand.
  • In the future, “Air Technologies” will embrace all engine developments by Fiat Powertrain in the field of alternative propulsion and all Fiat innovations to improve driving efficiency and satisfaction with respect for the environment.
  • The new brand will group the technologies into thematic areas: engines, alternative fuel systems, gearbox management systems, traction, Start&Stop and technical solutions designed to improve vehicle dynamic efficiency.
  • A special section within “Air Technologies” is dedicated to driving behaviour with exclusive eco:Drive software that allows drivers to check and correct their driving behaviour with the aim of reducing emissions and saving fuel.

The concept “500 Coupé Zagato”

The “500 Coupé Zagato” – the concept created by one of the most famous automotive design names in the world, with the collaboration of the Fiat Group Automobiles’ Centro Stile – makes its debut at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show.

The prototype stands out for its sinuous yet decidedly sporty and contemporary contours, inspired by the namesake predecessor built in the 1950 by the famous Italian bodyworker on the chassis of the 500.

Yet while Zagato had then completely revamped the exterior style of the basic model, today the designers emphasised the silhouette of the Fiat 500, already similar to a coupé, giving it an even more aggressive appeal. In addition, the unique shape of the roof features the characteristic “double hump”, the true emblem of Zagato, teaming the lowering of the car with retaining excellent interior comfort.

Like many historic custom-built cars, the concept car affords the classic “2+2 seater” formula, retaining the compact dimensions of the basic model: indeed, it is 355 centimetres long, 163 cm wide and 149 cm high, with a 230 cm wheelbase.

So it is a compact car which “conceals” under the bonnet the revolutionary TwinAir 105 HP / 78 kW engine which maximises the “fun to drive” of this car, while ensuring, consistently with the downsizing philosophy, excellent performance levels against a considerable reduction in fuel consumption and emission levels. To achieve this objective, the engine features a specific “turbomatching” (engine-turbocharger coupling).

The 105 HP / 78 kW TwinAir engine, which has never been used on any of the Group’s models yet, is therefore the ideal engine to be installed in compact sized sporty cars, as demonstrated by the high torque delivered (155 Nm at 2,500 rpm) and the absolute world record in terms of absolute power (105 HP / 78 kW at 5,500 rpm). In addition, at 124 HP or 92 kW/litre, this engine is also one of the world leaders in specific power. All while ensuring reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions unrivalled in this category: 95 g/km.

Designed mainly for a young and dynamic male target, the “500 Coupé Zagato” also accommodates the needs of a female target owing to the painstaking pursuit of stylistic solutions resulting from the most interesting trends on colours and materials. For instance, the prototype livery is Pop Yellow, a specific three-layer bodypaint colour tending towards white which emphasises the vehicle contour while giving it a pop image, full of energy and brimming with personality.

The same styling effect can be found in the interiors, specifically the seats, inspired by the traditional sporty “diamond” seats and high-tech fabric teamed with yellow chamois leather and the black natural leather of the surrounds which give it a young, contemporary look.

The decidedly sporty appearance can also be found on the steering wheel – also covered in leather with contrasting stitching the same colour as the yellow chamois leather grips – and on the dashboard surround, matching the exterior colour, which was treated in burnished “eco-chrome” to give it a more aggressive appeal.

Lastly, another typical feature of coupé vehicles is the lining of the roof panel with dark high-tech fabric embellished by a transparent single-filament yarn that gives it a delicate shine.

In perfect synch with its sporty personality, the “500 Coupé Zagato” features burnished chrome exterior elements, 17″ “chrome shadow” wheels with a brand new double spoked shape and synthetic inserts (made of APP-TECH), 205/40 R17 tyres and 4 perforated brake discs.

A car of enormous appeal, this prototype is consistent with Fiat’s history and mission: to make cars distinguished by an original style, advanced technology made accessible to all and intelligent solutions that simplify and improve life on-board. An example? Just like the basic model, the “500 Coupé Zagato” also features “my-port”, the practical multimedia port installed on the dashboard allowing the driver to link up to the world via a latest generation smartphone enabled to access the Internet and satellite navigation.