30 Aug 2011
Fiat at the 64th Frankfurt International Motor Show
Fiat returns to the Frankfurt International Motor Show with an original stand dominated by white and marked by essential lines and an attentive play of technological references, where major world débuts mingle with tried and tested models to underscore the brand's unique position on the international motoring stage.
The undisputed star of the exhibition area is the new Panda, logical evolution of a successful city car that in its 31 years of life has always been a synonym of functional design, manoeuvrability, space, reliability and comfort.
The Panda is all this and something more: a brand rich in strong rational and emotional value, which has won over more than 6.5 million drivers by supplying simple but smart solutions for the real necessities of everyday mobility. Everything is a whole lot easier on board the Panda. It is easier to move, park, have the right amount of space and modulate it to your liking, feel at ease and relate with others. Important solutions that are expressed in a philosophy of life.
What's more, before being a car the Panda is an idea that has generated another way of experiencing a car in total freedom. That's because today as always, whoever chooses a Panda is free from the conventional mould, fashions and classifications. In a sense, you could say that it is an unconventional car, which from its very first generation was able to astonish with simple yet not obvious solutions. Indeed, it is precisely its vocation of structural and constructive simplicity that now allows it to further evolve without ever losing its true nature of revolutionary car. Suffice it to say that it was the first car of its segment to bear the prestigious title of "Car of the Year 2004". It was the first compact (less than 4 metres in length) to feature a diesel engine (1986) and it was the first to offer both four-wheel drive (1983) and a range of eco-friendly engines designed to limit fuel consumption (the Panda Elettra was introduced in 1990, one of the first electric cars). It was the first 4x4 city car to reach Everest's high-tech base camp at an altitude of 5,200 metres (2004).
With the third generation, the Panda has reached full maturity, making a further qualitative leap in terms of comfort, technology and safety equipment, and making its appearance with a new, modern and harmonious look. But without giving up that "roguish" and ready-for-anything soul that has always distinguished it.
Starting from the concept that every one of us has different requirements, the new Panda makes maximum use of the interior space, minimising the dimensions. Although continuing to be a very compact car, the Panda has grown just a few centimetres to ensure the attainment of the highest standards of safety and improve the generous level of passenger room and capacity of the boot still further. With a length of 365 centimetres, a width of 164 and a height of 155, the new Panda can comfortably accommodate up to five people and is equipped with one of the roomiest luggage compartments in its segment. In addition, modularity is enhanced thanks to the numerous storage compartments and the different front and rear seat configurations.
Besides, every one of us has our own lifestyle, a personal relationship with our own objects, our own way of distributing them in space. And of finding them. So in this sense the new model is a place to fill in an entirely personal way, but at the same time it is a place that you are glad to share with others.
On the subject of engines, the Panda range has been expanded with the TwinAir twin-cylinder engines: the 85 HP Turbo, named "International Engine of the Year 2011", and the new 65 HP aspirated engine, with even lower fuel consumption.
At its launch, the new model will be available with front-wheel drive - then the Panda 4x4 will make its debut - and will offer a range made up of: 4 engines (85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo, 65 HP 0.9 Aspirated TwinAir, 69 HP 1.2 Fire and 75 HP 1.3 Multijet II), 3 trim levels, 10 body colours, 4 interior environments, 2 hub caps and 2 14" and 15" alloy wheels for a total of over 600 combinations. The new contents include the "Blue&Me TomTom LIVE" that combines the advantages of an infotainment system which is integrated and connected with those of a portable navigator, opening the doors to connectivity. During the first year of sales, an innovative braking system will also become available which, at speeds below 30km/h, is able to detect obstacles at close range and stop automatically.
On the first day, dedicated to the international press, the Fiat stand is extensively devoted to the new Panda with the exhibition of 7 cars that represent a significant sample of the range in terms of colours, available optionals and accessories. In addition, to emphasise the strong bond with the first generation, a 1980 Fiat Panda will also appear on the German catwalk.
Again on the first day, a Freemont with all-wheel drive (AWD) and an exclusive Fiat "500C by Gucci", the new cabriolet by Frida Giannini, Gucci Creative Director, in conjunction with the Centro Stile Fiat are next to the new Panda. The exhibition of these two cars symbolically represents the new journey begun by the Fiat brand with the alliance between the Fiat and Chrysler Groups. A journey full of colour, simplicity and ingenious solutions that involves many people around the world and brings two apparently remote industrial cultures closer together. It is enough to observe these two models to discover how often opposites can come together and blend beautifully: small/large, aesthetic/practical, emotional/rational... 500/Freemont.
If the Fiat 500 is the car that crossed the ocean from Europe to go to America, becoming a style icon and one of the symbols of the new industrial alliance, Freemont made the reverse journey: from America to Europe, where it "obtained citizenship" with the contribution of Fiat technology and style. And that's not all. The 500 embodies Italian DNA: the values of style, charm and ingenuity for which the brand is recognised worldwide, as the success of this model in all the markets where it has been launched also demonstrates. The Fiat Freemont on the other hand has global DNA. It was born in the USA, grew up in Italy and enjoys success in Europe. If the new "500C by Gucci" cabriolet and Fiat Freemont are compared, one can also note that the two models share the same price range. Because customers who choose Fiat feel free to choose the values that most reflect them and the value they need, beyond the price.
On the following days open to the public, the area welcomes other models and world debuts: from the Fiat Freemont all-wheel drive (AWD) and Punto 2012 to the Fiat 500 TwinAir and Fiat Qubo Trekking.
All these car are "Air Technologies" ambassadors, the new brand that contains all the low impact technologies able to combine respect for the environment with driving pleasure, and expresses the attitude with which Fiat calls people to experience their cars: with optimism, fun, economy and respect. From alternative fuel systems, gearbox and traction management systems and Start&Stop to the technical solutions designed to improve dynamic vehicle efficiency, Air Technologies translates the Fiat philosophy of converting the needs of the people into concrete solutions immediately available today for all. The public can become familiar with the new "Air Technologies" brand in the dedicated spaces inside the stand in Frankfurt. Among this year's news, there is also the new eco:Drive Mobile that transfers the data to the eco:Drive software and receives feedback on driving with a Smartphone. In this way, immediately after having completed a journey, you can better understand the parameters that characterise the drive and that can be improved.
The spotlights are trained on the all-wheel drive Fiat Freemont (AWD) that will be available for purchase from October, teamed with the 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet 2 and the 280 HP 3.6 V6 petrol engines, both with 6-speed automatic gearbox. It is a technically sophisticated system which is however very simple to use, designed to control the vehicle in extreme conditions in total safety.
The AWD (all-wheel drive) system is on-demand, and it is equipped with an electronic control unit which uses slip sensors to detect the grip of the four wheels and decides when to transmit traction to the rear. The system intervenes on surfaces where the wheels may not have good grip (mud, snow, ice...) to ensure maximum traction and no limits to the routes the vehicle can take, or in the case of asphalt surfaces, to ensure additional traction and greater safety on bends.
Specifically, the electronic system modulates torque transfer through the use of electronically controlled coupling (ECC). The system contributes to containing fuel consumption since it only operates on demand, thereby minimising the friction caused on the engine. In addition, ECC on the AWD system is more flexible, more accurate and cheaper than a viscous coupling or a Torsen system.
Therefore, the Freemont all-wheel drive versions perfectly express the multi-faceted soul of the first Fiat vehicle to be produced from its partnership with the Chrysler Group. Its very name evokes a sense of freedom, and the feeling that this vehicle can face up to any situation that everyday life might bring. The Fiat Freemont has been designed to meet the diverse needs of modern families and those seeking a spacious, comfortable and versatile vehicle to cater for the frenetic pace of everyday life or for their weekend leisure time. In short, the Fiat Freemont is "All the car you want": this is the slogan of the advertising campaign which succinctly sums up the car's multi-faceted soul, equipped with everything you need to go where you want, with whoever you want, no compromises required.
Two examples of the Fiat Freemont are displayed on the stand. They are equipped with the 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet 2, one with front wheel drive and the other AWD (all-wheel drive) with automatic gearbox. Both cars offer a wealth of equipment including seven seats, rear camera, satellite navigator with 8.4" touch screen, 19" alloys wheels, automatic three-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, sun roof and Video Pack (including roof-mounted DVD).
The Frankfurt International Motor Show will also be the opportunity for discovering the new Punto 2012. It is an important product innovation for the model that will allow it to remain among the European best sellers also in 2012, when it will be launched. Along with the aesthetic changes, the two-cylinder 85 HP TwinAir engine that recently won the prestigious title of "International Engine of the Year 2011" will also debut. Equipped like this, the car is established as a perfect balance between eco-friendliness (98 g/km CO2) and driving pleasure (85 HP at 5,500 rpm and 145 Nm torque at 2,000 rpm).
The public will be able to admire precisely a Punto 2012 version in the "TwinAir" trim level marked by the exclusive launch colour Verde Lime combined with the gloss black "pianoblack" roof. Like for the 500 model, the TwinAir name will indicate not only the revolutionary two-cylinder engine, but also a new trim level with a unique and recognisable look for the Fiat Punto 2012 range as well. A Fiat Punto 2012 equipped with the evolution of the 85 HP 16V 1.3 MultiJet is also on display beside this special version. With the introduction of two new technologies (Intelligent Alternator and Intelligent Flow), it can reach the record level of 90 g/km CO2.
The public will also admire the Fiat 500 TwinAir on the Frankfurt stand. Available both for the Saloon and Cabrio versions, the TwinAir trim level combines the revolutionary two-cylinder engine with dedicated look and engineering contents that identify a genuine product line.
The new offer is a response to the extraordinary appreciation displayed by the international press and the general public. Already today one 500 out of three sold in Europe is equipped with the 0.9 TwinAir engine. The success of this engine is accompanied by the numerous awards it has won, including the "International Engine of the Year 2011". With the 85 HP of this extraordinary engine, the 500 TwinAir guarantees maximum fun behind the wheel, low fuel consumption and the lowest CO2 emissions in the world for a petrol engine (92 g/km) as well as a highly satisfying retro sound reminiscent of the first legendary 500s.
The TwinAir version extends the Fiat 500 offer by directly addressing an urban and dynamic audience. Because in addition to guaranteeing fun and maximum driving satisfaction, the 500 TwinAir offers product content with great personality and great value to customers. This concept was well conveyed also by the European advertising campaign "Everyday Fun" with a special spokesperson: Fernando Alonso, the Ferrari Formula 1 world champion.
Just to emphasize the sporty and dynamic soul of the 500 TwinAir, Fiat has also created the new "byAbarth Pack". The customisation kit, developed in close collaboration with Abarth, is available from October and includes "Total Black" 16" special alloy wheels with Abarth hub caps, side skirts, rear spoiler, racing graphics on the bonnet lid and a sporty pedal unit. The new "byAbarth Pack" will be offered as an option combined with the Pasodoble Red and Crossover Black exterior colours.
The new Fiat Qubo Trekking is also making its debut in Frankfurt. It underlines the "Outdoor" characterisation of the exteriors and offers burnished headlights, new two-colour black/aluminium side mouldings and a new protective shield on the rear bumper as standard. The cosmetic and performance features of the previous version are added to these innovations: special front bumpers complete with protective shield, the Traction+ traction control system and high ride combined with a under-engine guard to enable it to drive over rough ground safely, longitudinal roof bars, privacy type rear windows and alloy wheels with 185/65 R15 M+S special tyres. In addition, the new Nitro Kit will go on sale from September, developed with the American company Nitro (world manufacturer of snowboards). The kit meets the needs of the sportier customers that want a practical car to be able to do all kinds of outdoor sports (thanks to the cargo box and a Nitro "Haze" board) but without giving up styling details such as 15" burnished alloy rims, the exterior stickers and "Nitro" customised interior covers.
All these debuts make up a "taste" of what Fiat will present in 2012. And among the key innovations is also the creation of a new Brand Portal. This is a very important project which will have not only a restyled design but also a series of innovations that improve the usability and navigation among the different models and services and will supply the European markets with maximum flexibility for customising their contents.
Finally, thanks to illustrative material and the arrangement of dedicated information at the stand, the public can become familiar with the products of FGA Capital, the finance company (joint venture of Fiat Group Automobiles and Crédit Agricole) specialising in the automotive sector. The finance companyoperates in all the major European markets, and in Germany with FGA Bank, with a sole mission: supporting the sales of all Fiat Group Automobiles brand vehicles by offering innovative financial products with high added value services targeted at the dealership network, private customers and companies.