Fiat takes on the big boys
Fiat has stolen the march on Mitsubishi by launching the new Triton in an Italian suit in Midrand. ALWYN VILJOEN drove it.
FOLLOWING the world reveal at the “2015 Dubai International Motor Show”, the newest addition to the award-winning Fiat Professional range was revealed at a specialised event held 100 metres below ground level at Samrand quarry in Midrand.
Fiat currently offers the broadest range of light to medium commercial vehicles from one brand in South Africa, from the Ducato panelvan to the Fiorino “florist van”, but the addition of the Fullback is Fiat’s first bite at the bakkie market.
A distinctive style
Using the Triton drivetrain, the Fullback adds sporty proportions with its forward extending cab and a reduced front overhang.
The interiors reflect the functionality of a work vehicle as well as the comfort and elegance of a high range SUV, with cladding that competes with that of the Ford Ranger.
Two engine options are available on the double cab, a 2,5-litre diesel with a power output from 100 kW to 131 kW, whilst the single cab comes standard with a 2,4-litre petrol engine that delivers 97 kW.
The petrol engine is provided with a five-speed manual gearbox, the diesel engine offer is aligned to the best competition and can be combined, according to each market’s offer, with a manual gearbox or automatic transmission, both with five speeds. At the time of launch, the diesel engine will be available with a manual transmission.
Transmissions and suspensions
Fullback is available in a 4x2 version (rear-wheel drive) in the single and double cab , as well as in a 4x4 version (all-wheel drive)in the double cab; the latter will certainly be the one most appreciated by those who, for work reasons, need to reach areas that are far away from asphalted roads or drive down tough off-road trails. With part time 4x4 manual selection and rear differential lockers (E-locker), the Fullback is capable of getting you through the toughest terrain.
Three trim levels
The Fullback range comes standard with the following: 2WD High rider, power windows, manual air conditioning, central power locking, 16” steel wheels, cloth seats, ABS with EBD and the rear load bin is rubberised.
The Double Cab 2.5 Diesel (100 kW) 4x2 LX comes standard with E-locker rear axle, leather trim, cruise control, power windows front and rear, manual air conditioner, driver and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, central locking, keyless entry (remote), audio controls on steering wheel, 17” alloy wheels, tow bar and rubberised.
The flagship Double Cab 2.5 Diesel (131 kW) 4x4 SX comes standard with part time 4WD, E-locker rear axle, 17” alloy wheels, Bi Xenon headlights, leather trim, cruise control, Bluetooth and USB, automatic air conditioner, rear view camera, driver and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, keyless entry (remote), audio controls on steering, tow bar and rubberised rear load bin.
The Fullback will be available in Metallic Silver, Titanium Grey, Brown, Pearl White (only 4x4 Double cab), Black Mica, Solid Red and Solid White.
Dimensions and load capacity
Built for facing even the most challenging missions, Fullback boats a large load capacity and a very high degree of strength, which is mostly due to its ladder frame chassis. In detail, all Fullback versions have a maximum height of 1 780 mm, widths of up to 1 815 mm and a wheelbase of 3 000 mm. The total length varies depending on the configuration: it reaches 5 220 mm with the single cab and 5 345 mm with the double cab. The length of the load compartment also varies — 2 265 mm for the single cab version and 1 520 mm for the double cab version. Its capacity is more than one ton and its towable weight is up to three tons.
Mopar designed accessories
Mopar — the FCA reference brand for services, customer care, original spare parts and accessories — has created a dedicated line of accessories to enhance the sporty, stylistic and functional features of the new Fiat Professional Fullback. Among these, the main elements worth noting are those dedicated to the rear load compartment, designed to satisfy both the work and leisure needs of new customers.
These include front nudge bar, side steps, load body sports bar and rear bumper. These locally produced components will be available as a set or individually depending on the customer’s requirements and all are available in polished stainless steel or black powder coated stainless steel.
Manufactured by Artav, the Fullback cosmetic accessories can be ordered with the vehicle or fitted as an after-market accessory by the Fiat Professional dealerships. Furthermore, the tow bar, designed in collaboration with Bosal, as well as roof bars from Thule, make it possible for customers to take full advantage of the vehicle during their free time with different solutions for transporting all sorts of objects, such as roof boxes, windsurfing gear, kayaks, and bicycles.
The Fullback range is completed by various accessories that are a perfect fit with the technical and stylistic features of the model: the kick plate customised with the name of the vehicle, the side chrome-plated mouldings that protect the doors, chrome mirror covers, rear parking sensors, rubber or fabric protective mats, underbody protection, fog lights with DRL function and valve covering caps sporting with the vehicle logo.
Whilst most of these accessories will be available at launch, several imported items will become available in the coming months.
South African dealer launch
The Fiat Professional Fullback dealer launch will take place from tomorrow where the public will have an opportunity to test drive the complete range at dealerships around the country.
Pricing and warranty
The Fiat Professional Fullback is available in three model derivatives — the single cab 2.4 Petrol 97 kW 4x2 STD Trim starting at R232 900 including VAT, the double cab 2.5 diesel 100 kW 4x2 LX Trim at R402 900 including VAT whilst the double cab 2.5 Diesel 131 kW 4x4 SX Trim is available from R468 900 including VAT. The Fiat professional Fullback range comes standard with a three-year/100 000 km vehicle warranty and a fiveyear/100 000 km service plan.