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.

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

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.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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