To meet the latest demands in urban goods transport, Fiat have come up with the rather funky looking new Fiorino compact Van. Developed from a joint venture between Fiat and PSA, the Fiorino is produced at the Tofas plant in Bursa, Turkey, and will be sold in 80 countries worldwide from the end of this year. The images you see here are the cargo version and the passenger versions will be launched next year.
Fiat claim that the new Fiorino combines performance, good handling and the type of comfort you would expect from a car with the capacity, ease of loading, reliability and value for money you would expect from a commercial vehicle. Sort of the perfect solution for people who have to spend long hours driving or need to make deliveries, such as craftsmen, maintenance workers, service companies and couriers.
The design is based on an innovative idea: to create a vehicle whose external dimensions are more compact than those of commercial vehicles in the 1B â€œsmall vanâ€ segment, but that is equally spacious and functional, inexpensive to run and attractively priced. The Fiat Fiorino is 3.86 metres long, 1.72 m high and 1.71 m wide. Thanks to these compact external dimensions it can handle any city centre with ease, partly because of its compact turning circle of just 9.95 metres.
In standard form the Fiorano features somewhat â€œracyâ€ lines for a van but there will be a panel version available that will have completely smooth sides making it ideal for the application of company logos or advertising. The large, rounded bumpers and side strips ensure maximum protection for the vehicle, especially against impacts at low speed.
The Fiorano features a large cargo bed and is designed to be easy to load. Particular attention has been devoted to the loading area, with a volume of 2.5 cubic metres (2.8 if the passenger seat is folded down). The internal length is over 1.5 metres (almost 2.5 m with the passenger seat folded down): amazing, if we consider that the vehicleâ€™s external length is less than 3.9 metres. With a load capacity of up to 610 kg (including the driver), Fiat say that the new Fiorino is a revolution in the small van segment. Loading and unloading is made easier with a very low loading sill (527 mm), sliding side doors and very large double doors at the rear. The Fiorino also features six practical rings to secure goods during transport, as well as partitions to protect the driver from loads spilling over into the cab.
Fiat have designed the cab to be light and comfortable. The driving position is similar to a car and there is plenty of space to store personal effects, in drawers, compartments and shelves. Onboard comfort is a priority for drivers of commercial vehicles and Fiat claim to have catered well in this regard for drivers of the Fiorano.
For example, the Fiorano features a modular â€œTâ€ shaped dashboard â€“ so that the controls and instrument panel are always within easy reach. A climate control system ensures that a comfortable cabin environment is maintained while a modern audio-telematic system consisting of a car radio with CD or Mp3 player, a stereo system with four loudspeakers, and Bluetooth hands-free kit ensures that the driver is entertained and safely in touch with the outside world.
There are two Euro 4-compliant engine options including a 1.4 petrol engine with 54kW/73hp and a turbodiesel 1.3 Multijet with 56kW/75hp both are available with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Safety has at least been thought about, with ABS and EBD being standard along with 3-point seatbelts with pre-tensioner and load limiter and a driverâ€™s airbag with passenger airbags, side airbags and rear parking sensors available as options.
The Fiorano will feature an extensive and varied range of configurations and trim levels (basic and SX) along with ten colours, two types of upholstery and no fewer than nine body configurations with single, double or no sliding doors, panel or glazed sides and asymmetrical double rear doors (60/40) also available in panel or glazed versions.
In early 2008 the Combi range of Fiorano passenger vans will be launched along with the â€œAdventureâ€ series designed for use in rural areas with raised ride height, 15 inch wheels and an engine guard built into the front bumpers along with more extensive bodywork protection. It would seem that Fiat have all bases covered with their new Fiorano compact van range. Prices and Australian delivery details to be advised.