Tag Archive | "Fiat"

The Fiat Qubo – Fiats New Mom’s Taxi

The Fiat Qubo – Fiats New Mom’s Taxi

Fiat recently introduced the Fiat Qubo which according to Fiat is a non-conformist “Mom’s Taxi” offering practical, economical and funky mobility.

Think of it as the small version of the Fiat Multipla, a car which I thought hideous at first, grew to appreciate for its awkward looks, versatility and drivability especially when powered with the diesel engine.

The Fiat Qubo offers the best of both worlds in its mix between a city car and an MPV, allowing for manoeuvrability, space and flexibility. The Fiat Qubo is a highly functional vehicle with two sliding rear side doors, and flexible interiors capable of offering varying ownership solutions.

The Fiat Qubo will offer two engine derivatives the 1.3L Multijet turbo-diesel and the 1.4L petrol engine.

Fuel savings are achieved by the use of the 1.3 Multijet 55kW diesel engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, which allows the Qubo to travel up to 1000km or more on a single 45 litre tank of diesel (claimed fuel consumption of 4.6L/100km).

The new Qubo’s turbo diesel engine produces 55 kW at 4000 rpm and torque of 190 Nm at 1750 rpm and has a top speed of 155km/h.

The 1.4L petrol engine produces an adequate 54 kW at 5200rpm and a maximum torque of 118 Nm at 2600rpm. The engine is peppy but thrifty, maximum speed is 155 km/h and a claimed fuel consumption of 7.0 l/100 km..

The exterior styling of the Qubo although seemingly peculiar has a rather muscular personality mostly emphasised on the side profile and the rear body treatment.

Large expanses of glass ensure class-leading visibility, with the side glass in particular creating an original visual effect that, combined with the lines drawn in correspondence to the mudguards, streamlines the vehicle’s entire side.

The rear hatchback door lends a sophisticated design, bejewelled as it is with the central Fiat logo and stylized window.

The overall charm of the Qubo is further punctuated by the head and taillights , characterised with transparencies and chromium plating, mounted high to protect them from potential impact – and the front and rear doors, the latter of which are sliding and feature large glass openings to increase passenger comfort and functionality.

The Qubo is also available in a range of ten lively exterior colours that are certain to set it apart from its competitors.

The key selling point of the interior is the level of flexibility offered. The interior has an option of 16 possible arrangements.

With seats in the normal position, the boot measures 330 litres (up to the height of the boot panel) and 650 litres if measured to the roof. With the rear seats removed and the front passenger seat folded down to the floor, the load capacity amounts to a best-in-class 2,500 litres, and a boot capable of holding objects nearly 2.5 metres in length, which, in comparison to the vehicle’s total length of 3.9m represents a ratio that is impressive when compared to the competition.

The rear seats are available in 1/3 and 2/3 configurations, and can be folded or removed (completely or partially) thereby offering surprising load capacity and versatility.

Safety equipment includes ABS complete with EBD, 3-point seat belts with tensioners and load limiters, power steering, and front and side airbags.

The Fiat Qubo is available at dealers and retails for R177990 for the 1.4l petrol version, and R199990 for the 1.3l diesel variant, including VAT and CO2 tax.

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Alfa Romeo Roadster to be Produced by Mazda

Alfa Romeo Roadster to be Produced by Mazda

One of last week’s highlights, that is excluding the North American International Auto Show, was the announcement that Mazda would be producing the Alfa Romeo Roadster for Fiat.

The open-top two-seater sports car for Fiats Alfa Romeo brand will be produced at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan, starting from 2015.

The new Alfa Romeo Roadster will be developed for the global market, and will be based on the architecture of the next generation Mazda MX-5. Not too bad considering the success of the Mazda MX-5 over the years.

The agreement foresees for both Mazda and Fiat to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, and brand specific roadster featuring-rear wheel drive.

The Mazda MX-5 and the Alfa Romeo Roadster variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.

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Fiat South Africa Introduces Limited Edition Abarth Punto Scorpione [With Video]

Fiat South Africa Introduces Limited Edition Abarth Punto Scorpione [With Video]

Fiat South Africa has introduced the Limited Edition Fiat Abarth Punto Scorpione, targeting local performance junkies.

According to Fiat the Abarth Punto Scorpione is intended for a more mature audience that wishes to express their sporting spirit more discreetly and elegantly, but with no intention to settle for less.

This new Limited Edition, with only 99 vehicles produced World-wide, is distinguished by a ton-sur-ton livery where the Scorpione Black of the body becomes matt on the bonnet and roof. Only 10 of these units will be available in South Africa.

The Abarth Punto Scorpione is equipped with a 1.4 MultiAir engine boosted, with the help of a Garrett turbo, to 132 kW at 5,750 r/min and a maximum torque of 270 Nm at 2,500 r/min. Acceleration to 100 km/h takes just 7.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of more than 216 km/h whilst still returning  claimed  CO2 emissions of 142 g/km. Drive to the front wheels is through a 6-speed close ratio manual transmission.

Further performance enhancements come from the modified ride and safety. Floating, perforated and self-ventilating front disc brakes with oversized four-piston yellow brake calipers, perforated rear disc brakes and high-performance front brake pads are combined with glossy black 18″ alloy wheels and front and rear Koni shock absorbers with FSD (Frequency Selective Dumping) valve and specially lowered springs. The exhaust pipe, oversized in the central and rear sections, is taken from the now famous “Esseesse” kit.

Inside, the Abarth Punto Scorpione features “Abarth Corsa by Sabelt” black technical fabric and partially Alcantara trimmed seats, with red and yellow stitching and matt black backrest, type-approved and lightened in keeping with the car’s sporting spirit. Enriching the interiors are the aluminium kick plate, the stainless steel pedal unit with Abarth shield, and the leather steering wheel with double red and yellow stitching, mirroring the seats. Feedback is provided to the driver by way of the sporty Jaeger driving instruments.

The Abarth Punto Scorpione is available exclusively from Arnold Chatz cars in Johannesburg and retails for R365 000 including VAT.

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The Cool and Capable Fiat 500L

The Cool and Capable Fiat 500L


The Fiat 500L which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year was launched in Europe this week. This follows on the success of the Fiat 500 models such as the Abarth and the Cabrio. The Fiat 500L will be produced at a newly renovated plant in Kragujevac, Serbia.

In South Africa the Fiat 500 currently sells about 70 units a month which is not too bad for the supermini segement (B segment).

It seems that Fiat is following the already successful formula that the Mini has formed over the years, which has seen the launch of the Mini S, the Mini Cabrio, the Mini Clubman, the Mini Country Man, Mini Clubvan and as far I can figure there are still many more to come. If that’s the case should we now be waiting for a Clubman/Countryman type rival. Believe it or not Auto Express this week confirmed that Fiat will be building a Fiat 500 X which will be a rugged crossover version of the Fiat 500 with a launch date of late 2013.

Anyway back to the story at hand the Fiat 500L claims to give the feel of a small SUV on the road with levels of efficiency typical of a compact car.

According to Fiat the Letter L sums up the three aspects that the Fiat 500L strives for, Large, Light and Loft.

Large refers to the functionality and space the Fiat 500L offers. The Fiat 500L is claimed to easily accommodate five passengers 2 meters tall with five suitcases without compromising on passenger space. The ‘Fold&Tumble’ function will also allow for the rear seats to be completed folded down to increase load space. Apart from that Fiat 500L owners will also be able to configure the interior in 1500 configurations. The design of the car allows for more interior space by using “cab forward” principles.

Light as defined by the Fiat designers refers to lightness’ feeling that improves and simplifies the quality of life, that innovation that is not an end in itself, but always to man’s benefit. Based on the press info we can surmise that they are referring to the cars eco friendly credentials as well as the ease of use of the technology in the car.

The Fiat 500L will launch with three engine derivatives distinguished by their lower polluting emissions and CO2 levels. These engines being the 105 HP (78kW) 0.9 TwinAir and 95 HP (71kW) 1.4 litres petrol engines and the  85 HP (63kW) 1.3 MultiJet 2 turbodiesel engine.

From a technology perspective the Fiat 500L boasts a Uconnect multimedia system with a 5” touchscreen. The Uconnect System will allow you to manage all the major media content of the car such as radio, mobile phone, Media Player, iPod or smartphone. The system will also allow users to make calls hands-free and listen to incoming SMS messages without taking your hands off the steering wheel thanks to the voice recognition function and the controls on the steering wheel.

Loft refers to the contemporary, wide, open and luminous dimension of the Fiat 500L which aims to achieve greater external visibility and a large amount of internal light. The glass roof which is available in two versions, electric roof or Skydome , floods the passenger.  The Fiat 500L will be available in 11 colours which is touted as being class leading.

Helping to personalise the car, Mopar have released 140 different products that customers will be able to choose from to cater for leisure activities and improved quality of life on board.

Fiat will offer a new premium sound system developed in collaboration with Beats Audio. If you’ve been out of the loop the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones have been a worldwide hit over the last few months due to their superb sound quality (and general street appeal).

To top it off the Fiat 500L will be the first standard production car to offer a Lavazza expresso coffee machine. Brilliant idea if I may so myself. My trip to work everyday would be that much easier in the morning.

Anyway no word on the Fiat 500L for South Africa yet but lets hope we get most of the options available to the Europeans, especially that Lavazza expresso coffee machine.

Check the pics and videos below.

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