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12 Dec 2012

‘Fiat Winter Fun’, fun and safety for the 2012-2013 winter season

4WD vehicles or those with the "Traction+" system, exclusive packs, sports sponsorships and out of the ordinary prototypes: these are the ingredients of 'Fiat Winter Fun', the Fiat brand's all-encompassing approach for experiencing an exciting winter season of fun and safety.

‘Fiat Winter Fun’, fun and safety for the 2012-2013 winter season
  • Panda 4x4, Panda Trekking, Freemont AWD, Qubo Trekking and Sedici: the Fiat range for safely coping with the winter season
  • Nitro Pack, sportiness and style to fully enjoy your passion for outdoor activities.
  • The second edition of 'Fiat Freemont Top Ski Schools project' gets underway.
  • For 8 years the 'Fiat Freestyle Team' athletes have been the stars in winter sports.
  • Panda Monster Truck: when reality outstrips fantasy.

4WD vehicles or those with the "Traction+" system, exclusive packs, sports sponsorships and out of the ordinary prototypes: these are the ingredients of 'Fiat Winter Fun', the Fiat brand's all-encompassing approach for experiencing an exciting winter season of fun and safety.

'Fun and Safety' is an inseparable combination that - as much as in the automotive field as in winter sports - involves four conditions necessary for being fully appreciated: excellent basic equipment, comfortable and cool  clothing, technology at the highest level and creativity which leads us to take on new challenges.  

Firstly, it is the equipment that must ensure the highest standards of reliability and endurance, as well as great handling and maximum control. The same qualities are sought by those who want to enjoy their car, regardless of the road or weather conditions. This year the Fiat winter equipment comprises the brand-new Panda 4x4 and Trekking, besides the Freemont AWD, Qubo Trekking and Sedici models.

But to have fun you also need comfortable, technical clothing with a touch of extra style and originality. Just like the Nitro Kit - which includes freebox, roof bars, handy backpack and Nitro-Fiat Free Style Team graphics - or other sports accessories made by Mopar®, the Fiat Spa and Chrysler Group LLC brand that deals with the Parts & Service and Customer Service activities.

The third requirement for having fun on the snow is the technique, the "know how" that can only be learned with the help of expert instructors such as the ski instructors involved for the second year in a row in the "Fiat Freemont Top Ski School" project.

Finally, having learned the technique, you can implement the fourth condition for having fun on the snow: creativity. It is the preferred declination of the athletes forming the "Fiat Freestyle Team", a real way of life that comes out of technical skill together with imagination. It is the same combination that gave rise to the Fiat Panda Monster Truck, a fully operational 'big foot' prototype that will star in the upcoming Panda 4x4 TV commercial on air at the start of 2013.

Equipment: a complete range for the outdoors

With the brand-new Panda 4x4 and Trekking, together with the Freemont AWD, Qubo Trekking and Sedici models, Fiat is presenting one of the broadest and complete ranges of 4WD vehicles capable of meeting any need in the field of outdoor life.

Panda 4x4

Awarded the prestigious title of 'SUV of the Year 2012' by the English magazine Top Gear just a few days ago, the Fiat Panda 4x4 is the only 4WD model of segment A and is winning over the entire region of the Alps, just like the previous two generations had. It suffices to say that in just three months on the market, the Panda 4x4 and Trekking were the choice of more than 4,000 customers representing 14% of all Pandas sold. This percentage rises to 50% in Switzerland and the Italian alpine areas, and exceeds 70% in Austria.
Successor to a best-seller which first appeared 29 years ago and made its name as the smallest and most interesting 'explorer' in its class, today's new four-wheel drive Panda is a Jack-of-all-trades, ready to face mountain mule tracks and the urban jungle with the same cool. In addition to standard equipment able to satisfy the most demanding of customers, from a technical point of view the new Panda 4x4 has bettered itself once more and proven its admirable capacity to compete with off-road cars of much greater size (and much higher price).
Designed for the most demanding motorists who love adventure and outdoor living, the new Panda 4x4 fits "Torque on demand" traction which cuts in automatically when needed to tackle any situation with ease. The Panda 4x4 features the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function as standard. This system provides additional assistance while driving and setting off on slippery terrain.
The Panda 4x4 also offers all the dynamics and comfort you need to complete long and challenging routes, thanks above all to the revised suspension - an independent MacPherson wheel arrangement at the front and interconnected wheels with torsion beam layout at the rear - and to the six-speed gearbox with low first gear connected to the TwinAir Turbo engine, to accentuate the model's off-road features, ensuring optimum setting off during hill starts.
Finally, to ensure maximum grip on any surface, the new model benefits from specifically developed 175/65 R15 84T M+S winter tyres and is the only city car to offer them as standard. The special Snow Flake tyres are designed to be used not only on ice and snow, but on roads and dirt tracks as well. In this way traction capacity on poor-grip surfaces is 20% better than the previous model. And then it should be noted that this ultimate flexibility of use does not affect fuel consumption or running costs since, in pure 'Simply More' style, the Panda 4x4 customer does not have to worry about replacing the set of tyres with every change of season.
The new car is at ease on rough and challenging terrain, as demonstrated by its generous ground clearance - 16 centimetres for MultiJet II version and 15 centimetres for TwinAir Turbo version - and by its excellent typical off-road angles: 21° (approach), 36° (departure) and 20° (ramp breakover).

The Fiat Panda 4x4 is available with two engine options, both with Start&Stop: the new 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II diesel. The TwinAir Turbo has 40% more torque than the 1.2 Fire of the previous generation. This, in combination with the special six-speed gearbox with low first gear, ensures much better uphill starts, higher quality start-up, greater flexibility and pick-up. Similar improvement is evident on the MultiJet II engine, where torque is increased by 30%.

Panda Trekking

Besides being the link between the 4x2 and the 4x4 versions, the Fiat Panda Trekking is the first five-door CUV (City Utility Vehicle) in this segment combining off-road looks with smart front-wheel drive thanks to "Traction+" technology, an innovative traction control system that improves handling on difficult and slippery terrain thus guaranteeing excellent performance when setting off. That is also because it benefits from specifically developed 175/65 R15 84T M+S winter tyres
Available with the 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II as a standard, "Traction+" is therefore perfectly in tune with the Panda concept: a car for doing whatever you want. That's what makes this new car the perfect solution for those who mainly use their vehicles in the city, but want to travel safely on surfaces with poorer road grip during all their outdoor activities. All of this without compromising on the space and versatility so unique to an SUV which is compact on the outside but surprisingly large on the inside.

Fiat Freemont AWD (All-Wheel-Drive)  

This is the 4x4 version that further accentuates the multi-faceted soul of the model - versatility and presence on the road characteristic of a SUV, the typical handling of a station wagon, and the room of a 7-seater MPV - offering customers the chance to tackle any grip condition in everyday use.
The Fiat Freemont AWD fits the 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet II and 280 HP 3.6 petrol V6 engines, both combined with a new six-speed automatic transmission to ensures excellent performance together with precise and quiet operation for ultimate comfort and driveability.
The Fiat Freemont active four-wheel drive system is on-demand and it is equipped with an electronic control unit which uses 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 the electronically controlled coupling (ECC). Since it only operates when necessary, the system contributes to limiting fuel consumption. In addition, the ECC on the AWD system is more flexible and more accurate than a viscous coupling or a Torsen® system. In addition, the control unit also interfaces with the ESP and the traction control system.

Qubo Trekking

The Qubo Trekking is the top of the range Fiat "free space" vehicle fitted with the "Traction+" system and underlines the "outdoor" characterisation of the exteriors and offers burnished headlights, two-tone black/aluminium side mouldings and a protective shield on the rear and front bumpers, 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 as standard.
Since July 2009 Fiat Qubo has been the official partner of the "NITRO Road Warriors team", the professional snowboarder group sponsored by the American manufacturer of "Nitro" snowboards constantly moving about Europe in search of the best locations to test the snowboards.

Fiat Sedici

The Fiat Sedici is the top selling 4x4 SUV in Italy. Perfect on mountain roads and in harsh weather conditions, it is the ideal solution for a customer who is looking for a compact SUV brimming with a distinctively stylish and evergreen personality, and capable of performing well off-road as well as around town. Its small size (411 cm in length, 176 cm in width and 162 cm in height, with a 250 cm wheelbase) and the mechanical solutions adopted (such as "on demand" all-wheel drive) make the Fiat Sedici MY 2012 a versatile product able to adapt to any condition of use - whether for commuting or for leisure activities - and to any road surface thanks to a 20.0° approach angle and a ground clearance of 190 mm. More specifically, the "on demand" all-wheel drive version lets the driver decide if and when to switch from 4x2 to 4x4. The electronic traction management system automatically adjusts torque distribution over the two axles, in this way lowering fuel consumption compared to the other off-road vehicles of this category, up to a 4x4 with locked differential and torque split 50% on the front axle and 50% on the rear axle.

Clothing: Nitro Pack, sportiness and style to fully enjoy your passion for outdoor activities.

After the success on Fiat Qubo Trekking in 2011, Fiat has chosen to expand the availability of the Nitro kit, developed by Mopar® in collaboration with the leading US snowboard manufacturer, to other two models - Panda and Sedici.
Available in markets across the Alps - France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany - the kit is targeted to the most dynamic customers who want a car for enjoying all the sorts of open-air sports with its 490 litre Freebox, its roof bars and its "Road Warriors" Nitro snowboard. All this and more, including style accents like body stickers and the handy backpack with cool "Nitro - Fiat Free Style Team" graphics.
This consolidates a partnership established in 2009 between FIAT Freestyle Team and Nitro Snowboards with a European agreement which will continue in 2012. More specifically, the FIAT Freestyle Team supports "Nitro Road Warriors", a team of very talented rookies and expert riders with Qubo, the team's official car for their travels across Europe seeking out the coolest destinations.
The synergy between the two brands was further consolidated in 2011 with the extension of the agreement to the Nitro Snowboards Italia division and the launch of the Fiat Qubo Trekking Nitro kit, designed to express the style and principles of riders, a perfect combination of motoring and snowboarding, two worlds which have the same sporty, tough spirit in common. Today, the new Nitro kit is offered on all Fiat Qubo and Fiat Sedici trim levels in addition to the brand-new Fiat Panda Trekking and 4x4 versions.

Technique: the second edition of "Fiat Freemont Top Ski Schools project" gets underway

This week the second edition of "Fiat Freemont Top Ski Schools project" will get off to a start. It is the initiative that involves 14 of the most prestigious Italian ski schools and over 640 of their instructors who will become true brand ambassadors of the automotive manufacturer.
A Fiat Freemont will be delivered to each school selected on the basis of their prestige and positioning within the leading Italian ski resort areas so they can tackle their daily work challenges, while the ski instructors will receive a complete technical clothing kit dedicated to the model. The initiative highlights the values of safety and reliability, distinguishing traits that the role of instructor and the new Fiat model share, in addition to representing a concrete example of Fiat's new approach in the field of communications and marketing. Moreover, everyone that buys a Freemont on the advice of one of the ski instructors up until 31 March 2013 will receive a gift kit made up of roof bars and ski rack for four people from the Mopar® Accessories line.
Fiat opted to assist the Italian elite amongst the ski schools with the new Freemont, the first Fiat vehicle to be produced from its partnership with the Chrysler Group. Its very name evokes a sense of freedom and the possibility of facing up to any situation. Designed to meet the diverse needs of modern families and those seeking a spacious, versatile vehicle with a huge range of features, the model is the top selling "7-seater" car in Italy.

Creativity: for 8 years the 'Fiat Freestyle Team' athletes have been the stars in winter sports.

Set up in 2004 as a team which brought together the best Italian snowboard and freestyle skiing athletes to accompany them up to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, the Fiat Freestyle Team has evolved and made a name for itself over the years by including new disciplines and supporting their greatest representatives. In addition, it has promoted prominent events and designed projects to support the action sports scene, up to the point of being acknowledged as an important team by both "insiders" and ordinary fans.
The 'Fiat Freestyle Team' is the star of the biggest crowd-pleasing events and most famous locations during the 2012-2013 winter season thanks to a full program of activities and projects that will take advantage of the collaboration and participation of its athletes and partners.
The 'Fiat Freestyle Team' is synonymous with creativity and is the best demonstration that it - whether in sports or in the world of cars - is not improvised since it is the result of studies, professional competence and processes (at times even highly complex) that must follow a rigorous methodology in order to turn into simple and immediate gestures. It is an approach that is expressed at Fiat in the concept of 'SIMPLY MORE'. Applied in the world of the outdoors, the concept means fitting its models with highly advanced equipment and systems - 4x4, AWD and 'Traction+' - so they can be used anywhere and in any conditions.

Panda Monster Truck: when reality outstrips fantasy

The new Fiat Panda is always able to amaze, confirming the advertising claim accompanying the commercial launch: "New Panda, extremely Panda'. Indeed, if the Fiat city-car, thanks to the latest digital technology employed by animated films, 'transformed' first into a nippy scooter and then a spacious light cargo aircraft in the first commercials, now, to demonstrate the off-road performance of the new Panda 4×4, Fiat has chosen to adopt set-design techniques from the cinema together with automotive tuning.
And that's how the Panda Monster Truck was created, a prototype built by Fiat in collaboration with Mercurio Cinematografica, set designer Andrea Faini and the Fabio Gementi Workshop.
The Monster Truck version combines a Panda 4×4 with a Jeep CJ7 4200 floor panel and features road tractor wheels with "High Speed" tyres, 150 centimetres in diameter and 50 cm wide, fitted with specially turned solid steel flanges. The final result is a 'bigfoot' Panda, towering at 390 centimetres ('wither height'), 380 cm long and 250 cm wide.  It took just over two weeks of work to build it, paying the utmost care when connecting the steering system, clutch, accelerator and brakes between the two cars.
Fully operational, the Fiat Panda Monster Truck will star in the coming TV commercial at the start of 2013.

Turin, 12 December 2012

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