As befitting a company whose development has coincided with that of Italy itself, Fiat has a major presence at London’s Viva Italia Show, a celebration of all things Italian, which opens on Friday 22 September at the National Hall, Olympia.
Exhibits on the Fiat stand include the company’s highly successful new Grande Punto supermini, which became Europe’s best selling car soon after its international launch last autumn, and which has also proved very popular with UK customers since its introduction here at the beginning of the year. To date, almost 20,000 have been sold in the UK. The exciting new Grande Punto is represented at Viva Italia by a top-of-the-range 1.9 MultiJet 130 Sporting, resplendent in metallic black.
Fiat’s commitment to environmentally friendly 4x4s is exemplified by the presence at Viva Italia of its new Sedici. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, this striking, compact and comfortable SUV is perfectly at home in the city, at the shops, or when acting as an all-terrain specialist. Its easy-to-use switchable 4WD system provides this remarkable family hatchback with extraordinary hidden powers. Both petrol and diesel engines are available, and an example of the former, finished in metallic Glam Sand, will be on the Fiat stand.
However, visitors to the Fiat stand can also acquaint themselves with the iconic Panda 4x4, a compact, nippy and economical city car that is also a country classic. Its robust 4-wheel drive system allows drivers to tackle all kinds of terrain in all conditions. With standard equipment electric power steering, a raised ride height, and underbody protection, the Panda 4x4 is a serious off-road player, as well as a relaxed and robust city dweller.
But visitors to Viva Italia cannot fail to be drawn to another remarkable exhibit which dwarfs not only the Panda 4x4, but also Grande Punto and Sedici. This is Oltre Fiat, a remarkable show car whose presence simply reinforces Fiat Group’s technological excellence, even in the large four-wheel drive and off-road markets.
Derived from the Iveco LMV, (Light Multirole Vehicle), a new military off-roader that embodies cutting edge technical features and has already won the FCLV (Future Command and Liaison Vehicle) contract for the British Army, Oltre Fiat was first exhibited at the Bologna Motor Show last year, and can perform a wide range of functions. It is powered by a turbocharged 3-litre common rail diesel engine producing 185bhp and driving through a six-speed automatic transmission. Despite weighing over seven tonnes, Oltre Fiat has a top speed of over 70mph, has a payload of around three tonnes and can seat up to five people while negotiating longitudinal gradients of 80%, and tackling rivers, lakes and streams up to a depth of 1.5 metres.Published 13 September 2006