Fiat, PSA and Tofas unveil new 'mini' van
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The all-new van is sub-Doblò/Berlingo/Partner in size and Fiat has resurrected the Fiorino name for its new baby while Citroën and Peugeot have gone for Nemo and Bipper respectively and yes, these will be the names used in the UK.
In a surprise move Fiat has pulled the covers off its version of the latest joint venture project with PSA (Peugeot and Citroën) at the Transpotec CV Show in Milan. It was generally expected that all three manufacturers would wait until the Amsterdam CV Show in a couple of weeks time for the big unveil.
Built at the Tofas-owned plant in Bursa, Turkey, the small front-wheel drive high-cube van has a load volume of 2.4m3 — expanding to 2.8m3 with the optional folding passenger seat — and is powered by either a 73hp 1.4-litre petrol engine or a 75hp version of the 1.3-litre turbodiesel already found under the bonnet of the Fiat Grande Punto Van and Doblò Cargo — and Vauxhall's Corsavan and Astravan for that matter.
As well as a five-speed manual gearbox, the new vans will also be available with a six-speed semi-automatic. It is believed that ABS will be a standard feature.
With a gross payload of 610kg, exterior dimensions of 3,860mm long, 1,720mm high and 1,710mm wide, a rear loading height of 527mm and a turning circle just a tad under 10m these compact light commercials are ideally suited to urban delivery work.
Access to the load area is via twin side-hinged asymmetrically split rear doors. Six sturdy load tie-down rings are provided and twin sliding side doors will be available as optional extras.
The new models will be on sale in mainland Europe from the beginning of 2008 and will be officially launched in the UK at the CV Show in April, with availability beginning in May.