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ITALY: Fiat details new Scudo line

By just-auto.com editorial team | 17 November 2006

Following the 7 November factory launch event, Fiat has now announced full details of its fully redesigned 2007 freight and passenger-carrying Scudo van range.

The 'New Scudo' is built in the PSA-Fiat Sevel Nord joint venture plant in Valenciennes ( along with lightly restyled versions for Peugeot and Citroen), and will go on sale across Europe from January 2007.

The latest Scudo replaces a successful model, 350,000 of which have been sold since 1995, and, Fiat said, has been designed to combine car-like performance, handling and comfort with the easy loading, reliability and low running cost attributes essential for success in the hard-fought European light commercial vehicle segment.

Fiat claims the new Scudo has inherited and improves on the strong points of the previous model - a van with the architecture of an MPV, excellent road behaviour, that is pleasant to drive, with handling and comfort comparable with a car - and reckons it will set the segment benchmark for volume and payload, performance, quality, durability and safety, as well as anti-theft protection.

Load volume and payload have been increased: interior volume is now between five and seven cubic metres, and the payload extends from 1,000 to 1,200 kg.

Overall height (under 1.90m with air suspension) allows it to use Europe's tightly-packed multi-storey car parks, and a loading floor height of 49cm makes loading easy.

Fiat will offer a broad range of both freight- and passenger-carrying versions as well as untrimmed 'base' versions for specialist conversions such as wheelchair user taxis.

The choice includes 3.0 and 3.12m wheelbase; 4.80m or 5.13m overall length; various external heights ('standard' 1.89 m with air suspension or 1.94 m with steel suspension; 'high' 2.20 m with air suspension or 2.28 m with steel suspension); and two load lengths (2.25m or 2.58m).

Interior width is 1.60 m and the width between wheelarches is 1.25 m. There are two interior heights (1.45 and 1.75 m); three interior volumes (5, 6 or 7 cubic metres); and load floor heights variable from 49 to 56 cm. Payload capacity varies from 1,000 to 1,200 kg including the driver.

Buyers wanting passenger transport vehicles (which Fiat calls Combi and Panorama) will also have three trim/equipment level choices aimed at different types of end user.

Combi Standard is for work crews with tools; the Panorama Family is for large families wanting the comfort and styling typical of a people-mover (aka minivan or MPV); and the third option, called Panorama Executive, is aimed at business fleet users such as hotel/airport shuttle operators and the chauffeur-driven executive transport market.

The result is a wide range that should ensure that every Scudo customer can choose a model 'tailor-made' to a particular need.

Fiat has obvioulsy designed its new line to match the equally comprehensive ranges offered by rival automakers, in particular the similarly sized, and recently updated, Opel Vivaro/Renault Trafic/Nissan Primastar van line produced by a similar joint venture between General Motors Europe and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

The Scudo will be sold with a choice of three 'Multijet' diesel engines, all Euro 4 emissions-compliant and tuned for high power and torque - 90bhp 1.6-litre 16v, 120bhp two-litre 16v and 136bhp two-litre 16v with diesel particulate filter.

Four-wheel disc brakes, ABS with EBD and driver's airbag are standard across the range. Available options include ESP with ASR, front passenger airbag, side and curtain airbags, as well as various anti-theft systems. A wide choice of stereo, navigation and telematics systems will also be offered.

This light van segment accounted for over 450,000 sales in Europe last year, taking 23% of the light commercial vehicle market.

In the first nine months of 2006, Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles has raised its share of the western European market to 11.1%, with approximately 168,000 registrations.

The brand claims to be the undisputed market leader in Italy (with a 45.2% share) and in Poland (21.2%).

Graeme Roberts

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