The first fruit of the Fiat/ Chrysler partnership is finally hitting the US in the form of the Fiat 500. Now it’s time for some of Chrysler’s models to head over to Europe under the Fiat name. The first model is the Dodge Journey, which is being dubbed the Fiat Freemont.
The 2012 Freemont will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It’s basically identical to the Dodge Journey other than a revised front end. It will also be built alongside the Journey in Toluca Mexico. Initially the Freemont will launch with front wheel drive with turbo 2.0L diesel power units mated to a manual transmission. All-wheel-drive versions, Chrysler’s Pentastar 276 HP 3.6 V6 engine, and an automatic transmission will eventually be offered.
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Fiat Freemont, international debut
The next Geneva motor show will host the debut of the new Fiat Freemont, which will go on sale in the second half of 2011.
The Freemont built on the base of the Dodge Journey, is the first Fiat vehicle to come out of the partnership with the Chrysler Group. It will be produced in the Mexican plant of Toluca, where the 500 is produced for the US market.
The very name conjures up a sense of freedom, the pleasure of life in the open air, of adventure and the possibility of facing any situation that arises in daily life with equanimity.
The Fiat Freemont is in fact a ‘factotum vehicle’ designed to meet the diverse needs of families and those seeking a spacious, comfortable and versatile vehicle to cater for the frenetic pace of everyday life or weekend leisure time.
The vehicle combines flexibility and practicality with its own distinctive and original style. The dimensions (length of 489 cm, width of 188 cm and height of 172 cm) guarantee outstanding interior roominess, aided by the best wheelbase in its category (289 cm).
The Fiat Freemont guarantees maximum roominess, comfort and versatility due to its 7 standard seats with a genuine third row of roomy seats that is easily accessible because the doors open to 90°. The seats of the third row may be folded down with one simple movement to disappear completely below the floor and create a regular load platform. The seats of the second row are fitted higher than those at the front while the third row is raised in relation to the second allowing all occupants maximum visibility.
The second row can also be fitted with the innovative child booster system: booster seats are used to make sure that children on board are sitting correctly, optimising the seatbelt geometry and guaranteeing greater protection, practicality and comfort.
On-board comfort is also assured by a high driving position, new roomy and ergonomic seats, a host of storage compartments, a generous luggage area with two compartments and a flat load platform for an overall capacity of up to 1461 litres.
The vehicle’s very individual design includes muscular, decisive lines that are expressed in a front end with brand new bumpers and grille. The rear end has been redesigned with the adoption of a new bumper and LED tail lights.
The all-new passenger compartment features an up-to-date design and soft touch materials. Features include a wrap-around dashboard with chrome elements, a brand-new instrument panel, a strikingly good-looking central console and an innovative infotainment system with a large colour touchscreen.
To simplify the selection and purchase process, only two outfits will be provided that are aimed at different customer types. The equipment level for both outfits is extremely comprehensive and all the main content items comply with the ‘Fiat fair price’ strategy.
Both outfits will offer 7 seats, triple-zone automatic climate control system, keyless entry system, cruise control, advanced trip computer, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), fog lights and touchscreen radio with colour screen and controls on the steering wheel. The more metropolitan version will include 17″ alloys, touchscreen radio with 8.4″ screen, SD card and DVD reader, Bluetooth system, rear parking sensors, fold-down door mirrors, automatic headlight activation, darkened rear windows and roof bars.
The Freemont will have front wheel drive with turbo diesel power units (140 HP or 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet) combined with a manual gearbox. Later, the vehicle will also be available in 4×4 versions with 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet and 276 HP 3.6 petrol V6 engines, both with automatic transmissions. With the exception of the powerful 3.6 litre unit from the Chrysler Group Pentastar family and its automatic transmission, all power units are produced and developed by FPT- Fiat PowerTrain.
The vehicle’s dynamic performances have also been improved with the aid of Fiat engineering, which has developed and introduced a special suspension and steering configuration for greater accuracy and directness. Driving comfort is further guaranteed by significant improvements to passenger compartment soundproofing.
Safety is top level with 7 airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Hill-Holder and electronic roll mitigation (ERM) as standard on all vehicles.