With the new Fullback, FIAT Professional enters the buoyant medium-duty pick up segment which accounts for 650,000 vehicles a year in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) representing 22% of the total LCV market. In the UK more than 40,000 pickups were registered in 2015 - a jump of 20% compared to 2014 - so it is clear that there is a growing audience, both internationally and in the UK, who see the rugged and practical pickup truck as an ideal solution to their broad spectrum of vehicle needs.
In terms of styling, the front of the FIAT Professional Fullback adopts the upmarket appearance of a sports SUV with its swept-back fascia, chunky front bumper and roomy cab-forward layout. Distinctive swage lines along the flanks tie the front of the pickup truck to the rear and, along with the sweeping shape of the front and rear lamps, help fully integrate the load bed as part of the vehicle's overall design. Detailing is tasteful and restrained with two strips of satin silver trim used to frame the front grille on the entry-level SX, while LX versions also have a subtle satin silver trim around sump protector, as well as chrome-finished door mirrors, door handles and side steps. Attractive 16-inch alloy wheels are standard on the SX while the profile of the LX model is enhanced with 17-inch alloy wheels and substantial, body-coloured wheel arch protectors.
The interior combines the functionality of a work vehicle with the comfort and elegance of luxury vehicle with an attractive and ergonomically designed, two-tone black-and-silver dashboard, supportive and comfortable seats and impressive rear passenger room. Standard equipment on the SX version includes remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity (phone calling and music streaming), DAB digital radio, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearknob, steering-wheel mounted remote audio controls, air conditioning (including rear vents), Start & Stop, front fog lamps, a tubular side step and a host of safety features including seven airbags, advanced ESC with ASR, TSA (Trailer Stability Assist), LED DRLs, hill start assist and cruise control with a speed limiter. Lane Departure Warning and a reversing camera are both standard on the LX version.
The FIAT Professional Fullback SX is powered by an aluminium-block, 2.4-litre diesel engine with a variable-geometry turbo charger which produces 150hp and 380Nm of torque yet its official combined-cycle fuel economy figure is just 44.2MPG (6.4L/100km) and its CO2 emissions are 169g/km. The standard SX transmission comprises a six-speed manual gearbox with on demand four-wheel drive system with three electrically-selected settings: 2H, 4H and 4L.
The power and torque outputs of LX version are increased to 180hp and 430Nm, while the full-time four-wheel drive system has four electrically-controlled settings: 2H, 4H plus 4HLc and 4LLc with a locking central differential for improved traction. Its official combined-cycle fuel economy figure is 42.2MPG (6.6L/100km) and its CO2 emission figure is 173g/km.
Technical highlights across all FIAT Professional Fullback models include a one-tonne payload with a bed length of up to 1.52m, 3,100kg un-braked towing capacity (2,700kg for the SX model), best-in-class turning circle. Sophisticated double wishbone front suspension and a solid axle with leaf springs for maximum reliability and sturdiness.
Standard equipment on the LX includes keyless go, leather upholstery, electrically-adjusted and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, bi-xenon headlamps with washers, enhanced body styling, privacy glass and a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB, Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation as standard. Lane Departure Warning, a reversing camera and a comfort-oriented "Touring" suspension are also included in the generous LX specification. When equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission, the LX version adds an upgraded 7-inch infotainment system and transmission paddle gear shifters.
Available as a double cab only and with all-wheel drive standard on all versions, the FIAT Professional Fullback starts at £20,995 (excluding VAT, VED, delivery and plates) for the SX version. The high-specification LX manual is priced from £22,995 (excluding VAT and OTR charges) while the LX automatic is priced from £24,395 (excluding VAT and OTR charges). The new FIAT Fullback will be available to order from FIAT Professional dealers from 4 July.
Further information on the new FIAT Fullback, as well as the rest of the FIAT Professional range, is available from www.FIATprofessionalpress.co.uk and business users can find out more on the public website www.fiatprofessional.co.uk.