2011 Geneva Preview: Dodge goes on a Journey to Europe, becomes 2012 Fiat Freemont
Fiat is embarking on a journey where it will start rebadging some Chrysler Group vehicles under its Fiat and Lancia brands. We’ve already heard numerous reports of Chrysler branded vehicles becoming Lancia vehicles on the other side of the Atlantic, but today CEO Sergio Marchionne is taking one Dodge vehicle and turning it into a Fiat.
Meet the 2012 Fiat Freemont. Based on the Dodge Journey, the SUV is the first Fiat vehicle to come out of the partnership with Chrysler Group. The extended 7-seater Fiat Freemont will be produced at Chrysler Toluca plant in Mexico, where it also produces the Fiat 500 for the U.S. market.
Power for the 2012 Fiat Freemont comes from a four different powertrain options including two diesel units and two gasoline units. The two diesel units consist of a 140-hp and 170-hp 2.0L MultiJet, while the gasoline lineup consists of a 170-hp 2.0L MultiJet and a 276-hp 3.6L Pentastar V6. The two diesel units will feature front-wheel-drive while the gasoline models will be available with an all-wheel-drive option.
The 2012 Fiat Freemont will make its world debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
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.
– By: Omar Rana