THE mighty Italian Fiat motor empire which includes exotic marques such as Ferrari and Maserati as well as Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Jeep has just announced that it is to launch a new model later this year that will be a first for them - a pick-up truck with the rather unusual name of Fullback writes Bryan Longworth.
Many motor manufacturers now have pick-ups in their model range such as Toyota with the Hilux, Nissan with the Navara and Mitsubishi with their big selling L200 which the new Fiat closely resembles.
No doubt Fiat has decided to enter the medium duty pick-up market with their Fullback because of the increasing popularity of such vehicles both for load carrying and also in the leisure sector as lifestyle vehicles.
The Fullback which Fiat say is a name derived from the “cornerstone position in rugby and American football” was launched at the Dubai International Motor Show and will be available in the UK from this autumn.
Manufactured in Thailand where many pick-ups are produced it will be available only with a practical double cab body style configuration that Fiat say will be ideal for both commercial and leisure activities and the price will be announced nearer the UK on sale date.
Fullback will have a payload of 1,045kg and will be powered by a 2.4-litre aluminium turbo diesel engine with a power output of either 150hp or 180hp.
Two transmissions will be available a new six speed manual gearbox or a five speed automatic transmission with sports mode and both will be combined with full four wheel drive systems.
It will be available in the UK in two trim levels with pricing and specifications to be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch in the autumn.
The new Fiat Fullback will be the company’s first contender in the medium duty pick-up segment which has seen soaring sales in the UK especially and no doubt Fiat now want a slice of this lucrative market.
Fiat also displayed at the Dubai show a selection of special accessories on the Fullback that are currently under development by the company which will no doubt include hard back covers for the rear load area.
The pick-up market in the UK is now extremely competitive with rivals for the Fullback including the Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux, VW Amarok, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Great Wall Steed and SsangYong Korando Sports.
How will Fiat’s new model fare? Much will depend on pricing but it has attractive styling and its similarity to the popular Mitsubishi should help to
get it established in the UK pick-up sales charts.
Model: Fiat Fullback pick-up.
Engines: Two diesel with differing power outputs.
Transmissions: Manual and automatic.
Drive: Four wheel drive.
Trim levels: Two.
On sale: Autumn 2016.
Price: To be announced.