labels: fiat india pvt, passenger cars, automotive
Fiat launches Palio, Adventure Diesel; focus on stability, growth news
Shifra Menezes
12 March 2003

Mumbai: Fiat India played host at its Kurla plant in suburban Mumbai for the industrial launch of the Palio Diesel and the Adventure Diesel, the company’s latest offerings.

The company also announced its business plans for the year 2003. One of Fiat’s plans is to focus on penetrating the country’s diesel car segment by offering the company’s range of diesel cars, based on its famous 178 platform.

Says Fiat India director (commercial) Ananda Gupta: “We will vividly focus on stability and growth in 2003 — direct our energies towards enhanced after-sales services, exciting financial tie-ups and schemes, the launch of the diesel range on the 178 platform, and the expansion of our dealer network.”

Fiat is committed to succeeding in India, with a clear roadmap in place to aggressively achieve its target. Says Fiat India chairman and managing director Alberto Montanari: “We are very fortunate at Fiat to produce vehicles to touch people’s emotions. We understand that our customers have a sentimental attachment to their vehicles and we strive to make that emotional connection tangible, with products that surprise delight and excite.”

“We believe that with the introduction of the Palio Diesel and Adventure Diesel we will capture all of these practical and emotional elements. Stability and a renewed emphasis on after-sales service are the other elements that will drive Fiat India through this year.”

The latest offering The Palio Diesel and the Adventure Diesel will be a four-cylinder one in line with 1.9-litre D-tech engines. The 1910cc engine in the Palio Diesel generates a massive 63 bhp at 4500 rpm with a peak torque of 12.2 kgm; it claims to deliver 13-to-15 kmpl in city traffic with the AC on and a highway fuel consumption of more than 16 kmpl.

The engine provides adequate reserve power even when in high gears, for instant response to accelerator units. Fiat also uses this engine in a number of their international models like the Punto, Multipla and the Doblo, which have proved to be very successful.

The fuel injection system consists of an electronically managed mechanical pump from Delphi. The system employs a 16-bit electronic control unit (ECU) to achieve the best possible engine performance in terms of power, fuel consumption, emissions and drivability.

Fiat boasts of using the ‘drive by wire’ technology with the Palio Diesel, fitted with an accelerator pedal potentiometer. Driver inputs at the accelerator pedal position are converted into an electrical voltage signal and sent to the ECU, thus eliminating the accelerator cable used commonly by the company’s competitors.

To allay fears of diesel engines being high on pollution, two emission-control devices have been used to reduce emissions. The high turbulence combustion chamber ensures the optimum mixing of the fuel with air with the additional benefit of lower vibrations and thus the silent operation of the engine.

Also fitted is the exhaust gas re-circulation system. This system allows for some of the exhaust gases to be sent to the intake in certain engine operating conditions, thus diluting the fuel mixture with inert gases and limiting the formation of nitrogen oxides (NOX), thereby reducing exhaust levels.

Other features include the ‘water in fuel’ indicator that safeguards the fuel injection equipment, and the ‘On-board diagnostic’ sensor that warns the driver in case of any electronic malfunction, both of which are situated on the dashboard.

All variants feature a tachometer, the only car in the B segment to offer this feature on all its variants. A variable capacity AC compressor has a capacity of 126 cc, providing steady cooling without over-loading the engine even on gradients and while overtaking.

Paying great attention to the safety features, for which Fiat is world renowned, the Palio Diesel will be the only car in the B segment to offer the option of driver airbag, antilock braking system and pre-tensed seat belts.

The car will also feature an energy-absorbing steering wheel, a collapsible steering column, a fire protection switch, a reinforced body with programmed crumple zones, anti-submarine seats and side beams in all the doors.


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Fiat launches Palio, Adventure Diesel; focus on stability, growth